Jack Fisk

In the summer of 1910, a headless body was discovered in the Bow River near the town of Brooks (outside of Calgary. The body was buried and not much more was thought about the matter until November when a head was found downstream from where the body had been found. The head head and body were found to be the remains of a reclusive bachelor rancher in the area: Tucker Peach. The head had a bullet hole in it.

When the Mounted Police visited Peach's ranch, they found a young man living there who claimed to be watching the place for a man named Thomas Robertson who had purchased the ranch from Tucker peach. Robertson was found and maintained that he had, indeed, purchased the ranch from Peach and that Peach had returned to his family in England. Robertson was questioned a number of times subsequently and his story was found to vary each time he was questioned. Eventually Robertson was arrested on another matter and confessed to killing Peach at the urging a local tough named Jack Fisk. The plan was to for Robertson to have peach's land and Fisk to take the bachelor's livestock and any cash that was lying around the place (which was, apparently, substantial).

Fisk was arrested for the crime and convicted with the help of Robertson's testimony and a great deal of forensic analysis (which was quite sophisticated for the time). Robertson was given a life sentence and Fisk was executed at the Calgary Mounted Police Barracks on June 27th, 1911. Robertson, however, was undoubtedly a compulsive liar and evidence against Fisk was, by today's dtandards, rather thin. There are some researchers today who feel that Fisk, if not innocent, did not deserve execution.

It was usual, at the time, that a death sentence would require that the body of the condemned by buried in an unmarked grave close to the scaffold. The family could, however, petition for the body to be released for burial. This is, apparently, what happened in this instance: the body was taken away quietly and buried in Union Cemetery in the unmarked grave near the center of the photo above.

Also of interest is a dog belonging to Jack Fisk which was, according to local lore, with Fisk and Robertson when they murdered Peach and accompanied Fisk to the scafold. After Fisk was executed, the dog was taken in by the Mounted Police and became attached to Constable Francis Davies (check the link for more on that story).