Categories: Stories From Our Past

Murder in the City: The Grisly Death of Mike John Tudor

The cold winter nights on the prairie make for the perfect setting to curl up around the roaring fire and tell a scary story or two. It is with that in mind that I decided to do some research on what I think is one of the most spine-chilling tales of murder in Regina’s history. It’s time to sit back with a cup of hot chocolate and read the grisly tale of the murder of Mike John Tudor.

“Reginan found slain in bedroom, dead year”, blared the headline on the front page of the Leader Post on the morning of April 16th, 1955. As the story goes, on the 15th of April, police broke down the door of what they believed to be an uninhabited house at 1849 Mckay St. Once inside, officers were undoubtedly shocked to find themselves in the company of the mostly decayed body of 74 year old Mike John Tudor. His body lay on the larvae infested bed in the front room of the house, his hands frozen in a position of self-defense, shielding his head. The gesture was futile, as Mr. Tudor’s head had clearly sustained some considerable blunt force trauma. The walls were covered in spots of blood and bits of flesh, while the doorways and windows had been carefully sealed with cloth and newspaper in a clumsy attempt to hide the body.

Though the police were surprised by their horrifying find, they were aware that Mike Tudor had been missing for several months. Neighbors reported last seeing him in December of 1953, and his daughter in Michigan had last heard from him that same month. When concerned acquaintances popped by the house, Tudor’s housekeeper/girlfriend, a 30 year old woman named Elizabeth “Tootsie” LaFleche, told folks that Mr. Tudor was out of town, attending to business. Police began hearing rumors that though Ms. LaFleche and Mr. Tudor were romantically involved, it also seemed she had a relationship with a man named Jacob Dyck, who often socialized with the couple .

Mike Tudor was, by all accounts, a man who was careful with his money. He lived simply, took in borders to save on costs, and worked as a farm hand to earn the bulk of his income. It was common knowledge amongst his acquaintances that Mr. Tudor had several thousand dollars sewn up in his mattress at home, enough to possibly tempt someone to kill. Whatever the motive, the shocking crime riveted the citizens of Regina. Since Miss LaFleche and Mr. Dyck were two of his last known acquaintances, the Regina Police were soon searching for them.

Miss LaFleche and Mr. Dyck surrendered themselves to police on April 19th, 1955. The ensuing court trial was a local sensation, with accusations of adultery, jealousy and greed levied at the accused by prosecutors for the Crown. The most impactful witness testimony came from the only other person in the home at the time, a border named Joseph Jakubco. According to Jakubco, on the night of December 31, 1953, Tudor and Dyck got into an argument. He heard yelling and what sounded like a struggle. The next day, Miss LaFleche told Mr. Jakubco that Mr. Tudor was out of town on business, and he was never seen alive again.

“Tootsie” and Jacob were tried separately, with Mr. Dyck being sentenced to hang for murder and Miss LeFleche being sent to Kingston Penitentiary to serve her sentence as an accessory to the crime. Truth be told, however, neither perpetrator was truly held to justice- Mr. Dyck’s sentence was overturned 10 days before his date with the noose, and Ms. LeFleche was only incarcerated for a few years before being released. Thus ends the story of one of Regina’s most tragic New Year’s Eve parties, as horrifying now as it was sixty years ago.

Written by: S. Hay
Sources Cited:
Pacholik, Barb and Pruden, Jana. Paper Cows. Regina: Canadian Plains Research Centre, 2009.
The original newspaper articles on the murder and trial were found in "The Regina Leader-Post" issues dating from April 16, 1955 to May 7, 1955. The microfilm for these issues is located in The Prairie History Room at the Regina Public Library, and is available for in-house research during library hours.


Categories: New Books

New Genealogy Book on "Tracing Your Air Force Ancestors"

This book can be borrowed for 3 weeks!

Tomaselli, Phil. Tracing Your Air Force Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians. 2nd edition. Barnsley: Pen & Sword Books, 2014.

Summary: [Phil Tomaselli] explains which records survive, where they can be found and how they can help you in your research. Whether you are interested in the career of an individual air-man or woman, researching medals awarded to a pilot or crew member or just want to know more about a particular squadron or operation, this handbook will point you in the right direction. Each era in air force history is described, from the pioneering days of early aviation and the formation of the Royal Flying Corps in the First World War to the creation of the Royal Air Force, its operations during the Second World War and its post-war development. [The author] outlines the evolving organization of the air force in each period.


Categories: New Books

New Books for December 2014

Badry, Dorothy, Don Fuchs, H. Monty Montgomery and Sharon McKay, editors. Reinvesting in Families: Strengthening Child Welfare Practice for a Brighter Future; Voices from the Prairies. Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada : University of Regina Press, 2014.

Summary: [The book] addresses tough issues such as FASD, high-risk substance misuse, and family reunification from a family-focused and First Nations perspective. With a focus on the Prairies, it offers insight to anyone anywhere with an interest in child welfare service, research, and practice.

Battiste, Marie. Decolonizing Education: Nourishing the Learning Spirit. Saskatoon : Purich Publishing Limited, 2013.

Summary: Drawing on treaties, international law, the work of other Indigenous scholars, and especially personal experiences, Marie Battiste documents the nature of Eurocentric models of education, and their devastating impacts on Indigenous knowledge. Chronicling the negative consequences of forced assimilation and the failure of current educational policies to bolster the social and economic conditions of Aboriginal populations, Battiste proposes a new model of education. She argues that the preservation of Aboriginal knowledge is an Aboriginal right and a right preserved by the many treaties with First Nations.

Brown, Ron. The Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore: An Illustrated History of Railway Stations in Canada. 4th edition. Toronto, Ontario: Dundurn, [2014]

Summary: Once the economic and social lifeblood of Canada, the country's railways and heritage stations are a fading part of the patrimony of communities across the nation.

Campey, Lucille H. Ignored But Not Forgotten: Canada's English Immigrants. Toronto, Ontario : Dundurn, [2014].

Summary: In her third and final book in the English in Canada series, Lucille Campey provides an overview of the great exodus from England to Canada that peaked in the early twentieth century. Drawing on wide-ranging documentary and statistical sources, Campey traces this major population movement on a region-by-region basis. Widely ignored in the past as an immigrant group, the English are now being given the attention they deserve. Campey reveals their outstanding contribution to Canada's settlement and subsequent development and challenges the assumption that English Canadians were a privileged elite. In fact, most came from humble backgrounds.

McGrane, David. Remaining Loyal: Social Democracy in Quebec and Saskatchewan. Montréal ; Kingston : McGill-Queen's University Press, 2014.

Summary: When social democratic politicians in the 1990s moderated their ideas and policies as part of a turn towards the "third way," they were assailed as traitors to the cause. [The book] demonstrates that while third way social democrats in Quebec and Saskatchewan supplemented certain social democratic ideas with more right-wing economic programs, their public policies remained true to the original spirit of social democracy.

Shaw, Susan Evans. Canadians at War: Vol. 2, A Guide to the Battlefields and Memorials of World War II. Fredericton, NB : Goose Lane Editions, 2014.

Summary: [The book], a follow-up to Susan Evans Shaw's guidebook to the battlefields and memorials of World War I, takes its readers on a tour of the places where the Canadians fought, and died -- the battlefields, memorials, and cemeteries scattered throughout Europe and the Far East.


Website with early postcards of Prairie towns

The website Images of Prairie Towns is worth a look.
Images are being added monthly.

The postcard above is a Regina street scene, featuring the Regina Trading Company, from the Images of Prairie Towns collection.


Categories: New Magazines

PHR Magazines for November 2014

Families, November 2014, Vol. 53, No. 4

* "Researching the Fallen First World War Soldiers Enshrined on the Camlachie Cenotaph, Ontario" by Alan Campbell, pgs. 7-10.

* "Samuel Fish--Finding His Story in Obscure and Unindexed Records" by Steve Marshall, pgs. 18-23.

* "The Search for Sloan and Gibson Ancestors" by Alan E. Richards, pgs. 30-32.

Family Chronicle, Nov/Dec 2014, Vol. 19, No. 2

* "Immersion Genealogy" by Lisa A. Alzo, pgs. 13-15.

* "Belarus--It's Complicated" by Sandy Hack, pgs. 16-22,

* "Ten Hidden Sources You Might Be Missing" by Lisa A. Alzo, pgs. 34-38.

* "Finding Lost Boys" by Claire Jordan, pgs. 46-49.

Relatively Speaking, November 2014, Vol. 42, No. 4

* "Uncle Art's War" by Marilyn Lappi, pgs. 137-142.

* "Banff-Castle Mountain Internment Camp, WWI" by Lesley O'Neil, pg. 153.

* "Two Who Never Returned" by Marilyn M. Astle and Roger Blinko, pgs. 156-162.

Revue Historique, Automne 2014, Vol. 25, No. 1

* "La crise de la conscription: Le Canada française et la Grande Guerre" par Mélanie Lemire, pgs. 6-10.

* "Les pilotes de l'air canadiens et la Grande Guerre" par Laurier Gareau, pgs. 12-13.

* "Cantal et la Grande Guerre: L'histoire d'une photo" par Laurier Gareau, pgs. 14-22.

* ˂˂Tu ne tueras point˃˃: Les accomodements raisonnables à l'ère de la Première Guerre mondiale" par Sylvie Brassard, pgs. 24-32.


Note: These magazine issues can be borrowed for 1 week.


In Case You Missed November Genealogy Presentations...

For those who missed the last in our genealogy series, here are the link to the presentation and some tips shared with participants that you may find useful...

Tracing Your Canadian WWI Ancestors

* link to my powerpoint presentation: http://www.slideshare.net/maychan/tracing-your-canadian-wwi-ancestors

* link to my WWI bibliography

* LAC is undertaking a multi-year project to scan in every member of CEF's service files so access to the full service records might be restricted during the next two years. By the end of 2016, the public should be able to access and download the full service file for free.

* Aside from the service file, make sure you also check out additional military files like regimental histories ("War Diaries") that will provide you with the context. Unlike a service file which tells you the particulars of an individual soldier, nurse or chaplain, the regimental histories will help to explain why they are assigned to a particular area or how they will injured/killed.

* Do not forget that every soldier left behind family members so finding out what happened to the family is just as important as tracking down the soldier's military file.

Best Genealogy Websites and Tools of 2014

* link to my powerpoint presentation: Revised and Updated Genealogy Websites and Tools of 2014; Note: I gave an earlier version of this presentation in September 2014, so both presentations share the same template, I have put in a some new websites in the November version and added a new section on online genealogy courses.

All of my presentations are downloadable. So enjoy and happy researching this winter!

May Chan, Prairie History Librarian


All RPL Branches Will Be Closed This Upcoming Friday, November 21, 2014

Please note that all of Regina Public Library branches, including the Prairie History Room, will be closed this Friday, November 21, 2014 for a staff conference. We apologize for the inconvenience and will resume normal business hours starting on Saturday, November 22, 2014.


Dear John; Louis David Riel Program This Sunday

The Dunlop Art Gallery at Regina Public Library is offering the following public program that may interest some of you...

David Garneau: Dear John; Louis David Riel
Date: Sunday, November 16, 2014
Location: Victoria Park
Time: 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Curated by Blair Fornwald, Assistant Curator

Regina artist David Garneau will present a new performance artwork, Dear John; Louis David Riel., on the 130th anniversary of the death of the Métis leader. Dressed as Riel, Garneau will enact a performative conversation with the statue of Canada’s first Prime Minister, John A. Macdonald, who charged Riel with high treason, effectively sentencing him to his death.

David Garneau and Dylan Miner in Conversation
Location: Central Library, Public Meeting Room 1, Second Floor 2311-12th Avenue
Time: 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Following the performance, join Garneau and renowned Métis artist, writer, and educator Dylan Miner at Central Library for a conversation that unpacks some of the themes of the performance: the import and legacy of Indigenous leader Louis Riel, Métis aesthetics, art and activism, and the difficulty of reconciliation.

For more information on Dunlop exhibitions, performances and programs, visit dunlopartgallery.org.


Categories: PHR Programs

November 2014 - Genealogy Programs

Don't forget to join us for our last pair of free genealogy workshops this month:

Tracing your WWI Ancestors
Instructor: May P. Chan
Saturday, November 15, 2014
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
RPL Film Theatre, Central Library, 2311-12th Avenue

2014 marks the centenary of the “Great War” or World War I. From 1914 to 1918, 630, 000 Canadian men and women served in this conflict, which claimed over 60, 000 lives. Join May P. Chan, Prairie History Librarian, as she discusses key facts about the war, points out where to look for military records, and offers research tips to those studying their ancestors who served in this conflict. Beginners and advanced researchers welcome.

Best Genealogy Websites of 2014
Instructor: May P. Chan
Saturday, November 22, 2014
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
RPL Film Theatre, Central Library, 2311-12th Avenue

Confused, overwhelmed and frustrated by the millions of genealogy websites on the internet today? Unsure about whether or not you should buy an annual subscription to Ancestry.ca? Not sure where to go to obtain a passenger list homestead record or even a death certificate? Join May P. Chan, Prairie History Librarian at Regina Public Library, as she rounds up and examines the best genealogy websites of 2014 that are currently available to researchers. Beginners and advanced researchers welcome.

For more information about these workshops, phone the Prairie History Room at 777-6011. Note: No pre-registration is required!

Categories: PHR News

Remembrance Day 2014 Hours

Photo Attribution: "Remembrance Cross" taken by Nick Parkin

Please note our opening hours this upcoming week for Remembrance Day:

Friday, November 7, 2014 - 9:30 am to 6 pm
Saturday, November 8, 2014 - 9:30 am to 5 pm
Sunday, November 9, 2014 - 12 pm to 5 pm
Monday, November 10, 2014 - 9:30 am to 9 pm
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - CLOSED
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - 9:30 am to 9 pm

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