Author Topic: Mike Pilawski - MURDER - OCT 9, 1928 - 2m north of Saskatoon  (Read 4934 times)

BCID

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Mike Pilawski - MURDER - OCT 9, 1928 - 2m north of Saskatoon
« on: November 17, 2011, 05:28:00 AM »
(case building is ongoing)

Mike Pilawski

AKA: Mike Harrison, Mack Harrison

Date of Discovery:
October 9, 1928

Location of Discovery:
Alongside C.N.R. railroad tracks 2 miles north (some media say one mile northeast and 1 1/2 miles north) of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Case Info:
Mike Pilawski, a farm worker, was found north of Saskatoon alongside the Canadian National Railways track at 8 o'clock on Tuesday morning. There were three wounds at the base of his skull. Each wound a deep incision which penetrated from the skull to the brain. Pilawski's head was laying on a bundle of blood-stained newspapers. He had been allegedly robbed.

The body was found by the crew of the Laird-Carlton train from Saskatoon.

Police had found Pilawski's cap 700 feet away on the same side of the track his body was laying. There was a pool of blood where the body lay, another pool of blood about nine feet away and a trail of blood on the othr side of the tracks.

Three candles were also found in the vicinity of the body. One candle was bloodstained while the other two were clean. A watch attached to a chain was found a few feet from his head and cheavily coated in blood. The watch was still working.

Pilawski had been using the alias of Mike Harrison ever since his father's death several years earlier. He arrived in Saskatoon on the previous Saturday and had checked into a local rooming house (Mike's Rooms - 312 Avenue B, south) with another man. Pilawski paid for the first night's rent and the male companion paid on the second night.

Pilawski had bragged he had earned $1400 but the RCMP investigator believed it to be a tall tale. There was also nothing to substantiate his story that he had spent $1000 for a threshing outfit. According to Pilawski's brother and sister he was a talker, a drinker and a gambler.

Before coming to Saskatoon, Pilawski went to work for the farm of William Martin one mile from Madison. He was hired to operate a threshing outfit.

According to a witness Pilawski was "broke" when he went to work for William Martin at Madison, and had to borrow tobacco money.


Personal File:
At the time of his death, Pilawski had a sister living in Dauphin, Manitoba and a brother living in Benito.


Law enforcement involved in this case:

Det. Sgt. C. C. Brown - Saskatoon RCMP
Sgt. Mestdagh - Regina RCMP
Sgt. Hermanson - Regina RCMP
Magistrate J. T. Leger - Mounted Police court
Mr. Justice G. E. Taylor - Court of King's Bench, Saskatoon

Witnesses:
Mark J. Boyko
Steve Koziak AKA Steve Orkosak
« Last Edit: November 17, 2011, 06:30:42 AM by BCID »

jellybean

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Re: Mike Pilawski - MURDER - OCT 9, 1928 - 2m north of Saskatoon
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2011, 04:56:20 PM »
Just wondering: re: There were three wounds at the base of his skull. Each wound a deep incision which penetrated from the skull to the brain.
Could these 3 wounds have been made with the same weapon, a 3 pronged weapon?

and - He had been allegedly robbed, and yet - A watch attached to a chain was found a few feet from his head and cheavily coated in blood. The watch was still working, or was the killer frightened away, and left the watch?

The railroad was a good way to get around, perhaps he had the candles and the newspaper to read it, and to wait for a freight car to hop upon  and leave town.

Could be a bit more than robbery involved here, ----- just thinking.

JB


No fingerprints? or were they not used at the time?


solvy

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Re: Mike Pilawski - MURDER - OCT 9, 1928 - 2m north of Saskatoon
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2011, 04:58:38 PM »
Thanks BCID for bringing forward these old cases.  Was there ever any indication why Mike was using an alias ?

jellybean

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Re: Mike Pilawski - MURDER - OCT 9, 1928 - 2m north of Saskatoon
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2011, 05:03:18 PM »
And how old was he?

Thanks
JB


jellybean

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Re: Mike Pilawski - MURDER - OCT 9, 1928 - 2m north of Saskatoon
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2011, 06:02:11 PM »
Thanks SAP.  That could be it. :)
One possibility is that he stole the money from the farm, bragged about how much he had "earned". The farmer would no doubt discover that the money was missing and tracked him down. The farmer may well have removed any money from his pocket, and being satisfied that justice was done, was not interested in Mike's watch.
By the wounds on the back of his skull, Mike didn't see it coming. He may have been too busy watching the tracks , or listening for the next freight train to arrive.
However, that is one possibility only.  I am sure there are many more.

(And then there is the question of the candles - the newspaper - and the trail of blood.)
Jb

« Last Edit: November 17, 2011, 06:13:21 PM by jellybean »

BCID

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Re: Mike Pilawski - MURDER - OCT 9, 1928 - 2m north of Saskatoon
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2011, 05:06:44 AM »
I apologize that the file is not fully finished. I'm working on very little spare time.

According to reports, Mike was hit multiple times at the back of the head. From the evidence it sounds like he was hit somewhere (the trail of blood opposite of the track) and was dragged or stumbled before he was finished off. I'm guessing it has to be a small sharp but heavy instrument that was easy to conceal. If it wasn't planned, what could be found near the tracks that could be used? Perhaps a railroad spike (the head of the spike)?

They say it's possible he was robbed. He bragged he had money but yet no one could actually disprove it. I think all of the character witnesses still can't convince me 100% that he had no money on his person when he was killed. I'm thinking he had to have some amount of money on him because he paid for the first night of room at Mike's. Maybe this was one time he talked too much about what he didn't have.

No mention yet how old he was. I'm still checking when I can.

As for the alias, maybe he was concealing something. His sister and brother said he was a gambler, a drinker and a talker. One has to ask what would a person need an alias for. I would need one for criminal activities, to avoid paying taxes, to give up my old life and start things fresh with new people or if I hated my family (especially my father) enough.

Thank you Solvy. As long as I keep finding them, I'll keep typing them. Each and everyone of these people deserve justice. I just hope the internet can be the tool to help see it done.

eyeswideopen

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Re: Mike Pilawski - MURDER - OCT 9, 1928 - 2m north of Saskatoon
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2011, 10:57:20 AM »
I am thinking it could also be a pulp wood claw and he was hit three times that would be a  more concrete wound as the drive of it would be closer up.  I am thinking back in the day people may often have carried candles as there wasnt electricity then I think.

BC Ident

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Re: Mike Pilawski - MURDER - OCT 9, 1928 - 2m north of Saskatoon
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2015, 12:45:08 PM »
In 1946 a man named Emile [Emil] Joseph Gauthier (34) [also quoted as 37] of Terrace, BC had been charged and acquitted of Pilawski's murder. The RCMP still kept him in custody at the time because he was to answer to a charge of a crime that originated in 1944, that of carnal knowledge with a 14-year old girl. At the time of that crime Gauthier was living in Beardmore, Ontario. Gauthier's background was a migrant working who travelled from place to place looking for work before moving on.

Albert Jules Goulet (44) [also quoted as 40] of Vancouver, BC, Gauthier's alledged accomplice, was also acquitted.

Gauthier had given huimself up to police in October 1945. He said he could no longer stand the "killing preying on his mind."

According to Gauthier's confession both of them had met Pilawski first in Madison and then in Saskatoon, decided to slug him, and then take his money. Pilawski was struck from behind by a crowbar [reported also as an iron bar] by Goulet who then passed the bar to Gauthier and told him to strike. Gauthier did so only because he feared that "he might be next".

In Court William Martin of Madison said Pilawski had worked for him on a threshing crew and that he was paid $195 before leaving for Saskatoon.