October 1, 2021

Macabre Museum: Stories from the RCMP Crime Collection opens October 4

REGINA – A new twist on a familiar RCMP Heritage Centre exhibit – Macabre Museum: Stories from the RCMP Crime Collection – opens to the public Monday, October 4, 2021.  Curated by the RCMP Historical Collections Unit, the annual Macabre Museum feature exhibit displays artifacts and evidence from some of Canada’s most notorious historical true crime cases.

“If you have come to see this exhibit in the past, I would encourage you to come again, as we’ve taken a slightly different approach this year,” RCMP Historical Collections Unit Curator Jodi Ann Eskritt said. “This year’s version of the Macabre Museum puts more of an emphasis on police techniques and the police work that went into in solving some of Canada’s most infamous historical crimes.”

The exhibit purposely focuses on older cases out of sensitivity for victims, families, and members of the Force. Many of the featured artifacts in the exhibit were either confiscated from prisoners or donated by the court system or an RCMP detachment. These include the Benito Bandits’ death masks, weapons seized from criminals, bullets, pieces of nooses, and other unusual criminal artifacts.

The exhibit also includes artifacts from a few cases that have not been on public display before, including firearms from the 1956 Coquitlam Royal Bank robbery during which RCMP Constable Bud Johnstone was shot eight times and survived. Also on display are bullets and ballistics reports from the 1933 murder of William J. Parsille in the village of Mannville, Alberta, a case that turned into a cross-border manhunt and was solved using ballistics evidence from the scene and another location. Guests can also view artifacts and evidence from other notorious Canadian true crime stories in the exhibit.

Also new this year is a display on the history of RCMP highway patrol. This part of the exhibit includes an actual 1992 Ford Mustang RCMP highway patrol car, as well as artifacts pertaining to the introduction of new technology for highway patrol, including early radar detectors from the 1960s and 1970s, and an original Motorola “Handie-Talkie” portable telephone introduced into patrol cars in the 1950s.

The Macabre Museum is inspired by the Crime Museum at New Scotland Yard, headquarters of the Metropolitan Police in London, England. In 1874, the Metropolitan Police began collecting criminal memorabilia, mainly for police training and study purposes. The Crime Museum continues to this day and was only opened to the public in 2015 – 141 years after it was established.

The Macabre Museum opens to the public October 4, 2021 and runs to November 7, 2021. The exhibit is available for viewing with regular admission during the Centre’s operating hours, from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM seven days a week.

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Trigger Warning: Viewer discretion is advised. Some of the material in the exhibit may be upsetting, particularly for small children under the age of 10.

Media Inquiries

Jess Paul for the RCMP Heritage Centre

jess@blossomcomm.ca or 306-529-0566.

About the RCMP Historical Collections Unit

The RCMP Historical Collections Unit (HCU) is a special unit of RCMP Academy, Depot Division dedicated to the collection, preservation, and interpretation of RCMP artifacts relating to the history of the Force. The HCU manages the RCMP Heritage Centre’s permanent exhibits, curates annual feature exhibitions on the Force, and hosts visiting exhibits from across Canada.

About the RCMP Heritage Centre

The RCMP Heritage Centre is dedicated to sharing the story of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Canada’s national police force. Known informally as the “Mounties”, the Force is recognized the world over for its iconic dress uniform featuring the red serge tunic, Stetson hat, and high brown boots.

Guests of the RCMP Heritage Centre can experience both the historical and modern day stories of the RCMP through a variety of traditional and state-of-the-art exhibits, a virtual and augmented reality experiences, and live events. The Centre is located on the doorstep of RCMP Academy, “Depot” Division, where Mounties have trained since 1885. The Centre is operated by a non-profit organization. While it is not owned by the RCMP, it is supported by the RCMP’s Historical Collections Unit.

The RCMP Heritage Centre is located on Treaty 4 lands. Treaty 4 is home to the Cree, Ojibwe, Saulteaux, Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota peoples, in addition to being the homeland of the Métis Nation.

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