Vintage Edmonton: The "Phantom Sniper" Of Edmonton (January-March, 1935)

 The first months of 1935 were an especially interesting time in Edmonton and Central Alberta for what Charles Fort called Anomalous Phenomena. The Daysland, Alberta "Evil Spirit" (which you can read about HERE) was the talk of the district in February, and beginning January 15, an unknown sniper or snipers began terrorizing Edmonton's citizens, firing shots at unsuspecting motorists and pedestrians in Downtown and city neighborhoods.

 It started January 15 when C. Tourigny of 9271 110A Avenue reported to police that shots were fired into the bedroom of his home. On January 23,  H. Kirkwood, an assistant caretaker at the City Market reported to Police that one on the market's windows was shattered by a bullet just after he walked past. On January 25, Henry Hollinger of 11005 95 Street reported a shot being fired in to a porch hallway area of his home.

All seemed  quiet until February 15th, when John Issac was exercising horses at 105 Avenue and 133 Street:

The unknown shooter resurfaced February 28, when C.E. Lundy was shot at as drove his auto on 109th Street:

Then a delayed report of an unnamed woman who was shot at on February 27 while walking along 102 Avenue:

Quickly, papers from Calgary, Ottawa, Regina, Saskatoon,and Windsor picked up the story:

By this time the city was on edge with the possibility of a deranged "Phantom Sniper" roaming the streets firing at unsuspecting citizens, with police having no clues on a suspect or suspects. 

On March 2nd the Phantom Sniper struck again, this time firing into at the feet of 17 year old Donald McLeod while he was walking on 99th Avenue and 104th Street:

The police received tips all across the city with no shortage of suspects, credible and otherwise:

Then, a period of inactivity:

The Journal's Editorial Board had their own (interesting) say on the subject:

Papers from Calgary, Saskatoon,Vancouver, and Lethbridge continued to run (and run with) the story:

Donald McLeod seemed to have found instant fame as one of the "Phantom Sniper's targets:

March 9, 1935:

The Phantom Sniper seemed to vanish after their last bit of activity, with no new reports to police or reports by The Journal until March 16, when The Journal's Editorial page delivered (seemingly) the resolution to The Phantom Sniper's reign of terror:

March 16, 1935:

Interestingly, at roughly the same time in February, the residents of Billings and Butte, Montana were experiencing their own brush with a Phantom Sniper: 

The "Phantom Sniper" of Billings and Butte, Montana, February 1935:

February 6, 1935:

February 7, 1935:

February 8, 1935:

February 9, 1935:

The first (and most likely) thought is to explain the "Phantom Sniper" of Edmonton, Billings, and Butte as a real sniper (at first) exacerbated by mass hysteria caused by gossip and screaming headlines, but ultimately, who knows?