History buffs still fascinated with the Redpath Mansion murders, 115 years later

Two of Montreal’s most notorious unsolved murders happened in the Square Mile neighbourhood 115 years ago today. Members of the city’s elite were shot in their namesake home, the Redpath Mansion. Despite the family’s notoriety little was done to investigate the murders.

Rumours continue to circulate about whether these murders were strictly a family affair

Were the two family members murdered, or was it a murder-suicide? (Redpath Sugar Museum/

Two of Montreal's most notorious unsolved murders happened in the Golden Square Mile neighbourhood 115 years ago today.

Ada Maria Redpath, 59, and her son, Jocelyn Clifford, 26, were considered members of the city's ruling class. The family had become rich building the Lachine Canal and founding Redpath Sugar.

They were found shot to death in their namesake home, the Redpath Mansion, near today's Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Today, the cold case continues to fascinate history buffs and the quest continues to find out who killed Ada Maria Redpath and her son.

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On June 13, 1901, Redpath and Clifford were both found in her bedroom in a pool of blood. Their bodies were buried within 48 hours.

There was very little investigation into the murders and the remaining Redpath family members did not discuss the tragedy.

Donovan King, founder of ghost tour company Haunted Montreal, said there are numerous rumours surrounding the deaths and many point to a murder-suicide.

"There's lot of speculation over what happened," King said. "Some thought the son murdered the mother, then himself."

"Others say the mother was suffering from insomnia, or that Clifford may have been gay."   

Ada Maria Mills Redpath was found shot in her bedroom along with her son Clifford. (McCord Museum/

Researchers, history buffs try to crack cold case

​​People haven't given up trying to solve the mystery over the years.

A research team from McGill prepared the cold case for the website, Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History

As part of the research, they unearthed diaries, photos, a coroner's report and condolence letters sent to the Redpath family, which are all available on the website for people to explore the mystery themselves.

For those who like spooky local landmarks King suggests going just a few blocks east, to McGill University.

A number of its buildings are noted to be haunted, including the Redpath Library. 

The historic Redpath Mansion is unfortunately gone. It fell into disrepair and was torn down by the city in 2014.

The Redpath Mansion before its demolition in 2014. (CBC)