The Detectives

Season 1 | Episode 1: The Wells Gray Gunman

One of the largest mass murders in Canada is committed in Wells Gray Park, B.C., as three generations of a family are killed on a camping trip. For Detective Mike Eastham, it’s a mission that takes him across the country and back again as he harnesses the powers of TV, radio and print media to catch the gunman.

"How did six people disappear off the face of the earth?" 

One of the largest mass murders in Canada is committed In Wells Gray Park, B.C., as three generations of a family are killed on a camping trip. For Detective Mike Eastham, it's a mission that takes him across the country and back again as he harnesses the powers of TV, radio and print media to catch the gunman.

"There's not one case in my entire career over hundreds of homicides as horrendous as this one," says Eastham. "You never forget."

Episode preview

The Wells Gray Gunman Case - first look

5 years ago
Duration 1:57
When these detectives grew desperate, they asked the national media and the public for help in a creative plan to hunt down a mass murderer.

What was unique to this investigation?

  • This was the first time in Canadian history that the maximum 25-year sentence was handed down for second degree murder.
  • At the time, it was one of the most costly investigations in Canadian history, but Detective Eastham said in a later interview: "I could justify every penny under the circumstances." (1)

    1 Eastham, Michael (1999). The Seventh Shadow. Warwick Publishing, p. 82, 90.

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About the detective

(CBC | The Detectives / Photo courtesy of Mike Eastham)

Retired Detective Staff Sergeant Mike Eastham was with the British Columbia RCMP for 35 years and worked on numerous homicide cases. He was awarded the Long Service Medal in 1981 and retired in 1996.

Cast

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
Detective Mike EasthamJOHN PYPER-FERGUSON
Gerry DalenERIC DAVIS
Sgt. Frank BarutaDAVID NERMAN
Police PathologistLUC PILON
Park EmployeeMARK HAUSER
Brian the reporterPAUL HOPKINS
WaitressLARA BINAME
Windsor MechanicCHRISTOPHER MACCABE
Detective Al HaslettDANIEL RINDRESS-KAY
Man at trailer parkMARC THIBAUDEAU
David ShearingSTEPHEN MCINTYRE
Coffee WaitressKATIE MALLOCH
George BentleyCLIVE BREWER
Edith BentleyIRENE OSPREY
Bob JohnsonEUGENE BROTTO
Jackie JohnsonOLGA MONTES
Janet JohnsonCHARLI BIRDGENAW
Karen JohnsonSATINE SCARLETT MONTAZ
TV Studio P.A.VANESSA WILLETT
Detective MechanicANDREW MACKAY
Woman at Trailer ParkSARAH LEVESQUE
Real Helicopter PilotPIERRE DEMONT PILOT

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