Anchorage’s first police chief murdered

In an effort to curb rampant crime in Anchorage in the early 1920s, the town’s newly formed city council officially created a police department in December 1920. The council then sifted through many applications, and settled on John “Jack” Sturgus as its first chief of police. The council told him to crack down on gambling […]

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Alaska’s first serial killer strikes

Between 1912 and 1915, a number of single, unattached men mysteriously disappeared in Southeast Alaska. The few law enforcement officials in the territory were baffled, but a suspect finally emerged in the fall of 1915. A Petersburg man named Edward Krause, who’d run for the Territorial Legislature as a Socialist Party candidate in 1912, represented […]

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Alaska’s first law officer

Alaska’s first law officer in the Interior knew a thing or two about the criminal element. Frank Canton, appointed deputy marshal for Circle in February 1898, had served with distinction as a peace officer in Wyoming and Oklahoma Territory. He’d also escaped from prison while serving time for bank robbery, murder and holding up a […]

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Alaska Criminals Run Amuck

Criminals dabbling in everything from prostitution to bootlegging to gambling flourished in Alaska during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Believing that gold miners and other citizens easily could be parted from their hard-earned income, thugs crossed the border into Alaska when law enforcement in the rest of the United States cracked down on their […]

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