All that is certain is that two members of one of Canada’s wealthiest families died from gunshot wounds on June 13, 1901. Ada Maria Mills Redpath, the 59-year old widow of industrialist John James Redpath, and her 24-year old son Jocelyn Clifford Redpath (“Cliff”) were shot in Ada’s bedroom in the Redpath mansion in Montreal’s affluent Square Mile district. Beyond these facts it is difficult to know what happened.
We do know that the investigation was hasty. Apparently the police were not called. A coroner’s investigation was opened, closed, and the bodies were buried within 48 hours of the shots being fired. By all accounts, the Redpath family never discussed the tragic events of 1901 among themselves or publicly.
Who shot whom and why? Why are there so many conflicting versions of the story? Why was the investigation perfunctory? In this whodunit you will encounter dead ends, closed doors, and intriguing mysteries as you search for the truth.
But the Redpath Mansion Mystery also opens doors. It reveals the lives of the super-wealthy in turn-of-the-century Montreal, as well as those of their servants. It shines a light on family loyalty and tensions, health and disease, and on the built world of mansions, hospitals, and monuments a century ago.
This is a story about a dramatic family tragedy and its setting.