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Roy Cecil Wilson (1907-1961)

Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star

The Whitehorse Pioneer Cemetery

The Whitehorse Star - Thursday, August 24, 1961


    A territorial court official said this week arrangements are being made to have Northwest Territories Judge Sissons preside at the preliminary hearing of Nicholas Kuzma. It is expected the trial will go on sometime early next month.

    Judge Sissons will be here to sit as a member of the Yukon Court of Appeal which begins September 6. Court officials explained Mr. Justice Parker will be presiding at the high court trial of Kuzma and therefore cannot hear evidence during the preliminary hearing. Magistrate A. C. L. Adams is not expected to return to his officia) duties until about September 15.

    On Monday 37-year old Nick Kuzma was charged with murder in connection with the death of customs officer Roy Wilson. Kuzma was apprehended early Saturday at Haines, Alaska and returned to Whitehorse under RCMP escort. Following arraignment, he was remanded without plea until August 28. King and King are acting as defence lawyers in the case.

    According to the police report, Roy Wilson's body was found about 6 o'clock Friday afternoon in the bushes just off the highway near Mile 1207. Customs officer Clay ton Skelton made the discovery after starting a search because he was worried by Mr. Wilson's non-appearance for work Friday. It was reported death occurred sometime early Friday morning. The body had multiple stab wounds on the chest and neck, as well as two gashes on the forehead.

The Whitehorse Star - Thursday, August 31, 1961

Headline: Last Rites For Ray Wilson, 1961

    Funeral services were held at the Elks Lodge last Thursday for Roy Wilson, customs officer who was killed August 18 near Beaver Creek. The Rev. C. D. Postal conducted the funeral and the Elks Service was conducted by George Webber. Interment followed at the Elks plot in Whitehorse cemetery. Pall bearers were Roy Reber, Stan Houston, Ross Anderson, Dave Smith, Max Beahm and Maurice Carswell.

    Well-known in the north, the late Mr. Wilson had lived in the Yukon for many years. An active sportsman all his life, he was also a boxer and wrestler. During his years here he was a member of the Elks Lodge, the Canadian Legion and the curling club.

    Born at Swan River, Manitoba in 1907, he received most of his early education in Saskatchewan, After returning to Manitoba with his family he met and married his wife Della.

    In 19381 the Wilsons moved to B.C., where Roy worked in the fruit business and as a meat cutter. During World War II, he served overseas for six years with the Royal Canadian Engineers.

    The family moved to Whitehorse in 1954. Mr. Wilson was employed as a meat cutter with Burns & Company here for several years and recently joined government service as a customs officer.

    He is survived by his wife Della, one daughter Dolly, (Mrs. J. Schwab), his mother, two brothers, three sisters and five grandchildren.

September 28, 1961: A lengthy article describes the finding of Wilson's body near Mile 1207 (Mile 1207.3 according to the Public Administrator's notice). A fight between Wilson and Kuzma had occurred at the Seaton's Lodge, Mile 1235, on August 17th, but they drove away together. Wilson had been the aggressor.

October 5, 1961: More details from the preliminary hearing were published. Kuzma has been committed for trial on the charge of murder.

March 8, 1962: The trial is under way, with 28 witnesses scheduled to be heard. The charge is stated to be non-capital murder.

March 12, 1962: Nicholas Kuza, 37, was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 14 years in prison.