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A new unsolved Canadian mystery with a strong McGill connection to it was launched at the Redpath Museum Monday, March 31.
The Redpath Mansion Mystery is the latest addition to Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History, a website seeking to advance the research skills of Canadian students by challenging them to try to solve famous Canadian "cold crimes" by tracking down and analytically reading archival documents. Based at the University of Victoria, the award-winning project is funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage.
The Redpath Mansion Mystery concerns the 1901 shooting deaths of Ada Mills Redpath and her 24-year-old son, Clifford Redpath. Although police were never called to the scene, a coroner at the time determined Clifford Redpath shot his mother while temporarily insane during an epileptic seizure, and then, out of remorse, shot himself. The Redpath family has never spoken about the incident, which remains shrouded in mystery. Today, theories abound on what really happened behind the mansion's thick walls.
McGill architecture professors Annmarie Adams and David Theodore and McGill historian Dr. Mary Anne Poutanen headed the team responsible for putting the Redpath Mansion Mystery together. The mansion itself, which was destroyed in 1955, plays a key role.
Among those on hand to help launch the project were Montreal crime author Louise Penny, History of McGill Project Director Peter McNally, Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History project co-director Ruth Sandwell, students from four nearby schools and Amy Linda Redpath (above), the niece and namesake of a central figure in the mystery. School of Architecture professor Derek Drummond served as master of ceremonies.
New mysteries on the drowning death of painter Tom Thomson and the 1957 death of Canadian diplomat E. Herbert Norman have also been launched.
Take a crack at solving the Redpath Mansion Mystery or one of the other Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History at www.canadianmysteries.ca.