Murder and Mystery in the Last Frontier

Alaska is a land of mystery, danger, stunning beauty, and valuable resources. Over the decades, fortune seekers have been drawn to Alaska in search of gold, oil, fish, and crab. These fortune seekers are usually young men with little to lose and big dreams of becoming rich. Throughout Alaska’s history, a wave of crime has followed each economic boom, and in my podcast, I will tell you these stories of crime while I share a little about the rich cultural history and geography of this complex state I call home.


Murder on the banks of the Yukon

When someone brutally murdered the postmistress of Ruby, Alaska, a small village on the Yukon River, the Alaska State Troopers believed they had a ‘locked-room” mystery on their hands. They suspected one of the villagers of killing Agnes Wright. After all, there are only two ways into and out of Ruby: either by boat on the Yukon River or by air travel on a small bush plane. Neither method of transportation is inconspicuous to or from a village where everyone knows everyone else, and a stranger’s presence warrants stares and whispers. Since the troopers heard no credible accounts of a stranger in town on the day of the murder, they began with the premise that one of the villagers committed the crime. But who in this small village hated Agnes Wright enough to beat her savagely and then shoot her?


Historic Ruby

 1996 Postmaster. Behind the Badge. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Smithsonian U.S. Postal Museum.

Murphy, Kim. 8-2-1996. Murder in a Town Full of Suspects. Los Angeles Times.                   

More Details Emerge in Killing of Postmaster. 7-19-1996. Daily Sitka Senitinel.








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Robin Barefield is the author of four Alaska wilderness mystery novels, Big Game, Murder Over Kodiak, The Fisherman’s Daughter, and Karluk Bones. Sign up to subscribe to her free, monthly newsletter on true murder and mystery in Alaska.






 2021-05-21  26m