30 August 1919
At 2:45 in the morning, Constable Hugh Nixon of the Edmonton
City Police approaches a man standing at the Canadian Pacific
Rail Depot in front of the Twin City Transfer. Constable Nixon
asks the man what he was doing. The man pulls out a gun and
Before he dies, Nixon is able to give officers a description
of the fugitive.
1 September 1919
Police receive a message that there has been an attempted
murder west of Edmonton. The description matches the one Nixon
provided before he died. The police conclude that the fugitive
is John Larsen, who already has a warrant issued for his arrest
on robbery charges.
The police approach May Airplanes for assistance searching
for the fugitive by air, and
Wop May accepts.
2 September 1919
May takes Detective James Campbell up in the
The City of Edmonton Jenny to
search the forested areas west of the city. May is unable to
find a good place to land until they reach Edson, where he
brings the craft down between two telegraph wires close to the
May rushes to turn the aircraft around, and clips Edson’s
town pump with his wing before he takes off again from Main
Street. He then lands at Wabamun to refuel before returning to
Edmonton. James Campbell works with Constable McElroy of the
Alberta Provincial Police to arrest Larsen at a site close to
The police officers commandeer a railway speeder to take
Larson to Edson, but during the ride, Larsen struggled off the
speeder and rushed into the nearby bush. He was recaptured and
later convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
This is the first airplane chase on record in Canada.