Constable Willis Edward Rhodeniser

Constable Willis Edward Rhodeniser

Constable Willis E. Rhodeniser, 28, died of a gunshot wound on August 26, 1939, north of Carlyle, Saskatchwan.

Born in Farmington, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, Rhodeniser was engaged as an RCMP member in July 1935 and partnered with his dog, Tell, in October 1938. He was a single man and his body was escorted home to his father in Nova Scotia for burial. He was interred there wilth full military honours in the local cemetery at Bridgewater.

On August 25, 1939, Nelson Sammy, hot and killed his wife and her parents on the Indian Reserve near Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan. RCMP were notified and organized to find Sammy.

On August 26, RCMP were told that Sammy had been seen near his barn on the Reserve. A number of officers set out to search the area. Constable Rhodeniser and Tell were among the searchers. Tell picked up Sammy's scent and followed the trail into the thickly wooded bluff. When Tell indicated his quarry, Rhodeniser ran towards the dog, concerned for his safety. A shot was fired and Rhodeniser was struck by a bullet to the chest. Rhodeniser and other officers returned fire and Sammy was wounded and captured. Rhodeniser, however, was mortally wounded and died in the bush. Tell stayed beside him until his master was taken away by ambulance.

Nelson Sammy was transported to hospital where he recovered from his wounds. He was later convicted of the manslaughter of his wife and her parents and the murder of Constable Rhodeniser. He was sentenced to death and was executed by hanging on July 4, 1940.

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