Deadly Encounters


Quiet pleasant communities, sparkling under the clear blue skies of Alberta, have witnessed bloody murders and violent mayhem.

From a wide variety of accounts, Babara Smith has selected eight intriguing stories that will astound and amaze you.

Mystery still surrounds the fate of pro golfer Frank Willey who disappeared in 1962. Two men were convicted of his murder, but his body has never been found. No suspect, however, was ever found in the case of MaryAnn Plett. The pretty, young real-estate agent disappeared after going to show a property to a client — but some skeletal remains were discovered seven months later.

In 1948, a family could hardly have guessed that their newly purchased home would come complete with a corpse; and, in another case, Winnie Wanner’s bathroom was found splattered with blood. Although her estranged husband was seen leaving the apartment with a suspiciously large bag, Winnie vanished from the face of the earth.

These chilling tales, previously little known outside Alberta, also include matters of greed, rum running, shoot-outs, and hostages. They will be every bit as fascinating to the crime buff as those found anywhere.


True-crime aficionados will appreciate Edmonton writer Barbara Smith's addition to the genre. As a chronicling of some of the darker episodes of Alberta history - and there are many - it is a gem...[Smith's] writing is clear and, for the most part, her narrative flows beyond interesting and into engrossing waters. Deadly Encounters is a fine effort.

The Calgary Herald

[Deadly Encounters] takes us behind the headlines and shows us the real people involved in the tragedies that crop up in our daily news. All the stories are well documented and told in a straightforward, accessible style.

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About the Author

Barbara Smith

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014

Barbara Smith

Barbara Smith writes full-time and has been published in New Trail, Today’s Parent, Canadian Emergency News, Western People, and Teaching Today, among other publications. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta.