John Stolarski’s Old Newspaper Clippings


John Stolarski and Duke




With the exception of his first two years in the Force, John Stolarski spent his entire career as a Police Dog Services handler.





Throughout this career, John clipped newspaper articles about members who he had worked with.

Despite the fact that John has passed away, his family has agreed for us to re-post these articles for the interest of RCMP Veterans and current members of the Force.


Police Hunt Armed escapee: An RCMP corporal climbs aboard a helicopter Wednesday at Alberta Beach, Alta., after police stepped up a search for escaped convict Ernest Emerson Keith, 47.  Keith is being sought following the slaying early Wednesday of Frank Buhler, 34,.  Police said Keith is 'armed and dangerous.'

Police Hunt Armed escapee: An RCMP corporal climbs aboard a helicopter Wednesday at Alberta Beach, Alta., after police stepped up a search for escaped convict Ernest Emerson Keith, 47. Keith is being sought following the slaying early Wednesday of Frank Buhler, 34,. Police said Keith is ‘armed and dangerous.’

July 4, 1968 – ALBERTA BEACH Alta – RCMP were scouring dense bushland around this Edmonton district resort community Thursday for an escaped convict sought after a man was shot and killed early Wednesday.

More than 20 police, aided by aircraft, helicopters and tracking dogs, were searching for Ernest Emerson Keith, 47, who escaped June 26 from a jail work camp near Edson, 120 miles west of Edmonton.

The search was started after Frank Buhler, 34, of Alberta Beach was shot in his bed at a cabin near here, 35 miles northwest of Edmonton.

RCMP during the night raided several cabins and farm buildings where they suspected he might be hiding. Keith was serving a 15-month sentence for breaking and entering, and was due to be released in October.

Police said Wednesday night that no warrant had been issued for anyone in the slaying of Buhler.

A police spokesman said Keith is believed armed and is regarded as ‘extremely dangerous.’

The cabin where Buhler was shot was also occupied by Mary Nickerson and four of her five children. Mrs. Nickerson was held captive for about three hours after the shooting then released unharmed.

She said the man wanted to kill her but she talked him out of it because of her children.

Police said the assailant forced Mrs. Nickerson to drive him to Lac la Nonne, about 20 miles north of Alberta Beach. While she was away, one of her children called police.

The spokesman said the killer apparently hid in the cabin’s cellar until everyone had fallen asleep Tuesday night.

Roadblocks sealed off a wide area around the site of the slaying, and wildlife officials were brought in to aid the police search.

Police believe Keith was not carrying food and they hoped a night in the bush, also without water would force him into the open Thursday.

Mrs. Nickerson told reporters that she and Buhler were asleep when a man’s voice said: ‘Get up.’

She said the man was identified to Buhler just before a shot was fired. She was told to get dressed and drive the man to a cabin where he could hide.


Photograph of RCMP Constable John Stolarski and his police service dog Caesar.

Photograph of RCMP Constable John Stolarski and his police service dog Caesar.

Regina (Leader Post) – For the first time, a tracking dog has been located with the Moose Jaw detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. A male German Shepherd named Caesar, he is handled by Const. John Stolarski, a native of Melville who has spent most of his life in British Columbia. Const. Stolarski has been with the RCMP for eight years, and has handled Caesar for the past six years, previously being stationed in Saskatoon. The dog will be used not only to track criminals, but to assist on such occasions when searches are instigated for missing persons.


Police with dogs search for clues after Sunday night shooting.

Police with dogs search for clues after Sunday night shooting.

May 19, 1981 – Police are looking for a young man seen fleeing from near the Lakeview home where Joann Wilson, former wife of Progressive MLA Colin Thatcher, was shot and wounded Sunday night.

Police describe the man as in his 20s, about five feet, 11 inches tall, medium build, with dark hair above the collar and wearing a waist-length, light-colored summer jacket. Witnesses told police the man, carrying the rifle, was seen running from the side of the house at 2876 Albert St.

Wilson, 41, was shot in the right shoulder just after 10 p.m. Police believe a gunman was standing outside a glass patio door, off the kitchen.

Wilson is in satisfactory condition under police guard at Regina General Hospital after doctors removed a bullet believed to be a .22 calibre – early Monday, a police spokesman said.

Police are treating the incident as an attempted murder, which is standard procedure in such matters.

Witnesses told police they saw a man run on to 20th Avenue and get into a late-model rust-colored, brown or orange car parked on Angus Street, several hundred feet from the Wilson house.

An 18-year-old witness, who asked not to be identified, told The Leader-Post she heard one shot and then saw a small car speed away to the north on Angus Street.

Police said they have not found the car but RCMP and the United States border patrol have been notified to watch for the vehicle, which they describe as having a lot of chrome around the tail-lights and rear.

The Thatchers were divorced in 1979 after 17 years of marriage. She hs since married Anthony (Tony) Wilson, vice-president of planning and procurement with Interprovincial Steel and Pipe Corporation.

Police questioned Thatcher, MLA for Thunder Creek, Monday morning in Regina, Tony Merchant, Thatcher’s lawyer said.

I’m more than convinced the police don’t consider him (Thatcher) a suspect,” Merchant said.

Merchant said Thatcher told police he and his son, Gregg, were at their home in Moose Jaw with friends on Sunday afternoon and night.

Olson’s Ambulance attendants said that when they arrived at the Wilson home at 10:12 p.m Sunday they found Wilson lying on the floor of a hallway by the kitchen with her husband cradling her in his arms.

The attendants said Wilson was conscious on the way to the hospital, but did not say anything. There was an open wound on the side of her shoulder, and she was bleeding and in pain, they said.

An hour after the shooting, police dogs were still sniffing around the side of the house. About 100 onlookers had gathered on 20th Avenue beside the house at the corner of Albert and 20th, and police had the avenue blocked off from Albert to Angus Street.

The police dogs were out again Monday morning, combing the patio beside the house.

Thatcher, the 42-year-old son of the late W. Ross Thatcher, a former Saskatchewan premier, and his former wife went through a much-publicized child custody action last year.

Thatcher was awarded custody of the couple’s 15-year-old son, Gregg, and was ordered by the court to pay a settlement of almost $820,000. (The settlement is under appeal).

His former wife was given custody of their seven-year-old daughter, Stephanie, and 12-year-old son Regan.

Regan disappeared last August, and is still the subject of a missing person investigation by Moose Jaw City Police.

NOTE: On 21 January 1983, JoAnn Wilson was found bludgeoned and shot to death in the garage of her Regina home. Again, rumours abounded that Thatcher was in some way involved, though he was not formally charged until 7 May 1984, after a lengthy police investigation.

Thatcher was convicted of the murder in 1984 and given a sentence of life imprisonment with no eligibility for parole for 25 years.


Photograph of S/Sgt. Thomas Peck.

Photograph of S/Sgt. Thomas Peck.

1968 – One of the few ‘hard-rock’ policemen left, S/Sgt. Thomas Joseph Peck (Reg.#14237), senior RCMP non-commissioned officer in Regina sub-division, is retiring from the force in a few weeks.

He’s different. He’s what you call a hard-rock, and we don’t have many of them left any more,” Supt. E.R. Lysyk said.

Supt. Lysyk described Sgt. Peck as a 100-percent policeman. He was always interested in teaching younger members of the force, and though strict, he was fair.

He wants to raise young fellows to be perfect policemen,” but let a young policeman get into trouble, and Sgt. Peck is right behind him,” Supt. Lysyk said. “Anybody who has worked with him comes out of the detachment as a pretty hardworking policeman.”

Sgt. Peck, 49, will retire effective May 24.


A veteran of 27 years police service, Sgt. Peck originally joined the RCMP from his home town of Louisburg, Nova Scotia. Immediately after completing training at Regina, Sgt. Peck was posted as a rookie constable with Regina Town Station, in 1942. More than 20 years later, Sept. 6, 1963, he returned in charge of the town station detachment.

In his career he has been stationed at many points throughout the province: Maple Creek, Eston, Saskatoon, Lloydminster, Vonda, Kindersley, Broadview, Rosetown and Biggar. From 1943 to 1946, Sgt. Peck was stationed at Whitehorse, during the construction of the Alaska Highway.

Sgt. Peck was awarded the RCMP good conduct medal for 20 years service, and has since had a bar added to the medal for 25 years service.

Last year he received a Centennial Medal from the Canadian government.

Supt. Lysyk said he was sorry to lose such a man from the police profession, and was also sorry to see him leave his position as senior NCO.

Sgt. Peck and his wife, Marjorie, live at 507 Shannon Rd. They have five children: James Thomas, a Jesuit scholastic at Guelph; Dennis Bernard, 18, Helen Marie, 14, Frances Lynn, 3, and Jonathan Lamont, 1.5. The Pecks plan to return to Cape Breton Island.

NOTE: Thomas Beck did return to Nova Scotia and passed away on April 3, 1996 from colon cancer. He is buried at Marion Bridge Nova Scotia.

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