Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Support Us
Our SuperFam members receive exclusive bonus content for $5/mo Support Us


A dangerous American expat living in the cold, unforgiving lands in the extreme north of British Columbia is on the loose after stealing from a fellow survivalist. Keenly aware of the danger this man poses, The Royal Canadian Mounted Police launch a manhunt. This is a place of snow shoes and dogsleds, trappers and hunters. Constable Garry and his team set out to capture this man, known as Oros. It’s late winter, and Oris is armed and dangerous. And he knows the area better than the men charged with catching him.

The Detective: Constable Garry

Garry Rodgers has lived the life he writes about. He is a retired homicide detective, coroner, and SWAT Team sniper with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He has written and published 21 books as well as hosting a popular blog site called

Read Transcript

Yeardley:  Hey, Small Town Fam. It’s Yeardley. How are you guys? I hope you’re all well and thriving. I sure do. Our case today is unusual in every way. Our guest is Detective Constable Garry from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or the RCMP, as they’re also known. Last season, Garry gave us an episode we called your Worst Nightmare. If you haven’t heard it, holy shit. It will scare you to death. For the most part, the cases we cover on Small Town Dicks are about crime in, guess what? small towns or sometimes small cities. But today’s case happens in such a remote area of North America that the nearest town is hours away by snowmobile. In this cold, unforgiving place, which is nestled on the border between northwest British Columbia and the Yukon territory, the weather is extreme and unpredictable.

 A few people who live off the land there regularly wear snowshoes. They have dog sleds, and they trap, hunt, and fish for their food. This case that Garry brings us takes place in March 1985 on the cusp of spring. Though the change of seasons is nowhere in sight in these parts. And it’s against this backdrop that Garry and his colleagues head out into the merciless wilderness to track down an American expat named Oros, who is armed, paranoid, and extremely dangerous. This is a harrowing tale of the best laid plans going awry. It’s one of courage and loss, but also luck which when all was said and done, sure looked to me like divine intervention, but you decide, here is Lying In Wait.

[Small Town Dicks theme]

Yeardley:  Hi there. I’m Yeardley.

Dan:  I’m Dan.

Dave:  I’m Dave.

Paul:  And I’m Paul.

Yeardley:  And this is Small Town Dicks.

Dan:  Dave and I are identical twins.

Dave:  And retired detectives from Small Town, USA.

Paul:  And I’m a veteran cold case investigator who helped catch the Golden State Killer using a revolutionary DNA tool.

Dan:  Between the three of us, we’ve investigated thousands of crimes, from petty theft to sexual assault, child abuse to murder.

Dave:  Each case we cover is told by the detective who investigated it, offering a rare personal account of how they solved the crime.

Paul:  Names, places, and certain details have been changed to protect the privacy of victims and their families.

Dan:  And although we’re aware that some of our listeners may be familiar with these cases, we ask you to please join us in continuing to protect the true identities of those involved-

Dave:  -out of respect for what they’ve been through.

[unison]:  Thank you.

Yeardley:  Today on Small Town Dicks, we have most of the usual suspects. We have the one and only Paul Holes.

Paul:  Oh, hi.


Paul:  You caught me.

Yeardley:  Caught him. Caught him off guard. And we have Detective Dan.

Dan:  Hello, everyone.

Yeardley:  Hello. We do not have Detective Dave. Detective Dave is under the weather today, so we told him to rest up and not barf all over the microphone, which we all appreciate but certainly wish him well. And Small Town Fam, we are so pleased to welcome back to the podcast Detective Constable Garry.

Garry:  Hello, everybody.

Yeardley:  Hello, Garry. Thank you so much for joining us again. We’re delighted to see you.

Garry:  Pleasure. It’s fun.

Yeardley:  So, Garry, tell us how this case came to you.

Garry:  This case is deeply personal to me because I lost my partner and best friend beside me was shot to death in a very tragic, almost supernatural situation. So, you’re going to have to bear with me while I set the stage for this. The story goes back to the late 70s and early 1980s. There was a man by the name of Michael Eugene Oros. I’m going to call him Oros from now on. He was a true bushman, had no fixed home, lived off the land. Oros was also an American. He was in legal status in Canada. He had been a draft dodger, made his way to Alaska in the 70s, wore out his welcome there, and settled through the Yukon right at the Northern British Columbia Yukon border in the Sheslay area is where he settled in.

 And over a course of about 13 years, Oros descended into a complete state of paranoia and madness, and he was loose, wandering the bush. He was known to have killed at least one man, Gunther, and thought to be responsible for the disappearance of a number of other people who just vanished. Oros lived like animal. In the early 1980s, a team, not including me, went in to arrest Oros for the murder of Gunther. They’re lucky they didn’t lose some people on that. So, when Oros was first arrested for Gunther’s murder, he was squatting in a cabin. The police officers there went in on a disguise that they were a survey party. So, it didn’t look like cops, it looked like a survey party and got dropped off a helicopter. They started branching out his cabin with survey rods and whatnot.

 And so Oros got a little curious. So, Oros came out of the cabin and Oros realized what was happening, made a run for it, and the whole workshop tackled him. They roped him to stabilize him. They had this all planned out, matter of fact, they had those nylon straps with the metal ratchets to tighten them up. Yeah, they hog tied them with that.

Yeardley:  They hog tied Oros?

Garry:  Yeah, they hog tied them. They hauled them into a helicopter that they had waiting, flew them straight to the community of terrace and had a special cell prepared for them. They actually hauled them in and put them in the cell with the ratchet straps on and then they cut them loose and a few hours later, Oros was going crazy in the cell and smashing the porcelain sink that was in there and just happens that Bude was in the police office. So, Bude was my partner, Mike Buday. We call him Bude. Bude, not to get confused between Mike Oros and Mike Buday. Bude was a muscle man. He was about 5’10”, 240 pounds, solid muscle, in extremely good shape, amazing eyesight, hearing, and just a hell of an all-around good guy.

 Bude was in the police office and Bude’s the only guy that’s tough enough to take him on. And so, Bude went into cell and had a physical fight with him until he got him down and put Oros in a straightjacket. And when he was going to court, they had to keep him in a straightjacket. Oros was brought in for trial on charges of murder, but it was a habeas corpus issue. There was no body. And ultimately the only thing Oros was convicted of was being in possession of Gunther’s revolver and his camera. The courts took pity on Oros because he’d never been convicted of anything before. It was his first offense.

Yeardley:  So, Garry, when Oros was tried, they didn’t deport him back to the US?

Garry:  No, they didn’t. And nobody can explain why that didn’t happen because he’s not a Canadian citizen. They just had a quick trial. Judge says no body, no evidence, you’re out.

Yeardley:  And I’m curious that Oros stayed quiet enough in order for a trial to take place.

Garry:  From what I know, he wasn’t really a boisterous guy. He was more ramblings, mutterings, but he wasn’t one to be screaming, yelling, raving lunatics, not that I got the picture of. So, when he was released from the trial one day, I encountered Oros.

Yeardley:  And when you encountered Oros, did you know who he was?

Garry:  I had no idea who he was. I was traveling on the west end of the community terrace where I was stationed. I was in plain clothes in an unmarked car and I saw this wild looking guy, the hair, the beard, the rattled clothes, not standing on the side of the road hitchhiking. I stopped and said, “Police got any ID on you? Who are you?” And he had his pack like a big old trapper’s canvas pack in front of him. As he was standing there, he kept moving the pack in front of him between him and me, and I said, “What do you got in the pack?” He was just mumbling and I said, “Do you have any ID?” “No”. “Well, what’s your name?” He was just mumbling incoherent stuff, but he gave me enough of his name.

 He didn’t try to hide who he was, Michael Eugene Oros. And he just kept looking at me. And I’m just getting bad vibes in this guy. I don’t know who he is. I don’t know what he’s up to. I don’t like it. And so, I went back to the police car, in a radio and I said, “Dispatch, can I get a 29?” Which means, can you run his name through the computer system 29 on a Michael Eugene Oros, age about maybe 50. And there was a silence, and one of the cars broke in, says, “Have you with him?” And I said, “Yeah, I got him here at the west end, and he’s hitchhiking. I’m just doing a routine check on him.” I said, “Just stay. Stay right there. We’ll be right there.” So, the next thing, I got some backup knowing how dangerous this guy is.

 And while this was going on, Oros says to me, “I could kill you.” He says, “Well, let’s just put an end to that right here.” “I could kill you too.” And I’m armed. It was almost reading some a sign of vibes off him, craziness, just craziness. We searched his back and there was no firearms in there. He came back. It’s a story that he was released from jail. He was acquitted, and he was free to go, so let him go. I still think that Oros should have been sent to the psychiatric institute during this time and at least get some a stabilizing medication. For whatever reason, they didn’t do it.

Dan:  Yeah, don’t just release him. Do something.

Garry:  Yeah, he just slipped through the cracks. And after the trial, they said they gave him some bail, said be back, and he just disappeared and truly lived off the land. He did not have any possessions other than what he could steal by raiding cabins, poaching game, surviving outdoors in 40 to 50 below weather, tough as nails. But he developed into a pure paranoid schizophrenic. And Oros kept diaries and he documented his descent into paranoia.

Yeardley:  Really?

Garry:  Yes. He was imagining that the authorities, like the CIA, were tracking him, spraying him with drugs from the air, call them sneak arounds. He’d shoot at imaginary voices and beings. And all this was documented in his own extensive diaries. And then March 1985, I was on the serious crimes unit detective in Northern British Columbia, a side role that I had was on the emergency response team or what the Americans call SWAT. So ERT, emergency response team. I was an assaulter and also a sniper sharpshooter with the emergency response team. We practiced several days a month. And one time we did a scenario thinking we might have to go after this Oros guy in the bush sometimes. So, let’s do some training.

 And then on March 18, 1985, call came in that Oros was in a cabin at the north end, right about the DC Yukon border. The owner had come to check on it. Oros, he’d trashed it. He’d been living in there for several months. He had a dead moose inside the cabin. He was just hacking pieces of the carcass off to feed himself.

Yeardley:  Ugh.

Garry:  Yeah. So, the trapper went back in a snowmobile about 80 miles back north to the town of Teslin, Yukon, and reported it to Teslin RCMP that Oros was now wanted for breaking in or theft vandalism.

Yeardley:  Garry, did the trapper who discovered Oros squatting in his cabin, did he know that was Oros? Did he, like, I know who that is.

Garry:  Oh, yeah.

Yeardley:  Oh, he did.

Garry:  Oh, absolutely, yeah. For sure, everybody up there knew Oros. Yeah, the trapper came down and he saw Oros leading his cabin on the dog sled. He was pulling out. He pulled in and just found his place trashed with this moose carcass in the middle of the floor. Oros had even chopped out some of the boards off the walls in the floor to build a fire with. And, yeah, he was really talked about this and he knew Oros, so he left a note for him, says, “I’m going for the police. You’re not getting away with it. I saw you. I know you did this. So, you can expect to hear from the police.” So, yeah, Oros was waiting for the police. He finally decided he was going to have the big shootout.

Yeardley:  Wow. Did he have firearms or did he have more like a bow and arrow?

Garry:  No, firearms, stolen, British .303, 12-gauge shotgun and a sawed off 22-rifle. And British .303 is a First and Second World War British army rifle. That’s the standard issue to the British, Canadian, Australian folks, it’s [unintelligible ] foolproof weapon, deadly and foolproof. So, the RCMP went out in an airplane to fly over to have a look at this and there was Oros standing on a rock and Oros, he opened fire in the airplane. He didn’t hit the plane, but certainly spooked the guys. So, the guys said, “We can’t arrest Oros”. It’s too dangerous for just regular police officers. The ERT’s got to go in the emergency response team. I had been trained on several things in the early 1980s, back when I was young and stupid and in really good shape. [Yeardley laughs] So, I was designated both an assaulter sniper.

 So, I was actually very proficient with weapons. So yeah, I was competent with firearm and so was my partner, Bude. And Bude was also a dog master in training. So, he had a young dog by name, a Trooper. So, we put together two ERT teams, a total of about 14 people, and broke them into three squads, two squads, each with a police dog, one with a very experienced dog handler and a very competent dog the other was Bude was a junior dog handler and with just a young dog in training. Trooper was certified, but was a really young dog. So, the idea was we knew that we had a surveillance plane into the air, a better equipment plane after our shot at the first one, we put a second one up with gyro equipment to keep an eye on them.

Yeardley:  What’s gyro equipment?

Garry:  Oh, gyro is a stabilized optic equipment. It goes in airplanes for surveillance. It’s like a telescope. But no matter what the plane is doing, the gyro stays straight. So, you constantly get a perfectly clear view. Regardless of what the airplane is doing. You just aim it at the target.

Yeardley:  I see.

Garry:  The plan was we knew Oros had left the cabin and was out traveling southbound. He was traveling by dog sled. He had two dogs pulling a sleigh. We knew he was armed because he’d already shot at the plane. And they got a good enough look at him when he flew over to see not only who it was, but when he was holding a rifle and they were pretty sure it was a British .303, they got that good of a look at it. So, we put together three teams of three for preliminary and had three helicopters, chartered helicopters. So, the idea was, squad one with myself, Bude and another fellow by name of Paul were to go in to the south end to cut them off and establish a frontline.

 A second team also with a dog, they were going to the bush line to the north. And then the third team was to go out on the open ice and the whole idea was to push him from a distance and contain him into a point where Oros could be dealt with. Perfect world should have worked, but it didn’t.

[Break 1]

Garry:  So, I describe this as going on probably the biggest game hunt in the world. We’re going after somebody with the intelligence of a human, the cunning of animal, armed with a rifle, he’s on his own turf, and he’s completely bent on killing anybody that comes close to him. We put our teams together to be able to get transferred down into the Teslin Lake area. This is the name of the lake that it took place at. And forever since then, the whole thing’s been known as the Teslin Lake incident. Now, myself, Bude and Paul, we had to fly 90 miles into the first helicopter and it’s in completely wild area. There’s no civilization in here whatsoever.

Dan:  And just to set the scene of this territory that you guys are in and that you’re operating and trying to find Oros. You said the complainant on the burglary of the cabin rode his snowmobile 80 miles to the nearest town.

Garry:  Right.

Dan:  We’re talking like there’s maybe one person every 5 square miles.

Garry:  Oh, not even that. No, the only settlements are right along the Alaska highway up there just the little gas station stops. That’s it. The biggest center up there is Whitehorse in Yukon. It’s a government territorial center. It’s about 25,000 people something. But there’s little cabins dotted all through there. People got their trap lines or the getaways or hunting, fishing camps. The resident population is next to nothing, just miles and miles that flowing over it. And what looks like pastures are actually water lily swamps. And it looks like herds of cattle out, that’s moose. This looks like you’re flying over a farm with all those moose down there.

Yeardley:  That’s incredible.

Garry:  Then you got bears, big bears.

Yeardley:  I just want to hug the bears. Dan always says, don’t hug the bears.


Dan:  Can’t hug the bears. They don’t hug back.


Yeardley:  They’d hug me. I’m sure of it.

Garry:  Yeah. So, when we finally got within range, we got the first look at him. Oros stands right out, here’s this dark object with this dog sledding headed south. He’s between a stretch of forest and a stretch of open water. And it’s headed towards a small point of land. See, it’s a narrowing of the lake, which is actually a big river. And Oros can’t go through the open water. So, Oros was committed to this long stretch, would probably be about 5 miles, and he was approaching this point, but he was still a good close to a mile back from the point. And we knew that, okay, this is a perfect place because we can set down at that point, get dug in, get stationary, and create what’s referred to as a buzz saw.

 So, it’s a triangular shape to contain something so that no matter what angle, we all have a shot at the target. And because we’re dug in, Oros can’t either see us or he can’t get a shot at us because I’m behind a big tree, Paul’s behind some brush out at the point and Bude is just in the start of the thickets and he’s got the dog. So, when Oros came after us, we were going to use a loudhailer to order him, “Police. Oros you are under arrest.” We had a warrant sworn for him, by the way, so we had the powers of arrest if he took any hostile action. We knew how dangerous this man was, and in other word, neutralize, where we shoot him, we’d had no choice.

 Now, the second team was a little late and they got behind him and got into position, but Oros kept moving south, maybe 5 miles an hour or something like that based on the two dogs pulling a fairly heavy sled and him on snowshoes.

Yeardley:  Did the second team intend to get in behind Oros or were they trying to get ahead of him as well?

Garry:  No, they were trying to get behind him. We wanted to corner him. We wanted to have a pressure, a visible pressure, pushing him forward and invisible, they had to intercept him. We didn’t want to push Oros into the bush.

Yeardley:  I see.

Garry:  And then the third team, they didn’t anticipate that stretch open water, so they also sat down just further behind. They were almost useless at the point. So, I had about 100 rounds on me. I had an M16 with a 223 and Bude had exactly the same thing, an M16 with the same amount of rounds, plus we packed our handguns, which are 9 mm. So, the idea was to try to keep Oros on the ice and close in on him, get within shooting range, sniping range, order him to surrender. We had the two dogs there in case he got into the bush. Now we’re dealing wintertime, frozen lake, probably 4ft of snow in the bush line, but the lake was frozen up. There’s a crust that you could travel quite fast on it.

 This is a beautiful day, it’s hardly a cloud in the sky, cold, but probably temperature about zero.

Yeardley:  Zero degrees, Celsius or Fahrenheit?

Garry:  Celsius, about 32 Fahrenheit. I’m in Canada, so we use the metric system. And it was five minutes to twelve and not a breath of wind. Clear, sunny. In fact, it was so warm that I didn’t even have mitts on.

Yeardley:  Really. And was that typical for a March Day?

Garry:  No, that would be a little bit warmer than usual. The ice doesn’t come off the lakes up there until almost July.

Yeardley:  But it’s pretty dense forest around you.

Garry:  It is on the wood side. We were partly on the open lake and the point that were on moved from heavily dense evergreen into a scrub brush. And out at the point was pretty much open except for some low brush. So, I’m stationary with a great view out. I’m behind a big tree, a big deciduous tree, and it’s got no leaves on it, obviously, at that time of the year. Bude is about 50ft to my left and I’m facing north at Oros, who’s coming at us southbound. So, it sets it up and Paul is over to my right side or the east side, and he’s got a .308/7.62 sniper rifle with him. So, I’ve got the loudhailer in the center. Paul’s got a consistent bead on him.

Yeardley:  Paul has a bead on Oros?

Garry:  Yeah, but Oros is too far away to take the shot. He was about 500 yards away from us at this point. Oros was too far away to do anything. We had radios between us with earpieces, so we could communicate no problem back and forth between us all. And we had a repeater which was up in the spotter aircraft, which the spotter aircraft was circling, but high enough to be invisible, but high enough to be out of gun range. So, now stuff started to go sideways on us. The spotter plane was running low on fuel. He says, “Guys, I got to leave you here. I got to head back for fuel.” So, now he’s taken out of the picture and we don’t have the repeater. We can talk between the three team members, but we can’t talk to the other team.

 They’re too far away without the repeater and I can’t see Bude. He’s over about 50ft to my left, but I know he’s there. So, I said to Bude, just watch your flank there. I think this guy’s doing something. And sure enough, Oros stopped his sled about 500 yards from us and he went to the edge of the tree line. He was there for a couple of minutes and then he came back out. He went back to a dog sled and he took a second pair of snowshoes. He went back into the tree line and lost visibility. This is about 500 yards out and I can’t see Oros. And Paul’s got a better angle. And Paul says, I can’t see him either. He’s doing something in the bush. And I said, “Bude, watch your flank. Oros is doing something. He might be coming at us.”

 Bude says, “I got it under control” because he’s got a dog there. And that was partly the reason for the dog, not for an attack so much, but for extra senses, for the hearing and the smell. So, about five minutes goes by and I’m watching, I haven’t seen him. And I said, Bude, I haven’t seen him. Watch your flank. Yep, got her under control. And then another maybe five minutes went by and I started to get a really spooky feeling. There’s just something, something’s wrong here. I turned slightly to my left and this figure started to materialize. I’m starting to see this glow of an orange face and this reddish hair, this beard. I’m starting to see this materialize through this wash of twigs and branches.

 So, Oros was standing there. He circled us. In about 10 minutes, he made it about 500 yards on snowshoes to circle around behind us and stalk us like animals. And he was standing there and I said, “Bude, he’s right behind you and bang, right with that horse fired and he shot Bude through the back of the neck and killed him.

Yeardley:  Oh, my God.

Garry:  And I’m watching this and I described this a number of times. It was like time slowing down. It was like I had all the time in the world. I almost felt like I was sitting on a branch of the tree above me, watching this thing take place and I instinctively turned. I could see the motions on Oros of working the bolt on the rifle. I know what’s going on. Oros shot Bude. He’s reloading. He’s coming for me. And as I turned, I did an instinctive shot with my M16 pile one round to go, Oros just disappeared. And now I started to get back in reality as to what’s happened. And I said, Bude and I called him Bude, Bude, Bude, Bude. Nothing. And I knew what happened.

[Break 2]

Garry:  Now Oros has disappeared and he’s armed. He’s going to sneak around. He’s going to come at me. I’m a sitting duck. So, what we did was held until the team from the north followed Oros’ tracks. They put one member ahead, moving, and then two back to cover, then one cover while the others moved. And they followed his tracks around and they saw where Oros had come through the deep snow to Bude’s left. And Oros passed by about 20ft from Bude and then circled so that he could then pick up on our tracks and could see where we jumped off from the helicopter and the three descending tracks.

 So, Oros knew there were three of us. So, as he followed, he obviously looked at the biggest threat and that was the member with the dog. And he didn’t shoot the dog. He went for me next. Oros shot Bude and reloaded his British .303. He then turned. He reloaded it. Oros pointed at me and he pulled the trigger. And his round didn’t go off. The round failed even though the firing pin hit the primer and dented the primer. But it didn’t ignite the round and allowed me time to return fire and kill him. My bullet hit him square and the top of the forehead and killed Oros.

Paul:  After you shot Oros, did you go check on Bude?

Garry: Yeah, yeah. When I was calling him, he wasn’t responding. And then I could hear Trooper, his dog, whining and then could see Trooper starting to move around. I knew that it’s obvious what happened. Toughest thing I’ve ever done is have to put my partner and best friend in a body bag. That’s not fun.

Dan:  You’ve got a family. What was it like when you came home that night?

Garry:  It was about five days before I got back. We had to do a debriefing. We had to wait. They took Bude, obviously had to autopsy him, but it took a while to get him out and back. So, we just stayed tight. So, I think it was four or five days when I got home. My wife is very supportive, always has been. So, I came home to a good solid support and then the RCMP was very good to all of us. They had us all psychologically assessed. I went on a regular monitoring program every couple of months. I have to go and see a psychologist and just a follow up. But I was okay and I was cleared of all wrongdoing, that my shot was justified, that has to be looked into because I took the life of another human being.

 So, there was just no dispute whatsoever that what I did was not only in self-defense but was for our team members, protection had to be done.

Paul:  Now, how far away were you when you took the shot that killed Oros?

Garry:  44ft, which isn’t very far.

Paul:  It is if it were a handgun or at least if it was me shooting a handgun.


Paul:  Did Oros have military training?

Garry:  No, none whatsoever. He was a draft dodger through the Vietnam war. He took off into the bush to avoid it.

Paul:  Oh, that’s right. So, he just naturally was tactically sound then?

Garry:  Yeah, he was a bushman. He lived off the land for 13 years before this happened. He just went crazier and crazier. But his bush skills to survive was amazing. Yeah. How he was able to go from that about 500 yards in chest deep snow in about 10 minutes and circle around us, that’s a superhuman ability on its own. I never followed Oros’ track through the woods with these guys that did said, “You wouldn’t believe how easily he moved around through the trees on the snowshoes.” It’s almost like walking through a parking lot on a dry day. And the aftermath, of course, we had to have a coroner’s inquest and there was a lot of interest, like what happened up there. Bude was so popular that nobody could believe that he was killed.

 That’s one of the things that I felt so safe about, that I was with him because of his abilities, Bude protecting my flank with the dog. I’m in no danger here at all. And we’re all armed and didn’t happen.

Yeardley:  That’s devastating. Garry, what happened in the investigation? Were they able to find out anything more about Oros.

Garry:  The next year, once Oros was gone and out of the picture, there was a police team went into the Sheslay area to a place called Hutsigola Lake. Well, they knew that Gunther’s cabin was there. And we had pictures of Oros there with Gunther on the camera that Gunther had had and Oros had in his possession at the time of trial so we could put them together. But they were too afraid with Oros on the loose to actually go look for the body. It was too dangerous to go into any place with Oros on the loose. Everybody knew this was a total madman. So, what they did after Oros’ death, they thought, okay, what’s he going to do with the body? He’s probably going to dump it in the lake.

 And they found a skeleton wrapped in a plastic tarp and it was forensically identified as Gunther and it had a .30 caliber bullet hole through the sternum from the back to the front. So, there was an inquest on that too and it was ruled that Oros was responsible for the murder of Gunther. They waited about a year to have the inquest. They wanted to get the whole psychological picture out of this thing and try to learn something as part of the purpose of an inquest is to learn from the incident and hopefully try to train people and minimize the chance of something like that happening again. So, it was really interest on the psychological end of it that they try to build a profile of him. And then eventually all of his diaries were assembled.

 There’s a book written about him after called the Descent into Madness, which is written by actually a friend of mine, a prosecutor by the name of Vernon Frolick. And as a result of all that information and Vernon Frolick was able to accurately write the book. And it’s a really fascinating read. Oros predicted his death and it was documented in his diaries called us all pigs and piggies and the vernacular of the day for cops, going to kill as many pigs as I can and when I die at the great shootout.

Dan:  Did Oros talk about other crimes he’d committed or was it mostly just ramblings and paranoia?

Garry:  The only reference to that was one of Gunther’s, and he was rambling on about Gunther being in his territory. He didn’t say anything about killing him or intention. His was all killing imaginary. The sneak arounds is what he called them. They were the agents of the state that were out to get him. Poisoning his food, spraying from the air with drugs, complete nonsense. But this was where this guy’s head was at. So, in my view, when he came after us, we were just the manifestations of the sneak arounds. And there we are dressed in white snow camouflage gear. So, that’s what we must have looked like to him.

Yeardley:  What happened to the diaries?

Garry:  They stayed in the police evidence and I believe they were sent to the RCMP museum in Regina at the training academy because it’s such a high-profile Canadian case. On things like that, generally they go to the archives, but Vernon was able to get photocopies of all the diaries. I still have some of them kicking around here.

Yeardley:  Incredible.

Dan:  Did they ever find if Oros actually had a settlement? Did he have any place? And I’m sure it’s different in the winter, you have to move around a little bit. But in the summer, did he have a cabin or did he build anything that was his headquarters?

Garry:  No, no, as far as I know, he never built anything at all. He’d just lay off the land or break into cabins whenever it was necessary. But he would sleep outdoors and, you know, 40, 50 below. Yeah.

Dan:  I’m just picturing a guy, you mentioned he’s got this big orange beard and I’m picturing a guy with a bare fur coat. Is that accurate or did he have proper clothing?

Garry:  He had proper clothing. There is Parkas that are worn by tradesman in the north. We call them Hydro Parkas from the hydro workers. They’re big, green twill, multilayered coats. He had one of those on. He had two layers of wool pants, decent boots, felt-lined boots. He had a toque, he had mitts, those big fur-lined mitts, can open up the triggers on to be able to shoot with them [unintelligible ] mitts on.

Yeardley:  It doesn’t seem like enough clothing if you’re sleeping in -40 degrees, like two pairs of wool pants. I don’t think that would cut it. Surely wouldn’t cut it for me.

Garry:  No, I wouldn’t want to try it either. [Yeardley laughs] It was documented in his diaries and also people had encountered him during the wintertime and he was just living off the land. So that’s not an urban legend, that’s fact.

Paul:  I’ve watched a fair number of these videos on bushcraft and what they’re able to do in terms of how they can make fire, how they can build shelters just out of materials available from the land, and I imagine a Oros to survive -40, -50. He’s got to have a source of heat if he doesn’t have more clothing, more shelter than what he’s got in that dog sled.

Garry:  Well, they found this nest that he’d been in. He’d broken down a number of boughs off evergreens and made a bed for it. And then he had some poles over top where he had his tarp strung, but he’d taken the tarp with him and so he had two tarps, and there was a layer of gap between the two which would provide an insulated value between them. He knew what he was doing. I don’t know whether or not Oros was taught or just learned it. He was crazy. And I mean, not seriously, he’s crazy. He’s a schizophrenic of some sort, paranoid. But he wasn’t dumb.

Paul:  Yeah, for sure.

Dan:  Completely adapted to his environment.

Garry:  For sure.

[Break 3]

Garry:  I’m going to show you something here on camera. I know it doesn’t come out on the podcast, but I’ll describe it and show it to you. So, here’s the physical proof. I’ve kept this assigned to my own mortality, that this is– where’s the camera? If you can see that. Can you see the primer dented? This is the discharged round, the British .303 round that killed my friend Bude. So that’s it. Here’s the 5.56 bullet that I shot. That’s the casing that I shot. It killed Oros. And here’s the one that Oros had for me if you can see that. Can you see that the firing pin is punctured around, but it didn’t go off. It failed to go off.

Yeardley:  Yes.

Garry:  Notice the round, again it’s got a nylon tip in the bullet, which is rather unusual round. It’s got no military value and very little hunting value, so I’m not sure what the purpose is. But the remaining rounds Oros had on him, there were some still in the magazine box. They tested that at the lab and all the rest of the rounds discharged. So, this is the only one that didn’t. So, you’ve got the one before they had Bude, discharged, the one for me didn’t discharge, and the other ones we’re able to discharge just under normal functioning. So, nobody can really explain why that happened except for the First Nation’s people. There’s a story that came out afterwards. You can take this to believe it, you can drop it in the soup pot, whatever you want. The native people up there, term for them, Tlingit First Nation’s up there. They well knew about Oros for years.

 They were terrified of this guy. They wouldn’t go out in their hunting grounds because they were scared of Oros. And they said, “Oros is the Kushtaka. Oros, he’s the wild man of the woods. He’s possessed by a spirit. He tricks people, kills them and steals their souls for his energy.” That was the First Nation’s story behind it. Now, in the morning, just as we were suited up to go in to get into the helicopters, an elderly Tlingit lady went into the police office in Teslin and talked to John, one of the corporals there, and she said, “I’m coming to warn you that your warriors are in great danger or is this Kushtaka and he’s going to try to trick them, kill them and steal their souls” We were, “Yeah, yeah, whatever.” She said, “I’m warning you.”

Yeardley:  Did this warning come in the morning of the day you all headed out to arrest Oros?

Garry:  Yes. So, in the aftermath of the investigation and tracking, it was determined that the previous night, Oros slept on an island called Shaman Island. And he took a vantage point at the north end of the island where he could see out over the lake, back towards the Teslin region, where he figured we would be coming possibly on snowmobiles and airplanes. So, he took a defensive position on the tip of the island, which is a really strategic spot. It’s also the strategic spot where a Tlingit Shaman from years ago by the name of [unintelligible  was buried. That was his burial site. Oros slept on the Shaman’s grave that night before. And so, the thinking is that you can take this for whatever you want. Is that when Oros had gone so far when he killed Bude, the Shaman said, “That’s enough.”

 We need to intervene and to stop it. So, my bullet was stopped. So, you can take the supernatural part for whatever you want. The business of my experience of feeling like call it an out of body experience that’s so well documented in people that find extreme trauma coming at them. It’s like the light flashing before your eyes when you see an accident coming. I explained that I just had a natural human reaction. That gave me the clarity, the time to be able to react in the way I was. Plus, I’m also trained for it. I was fine. PTSD? I can’t say that I developed PTSD, sorrow, grief, fear but not reoccurring. I’ve never had the flashbacks or the night sweats about this. For some reason not this one. I just completely knew what happened. So, there’s no uncertainty here, other than I have no idea. As I sit here, I cannot explain. I know this is on a podcast and there’s no cameras going, but I cannot explain why that happened.

Dan: [1] Why that primer didn’t go off.

Garry:  Yeah, it punctured the primer. Sufficient denting in that primer that should have ignited it, and I didn’t.

Yeardley:  Because you had things to do. You had more to do, Garry, that’s why.

Dan:  My FTO used to say, chance favors the prepared mind. And I think it was Louis Pasteur said that.

Garry:  Chance favors the prepared mind. Isn’t that good. I’m going to write that down.

Dan:  But, I’d rather be lucky than good.

Garry:  Yeah, no kidding.

Yeardley:  [laughs] Yeah, right. So, how do you happen to have all three bullets?

Garry:  [unintelligible  McMurray was the lead investigator on this. He was a friend of mine, realized that the long term of this story, and he felt that I should keep these as a memento to my mortality. And also, if I ever wanted to tell the story, so that somebody say, “Yeah, you’re right. Primer got hit and didn’t go off. Yeah, sure it didn’t. Well, here it is.” And so, I was recognized with an award from the commissioner, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which is about as big a dog as it gets for outstanding service for this thing. And I was presented the rounds at the awards ceremony, and they handed it to me in a nice little box, and I’ve kept it ever since. Every once in a while, I bring it out when I tell the story. But nobody can actually find the reason why that bullet was stopped.

Paul:  No. In terms of taking a look at the firing pin impression on that primer, a minute it hit, I mean, that went in good. So, obviously, there’s the whole spiritual side. I’m just thinking of it from just the firearm side is it was a bad primer, bad powder, old ammo. You know, something along those lines. That’s crazy. Do you have a defective primer from the factory that was inserted into the cartridge? If it’s a very old round, sometimes you’ll see failures like that. But that is a really good indentation in that primer. So, that shows he pulled the trigger and the gun was functioning. That is such an amazing set of circumstances for whatever reason that allowed you to be able to take horse out.

Garry:  Yeah, we’re very fortunate that it wasn’t worse. If he had a got through me, Paul was a sitting duck. Now he’s got two M16s with a couple hundred rounds of ammo. The team that was coming at him would have got mowed down. Just nasty. So, whatever reason, I guess it wasn’t my time to go, and I don’t spend a great deal of time dwelling upon it. And I tell the story because it’s a story that needs to be told. If it’s going to be told, it’s got to be told truthfully. And you can take what you want out of the First Nation’s aspect of it. They’re very spiritual people. I’m not professing that I was saved by divine intervention. I just can’t explain why that round was stopped.

Yeardley:  I would say if what we have here on this planet Earth, if this is it, if this is as smart as we get, if this is the best sentient beings can be, good God. So, I do believe that there is such a thing as divine intervention. I do believe that things we can’t explain happen and happen for a reason, sometimes for better or for worse. So, I like that idea that the spirits of the First Nation said, “Okay, that’s enough and decided to intervene.” I like that.

Garry:  Yeah. And then years later, in trying to make some sense of that, I wrote a book called No Witnesses to Nothing, which deals with, partly about the Teslin Lake incident and how it psychologically affected the people.

Yeardley:  How did it affect you?

Garry:  Well, it was a couple years Yeardley before I could talk about it without shaking, sweating. I’m fine now, but I’ve spoken about it enough times. I got involved in the native sweat lodge culture, which was partly a healing thing. A medicine man who was a mentor on it. He completely bought into the passion that was the spirit of the Shaman, stopped him. See, folks, I’m really careful about buying into that part, but, yeah, it was a number of years before I could really tell the story. I told it to other members so that they would have an understanding.

Dan:  Let’s talk about Bude a little bit. When did you first meet Bude?

Garry:  I met him in the police office in Terrace. When I first got there, he was coming out of the dispatch office. He was charming up one of the dispatchers. He was quite a ladies’ man. Really good-looking guy. Physically fit, built like a linebacker. Yeah, Bude, hard drinking, hard living guy. So, he and I actually went on the first training course together. We were roommates, so we spent five weeks together and shared a bunk room. Got to be really close.

Dan:  So it was just Bude and Trooper. Any wife, children?

Garry:  Oh, he had a bunch of girlfriends. And then right at the end, he was actually living in my wife and my basement suite, so. And then not only did I have to go home and all of his stuff was there. That’s a hard pill to swallow. And, your buddy’s gone. He’s never coming back. Dude, it’s tough on us.

Dan:  I just can’t imagine what it’s like going through his stuff after this incident.

Garry:  Yeah. You don’t forget a guy like that.

Yeardley:  We always ask our detectives, when we ask somebody to come and be on the podcast. Dan or Dave, who vet the guests, say, when the detective says, what case should I talk about? We always say, talk about the one you’re most proud of or the one you can’t forget or the one that had an aha moment for you. And I think it’s pretty obvious why this is one you’ll never forget.

Garry:  Yeah. Yeah. Sometimes, folks, it’s a bit therapeutic to talk about things like this. It really is, especially when you’re dealing with a group of people who have got specialties like you do, your listening, understanding, and your backgrounds and general life experience.

Dan:  I’ve shared on previous episodes about an officer being murdered that I was present for. I know how hard it is to share these things, so I appreciate you being able to do that with us and trusting us.

Garry:  Oh, yeah. It’s a case where I still think it’s somewhat therapeutic to tell the story.

Dan:  Absolutely.

Paul:  And, Garry, I think by you telling the story, you’re keeping the memory of Bude alive. He’s somebody that I know about, and I know what your loss is like. I had a professional friend who was also killed in the line of duty, and I know it could be hard to talk about, so I appreciate you stepping up and telling us the story.

Garry:  Well, thanks, Paul.

Yeardley:  We appreciate it. Thank you so much.

Garry:  Oh, you’re quite welcome, anytime.


Yeardley:  Small Town Dicks was created by Detectives Dan and Dave. The podcast is produced by Jessica Halstead and me, Yeardley Smith. Our senior editor is Soren Begin, and our editor are Christina Bracamontes and Erin Phelps. Our associate producers are the Real Nick Smitty and Erin Gaynor. Garry Scott is our executive producer, and Logan Heftel is our production manager. Our books are cooked and cats wrangled by Ben Cornwell. And our social media maven is Monika Scott. It would make our day if you became a member of our Small Town Fam by following us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube at @smalltowndicks, we love hearing from you.

 Oh, our groovy theme song was composed by John Forrest. Also, if you’d like to support the making of this podcast, hop on over to

 There, for a small subscription fee, you’ll find exclusive content you can’t get anywhere else. The transcripts of this podcast are thanks to SpeechDocs and they can be found on our website, Thank you SpeechDocs for this wonderful service. Small Town Dicks is an Audio 99 production. Small Town Fam, thanks for listening. Nobody is better than you.

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription]