170: Slippery as an Eel: The Tale of Ernest Cashel

Episode 170 – In November of 1902, a rancher named Issac Belt from Haynes Creek near Red Deer, Alberta, had gone missing. Investigating officers had gone to Belt’s ranch to question a young man calling himself Bert Ellsworth, who was suspected of horse theft, who had been lending a hand there. That young man and Belt were both missing. 

Police discovered the man claiming to be Ellsworth at a camp on the outskirts of Calgary. Some of Belt’s personal belongings were in Cashel’s possession, and Cashel was wearing Issac’s clothes. In reality, his name was Ernest Cashel, a 21-year-old American. He was on the run from U.S. and Canadian authorities for forgery and other crimes, including escaping from custody several times. 

Cashel was arrested and charged with theft and later charged with Isaac Belt’s murder, convicted and sentenced to hang. Cashel escaped one last time, only days before he was to be executed, and was on the run for more than a month before being recaptured and sent to see his maker via the hangman.

[The Case of Ernest Cashel | Maclean’s | December 1st 1930]
[Ernest Cashel – Wikipedia]
[2 Feb 1904, Page 1 – Vancouver Daily World at Newspapers.com]
[Ernest Cashel Hanged at Calgary – Newspapers.com]
[Scoundrels and Scallywags: Characters from Alberta’s Past by Brian Brennan]
[The Pursuit of Ernest Cashel by MJ Malcolm]
[14 Dec 1929, 39 – The Province at Newspapers.com]
[Ernest Cashel Hanged – page 3 – Newspapers.com]
[Hanged – Edmonton Journal (archived)]
[Ernest Cashel on way to trial, Calgary, Alberta – Photo]
[Ernest Cashel Story – Glenbow.org – January 30 – February 5]
[Biography – NOLAN, PATRICK JAMES – Volume XIV (1911-1920)]

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