The Mad Trapper of Rat river

Aug 2019
27
Canada
Hi everyone.

Listened to a podcast about the Mad Trapper. Anyone have any idea who this guy was or why he battled to the death?
 
Jan 2013
1,117
Toronto, Canada
We know very little about him.

Radioisotope analysis of his teeth shows that grew up in one of the northern plains states. He may also have gone by Arthur Nelson between 1927-31. Several people thought that Arthur Nelson was Scandinavian and there are a lot of Scandinavian settlers in the northern plains, but nothing has ever been proven.
 
Aug 2019
27
Canada
Hi Delta.

Thanks for dropping Delta1

The podcast mentioned the Swedish background or the US plains. There was a couple of folks who thought they had him pegged as a former outlaw and did a DNA test and were proven wrong.

I’m interested in 2 things mainly;

Where did he get his training, as he seemed to be the equivalent of a John Rambo.

And were did he get his big stash of money that was found on him. From my poor math it would be around 25,000$.
 
Jan 2013
1,117
Toronto, Canada
I’m interested in 2 things mainly;

Where did he get his training, as he seemed to be the equivalent of a John Rambo.

And were did he get his big stash of money that was found on him. From my poor math it would be around 25,000$.
It's often been speculated that he fought in World War I. It would explain his proficiency with weapons and PTSD from the trenches could have produced his antisocial personality and his hostility to authority. However, this is pure speculation.

Trappers of that period often carried very large sums of money with them. Much like wildcat miners, they had a high-value product and very few expenses.
 
Dec 2013
387
Arkansas
Makes sense. I think there’s a Charles Bronson movie about this.
Death Hunt IIRC. Good movie though it completely reverses several aspects of a number of the persons involved.

Lee Marvin said "the only facts (in the movie) was the snow"
 
Last edited:
Sep 2017
805
United States
I enjoyed Death Hunt quite a bit, but reading into the real story I can see it doesn’t have much right.