September 25, 2022 – 2:35 p.m
In 1957, Ralph Wilson Snair was found dead in a rental car on a Kansas highway.
The 67-year-old bachelor was shot in the back of the head. His killer was never found.
Now, almost 65 years later, his great-niece, Summerland resident Susan McIver, has turned the unsolved murder of her great-uncle into a book. Long Time Dead: My Investigation into the Unsolved Murder of Ralph Wilson Snair.
“He was a very unlikely candidate for homicide,” McIver told iNFOnews.ca. “He wasn’t drinking, he wasn’t running around. He was really low risk.”
Snair worked as a janitor at a local church in a small rural farming town where things like this don’t usually happen.
McIver was a teenager when her uncle was murdered and recalls her mother being very upset about her favorite uncle’s murder.
It was at a family reunion in 2017 that someone mentioned Snair and McIver got the idea to write the book.
McIver spent a decade as a coroner in British Columbia and used her experience to put the puzzle together.
She made three trips to Kansas and visited the place where the car was found. She also found the police report, but since the case is still officially open, she was not allowed to copy or photograph the report.
McIver was allowed to look at it, however, and spent three days hand-trascribing the report.
McIver contacted the coroner’s office, but the autopsy and coroner’s report could not be located.
Then, a year later, she received an email saying someone had found the coroner’s report in a corner of a dusty storage room.
McIver’s book doesn’t solve the mystery of who killed her great-uncle, but she has an idea who did it.
“Three weeks before my uncle died, someone named Weasner reappeared in my uncle’s life,” McIver said, adding that there was no first name on any police report.
When Weasner reappeared, her uncle started doing unusual things.
He rarely drove and did not own a vehicle, but was found dead in a rental car.
“I suspect he was accidentally involved in drug dealing,” McIver said.
While rural Kansas was not a hotbed of illicit drug use, it was a focal point between cannabis and heroin, which came from California and Mexico and then went to Chicago.
McIver said it still remains a mystery who murdered her great-uncle.
“At first I was … discouraged because I wasn’t able to point a big arrow at someone who did, but it turns out it made the book more interesting to a lot of people because they had their own ending.” can deliver,” she said.
For more information or to purchase the book, click here.
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