Mountie who stopped killer of three RCMP officers in 1962 dies at age 80

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — A retired RCMP officer who once stopped a mentally ill man after he’d killed three Mounties has died.

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — A retired RCMP officer who once stopped a mentally ill man after he’d killed three Mounties has died.

John White died at Royal Inland Hospital this week at age 80.

In 2002, White, who was known as Jack, co-authored a book called “Honoured in Places: Remembered Mounties Across Canada.”

Retired officer Gerry McRae said White and his wife Helen drove around western Canada visiting graveyards and building a database about RCMP members and that some of the information they collected was included in the book.

“He was a very mild-mannered person to look at and to talk to. But he had a lot of stuff inside him,” McRae said

When White retired after 35 years with the force, he was the contract policing officer for B.C., and his rank was chief superintendent.

He was awarded two commendations: the Commissioner’s Commendation for Bravery for his efforts in hunting down a man who killed three RCMP officers in Peterson Creek in 1962, and a Commanding Officers Commendation in 1968 for his tenacity in the murder investigation of a woman in the Vancouver area.

White became known in the Kamloops area when he shot dead cop killer George Booth.

Booth had shot and killed constables Don Weisgerber, E. Joseph Keck and Gordon Pedersen. At the time, they were the entire day shift for the city force.

White heard an officer had been shot in the lower part of a park, so he and two other officers headed to the top to head off Booth.

En route, they stopped to get their hunting rifles because they were only issued snub-nosed revolvers and .303 Lee-Enfields.

Booth appeared suddenly and took three shots at White before the officer returned fire. He killed Booth with one shot.

White spoke about the incident in 2005 after four officers were shot to death in Mayerthorpe, Alta., by James Roszko.

White said all RCMP officers share a brotherhood because of the risks they face on the job.

“It has impact. It’s like the loss of a member of your family,” he said at the time.

Bob Fergusson knew White for years, first as his boss and later as a co-member of the RCMP Veterans’ Association.

“There was nothing loud about Jack at all. He was a thinker, he was a man’s man,” he said.

“He was very well respected. I respected him an awful lot. He was a very knowledgeable policeman and an excellent investigator, so I’ve been told. Although when I knew him, he was my boss.”

The two used to go for coffee regularly. They’d talk about the old days, usually the funny stuff but sometimes the sadder memories, Fergusson said.

“Jack was the same as me. He would have done the whole thing over again. He spent in excess of 35 years on the force.”

“He’s going to be missed.”

White leaves behind his wife, Helen, and two sons, John and Bryant. (Kamloops Daily News)

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A man rides his bicycle past fields covered with volcanic ash a day after the La Soufriere volcano erupted, in Kingstown, on the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent, Saturday, April 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Lucanus Ollivierre)
‘Huge’ explosion rocks St. Vincent as volcano keeps erupting

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent — La Soufriere volcano fired an enormous amount of… Continue reading

Interior Health nurses administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
Canada set to receive 1M Pfizer-BioNTech doses, Moderna playing catch-up

OTTAWA — The federal government is expecting Moderna to make good on… Continue reading

This satellite photo from Planet Labs Inc. shows Iran's Natanz nuclear facility on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Iran's Natanz nuclear site suffered a problem Sunday, April 11, involving its electrical distribution grid just hours after starting up new advanced centrifuges that more quickly enrich uranium, state TV reported. It was the latest incident to strike one of Tehran's most-secured sites amid negotiations over the tattered atomic accord with world powers. (Planet Labs Inc. via AP)
Iran blames Israel for sabotage at Natanz nuclear site

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Iran blamed Israel on Monday for a… Continue reading

Map of Syria. Turkey is to the north. (File photo)
Investigation finds Syria likely behind 2018 chlorine attack

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — An investigation by the global chemical weapons watchdog… Continue reading

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta identifies 1,183 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday

50.5% of all active cases are variants of concern

Ron Howard is photographed at the "Inferno" film premiere on Oct. 25, 2016 in Los Angeles. (Buckner/Rex Shutterstock/Zuma Press/TNS)
Brothers Ron and Clint Howard have memoir coming in October

NEW YORK — Filmmaker-actor Ron Howard and actor Clint Howard, brothers, former… Continue reading

FILE - In this Saturday, March 27, 2021 file photo, Buffalo Sabres’ Taylor Hall plays against the Boston Bruins during the second period of an NHL hockey game, in Boston. The Buffalo Sabres could trade 2018 MVP Hall, who signed for just this season and is a pending free agent. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)
Boston Bruins acquire Taylor Hall to kick off NHL trade deadline day

Trade deadline day in the NHL has started with the Boston Bruins… Continue reading

The Huawei logo displayed at the main office of Chinese tech giant Huawei in Warsaw, Poland, on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. Poland’s Internal Security Agency has charged a Chinese manager at Huawei in Poland and one of its own former officers with espionage against Poland on behalf of China. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
Huawei, HSBC agree on document deal for extradition case

HONG KONG — Chinese telecommunications equipment firm Huawei said Monday that it… Continue reading

The Montreal Police logo is seen on a police car in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Hundreds defy Montreal’s 8 p.m. curfew in violent, destructive protest

MONTREAL — Hundreds of protestors gathered in Montreal on Sunday in defiance… Continue reading

Security and police block the entrance to GraceLife Church as a fence goes up around it near Edmonton on Wednesday April 7, 2021. The Alberta government has closed down and fenced off a church that has been charged with refusing to follow COVID-19 health rules. Alberta Health Services, in a statement, says GraceLife church will remain closed until it shows it will comply with public-health measures meant to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Hundreds gather to support Alberta church shut down for ignoring COVID-19 orders

SPRUCE GROVE, Alta. — Hundreds of people are gathered outside an Alberta… Continue reading

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces march during the Calgary Stampede parade in Calgary, Friday, July 8, 2016. The Canadian Armed Forces is developing contingency plans to keep COVID-19 from affecting its ability to defend the country and continue its missions overseas amid concerns potential adversaries could try to take advantage of the crisis. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Canadian special forces supported major Iraqi military assault on ISIL last month

OTTAWA — Some Canadian soldiers supported a major military offensive last month… Continue reading

A woman pays her repects at a roadblock in Portapique, N.S. on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. The joint public inquiry in response to the April mass shooting in Nova Scotia has announced a mandate that includes a probe of the RCMP response as well as the role of gender-based violence in the tragedy. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Creating permanent memorial to Nova Scotia mass shooting victims a delicate task

PORTAPIQUE, N.S. — Creating a memorial for those killed in Nova Scotia’s… Continue reading

Conservative leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Erin O’Toole says ‘I didn’t hide who I was’ running for Conservative leader

OTTAWA — Erin O’Toole assured Conservative supporters that he never hid who… Continue reading

Most Read