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March 27, 1965 RCMP Memo Re: Information from Simma Holt

ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE

Division: "E" RCMP FILE REFERENCES:
Sub-Division: Nelson E-500-300-5-1
Detachment: Spl. "D" Sec. 63NL-5/1-12
Date: 27-MARCH-65 . 63-5/0-11

SVOBODNIKI - Information from Simma HOLT.

1. On this date, I interviewed Nicholai ZEABIN (75 years) at Robson. B.C. During the interview. I questioned him regarding his association with Peter Lordly and any knowledge he may have regarding his death. ZEABIN said that he was in charge of labour for the community and maintained close contact with Peter Lordly. Approximately one month prior to Peter's death, ZEABIN received a phone call at 3:00 A.M. from the Nelson Daily News and the reporter asked if it was true that Peter Lordly had been killed near Thrums, B.C. He said that at that time Peter was in Grand Forks area on a visit and when he returned he was told of the phone call but showed little concern and said that he would contact the Nelson Daily News regarding their source of information. ZEABIN was asked if he had any knowledge regarding the letters mentioned by Anastatia HOLUBOFF in P.C.R. dated 18-Feb-65 and he said that he had heard of them but could not vouch for their authenticity. He was asked if Peter CHISTIAKOV could have had anything to do with his father's death and he replied that in his mind CHISTIAKOV had nothing to do with it because of the father-son relationship. ZEABIN was very cooperative during the interview but the information he supplied is of little value and it would appear that his knowledge of the events surrounding Peter Lordly's death are very limited or it could be that he is only disclosing part of the facts known by him.

2. On the 16-March-65, I interviewed Lawrence (Larion) VERIGIN (74 years) at 52 West Okanagan St., Penticton, B.C. regarding the death of his uncle Peter Lordly. VERIGIN said that he was secretary of the community at the time of his uncle's death. I asked him if he had any knowledge of the letters mentioned in para. 1 and P.C.R. and he said that as far as he is concerned no threatening letters were received by Peter Lordly because all mail was checked by him and at no time did he find anything of a threatening nature. At the time of his uncle's death, VERIGIN said he blamed the Bolsheviks because he felt they had reason to get rid of Peter on the grounds that he was constantly criticizing their ways and beliefs. I asked him if Peter CHISTIAKOV could have been behind the death of his father and he said that he did not wish to comment on this. He expressed his dislike for Peter CHISTIAKOV and said that he would stop at nothing to bring disgrace on the name of his father. VERIGIN said that he worked for CHISTIAKOV for a short time but this was not because of loyalty to him but for the need of money to live on. VERIGIN said that it is his opinion the watchmaker mentioned by Mrs. HOLT in her book, "Terror in the Name of God" had something to do with the bombing of the train but he has no idea who the instigators were. He said the watchmaker was brought to his office by Nickolai ZEABIN and he offered to repair the clocks in the building but his services were refused. He then asked permission to see Peter Lordly but his request was refused and he left the colony. VERIGIN said that at the time of the watchmakers visit, he appeared to be about 65 years of age and failing in health. On completing the interview with VERIGIN, he said that he had told me a number of things which were his own opinions and he had nothing to back up his beliefs. VERIGIN was found to be very cooperative but the information he supplied was found to be of little value or assistance in this investigation.

3. On 23-March-65, Sgt. E.O. PEEVER and I interviewed William SOUKEROFF (53 years) at Grand Forks, B.C. He was questioned about his service with Peter CHISTIAKOV and any knowledge he may have regarding the death of Peter Lordly. SOUKEROFF said that he was employed as secretary for twelve years by CHISTIAKOV and he found him to be a harsh, brutal man with a violent temper. He said during his service with CHISTIAKOV, he had no reason to suspect him of having taken part in the planning of Lordly's death. SOUKEROFF said that his knowledge of the death of Peter Lordly is limited because he was only twelve years old at that time and doesn't remember the details. He said that anything he does know of details, were told to him by the older people in the area. He said that he was told by the old people that a watchmaker did travel between the colonies repairing clocks but this man was reported to have died in a mental hospital. He also stated that during an argument with Peter Lordly. CHISTIAKOV was reported to have said "my turn will come and when it does, I will destroy everything you have built. There will be no rock unturned". The information supplied by SOUKEROFF is believed to be all hearsay as he was only a child at the time of the bombing. It is believed that should he have any knowledge as to the instigators of the bombing, he would not disclose it because of his association with Peter CHISTIAKOV. ...

5. Extra copies of this report attached.

STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION: A.B. Godlien, Cst. Special D Section

Source: Steve Lapshinoff, Documentary Report on the Death of Peter Verigin, et.al. in a Train Explosion near Farron, B.C. in 1924 (Crescent Valley, BC: Steve Lapshinoff, 1993), pp. 297-300, , , A.B. Godlien, March 27, 1965 RCMP Document Re: Information from Simma Holt, March 27, 1965.

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