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Oct. 15, 1965 RCMP Memo Re: Information from Simma Holt


Sub-Division: NelsonE-500-300-5-1
Detachment: Spl. "D" Sec.63NL-5/1-12
Date: 15th October 1965.63-5/0-11

SVOBODNIKI - Information from Simma HOLT.

1. Investigation into the death of Peter Lordly VERIGIN have now been conducted throughout the four Western Provinces with little results. It is now felt that all avenues of investigation have been exhausted and little, if anything, can be gained from keeping this file open. The following is a resume of investigation to date.

2. During the investigation a total of twenty-one Doukhobors were interviewed concerning the death of Peter Lordly VERIGIN (results of interviews reported on P.C.R.'s). This included Sons of Freedom, Orthodox and Independents. The general consensus amongst those interviewed was the fact that they still hold the Government responsible for the death of Peter Lordly VERIGIN. It was also found that all but one disagreed with Mrs. HOLTS theory that Peter Chistiakov VERIGIN had his father Peter Lordly killed.

3. On two occasions there was mention made that the Bolsheviks may have had Peter Lordly killed, but there is no way of confirming or refuting this theory. This theory was put forth by Lawrence (Larion) VERIGIN (P.C.R. dated 27th March, 1965) and John BONDEROFF (Prince Albert Sub-Division report dated 20th July 1965). Both VERIGIN and BONDEROFF felt that the Bolsheviks had good reason to do away with Peter Lordly because of his constant criticism of the Bolshevik ways and beliefs and leaders, namely STALIN, LENIN and TROTSKY.

4. On a number of occasions the name of Metro GRIESHIN was mentioned in connection with Peter Lordly's death. It is the belief of both Lawrence (Larion) VERIGIN and John BONDEROFF that Metro GRIESHIN had something to do with the bombing of the train. This man was also mentioned by Pete ELASOFF (E335) (P.C.R. dated 15th May 1965) but there is no evidence to connect him in any way with Lordly's death.

5. As a result of this investigation it was found that fourteen of those mentioned by Mrs. HOLT have now died and any information or documents they may have had, has passed on with them. It was also found that immediate relatives of those who have passed on were unable or unwilling to disclose anything.

6. In view of the above it is now requested that this file be shown concluded. unless otherwise instructed.

Special "D" Section.
(J.D. Routledge) S/Sgt.
i/c Special "D" Section.

The Officer Commanding,
Nelson Sub-Division,
R.C.M. Police,
Nelson, B.C.

1. FORWARDED 15-Oct-65. Mr. J.F.C. WRIGHT author of the book "Slava Bohu" was in Nelson from October 7 to October 12, 1965 in company with Doctor James N. McCRORIE of the University of Saskatchewan. Mr. WRIGHT is doing a revision and up-dating of the book "Slava Bohu" with the assistance of Dr. McCRORIE.

2. Members of this Section had numerous and interesting discussions with these two men. Mr. WRIGHT states his theory of Peter Lordly's death is that he committed suicide. His reason for this is that Peter the Lordly was not capable of handling complex business of the community and this situation was beginning to slip and get out of hand. The community had been built to its peak in the Lordly's time and what would be more fitting monument to him than this. Mr. WRIGHT explains that in his opinion Peter the Lordly planned and carried out his own death, timing it so his flock would see what a great leader he was. Mr. WRIGHT feels that the method of suicide also strengthens this theory. The explosion on the train not only took Peter's life but many others which would convince his followers that this glorious leader was murdered by the Government or some radical faction.

3. We found this theory rather interesting and does have some merit. However, considering the problems we have faced in conducting the investigation in the murder theory and the lack of communication with the people who were living at that time, I do not think anything would be gained in pursuing Mr. WRIGHTs theory.

4. Investigation into Simma HOLTs theory had been carried out and we have found that people living in Peter the Lordly's era and people close to him are now either dead or uncommunicative. The members of this group that we have talked to still blame the Government or the Bolsheviks. In view of this lack of information and the time element since the death, I do not feel that any further investigation in this matter will prove of any value.

5. Copy of this report forwarded direct to the S.D.S. Chilliwack Sub-Division. Extra copies attached for the c.c. Chilliwack Sub-Division.

J.D. Routledge. S/Sgt i/c
Special "D" Section.

Source: Steve Lapshinoff, Documentary Report on the Death of Peter Verigin, in a Train Explosion near Farron, B.C. in 1924 (Crescent Valley, BC: Steve Lapshinoff, 1993), pp. 316-7, , , A.B. Godlien and J.D. Routledge, October 15, 1965 RCMP Report Re: Information from Simma Holt, October 15, 1965.

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