For a work contributing to regional history, the 2016 Jeanne Clarke Award for Publication was presented to Debra Komar for her book The Bastard of Fort Stikine: the Hudson’s Bay Company and the Murder of John McLoughlin Jr.
The Bastard of Fort Stikine explores the death of its chief trader, John McLoughlin Jr., who was shot and killed over 170 years ago. There was no trial, and the murder was never solved. Komar uses forensic methods from her previous day jobs to investigate historical crimes, and in this book lifts the lid on a hushed-up scandal from 1842. The Bastard of Fort Stikine is a riveting and engaging true story that doesn’t read like a typical history book. It is an incredibly well-researched and captivating story. Does Komar solve the crime?
Debra Komar is an author and forensic investigator. She accepted her award via video.