Murder in Chisago County: The Unsolved Johnson Family Mystery

Murder in Chisago County: The Unsolved Johnson Family Mystery

by Brian Johnson


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At 3:30 a.m. on April 11, 1933, neighbors and firefighters arrived at the farmhouse of Albin and Alvira Johnson to find a smoldering heap where a seemingly happy home once stood. Beneath the ruins, investigators found the bodies of Alvira and her seven children, but Albin's remains were nowhere to be seen. The authorities determined that Alvira and the children were dead before the fire, and fingers immediately pointed to Albin. Hundreds of searchers, including the illustrious Pinkerton Agency, combed the area and even crossed into Canada in pursuit of Johnson, who was indicted in absentia for murder. But he was never found, dead or alive. What happened to the Johnson family and what part, if any, Albin played in the tragedy remain a mystery. Twin Cities journalist Brian Johnson tells the story that has beguiled the community for generations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781467142335
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date: 03/04/2019
Series: True Crime
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 1,195,279
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Brian Johnson, a Twin Cities journalist, has more than twenty-five years of experience as a reporter and editor. A longtime staff writer for a Minneapolis-based business publication, Johnson has won a number of awards from the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1989 with a major in journalism and a minor in Swedish. Johnson is a grand-nephew of Alvira Lundeen Johnson, who died with her seven children on April 11, 1933, in Harris, Minnesota. Johnson lives in Richfield, Minnesota, with his wife, Stephanie, and their four children.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 7

Introduction 9

Chapter 1 The Fire, the Search and a Town Divided 15

Chapter 2 The Johnson Clan and the Professional Boxer 20

Chapter 3 Flames in the Night, Smoldering Ruins and a Massive Manhunt 41

Chapter 4 "A Hotel, a Livery and Several Stores" 53

Chapter 5 The Lundeens and Lire Lindstroms 59

Chapter 6 A Town in Mourning and a Posse of Farmers 81

Chapter 7 What Did Mr. Peers Know? 90

Chapter 8 Albin Johnson's Biggest Defender 95

Chapter 9 Gangsters and Hoodlums 101

Chapter 10 Boozer Hank, Ghost Stories and Urban Legends 103

Chapter 11 Did the Brothers Do It? 109

Chapter 12 What Really Happened? 113

Epilogue 119

Bibliography 121

About the Author 128

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