Just Another Indian


Award-winning non-fiction book, Just Another Indian has been praised for laying out for public examination how systemic racism is alive and well in Canada.


Indigenous women in Canada have been the victims of violence for decades. Mostly, the horrific crimes have been ignored, the victims and their families silenced by indifference and racism.

Before there was a national inquiry into this national scandal, before it was revealed that thousands of First Nations, Métis and Inuit women had been murdered or were missing, journalist Warren Goulding exposed the sad truth behind the killing of four women in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Just Another Indian: A Serial Killer and Canada’s Indifference raises troubling questions about the police investigation into these chilling crimes and asks why the media and mainstream society chose to look away when this largely marginalized sector of the population was under attack.

The stories of Eva Taysup, Calinda Waterhen, Shelley Napope and Mary Jane Serloin are heartbreaking.

Their killer, John Martin Crawford, committed unspeakable acts on these four vulnerable women. Were there other victims?  READ CHAPTER ONE. . . An award-winning non-fiction book, Just Another Indian has been praised for laying out for public examination how systemic racism is alive and well in Canada.

To say the book is powerful, riveting and often shocking would be putting it mildly. It raises the question of what kind of value we put on human life.

Shirley Newhook, The Telegram, St. John’s NF


For more than four decades Warren Goulding has worked as a journalist and newspaper publisher, beginning in Toronto, Saskatchewan for 30 years and now on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. In the mid-1990s he was the court and police reporter for the StarPhoenix. During his time in this position he covered such high-profile cases as the Robert Latimer murder trial in 1994 and the triple murder trial of John Martin Crawford.

Warren Goulding’s work has appeared in Canadian publications including: Macleans, the Globe & Mail, and various Southam newspapers. He has also written for the Hong Kong Sunday Morning Post and several business magazines in Canada.  He spend 20 years with Eagle Feather News, a Saskatoon-based Aboriginal publication that circulates throughout Saskatchewan.

In 1999 he began work on Just Another Indian: A Serial Killer and Canada’s Indifference. This book was published by Fifth House/Fitzhenry & Whiteside in April 2001. It quickly became a Saskatchewan bestseller and has reached an audience from coast to coast.

Just Another Indian is Warren Goulding’s attempt to more fairly portray the victims of a serial killer for what they were: daughters, mothers and sisters with families who loved them and not merely women who were consider by some people as disposable due to their vulnerability as a result of race or social status. The book also exposes the media and police indifference to these victims and their families.

Warren Goulding Author - JournalistJust Another Indian: A Serial Killer and Canada’s Indifference won a 2001 Saskatchewan Book Award in the Non-Fiction category. In 2003 Warren Goulding was honoured with the Social Justice Award from the Alberta-based Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women.

Now semi-retired but actively writing and continuing his interest in issues affecting Indigenous people, Goulding plans to release a children’s book in 2021 with a novel also scheduled for publication by his Chemainus-based company, Askew Creek Publishing.

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Chapter Excerpt

“I Thought Her Name Was Angie . . .”
“John, for Christ’s sake, what did you do?”
—Bill Corrigan

In the spring of 1992 Bill Corrigan was in his early forties. He was a diminutive character with a slight pot-belly and an extensive criminal record, mostly for minor offences such as fraud and passing bad cheques. He wore cowboy boots to boost his stature, and he was rarely without his buck knife with its gold handle and Oriental decorations. He craved respect, but on the street he was known as a man who could neither hold his liquor nor back up his bravado with his fists.

He did have a few violent crimes to his credit, including armed robbery. It was this latter transgression, the most serious of his career, that earned him a ten-year sentence in the federal corrections system. Armed with a rifle, he had attempted to rob a store in Brandon, Manitoba, his home town. Like most things in his life, it went wrong, and he eventually wound up in the Saskatchewan Penitentiary in Prince Albert, where he shared accommodation with some of the country’s most notorious felons.

It was in Prince Albert that Corrigan met John Martin Crawford. Housed in a unit with thirteen other inmates, Crawford and Corrigan became friends, insofar as either of them was capable of friendship. What it amounted to was trading lurid stories and making plans for the day they would be paroled. For Crawford, who was also serving a ten-year sentence, that day came in September 1987 when he was granted day parole and released into the custody of his mother, Victoria Crawford, who operated a group home for indigent men in Saskatoon. Within five months he was back inside and didn’t see the light of day again until March 1989, when he was at the two-thirds point of his original sentence and automatically eligible for the same type of parole. Bill Corrigan, on his release in 1991, was anxious to be reunited with the companion of his confinement; to Corrigan, Crawford was a man who offered the promise of adventure. Consequently, Corrigan made Saskatoon his new home. He spent thirty days in the Salvation Army Hostel for men before moving down the street to the Albany Hotel.

The Albany is a neighbourhood pub where old friends gather for a beer and to share jokes with the barmaids, many of whom have been working there for years. It is also the watering hole of choice for much of the city’s criminal element. It faces the Barry Hotel across 20th Street West in the heart of what passes for skid row in Saskatoon. Both hostelries have seen their share of stabbings and shootings. In 1990 Jake Badger, a popular bouncer, had been stabbed to death in the beverage room of the Albany by the brother and sister team of David and Margaret McDonald. In 1992 a healthy underground economy continued to thrive. Clothes, jewellery, and food liberated from stores in the nearby mall were continually on offer in the beverage room, and pimps and drug dealers went about their business virtually unimpeded. It was the kind of place to which Bill Corrigan would naturally and habitually gravitate. He moved into Room 2, and soon talked his way into occasional work such as cleaning, unloading the beer trucks, and other odd jobs.

Thirty-year-old John Crawford was a regular visitor. Arriving in his mother’s early 1970s-vintage, green Chevy Nova, he would check at the registration desk to see if Corrigan was in. He almost always was. Despite the macho image he tried to present to the world, the older man rarely strayed from the security of his hotel room. Crawford would give Corrigan enough money to buy a case of beer, then the pair would be ready for their version of a good time.

The pattern rarely varied. They cruised the streets, looking for women. Crawford knew many of the hookers who worked the area, which included the strip on 20th Street and the quieter seven or eight blocks of 21st Street that had become known as the city’s official “stroll.” But Crawford was known as a bad trick. He abused the girls and did not like to pay the going rate. Even so, there was usually someone willing to go with him: a newcomer who hadn’t heard of him, or a girl so drunk or stoned she was unable to resist him. There were others, too: young women who were not professionals in the sex industry but were willing to go for a ride if the offer included alcohol or drugs.

Shelley Napope was such a girl. Born into the One Arrow First Nation, she had been living in the city for almost eight of her sixteen years. Her parents had moved to Saskatoon after their house on the reserve, located eighty kilometres north of the city, was vandalized and demolished.

Shelley was a pretty girl, and popular among the 20th Street crowd. At sixteen she had developed a network of friends that supplied her with drugs and booze. As a consequence, she also had a record as a young offender. Outgoing and gregarious, she regularly made the rounds of the bars, but rarely stopped in any one place for long. On one of these flying visits early in 1992, she had met John Martin Crawford. When she ran into him again one evening that summer, she stopped for a chat. He was with Bill Corrigan in his mother’s car in the parking lot behind the Albany Hotel.

Crawford recognized her immediately, and asked what she was up to. Shelley replied, “Not much,” and asked the two men for a ride to Confederation Park, a west-side neighbourhood of modest ’70s-style family homes and duplexes. “I’ve got to see some people out there,” she said.

“No problem,” Crawford responded. “Jump in.”

Corrigan, according to routine, got in the back seat. Shelley sat in the front beside Crawford. When the trio arrived at Shelley’s destination, the girl ran into the house while the men waited in the car. Crawford drummed his fingers impatiently on the steering wheel as he waited for her to return. He had earlier injected himself with methylphenidate hydrochloride, commonly known as Ritalin, a drug prescribed largely by psychiatrists for the treatment of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, mostly in children and adolescents. Through the same reckless experimentation that someone years ago had discovered that Talwin, an oral painkiller, provides an incredible “octane boost” when you dissolve a tablet in water and inject it into your arm, Ritalin was gaining popularity on the street as the intravenous drug of choice for many users. Crawford was feeling its effects, and was eager to begin the evening’s activities.

Five minutes later a smiling Shelley Napope emerged from the house and got back into the car.
“What took you so long?” Crawford demanded. “I haven’t got all night!”

In this, at least, he was telling the truth: his mother wanted the car back by nine o’clock. If it wasn’t, Crawford would lose the privilege of using it for a few days.

“You guys got some beer?” Shelley asked.

“Sure,” Corrigan piped up from the back seat. “You going to help us drink it?”

Crawford drove east out of Confederation Park, as if he were taking Shelley back downtown. She showed neither surprise nor concern when, instead, he turned onto Avenue H and headed south. She did not know, and Corrigan had apparently forgotten, that Crawford had borrowed Corrigan’s knife earlier at the Albany and had not returned it.

The route took them down to Spadina Crescent West, past the Queen Elizabeth Power Station and onto a gravel road that followed the banks of the South Saskatchewan River out of the city. Within a few minutes they turned left onto Valley Road, a paved stretch of rural highway that was rapidly developing into a prosperous commercial district, featuring garden centres, berry farms, and, further along, the recently developed Moon Lake Golf and Country Club. Crawford knew the road well.

As Shelley fiddled with the radio, he flirted with her, stroking her leg and brushing his hand against her breast. Again, if she was nervous, she didn’t show it. These two are obviously losers, she might have thought. How dangerous can they be? She had been in situations like this before and nothing horrible had happened. Well, not quite. Once a white man had raped her in his shack on Avenue M South, but she wouldn’t be that stupid again. Besides, she had met Crawford before. He was overweight and he smelled like sweat and chemicals, but he didn’t really seem that bad. She would drink his beer and party a little, then they would take her back downtown.

Twenty minutes after leaving the city, Crawford turned onto a dirt road. The battered Nova bounced and shuddered in the washboard ruts. To one side was a tree farm, to the other a farmer’s field. The road led to Bare Ass Beach, a popular summer destination for uninhibited Saskatonians who found the expanse of river sand an ideal place to doff their clothes and soak up some sun. But it was evening, and there was no other traffic.

Before the turnoff to the beach, Crawford coaxed the Nova off the road and drove as carefully as his diminishing patience would allow across a stubble field to a grove of trees. Crawford knew the place well, but perhaps Shelley was surprised to find a natural clearing defined by willows. There was ample evidence of earlier parties—soggy beer boxes, empty cans and bottles, a blackened pit where fires had burned that summer—but tonight the grove was deathly still. Perhaps, too, she was surprised at the ribbons she saw hanging from trees, the tobacco pouches, and the piles of willow branches that had been used for sweat lodges that had subsequently been dismantled on instructions from an Elder. The grove was well known to First Nations people as well, not as a party venue but as a site for traditional ceremonies.

Or perhaps, in the last few minutes of her life, she noticed none of these things.

Crawford drove through a cut in the grove and parked the car out of sight. He turned off the engine and tossed the keys to Corrigan in the back seat. He ordered his friend to get the beer. Obediently, the little man got out and opened the trunk, removing the case of Pilsner he had purchased with Crawford’s money earlier that evening. Back in the car, he handed Crawford a bottle. He opened another and passed it to Shelley. The two men gossiped about mutual acquaintances they had known in jail while Shelley made short work of her beer. She was after a quick buzz, nothing more. Corrigan and Crawford were not exactly stimulating companions.

Noticing Shelley’s empty bottle, Crawford told Corrigan to go for a walk. Corrigan had played the scene enough by now to know his role by heart. “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,” he said, laughing at the tired old joke as he closed the car door behind him. Beer in hand, he strolled a few metres away, then stopped to roll a cigarette.
Back in the car, Crawford was making his pitch: he wanted sex, and he wasn’t about to pay for it. After all, he had supplied the beer and given her a ride to her friends’ place. If Shelley wasn’t game, she would suffer the consequences.

Shelley wasn’t game, but she knew she didn’t have many options. She was probably frightened by now. But the beer was working, and that might help. She could only hope that this rank thirty-year-old would be quick. If she closed her eyes, it would be over in a few minutes. They climbed into the back seat.

While Crawford abused her body, perhaps Shelley allowed herself to travel back to One Arrow, where she remembered real friends and community. Or perhaps she thought of a better life, the one she would have when she left the street and went back to school. She wanted to take a computer course. She knew she was better than this. She didn’t belong in this world of round-the- clock partying, drugs, and flophouses. But she was only sixteen. There was lots of time to get her life together.

Crawford’s act did not take long, and Corrigan soon heard him shouting at Shelley in the car. “You bitch! You know you liked it! Don’t look so pissed off!”

But Shelley too obviously had not enjoyed it, and John Crawford was enraged. He slapped the young woman across the side of the head. Shelley screamed and grabbed for the door handle, trying to get out. Crawford pulled her back and punched her full in the mouth, splitting her lip.

Outside, shivering in the cool evening air, Corrigan watched as Crawford stumbled out of the little Nova. The younger man opened a beer, breathing heavily as he began to drink. Corrigan said nothing, but watched again as Crawford threw open the rear door of the car. He saw that Shelley was naked and crying, and her face was battered.

“Tell him to take me home,” she pleaded. “I just want to go back to the city. I won’t go to the cops.”
Corrigan had no time to consider her appeal, as Crawford reached in and started pulling Shelley out of the car by one arm.

“I’m not done with you yet,” he declared. “We’re going into those bushes and you’re going to give me what I want!”

Dragging the nude and now-hysterical young woman from the car, Crawford hit her a few more times, then she fell to the ground. Corrigan got into the car to warm up as Crawford dragged the screaming girl into the bushes.

“It looked like he was punching her in the stomach,” he testified later in court.

When Shelley fell silent, Corrigan became curious. He got out of the car and went to investigate. Crawford was standing over Shelley. A knife—Corrigan’s own precious knife with the gold handle—was protruding from her abdomen. There were other wounds, too, Corrigan saw. Shelley had been stabbed repeatedly in the chest and side.

Dumbfounded, he said, “John, for Christ’s sake, what did you do?”
“I killed her,” Crawford replied without emotion or apparent regret. “She’s dead. Get some branches. Help me cover her up.”

Corrigan gathered branches and leaves and spread them carefully over the body, keeping a careful eye on Crawford as he did so. The murderer had removed the knife from Shelley’s abdomen and was holding it as he watched Corrigan do his bidding. Once the body was covered, the two men drove back to Saskatoon. Corrigan, animated and frightened, castigated Crawford for the senseless killing; at the same time, he harboured justifiable fears for his own life, so he was careful not to go too far in his condemnation.

Crawford pulled into an alley in Riversdale, a lower-income neighbourhood that hugs the west bank of the Saskatchewan River south of downtown. He rolled Shelley’s clothes into a ball and tossed them in a dumpster. He had already decided to burn his own clothes and throw the knife into the river under the Broadway Bridge. He planned to return to the grove and knock out Shelley’s teeth, so that the corpse, if it was ever found, could not be identified through dental records, though he never carried out this plan.

In the meantime, his curfew was approaching. With Corrigan still in the car, he drove home to his mother’s house on Avenue Q North. There he removed his bloodstained jeans and sweatshirt, and showered in the basement bathroom. He then drove Corrigan back to the Albany.

By the time the remains of Shelley Napope were found in the fall of 1994, there was little physical evidence left to aid investigators in determining what had taken place on the night she was killed. Given the degree of decomposition of the body, it was impossible even to establish a probable cause of death. The only people who knew what had happened were John Crawford and Bill Corrigan.

That both men were present at the rape and murder of the young Native woman was never an issue. Crawford and Corrigan both agreed, subsequently, on the circumstances that led to her being taken to the willow grove southwest of Saskatoon. On audio tapes secretly recorded by the RCMP, Crawford—in calm, clipped tones, as if he were discussing the weather—clearly confirms many of the specifics of Shelley’s murder. His only surprise was her name.

“I thought her name was Angie,” he said.


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Just Another Indian Book
Just Another Indian