Albion Falls | Forest | Hamilton

Albion Falls Address – – Hamilton, Ontario – MAP


Albion Falls in the Old Town of Albion Mills

It’s now King’s Forest Park, but a century ago this was one of the darkest towns in the region. Wiped off the map by the progress of time. If still around, this would have been the pinnacle of dark tourism in Canada.

  • the ghost of a suicidal girl
  • mob graveyard
  • where Evelyn Dick got infamous

Just to name a few. This article is dedicated to the disappeared history of Albion Falls (Mills).

Albion Falls -- Current day
Albion Falls — Current day

Lover’s Leap

Alas, poor Jane Riley,
for Joseph she did die
By jumping off that dizzy brink,
full sixty cubits high” ~ Slater

This unknown poet perfectly sums up the tragic life of young Jane Riley.

About Jane Riley —
A girl living in the once prosperous Albion Falls (Mills).

At the age of marriage, she loved a dashing man named Joseph Rousseau. From a wealthy family, his courting of the impoverished Riley was frown upon by society, and more importantly, his own mother.

Joseph’s mother despised Jane.  She spread rumours around town.  Also pestered and pushed her son to break up with the “lowly” girl.  We don’t know if he was a momma’s boy or maybe never loved the girl.

Most gentlemen would respectfully end the relationship, spare her feelings, but not Joseph. He became a playboy. Talking flirtatious with young ladies, and being seen in the town’s church with a known prostitute.

The news made its way back to Jane.

On the outside she stood up for Joseph, “he would never do such things, not the man I loved”. Deep down she had to know the truth. Jane Riley went insane.

Town’s folk saw her wandering the woods alone, hair disheveled, dirt smeared across her face, screaming at the sky and whispering to herself.

It disturbed them, but nobody helped poor Jane Riley.

The lover leaps —
Days later, men were stationed beneath the Albion Falls.

They saw, at the top, two shadows over the sun’s glare. Shielding their eyes and looking up, two girls balanced at the edge.

One reached out, missing, as the other leaned forward.

The men ran, splashing through the water, trying to see where she would land.

They watched her fall feet first, leading to an action removing all doubt this was an accident. Her dress billowed out like a parachute which slowed her descent.  Her desire to die was evident as she brushed it down and sped to the rocks below.

They stayed with her. Jane Riley barely alive, as the men reassured she would be okay.

Jane Riley died an hour later without saying a word.

Lots of Dead Bodies

Hamilton mobsters are like no other in Canada.

This city was on par with Chicago in the 1920’s. And like Chi-town, we had our own famous bootlegger, Canada’s Capone, aka Rocco Perri.

Rocco lived on Bay Street South. Working from the house with his common-law wife, a Jewish woman named Bessie Starkman.

Mob dumping ground —
Organized crime needs a body dumping ground.

Al Capone used a burial ground just outside of Chicago (Bremen Township).  Known only as Bachelor’s Grove, in the middle of nowhere. Remote, secret, and best of all, bodies already in the ground.

For Rocco Perri, it was Albion Falls (Mills).

Rocco Perri and Bessie Starkman
Rocco Perri and Bessie Starkman

In the 1920’s, the town was sparsely populated. It had a small hotel, a tavern and the falls.  Located on the escarpment with hills, woods and abandoned cabins.

Rocco Perri and the mobsters is featured on
Hamilton’s Dark History Tour

The Torso —
22 years later. Kids are playing in the Albion woods about a kilometre from Albion Falls.  Running down the hills on a sunny afternoon, a boy notices it.

The kids who discovered the torso of John Dick
The kids who discovered the torso of John Dick

Looks like a dead animal on the fallen leaves, but something wasn’t right. The kids got their parents, and they knew. This wasn’t an animal… it was wearing a shirt.

It was the human torso of John Dick.

The Torso of John Dick
The Torso

But why? —
Many ask, “Why dump the torso in the Albion woods?”

Look deep into the story of Mrs Dick and find that one moment which explains it all. The first time police officers visited the mysterious wife.

They knocked on the door and this little woman said sharply to the uniformed men and yelled, “Don’t look at me. I don’t know anything about it!”

Evelyn Dick going to trial in Hamilton
Evelyn Dick going to trial

Evelyn said two Italian men in nice suits came to the house. They said to her, “Where’s your husband?” They were big and scary. She told the police it must have been the mob who killed her husband.

The calculated woman planned such a ruse. Kill her husband, cut him up and burn his parts in the furnace, but the torso was too thick.

She had to dump it, but where?

Evelyn followed the famous Rocco Perri. Why not blame it on the successful killers of Hamilton.  Too bad Evelyn lacked Rocco’s calm, cool demeanor. If not, she might have gotten away with it.

Murderess Evelyn Dick is also featured on
Hamilton’s Dark History Tour


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