Albion Falls in the Old Town of Albion Mills
Today 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 existing today, this would have been the darkest of dark tourism in Canada.
- the ghost of a suicidal girl
- mob graveyard
- where Evelyn Dick got infamous
To name a few. This article is dedicated to the disappeared history of Albion Falls (Mills).
Alas, poor Jane Riley,
for Joseph she did die
By jumping off that dizzy brink,
full sixty cubits high” ~ Slater
This unknown poet sums up the tragic life of young Jane Riley.
About Jane Riley —
A girl lived in the once prosperous Albion Falls (Mills).
At the age of marriage, she loved a dashing man named Joseph Rousseau. From a wealthy family, he courted the impoverished Riley. It was frown upon by society, and more importantly by his own mother.
Joseph’s mother despised Jane. She spread rumours around town. Pestered and pushed her son to break up with the “lowly” girl. Maybe he was a momma’s boy or maybe never loved the girl.
Most gentlemen would end the relationship, spare her feelings, but not Joseph. He became a playboy. Talking flirtatious with young ladies, and seen in the town’s church with a known prostitute.
The news made its way 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 alone in the woods. 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 working beneath the Albion Falls saw at the top two shadows appear 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.
STRANGE NOTE ::
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. She silently died after one hour.
Lots of Dead Bodies
DARK HISTORY ::
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 outside of Chicago (Bremen Township). Known as Bachelor’s Grove and in the middle of nowhere. Remote, secret, and best of all, bodies already in the ground.
For Rocco Perri, it was Albion Falls (Mills).
In the 1920’s a sparsely populated town. It had a small hotel, a tavern and the falls. Located on the escarpment with hills, woods and abandoned cabins.
Rocco Perri and mobsters are featured on Hamilton’s Dark History Tour
The Torso —
22 years pass and some kids are playing in the Albion woods about a kilometre from the Falls. Running down the hill on a sunny afternoon, a boy noticed it.
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.
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 visited her. This little woman standing in the living sharply said, “Don’t look at me. I don’t know anything about it!”
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 knew of Rocco Perri. Why not blame it on the successful killers of Hamilton? Too bad Evelyn lacked Rocco’s calm, cool demeanor. She might have gotten away with it.
The infamous murderess Evelyn Dick is also featured on Hamilton’s Dark History Tour