Charlie Scheideman spent 27 years policing in the B.C. interior and not surprisingly he’s got a few stories to tell.
Twenty-four of them are chronicled in his latest book, When Grampa was a Mountie, which is a follow up to his previous work Policing the Fringe and Tragedy on Jackass Mountain.
As a bonus for locals, sprinkled among the books 200+ pages are several stories about Golden, where Scheideman worked for a good portion of his career.
In fact, the book kicks off with a story that takes place in Golden, with Scheideman and his wife living in the living quarters that was attached to the old RCMP detachment. In that particular story, a pair of female hitchhikers robbed a man at knifepoint after he had stopped to give them a ride. The man was left standing by the side if the road through Kicking Horse Canyon before he waved down a passing officer.
The man’s car was quickly found outside a popular restaurant and the suspects were arrested. Because there weren’t any holding facilities for women in the area, RCMP had to keep the women in custody at the detachment’s cell. Further complicating matters was that a female guard had to be present at all times. This meant that Scheideman’s wife Patricia was called upon as one of the rotating guards.
The two women got up to some serious mischief while being held in Golden before finally entering guilty pleas and serving their sentences in Vancouver.
Scheideman also covers some important stories that he played a less prominent part in, such as a remarkable bank robbery case from Terrace in the aptly named chapter “Bank Robber.”
Altogether, Scheideman’s work is a detailed, intriguing look at policing in the last half of the 20th century. There are grim stories mixed in with more light-hearted tales that make this a very readable collection. Golden’s place in a few of the stories only adds to the intrigue, making it a winner for true crime and history buffs alike.
When Grampa was a Mountie is available at Bacchus Books & Cafe.