How I Accidentally Discovered the Murder of Sam Caughey


How I Accidentally Discovered the Murder of Sam Caughey: Connecting and Honoring Avenues of His Life
with special thanks to the Transcona Museum for permission to reprint this article



Where it Began

A typical day at the Transcona Museum as their Collections Assistant looks like going through our archival collection and correcting any discrepancies in our database. I have seen a lot of photographs during my time here. Sometimes I go through an entire family’s photograph album and by the end, I feel personally involved, almost as if I know them. This was the case for the Matheson family. Ellen and John (J.D.) Matheson moved to Transcona from Ontario in Transcona’s early days, c. 1910. Ellen Matheson’s great-niece brought the photos of the Matheson family into the museum and recalls in her family memoir, that John built and lived in one of the first few houses here. Ellen and John had a baby boy, Murray, in January of 1916 and they eventually lived in the 100 block of Ravelston Ave. West. I also came across many photos in their album of a man named Neil McAskill who, by chance, was revealed to me as an individual in the service of CN. He was a conductor for 25 years and a local chairman of the O.R.C. (Order of Railway Conductors) for 15 years.

Ellen, John, and Murray Matheson in Transcona c. 1916 (TH2006.17.6, TM Archives)

This is where our story really begins.  At this point, I felt familiar with the individuals that reoccurred in the Matheson photos. That’s until I came across a photo of two men wearing fancy three-piece suits, standing in front of a pile of bricks. The back reads “Mr. Caughey – left” in Ellen Matheson’s writing. I’m not exactly sure what compelled me to be so investigative, a hunch maybe but — who was Mr. Caughey? What was his connection to the Matheson family? Did he live in Transcona? Why pose in front of bricks? It all started very modestly, I thought I’d just Google, “Caughey Transcona” and see what would come up. The answer was, a lot would come up, and yet in some cases, not enough.

Here’s the story.

This is MGS Member content.  Please log in to view.