The Chronicle -

By Finn J.D. John
Chronicle Columnist 

Offbeat History: Lava Lake murders are still officially unsolved, but...


May 2, 2019

Image provided/Deschutes Pioneer Gazette

The searchers, having just retrieved the bodies of the three trappers from Lava Lake, prepare them for transportation to Bend, in April 1924.

BY THE TIME THE ICE over Lava Lake melted in the spring of 1924, no one had any illusions about what they would find underneath it.

Trappers Edward Nickols, Dewey Morris and Roy Wilson had disappeared from their cabin sometime around the middle of January, leaving their clothes, guns and bedrolls behind. When relatives arrived in early April to look for them, they found blood and spent gun cartridge shells in the snow, and a sled trail leading out into the middle of Lava Lake - ending at a spot where someone had chopped a hole in the ice with an ax.

It didn't take a Sherlock Holmes to figu...

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