The Jack Family
In 1989 the Jack family, a family of 4, of the Cheslatta Carrier Nation went missing from Prince George BC. Ronald and Doreen Jack are the parents of Russell, age 9, and Ryan, age 4. All four of them seemingly vanished that year in 1989.
On August 2, 1989, Ronald called his mother in Burns Lake to tell her that he and his wife Doreen had got jobs at a logging camp. And that is the last time anyone has seen or heard of the Jack family.
Ronald had said that he met a man at a local bar who told him about the jobs available at the camp, but time was an issue and they would have to leave right away if they were to take advantage of the opportunity. As a young family where money was tight, Ronald was excited about his luck meeting this man that provided the information.
Ronald told his mother that the camp was five miles past Bednesti in the Cluculz Lake area, that they would be gone for about 10 days and that the camp had a daycare available so they were going to take their young children with them as well, and would definitely be back home in time for Russell to go to school in September.
I have so many questions regarding this case. Who was the man that Ronald met in the bar that fateful night, and was he involved at all in the disappearance? Or did the Jack family run into foul play on the way to the camp? Where exactly was the camp located? Did it exist at all? What happened to the family’s vehicle? Did the family suffer an unfortunate car accident on the way to the camp? Some theories include that the man Ronald met in the bar that night instead took the family to a drug operation.
One thing to consider is that maybe the Jack family decided to leave their old life behind and start anew somewhere else. My gut feeling is that this is unlikely. From what I have read they were a close-knit family, I have trouble believing that they chose to disappear and did not say anything to anyone in their family. Doreen’s sister Marlene has been tireless in her search for her sister’s family since 1989.
An eyewitness described the man Ronald met in the First Litre pub in Prince George as a tall caucasian man in his mid-30s to early 40s. Standing 6`to 6`5" and “hefty, but not fat” estimated by the witness to be 250–275lbs. A pretty big guy. Ronald was 5'6" and 150 lbs and Doreen was 5'2" and 110lbs. This guy Ronald met would have towered over them.
The man Ronald met had red hair and mustache, a beard and wore blue jeans with a red plaid shirt and a baseball cap, work boots, and a waist-length nylon jacket. It has been suggested that this description bears a striking resemblance to David Pickton, brother of the infamous pig farmer/serial killer Robert “Willie” Pickton.
RCMP searched the area around Prince George by foot and by air but turned up nothing. It is interesting to note that when the police spoke with the logging camps operating in the area, none of them said that they were hiring at the time.
On January 28, 1996, local RCMP received an anonymous tip stating that the family had been killed and buried on a ranch. The voice on the line was really muffled and hard to hear, and even after trying to clean up the audio on the call, the police we unable to hear exactly what the ranch name was, or its location.
The police thought that the tipster said that the family was buried on the south end of “Gordie’s Ranch”. The RCMP searched what they thought was the right Gordie’s Ranch, but didn’t find any trace of the missing family. The caller’s phone number was traced to the Stoney Creek area of BC.
The residence that the call came from had a house party the night before, explaining how hard it was to hear what the caller was saying. RCMP interviewed the party-goers but discovered no new leads, and could not identify the person that made the phone call.
A possibility regarding this case is that they may have come into contact with Bobby Jack Fowler, who I have written about before. A convicted serial killer that operated along Highway 16 also known as the Highway of Tears. The highway runs from Prince George to Prince Rupert, and Bobby was known to frequent the very bar that Ronald was last seen in. But, I don’t think the man Ronald met in the bar that night was Bobby. He doesn’t fit the description, but that isn’t to say that Bobby wasn’t there and overheard the conversation.
The Highway of Tears has a long list of missing and murdered people, mostly women and mainly First Nations. But the Jack Family is the only family in Canada’s history to completely vanish. Maybe one person here and there, but never an entire family.
2019 will mark the 30th anniversary of the Jack Family’s disappearance, and we are no closer now than we were back in 1989 to finding out the fate of these 4 people. Ronald and Doreen would be 56 this year, Russel would be 39 and Ryan 34.
Doreen’s sister Marlene doesn’t think that the family is still alive, but at this point who killed the family if anyone is secondary. She and the rest of her family just want to know what happened and to return them home.
Someone out there knows something. Maybe someone reading this now.
If you have any information on this case please contact Prince George RCMP at 250–561–3300 or, to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 222–8477.