100 Years Ago, Three Fur Trappers Were Brutally Killed And Found In An Oregon Lake, And Now, “The Lava Lake Murders” Continues To Be One Of The State’s Oldest Unsolved Cases

Cascade Photo - - illustrative purposes only

One morning in April 1924, three men trekked to the banks of Little Lava Lake, located within Deschutes National Forest in Oregon. The weather that day was no short of perfect, sporting clear skies as the chill of winter wore off and spring colors of green began to emerge.

But, as the water thawed, the group of men were not there searching for a spot to relax and fish. Rather, they were there to remove the remains of three murdered men from the lake.

Earlier that year, a triple murder that’s now known as “The Lava Lake Murders” shocked the Oregon community, and the case remains unsolved to this day.

The three men involved in the case were 25-year-old Dewey Morris, 50-year-old Edward Nickols, and 35-year-old Roy Wilson. Each of them hailed from Bend, Oregon– Deschutes County’s main city.

In 1923, the trio embarked on a journey into the park with the intention of spending the autumn and winter months in the vicinity of Lava Lake while working as fur trappers.

So, they had made arrangements to reside in a log cabin belonging to Edward Logan, a logging contractor from Bend. Logan had allowed the men to use his cabin, which was located near the forest, as their base camp while fur trapping.

As part of the arrangement for their winter accommodation, the three men committed to looking after five precious foxes that Logan was rearing for fur on his land. This agreement seemed beneficial for all of them, leading to the trappers settling into the cabin.

Afterward, in the days leading up to Christmas in 1923, Edward Nickols made a trip back to Bend to sell furs. He managed to sell an entire sled full of fur, and according to local reports, he was happy. He even said that the fur trapping season was proving to be exceptionally successful.

Then, on January 15, 1924, the three men were spotted again. Allen Wilcoxen, the owner of a holiday camp, had been traversing the snow from his home in Fall River to his resort at Elk Lake– a distance of 28.6 miles on snowshoes.

Cascade Photo – – illustrative purposes only

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