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Harriet Reece is the winner!

The Christmas Eve murder of Neil Bonner is the answer for Week 155 of Orofino History Trivia a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country.

Join in the discovery!

Monday: New fallen snow

Tuesday: A wreath

Wednesday: An investigation

Neil Bonner, a 27-year-old garage mechanic, died November 10, 1945 after an unknown assailant shot a .22 rifle cartridge through his door as he was hanging a board on his cabin ceiling (Some sources say a wreath on the door.). Newspaper accounts said that Bonner's wife, was holding the other end of the board at the time he was shot. She helped him to an easy chair that was close by and called her father-in-law, Douglas Bonner, for aid.

Bonner and his wife, lived about 4 1/2 miles up Fords Creek Rd. in a cabin that overlooked the canyon and mountains. Their two children who at the time were seven years old and one year old were asleep in one of the two bedrooms at the time of the shooting. Neil's father lived about 150 yards away, but did not hear the single shot.

A doctor was called, but unable to respond, so Neil was taken to the hospital in the Burns Building where he was pronounced dead. The doctor contacted Sheriff Jack Conard and the investigation began.

The only clues were tracks of a man or boy in the new fallen snow and the cartridge taken from Bonner's body. The tracks lead officers to the roadway, up a drive and to a ridge before they were lost. Conard said at the time that the assailant seemed to know the country very well. According to the accounts, Neil was well liked and a motive for the murder was not apparent.

The murder remains unsolved, despite the efforts of several law enforcement agencies.

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