How an Alaska Man Escaped Canadian Killers

Ken Albertsen tells his frightening tale
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 21, 2019 9:40 AM CST
How an Alaska Man Escaped Canadian Killers
In this July 23, 2019 file photo, security camera images of fugitives Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, are displayed during a news conference in Surrey, British Columbia.   (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP File)

Ken Albertsen just wanted a snooze, and nearly got killed for it. The 54-year-old photographer—who had just driven back from Montana—was parked along an Alaska highway in July when he saw a white pickup truck pull over and let a man out. Unnervingly, the man carried a long gun in "a low-ready position" as he crept behind Albertsen's vehicle. The pickup then began blocking Albertsen's path from the highway pullout. "At that point I realized that this feels like an ambush," he tells the CBC. Little did he know, Canadian killers Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were stalking him on a spree that would ultimately take five lives, including their own.

Albertsen didn't hesitate: "I leaped over the backseat, in my underwear, started up the truck, put it in gear and roared out of there," he says. He tried to see the pickup driver, but the man covered his face as Albertsen passed. So the photographer drove a few hours on an adrenaline high and later told his story to the RCMP, after hearing a news story about the nationwide search for McLeod, 19, and Schmegelsky, 18. "I honestly believe I was protected by God," says Albertsen. His encounter is one of many details revealed in newly unsealed court documents about the case, per the Globe & Mail. The bodies of McLeod and Schmegelsky were ultimately found in August in a remote area of Manitoba, dead from what police have called a suicide pact. (They had an odd escape plan.)

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