FTA: Murder at Manley Hot Springs

Manley Hot Springs, located 160 miles west of Fairbanks, marks the end of the road, where civilization meets wilderness, and the boat landing in Manley Hot Springs offers the last portage for fishermen, trappers, and wanderers to launch their boats and travel further up the icy Tanana River. Because the road ends in Manley, residents admit they see their share of drifters and people trying to escape from somewhere or something. When Michael Silka arrived in Manley on Monday, May 13, 1984, folks accepted him as another straggler searching for a new life. They should have been terrified. Michael Silka was about to forever change sleepy Manley Hot Springs.


Brenan, Tom. Murder at 40 Below. Chapter 8: “Manley Hot Springs Murders.” 2001. Kenmore, WA: Epicenter Press.

Hall, Jeff. “Michael Alan Silka and the firefight at Manley.” Tactical Life magazine.

Ice Cold Killers. Season 1, episode 5: “Frozen carnage.”

Murderpedia. “Michael Alan Silka.” n.d.


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Robin Barefield is the author of five Alaska wilderness mystery novels, Big Game, Murder Over Kodiak, The Fisherman’s Daughter, Karluk Bones, and Massacre at Bear Creek Lodge. She has also written two non-fiction books: Kodiak Island Wildlife and Murder and Mystery in the Last Frontier. Sign up to subscribe to her free monthly newsletter on true murder and mystery in Alaska.

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