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Community Comment

Thu., Jan. 26, 2012, 7:05 a.m.

Is this a harmless coincidence?

Good morning, Netizens...


Is this a coincidence or not?


I've never met Tom Clouse, a reporter for the Spokesman-Review, although if I did manage to meet him, I'd thank him for the good job he did covering the Otto Zehm trial in far-off Yakima, maybe even take him out for coffee. He led the Spokesman’s coverage of Otto Zehm’s death at the hands of Spokane police and the subsequent trial and conviction of Officer Karl F. Thompson.


While he was covering the trial in Yakima, somebody stole his big Ford F-250 from his driveway, and looted his entire house, from top to bottom. All kinds of stuff missing: a World War II sidearm, his late wife's jewelry, Bic lighters and perhaps more. According to the Inlander story, one of the ostensible burglars even gnawed on a piece of purloined cheese from the kitchen and left the remnants on the crime scene. As you can perhaps tell, we really have high-class health-conscious burglars here in Spokane.


To his credit, Clouse did attempt to get the Spokane Police to take evidence from the crime scene for DNA testing, but police, even the FBI, refused. According to the Inlander story, they haven't even gotten around to sending the fingerprints out for testing. I'd be steamed if I was the victim.


The $42,000 in losses at Clouse's house were all covered by insurance. That won't bring back all of his late wife's jewelry, her mother’s jewelry and grandmother’s jewelry, including the wedding rings. There was already a big hole in Clouse's life because he recently observed the second anniversary of his late wife's death. Of course if you are a crook, you hit a man when he's down, before he can stand up and face you.


But the Clouse burglary is only one of what I think is more than a coincidence.


Burglars also ostensibly hit Attorney Breean Beggs, who has represented the Otto Zehm family since 2009, as was civil attorney Jeffry Finer.


None of the usual talking heads, including Mayor David Condon, will meaningfully comment on the likelihood that these crimes against three people who have worked exhaustively on the Otto Zehm case, could possibly be retribution.


Is this a coincidence? It certainly doesn't seem that way, does it? Of course, your results may differ. Portions of this story were excerpted all or in part from The Inlander.



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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.