By day, Spokane’s East Sprague neighborhood shows flashes of its exuberant youth.
Bargain hunters converge on the once-thriving avenue, looking for antiques, handmade sausage or a reliable used Ford.
On Sundays, the pews at St. Ann’s Catholic Church still fill. Afterward, the descendants of Italian immigrants linger to trade gossip - repeating their grandparents’ ritual.
When night falls, the isolated neighborhood - sandwiched between Interstate 90 and the railroad tracks, downtown and the Valley - is eerily transformed.
Elderly residents and families are chased indoors by drug peddlers, prostitutes and a motorized parade of their customers.
Now, there’s something even more sinister to fear. A serial killer who preys on prostitutes has turned East Sprague into a hunting ground.
Despite these threats, signs of a revival are brewing. Residents fed up with crime are demanding the city clean up the area.
Read about the neighborhood’s history and its struggle in “Shadow over Sprague,” a special six-page report that begins on page A-19.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: 2 Color Photos
MEMO: See Special Section, “Shadow over Sprague”