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Jim Kershner’s This Day in History

Sun., April 25, 2010, midnight

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From our archives, 100 years ago

A talkative burglar looted the home of a Spokane attorney and his wife in the middle of the night. He walked into their bedroom, turned on the light, tilted a chair back, sat down, toyed with his pistol and proceeded to chat with the couple for “fully 20 minutes.”

“I’m not a bad sort of burglar, am I?” he mused. “I used to be a gentleman. … It’s rather mean of me to wake you up in the middle of the night like this, but my business calls me at late hours, you know. … I need the money badly just now, but I’ll return it with interest along about next July.”

He then entered an adjoining room occupied by the attorney’s sister, took her purse and woke her by shining a light in her face. In a steady voice, she demanded to know what he wanted and he, in turn, complimented her “on her nerve.”

He left without harming anyone with about $19 in cash and some jewelry.

The Spokane Daily Chronicle said he was clearly “an experienced professional Raffles” – Raffles being a popular “gentleman thief” of fiction.

Also on this date:

(From the Associated Press)

1859: Ground was broken for the Suez Canal. … 1945: During World War II, U.S. and Soviet forces linked up on the Elbe River, dramatizing the collapse of Nazi Germany’s defenses.

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