December 9, 2010 in City

Jim Kershner’s This day in history

By The Spokesman-Review

From our archives, 75 years ago

Eight desperate convicts, including four from Spokane, tunneled under the wall of the Washington State Penitentiary at Walla Walla, stole two cars and fled into the surrounding country.

The Spokane County sheriff immediately “spread a cordon around the city, with patrols on all main highways.” That’s because one of the most desperate convicts, Clarence Miles (alias Jimmy Arnston), had vowed to come back and kill the star witness in his burglary trial in Spokane.

Miles, described as “dapper” and “swanky,” had already proven to be a talented escape artist. He had attempted escape three previous times, once by picking the lock on his handcuffs and diving out the window of a speeding train (he claimed that “it didn’t take any nerve”); then by sawing his way out of a Spokane County “strongbox”; and again by crawling out of a ventilator pipe at Walla Walla. He was quickly recaptured each time.

Miles didn’t make it too far this time, either. He and three other escapees were recaptured later the same day, wandering in a stolen car “virtually lost” in the semi-desert country bordering the Snake River.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1940: British troops opened their first major offensive in North Africa during World War II.

Get stories like this in a free daily email

Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus