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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

Fri., Dec. 24, 2010

From our archives, 100 years ago

A sensational robbery and manhunt had the town of Colburn, Idaho, just north of Sandpoint, in a “fever of excitement.”

Four bandits held up the store and post office at gunpoint and emptied the pockets of the six occupants. Then the bandits left on foot and headed into the mountains.

But a “good tracking snow” had just fallen. The sheriff and deputy tracked the bandits through the woods all night to a shack on the shore of Lake Pend Oreille, near the town of Kootenai.

The lawmen staked out the shack. One of the bandits crawled out of the shack and started to run. The sheriff called for him to halt, and shot him in the chest when he didn’t.

The other three then announced they wanted to give up. All four, including the wounded man, were handcuffed and taken to jail.

From the police beat: A 17-year-old former messenger boy was found incoherent and “unable to sit still for a single minute” and taken to the police headquarters.

Police originally thought he was a victim of “St. Vitus’ Dance.” But on subsequent examination, police believed that he was a victim of opium or some other drug, and that his condition was brought on by his inability to “procure any of the drug lately.”

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