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Jim Kershner’s This Day in History

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From our archives, 100 years ago

The city was buzzing about an upcoming trial that promised to air “the sensational details of the family troubles of Frank Bruno, the former underworld ruler of Spokane.”

Bruno was considered a notorious “dive-keeper” and crime boss. One of his alleged underlings, V. Rolandi, was charged with shooting and wounding Bruno’s estranged wife, Philomena Bruno, when she was on her way to court to testify in a case. She said she knew enough about her husband’s crimes to send him to the gallows.

Rolandi was accused of hiding out on a high bluff, waiting for her to pass and ambushing her with several gunshots, hitting her in the leg. Bruno also was charged as an accessory in the shooting and was due to stand trial in a separate hearing.

Rolandi’s attorney said his client had an alibi for the time of the shooting. He also said Rolandi “don’t know anything about Bruno, in fact, he never saw the man, and don’t even know who he is.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1607: English colonists arrived by ship at the site of what became the Jamestown settlement in Virginia. … 1917: Three shepherd children near Fatima, Portugal, reported seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary. … 1981: Pope John Paul II was shot and seriously wounded in St. Peter’s Square by Turkish assailant Mehmet Ali Agca.



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