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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

William J. Burns, the man known as “America’s Sherlock Holmes,” announced that he was coming to Spokane to hunt down the assassin of John T. Sullivan, Spokane’s former police chief.

“Burns comes to take up the Sullivan mystery after months of work on the Los Angeles Times dynamiting case, during which he has succeeded in unearthing much valuable evidence,” said the Spokane Daily Chronicle.

Burns, based in New York, said he would bring to bear the full resources of the Burns National Detective Agency. The Chronicle reported that Burns wasn’t interested in “rewards or fees” but instead wanted to “solve a noted mystery and avenge the death of a brave officer.”

Burns later became famous for serving as the director of the Bureau of Investigation, which would evolve into the FBI. He also published a number of mystery novels and stories based on his exploits.

Yet even Burns could not solve this mystery. The assassin was never arrested.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1960: The U.S. Navy-operated Trieste carried two men to the deepest known point in the Pacific Ocean. … 1973: President Richard M. Nixon announced an accord had been reached to end the Vietnam War.