March 12, 2011 in City

Jim Kershner’s This day in history » On the Web:

By Correspondent

From our archives, 100 years ago

A “fiend” nicknamed Jack the Spanker was preying on Spokane schoolboys.

The man, who police surmised was a homeless “degenerate,” had been prowling around Spokane neighborhoods and going up to young boys and announcing, in a businesslike manner, “I am going to spank you. You’re a bad boy, and you need it.”

Then he partially undressed the boys and “cruelly beat them,” sometimes with a leather strap or a length of baling wire. The latest attack came in the Rockwood area, where he confronted five boys who were out playing. He grabbed one 10-year-old and beat him. Three of the four other boys were too scared to run and they too were beaten. One was choked “nearly into insensibility.”

After it was all over, they ran, but he caught up with them and whipped three of them again.

Police believe they found his lair, in a clump of bushes near Garden Springs. Police were hunting for a man who was described as thin, sickly looking, and dressed in a shabby black coat and a black fedora.

Also on this date

From the Associated Press

1933: President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered the first of his 30 radio “fireside chats,” telling Americans what was being done to deal with the nation’s economic crisis.

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