Jim Kershner’s This day in history » On the Web: spokesman.com/topics/local-history
From our archives, 100 years ago
Spokane police were seeking to hire … an official female impersonator?
Yes, they wanted a man with the allure to attract “mashers,” yet also in possession of a mean right hook if the lechers got too fresh.
Originally, the department tried to hire a woman as a lure to combat a growing problem: men making unwanted advances on the street toward women. Yet no ladies were willing to take on a job that came with the title “official city flirt.”
So police put out the call for a man willing to wear women’s clothes and saunter down Riverside Avenue. The female impersonator could then “slap” around any men who resisted arrest, said a police captain.
From the court beat: An “aged German from Hillyard” had just about succeeded in convincing a judge that he was sane enough to be released from the mental hospital at Medical Lake.
He was “sailing on the road to liberty.”
And then he made a small mistake.
He stepped out of the courtroom briefly, walked back in and told the judge that he had just engaged in a conversation with his dead mother and father in the anteroom.
The judge ruled the man insane and sent him back to Medical Lake.