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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Tue., Dec. 18, 2012, midnight

From our archives, 100 years ago

A double murder shook the logging town of St. Maries.

The proprietor of a “resort” – sometimes used as a euphemism for a brothel or bar – said he heard gunshots early in the morning. He raced upstairs and saw Grace Foy, known there as Grace Norman, stagger out of a room and fall dead. Inside the room, the proprietor found Al Sternbaugh, dead of bullets to the arm and brain.

No gun was found, and police were working on a theory that a third person entered the room and shot both. One odd detail emerged from the investigation: Grace Foy’s mouth was stuffed with $45 in bills when she fell dead. She had been shot three times.

The first clue about the murders came from the sailors manning the steamer Georgie Oakes, who said that on their run to St. Maries that night, an unknown passenger said he had been robbed at the place before and he intended to “blow it up.” Police detained a lumberjack named Powers, who so far refused to answer any questions.

Grace Foy had formerly lived in Spokane with her husband, a barber, and two children, 5 and 7. The couple divorced four months earlier, and she had not been seen in Spokane since.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1892: Tchaikovsky’s ballet “The Nutcracker” publicly premiered in St. Petersburg, Russia.


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