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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 75 years ago

Stanley Knapp, 19, showed nothing but bravado when he and his brother LeRoy were sentenced to death for killing a customer while they robbed Spokane’s Security State Bank.

“Tell ’em we’re soaking our necks in salty brine to get ’em ready for the rope,” sneered young Stanley as he was led back to his cell.

It was this attitude, displayed during the trial, that accounted for the sentence. The brothers admitted to complicity in the crime, with Stanley being the triggerman. Observers originally believed they would get life sentences, but jurors were unnerved by their continuing hard attitude.

One juror said, “Those eyes of LeRoy made a deep impression on us.” A judge in an early hearing called them “the perfect type of young criminal.”

After the sentencing, Stanley told his jailers that he was “luckier than you fellows.”

“That’s the way I want to die, knowing exactly when it’s going to come, without any sickness or suffering beforehand and with time to make preparation for it,” said Stanley. “You fellows won’t have that chance.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1777: The Continental Congress in Philadelphia adopted the Stars and Stripes as the national flag.


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