Local news

Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Rumors were already flying about the trial of Della Olds, the 29-year-old who shot her 60-year-old physician husband.

On the morning of the first day, The Spokesman-Review breathlessly reported that a mysterious witness named “Billy” would be called to the stand.

However, nobody knew exactly who “Billy” might be and what kind of revelations he would deliver. The detectives who had been working on the prosecution’s case “did not deny the existence of such a person,” but neither would they shed any light on the details of the case.

Mrs. Olds originally told police that her husband came home drunk and beat her, so she escaped from his clutches and shot him. However, the prosecutor charged her with first-degree murder after uncovering what they said were doubts about her story and discovering heroin and syringes in her room.

Reporters from across the region and the nation were gathered in Spokane to cover the trial, which had already made national news.

We’ll recount the daily developments in this space over the next week or so.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1908: The 22nd and 24th president of the United States, Grover Cleveland, died in Princeton, N.J., at age 71.

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