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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Tue., May 29, 2012

From our archives, 100 years ago

Dr. W.H. Olds, 60, a pioneer physician in Spokane, was shot and killed in his own home – and police didn’t have to look far for a suspect.

“Yes, I killed him, and I’m ready to hang for it, if necessary,” his 29-year-old wife, Della Olds, told police.

Mrs. Olds said the doctor had beaten her one too many times. That night, she was in bed when the doctor entered the bedroom, drinking from a whiskey bottle. Just then, the phone rang. The doctor picked it up, listened for a moment and slammed the phone down in a drunken rage, breaking the wires. He turned to Mrs. Olds and accused her of infidelity. She “resented the insinuation,” and a violent quarrel ensued.

She said he struck her and beat her repeatedly. Then she managed to escape from his clutches and run to an adjoining room. She picked up a Winchester repeating rifle, stood in the doorway and fired point blank at her husband. He fell with a bullet through his skull. She went downstairs to the other telephone and called police.

Police found Dr. Olds’ body and numerous injuries to Mrs. Olds, who spoke rationally for a few moments and then broke down in hysteria.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1943: Norman Rockwell’s portrait of “Rosie the Riveter” appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post. … 1953: Mount Everest was conquered as Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tensing Norgay of Nepal became the first climbers to reach the summit. … 1961: A couple in Paynesville, W.Va., became the first recipients of food stamps under a pilot program created by President John F. Kennedy.

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