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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Wed., Oct. 17, 2012, midnight

From our archives, 100 years ago

A gullible Hauser Lake farmer nearly got roped in by a swindle that sounds suspiciously similar to today’s email scams.

The farmer received a letter from Madrid, signed by “Ivanovitch,” in which the writer claimed he was a St. Petersburg banker who had absconded with 5 million rubles and was captured and jailed in Madrid.

He asked the Hauser Lake farmer to come to Madrid and bring a substantial amount of money for bail. Then they could retrieve the loot from a secret location and the farmer would get one-third of the fortune, or about $160,000.

The farmer got dollar signs in his eyes and was attempting to purchase a ticket to Madrid when the Spokane agent for the steamship line detected something fishy and asked to see the letter. The agent recognized it as a well-known European scam and refused to sell the farmer a ticket.  

From the dope beat: A Spokane mother and daughter were both arrested on charges of being dope fiends.

The daughter, May Bond, 22, was “a physical wreck from use of cocaine and morphine” and was sentenced to 90 days in the county jail, where she would be under the care of physicians.

Meanwhile, her mother, Lizzie Bond, who was “even in a worse state than her daughter,” was set to be arraigned.



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