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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Tue., April 23, 2013

From our archives, 100 years ago

The most notorious unsolved murder in Spokane – the 1911 murder of young housemaid Anna Weber – was once again in the news because of the false imprisonment suit filed by her sister, Elizabeth, 17, against the city.

Elizabeth had been picked up off the street by officers a few days after the murder and taken to the juvenile detention rooms without a warrant. They arrested her not because they thought she was involved in the crime, but because they thought she was withholding information about her father’s and brother’s possibly improper relationships with Anna.

Police had released her after two days, concluding she had nothing new to tell them. Elizabeth Weber, in her lawsuit, called it a “kidnapping arrest” and asked for $10,000 in damages.

During the civil trial, Elizabeth Weber fainted twice while others were testifying and had to be carried from the courtroom and revived. Friends said that Elizabeth had been depressed and had never been “the same girl after her arrest.” The former prosecutor involved in ordering the arrest, John Wiley, said he was also motivated by concern that the Weber home was not a “proper place” for the girl.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1988: A federal ban on smoking during domestic airline flights of two hours or less went into effect.


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