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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Spokane police received an important clue in the A.J. Williams murder case. A 10-year-old boy told his friends that his father had murdered young Williams. Williams, a teenager, had been found bludgeoned to death after escorting a girlfriend home from Bible study.

How did the 10-year-old know his father had done it? Because his father “told them so at home.”

The police would normally have taken the boy to the station and questioned him, but they refused to do so because of a ruling by Judge J. Stanley Webster a few days earlier. Webster had ruled the police liable for “unlawful arrest of a juvenile” under similar circumstances.

Despite an explosion of anger by Webster over what he saw as a “cowardly and insincere” police plot to influence his rulings, police continued to say that “juvenile work will practically be dropped.”

Meanwhile, the suspect in the Williams case, put on alert by all of the publicity, had fled the city. Police were trying in vain to locate him.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1813: The War of 1812’s Battle of York took place as a U.S. force defeated the British garrison in present-day Toronto before withdrawing. 1992: The new Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was proclaimed in Belgrade by the republic of Serbia and its lone ally, Montenegro.

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