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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

TUESDAY, DEC. 3, 2013

From our archives, 100 years ago

Mrs. Maria Kenasktla, 24, was walking in front of the Kemp & Herbert Department Store, at Main Avenue and Washington Street, when a man darted toward her and threw carbolic acid on her face.

“Well, I will make you talk to me!” yelled the man, who then fled.

Her cheek was severely burned. The acid also ran down her arm, leaving deep burns.

Detectives interviewed her at the hospital, but she said she did not recognize her assailant. She admitted that, earlier in the afternoon, she had “had some trouble with her husband” and had left him. The newspaper described her as a “white woman married to a Japanese.”

However, she was adamant that her assailant was not her husband or any other Japanese person.

Police soon discovered it was the second time that Mrs. Kenasktla had been the victim of an acid attack. Two years earlier, someone had also hurled acid at her, burning her neck and shoulders. That assailant was never identified.

From the crime beat: Spokane police said a wave of holdups and robberies were the work of a mysterious “gang of crooks” from Seattle. 

The captain of detectives said he had issued orders to round up “suspicious characters found on the street at a late hour,” along with “former criminals who are known to be here.”


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