February 19, 2013 in City

Jim Kershner’s this day in history

By Correspondent

From our archives, 100 years ago

Spokane was gripped by a new murder mystery.

The death of Gustav Froistad, a Scandinavian lumberjack, initially appeared to be no mystery at all. Authorities believed he had been struck by a stray bullet from a Spokane police officer, who was firing at a fleeing robbery suspect, two blocks away.

Yet the autopsy revealed that the bullet in his head was from a .32 Colt, not from the officer’s .38. Adding to the intrigue was the fact that witnesses testified that Froistad had been walking with a soldier, identity unknown, just before falling to the ground. Nobody saw the soldier fire a gun, but witnesses said that after Froistad fell, the soldier put both hands in his pockets and walked rapidly away with his head down.

The coroner’s jury ruled it death “by a person unknown.”

From the divorce beat: A woman filed for divorce against her husband, claiming he said of her, loud enough for the neighbors to hear, “She can’t step so fast now since she ate that big feed. She is like a hog – wants to eat and then lie down.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1986: The U.S. Senate approved an international treaty outlawing genocide, 83-11, nearly 37 years after the pact had first been submitted.

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