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100 years ago in Spokane: Soup poisoned with strychnine suspected in farmer’s death

Peter Bayer, 60, a Garden Springs farmer, died soon after telling a neighbor, “I’ve been poisoned eating soup,” The Spokesman-Review reported on Jan. 3, 1918. Detectives said the condition of his body indicated strychnine poisoning. A sample of the soup found at his home was being tested. (SR)
Peter Bayer, 60, a Garden Springs farmer, died soon after telling a neighbor, “I’ve been poisoned eating soup,” The Spokesman-Review reported on Jan. 3, 1918. Detectives said the condition of his body indicated strychnine poisoning. A sample of the soup found at his home was being tested. (SR)

Peter Bayer, 60, a Garden Springs farmer, staggered into a neighbor’s home and said, “Oh, Jim, I’ve been poisoned eating soup.”

He collapsed into a chair and died about 20 minutes later.

Detectives said the condition of his body indicated strychnine poisoning. A sample of the soup found at his home was being tested.

Detectives had not yet determined any suspects or motive. Bayer lived alone and did not get along well with his estranged family.

From the truancy beat: Emma Vigil, 13, was reported truant from school. When she returned home at 5:30 p.m. that night, she told a harrowing story.

She said that “she was seized by a Negro on her way to the Lincoln School.” He imprisoned her and attempted to assault her, but she was finally rescued by two other men.

Her father, alarmed, hastened to the police station and reported the incident.

Police asked her to locate the house where she was imprisoned, but she was unable to do so. After questioning, she admitted she made up the entire story.

What she actually did was play hookey from school. She and another girl spent the day at the movie shows.