Jade Bost was known as a tough instructor, prone to speeding through lectures and surprising her students with tricky test questions.
But Bost’s no-nonsense teaching style earned her the respect of some former students during her 15 years in the biology department at Spokane Community College.
“She cared about her students, and she pushed you really hard to make sure you do your best,” said Sarah Ennis, who took two quarters of anatomy and physiology under Bost in 2008. “I feel like we were able to learn more from her, rather than someone else, because she was very intense about it. She was good at what she did.”
Another former student, Wendy Hinshaw, said Bost was “a brilliant, very funny woman” who often sprinkled her lectures with “dry, witty one-liners.”
Bost, who retired from SCC in June, was found slain early Saturday on the floor of her kitchen in west Spokane. Records indicate she was 64 and had been stabbed multiple times in the back.
Her husband, 59-year-old William Bost, was arrested in connection with the killing after crashing into a deputy’s patrol car in Spokane Valley. The deputy had been working on an unrelated traffic stop and reported that Bost seemed disoriented after the collision.
According to court records, Bost was wearing only underwear and told deputies that one of the couple’s pet terriers, Izabel, was responsible for his wife’s death. He was charged with second-degree murder, and police described the killing as an act of domestic violence.
Records indicate Bost purchased his house at 1032 S. Buena Vista Drive in 2001 with a woman he had married 10 years earlier. They divorced in 2003, and in September of that year Bost married Jade Miller in Kootenai County.
It’s not clear how they met. Jade had started working at SCC about a year before they got married. According to her LinkedIn.com page, she held a master’s degree in psychology and a doctorate in physiology from Indiana State University.
It’s also not clear if William Bost had an occupation. In 1989, he received two felony convictions stemming from a robbery at a convenience store on North Hamilton Street. Court documents from that case say he held the clerk at gunpoint, fled on a motorcycle and crashed while being pursued by a sheriff’s deputy at speeds topping 100 mph.
Since then, his documented offenses have been minor by comparison. They include a speeding ticket in Kootenai County in 1995 and a drunken-driving citation in Spokane County in 2002.
Until news broke about the murder over the weekend, some of Bost’s close neighbors didn’t even know he’d had a wife.
“We had never seen her,” said Tim Lawhead, who has lived across the street for 35 years.
Lawhead said William Bost was reclusive and didn’t take care of his front lawn, but otherwise didn’t cause problems in the quiet neighborhood on Sunset Hill.
“He was a hermit. He was weird,” Lawhead said. “He just always kept to himself.”
Lawhead said he once tried to invite Bost to a summertime block party that neighbors were organizing, and Bost answered the door looking disheveled with his long hair and beard, several Yorkie dogs yapping in the room behind him.
Bost seemed bewildered by the invitation and didn’t come out for the party, Lawhead recalled. “He didn’t seem to understand.”
Jade Bost doesn’t appear to have been an avid social media user, but her love for those dogs was no secret. They’re featured in dozens of photos on her Facebook and Twitter pages.
Jade and William Bost appear in just one photo on Twitter, a selfie taken at Pig Out in the Park in August 2014. In it, they are close to one another and grinning.
While sweeping their house early Saturday, investigators found two large knives that apparently had been used in the killing. They also found blood throughout the house – on the floor of the master bedroom, in the basement and in a bathtub, according to court documents.
In a bedroom closet, they found a stash of guns – four pistols, three rifles and a shotgun – as well as hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Because of his felony convictions, William Bost was not supposed to have firearms.
Court documents indicate detectives plan to review footage from at least five surveillance cameras that were found in the home.
Ennis and Hinshaw, the former SCC students, now work together as in-home nurses in the area. They credited Jade Bost with contributing to their science education, which is critical for their line of work.
Coincidentally, Ennis’ father is Vance Peterson, the Spokane County District Court judge who presided over William Bost’s first hearing on Monday. Peterson set Bost’s bond at $250,000.
Hinshaw said Jade Bost’s death is a shocking reminder that domestic violence can turn deadly.
“It just goes to show it can happen to anybody,” she said.