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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Howard Lyon, arrested the day before for having cached dozens of diamonds stolen in a Minneapolis jewel heist, claimed that he was an innocent party.

Lyon, a 19-year-old student at the University of Minnesota, admitted that a certain Mr. Hunter, a clerk at a Minneapolis hotel where he had stayed, gave him a package and “told me to take it with me (to Spokane) and keep it for him.”

Lyon also admitted that he knew they were diamonds. But he did not know they were stolen. He said once he reached Spokane he “was broke and thought about the diamonds.” So he pawned four of them and then buried the rest in the dirt near a storage warehouse. He simply “thought it best to hide them.”

City detectives tracked him down through pawn shop records and arrested him. Lyons cooperated and led police to the buried cache of “37 glittering jewels.” Hunter was arrested in Minneapolis for the jewel heist.

The U.S. Customs collector said he believed Lyon’s story.

  “I believe the boy is an innocent victim of a plot,” he said.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1520: Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reached the Pacific Ocean after passing through the South American strait that now bears his name.

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