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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

100 years ago in Spokane: Woman confesses role in armed robbery

Emma McCambridge, 24, confessed to luring Italian fruit dealer Louis Costello to an armed robbery deep in Indian Canyon, The Spokesman-Review reported on July 25, 1916. (The Spokesman-Review)

From our archives, 100 years ago

Emma McCambridge, 24, confessed to being the “girl” who lured Italian fruit dealer Louis Costello to an armed robbery deep in Indian Canyon.

She made her confession when police took her to Costello’s hospital room, where he was recovering from three gunshot wounds. Costello said, in her presence, that the holdup man yelled for her help when Costello began wrestling for the gun. At that point, “her reserve seemed to break.”

“She admitted that it was true, and that the robbery had been planned between her and ‘Gibby’ Childs, a soldier at Fort George Wright, with the express understanding that there was to be no violence and no gun was to be used,” the paper said.

McCambridge was married to a soldier – but not that soldier. Her husband was stationed in Arizona. She and Childs planned to run off together, and Childs came up with this plan to get some money. She said she ran away after the aborted holdup and had no idea where Childs went.

Fort George Wright officials said Childs never returned to the fort. Military and police officials were on the hunt.

From the shooting beat: An Austrian, thought to be a “demented,” was shot and killed by Spokane police after the man ran amok with a gun. He was shooting at the engineer and crew of a Milwaukee Road train after it stopped at a switch downtown.

Police found him hiding behind a telephone pole and ordered him to throw up his hands. Instead, the man began firing. A detective was hit. The other officers opened fire and shot him five times.

They had no idea of the Austrian’s motives, or even his identity. The wounded detective was recovering from a serious wound.