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Wednesday, October 21, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Bank certificates recovered, linked to drugging victim

100 years ago, a book of bank certificates was discovered on top of a lavatory flush tank, the Spokesman-Review reported on April 27, 1917. Police believed the book’s owner, Jame Grindle, was drugged and the certificates stolen. (Jonathan Brunt / The Spokesman-Review)
100 years ago, a book of bank certificates was discovered on top of a lavatory flush tank, the Spokesman-Review reported on April 27, 1917. Police believed the book’s owner, Jame Grindle, was drugged and the certificates stolen. (Jonathan Brunt / The Spokesman-Review)

The proprietor of the Inland Pool Hall climbed up to fasten a detached chain to the overhead flush tank of a lavatory. To his surprise, he discovered a bill book atop the tank containing $2,400 in certificates of deposit.

When he examined the certificates, he recognized the name: James Grindle of Wisconsin.

The pool hall proprietor had seen that name before, in an article in The Spokesman-Review. A day earlier, James Grindle, a lumberjack, had fallen asleep on a bench at the Union Station, and nobody was able to wake him up.

Grindle was taken to his hotel room in a semi-conscious state. Doctors examined him and said it appeared to be a case of “drugging by the use of knockout drops.”

Police now believed that thieves drugged Grindle, stole his money and bank certificates, and hid them in the pool hall to retrieve later.

From the vice beat: Police raided a disorderly house on East Mission Avenue and arrested five women and four men.

Officers received a tip from neighbors and surrounded the house. When police stormed in, they saw people running for the exits. They found one woman hidden in the cellar and another in a closet. They also found large amounts of illegal liquor.

Among those arrested were Ida Bernard, charged with operating the house; Marian Ryan, whose occupation was listed as “waitress”; and Charlotte Brown, whose occupation was listed, intriguingly, as “a chocolate dipper.”

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