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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Jailbirds fly free from Wallace prison

 (Spokesman-Review archives)
(Spokesman-Review archives)

Three prisoners, including an accused murderer, overpowered the guard at the Wallace, Idaho, jail and escaped into the night.

Jailer Robert Lee was severely beaten and his gun taken from him. The escapees, now armed with Lee’s gun, ordered another deputy into the jail cell. Then they locked the cell and fled with the keys.

This was the second successful escape by John Flanagan, who was awaiting trial on a murder change. Two months previously, he sawed his way through a barred window and fled. He was recaptured a month later in Butte, where he had gone to visit a woman.

He was brought back to Wallace, but apparently the jailers had not increased their vigilance.

One of the other escapees had been in jail on a charge of resisting a police officer when he attacked a Wallace policeman. The third escapee had been held on a bootlegging charge.

The only other prisoner, identified as Mucky McDonald, either refused to participate in the escape or was not invited to. He was still sitting in jail.

Wallace authorities were closely guarding all avenues of escape from the city. There was no sign of the three fugitives so far.

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