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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Police accuse man of killing girlfriend with strychnine

From the Dec. 19, 1918 Spokane Daily Chronicle. (S-R archives)
From the Dec. 19, 1918 Spokane Daily Chronicle. (S-R archives)

Spokane’s coroner delivered the shocking news: Miss Rosa Kempf, 22, died of strychnine poisoning.

At her funeral, police arrested her sweetheart, William Delaney, and held him for questioning.

The death occurred several days earlier at her home when she suddenly became ill and went into convulsions. Police believed that Delaney was present when she died.

Police also found a letter in his possession from Miss Kempf, in which she begged Delaney to return to Spokane because she was in some sort of “trouble.”

Police said Delaney had a record as a bad-check artist and had recently returned to Spokane.

From the flu beat: Dr. J. B. Anderson continued to stand up against Spokane’s theater owners who wanted to lift the modified flu quarantine.

“While (the quarantine) does not meet the approval of the theaters, I am convinced that it has the general support of the people,” said Dr. Anderson. “But whether or not it is the proper thing to do, we propose to keep this sort of a regulation until daily reports are sufficiently conclusive that influenza is safely on the wane.”

That morning, there had not been a new case of flu reported in the city, for the first time since the epidemic began. Yet Dr. Anderson stressed the need for caution.

He believed that the Spanish flu would “remain with us until spring.” The quarantine might not last that long, but he was determined that it would last through the holidays, to prevent “the crowding of Christmas shoppers.”

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