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Tuesday, April 7, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: ‘Vice crusader’ convicted for stealing from supposed prostitute

Spokane’s self-appointed “vice crusader,” dedicated to bringing prostitutes to justice, was himself on the way to jail, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported. (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
Spokane’s self-appointed “vice crusader,” dedicated to bringing prostitutes to justice, was himself on the way to jail, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported. (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)

Spokane’s self-appointed “vice crusader,” dedicated to bringing prostitutes to justice, was himself on the way to jail, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported.

A.F. Bond, a Spokane teacher, was convicted of petty larceny for stealing a batch of letters from the lodging house of Beryl Fiske. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and a $200 fine.

Bond admitted that he stole the letters, but he claimed that he “had done so in the interests of soldiers and sailors who might be led astray by such women as Beryl Fiske.” He claimed he was acting within his rights in gathering evidence against her.

When asked how he knew these letters would prove valuable as evidence, he replied, “I thought any letters written to a woman of that sort would be of a low nature.”

Bond’s attorney made two arguments in his behalf, the first being that the letters were of “no intrinsic value” and the second was that “all property of a prostitute violating the law was properly attainable.” He claimed that “Mr. Bond had done the noblest thing a white man can do in performing his whole duty.”

The jury did not buy either dubious argument. The jury was out less than an hour when it came back with a conviction. The jury also recommended the maximum punishment.

From the maritime beat: A sleek new 9,900-ton freighter, named the S.S. City of Spokane, was preparing to make its maiden voyage across the Pacific.

The ship was named for Spokane because of the city’s success in subscribing to a wartime Liberty Loan (war bond). It was built by the Skinner & Eddy Corp., a Seattle shipbuilding firm.

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