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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Bigamist-murderer confesses to killing 1 wife after she found out about another

Under its terms, Huirt would plead guilty and the state would seek life imprisonment, not the death penalty. (SR archives)
Under its terms, Huirt would plead guilty and the state would seek life imprisonment, not the death penalty. (SR archives)

A transcript of the confession of James “Bluebeard” Huirt, alias Walter Andrew Watson, revealed that he killed one wife, Nina Deloney of Eureka, Montana, because she found letters revealing the existence of another wife, Elizabeth Williamson of Spokane.

Deloney found them while she and Huirt were on a camping trip in California. She told him she would have him arrested as soon as she could find an officer, “whereupon he struck her on the head with a hammer.”

Authorities were still searching for Deloney’s body, based on a map drawn up by Huirt. However, the map had so far proven to be unreliable and the body had not yet been found.

A murder charge was being prepared and a plea deal had apparently been struck. Under its terms, Huirt would plead guilty and the state would seek life imprisonment, not the death penalty. Some of the friends and relatives of the murdered women were reported to be “greatly incensed” that the death penalty would not be pursued.

Meanwhile, Williamson was shaken by the details of the Deloney murder. She said that Huirt had taken her camping at the same spot in California, and she recalled Huirt saying something odd. He said it would be “a splendid place for a murder.”

She now believed he took her there for that purpose, but another camper was in the area and came over and struck up a conversation. Huirt seemed to resent the presence of the other camper, and Williamson was now convinced that it saved her life.

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