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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Further confessions expected from bigamist-murderer who killed 2 local women

The D.A. planned to “grill” Huirt again soon, but his condition was still frail after he had tried to slit his wrists in custody. (SR archives)
The D.A. planned to “grill” Huirt again soon, but his condition was still frail after he had tried to slit his wrists in custody. (SR archives)

The Los Angeles district attorney predicted the full story of “Bluebeard” Huirt’s crimes would soon “astound the whole world.”

Huirt, also known as Walter Andrew Watson, had already confessed to murdering four of his wives, including two Spokane women. The D.A. believed that he had killed as many as five more. “Bluebeard” had not yet confessed to others, but neither had he denied them.

The D.A. planned to “grill” Huirt again soon, but his condition was still frail after he had tried to slit his wrists in custody.

Searchers failed to find the body of Nina Lee Deloney of Eureka, Montana, despite following a map drawn up by “Bluebeard.” The searchers accused him of deceiving them, but Huirt said he would lead them to the spot “with his eyes shut” once he recovered.

In fact, he said he had visited the site three times: once to bury the body, once to burn the clothing, which he had forgotten to do the first time, and once to try to obliterate all signs of the grave.

Authorities said Huirt’s cooperation was motivated by the promise of a plea deal in which he would be given life imprisonment instead of the death penalty.

More details of one of the four murders emerged. “Bluebeard” said he took one of his wives out in a rowboat on Lake Washington near Seattle. Then he choked her and pushed her overboard. He claimed not to remember her name – only that he married her in Tacoma.

Authorities suspected that this was Beatrice Andrewartha of Rossland, British Columbia. She had vanished without a trace after she married him in Tacoma.

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