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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: A 26-year-old mother explained how she became a leading cocaine and morphine dealer

UPDATED: Fri., Nov. 20, 2020

 (S-R archives)
(S-R archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

Mrs. Bert Williams, 26, mother of four, told police how she had become one of the leading dope distributors in Spokane.

She said she arrived in Spokane two or three months ago from near Bellingham, where her husband and another man were engaged in dope traffic. She found a lucrative market in Spokane and made “considerable money wholesaling” morphine and cocaine. Her husband, she said, was now in Montana.

She denied being a user of the drugs – she was only in it for the “large returns.”

Three of her children were with her in Spokane, and they were taken to juvenile authorities. However, the children were released to her when she arrived to claim them, since she had not yet been convicted of a crime. In the event of a conviction, “some steps as to the welfare of the children may be taken.”

From the immigration beat: A Seattle city councilman filed an initiative bill to the state legislature that would have prevented “aliens” from owning agricultural lands.

The bill’s proponent was a member of the executive committee of Anti-Japanese League of Seattle. The proposed measure generally followed a controversial California ban that had recently been adopted. A petition drive had to be successful before the proposed bill could be formally submitted to the legislature.

On this day

(From Associated Press)

1920: the Irish Republican Army killed 12 British intelligence officers and two auxiliary policemen in the Dublin area; British forces responded by raiding a soccer match, killing 14 civilians.

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