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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: New evidence emerges in case of wife-killer ‘Bluebeard’

New evidence implicated San Quentin prisoner “Bluebeard” Watson in additional slayings, according to this piece in the Oct. 26, 1920, edition of the Spokane Chronicle.  (S-R archives)
New evidence implicated San Quentin prisoner “Bluebeard” Watson in additional slayings, according to this piece in the Oct. 26, 1920, edition of the Spokane Chronicle. (S-R archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

Notorious serial wife-murderer “Bluebeard” Watson had not completely escaped the hangman’s noose.

He was serving a life sentence in San Quentin as part of a plea deal. Yet new evidence had emerged that he had committed more murders than the 10 to which he had confessed.

A private detective declared that he had positive evidence of at least two more murders. The detective was working with two of his surviving Spokane wives, Katherine Wombacher and Elizabeth Williamson, who hoped to force a trial on these new cases and obtain the death penalty.

As it turned out, this would not happen. “Bluebeard” would die of natural causes in San Quentin in 1939.

From the museum beat: The Eastern Washington Historical Society announced its intention to seek federal money to expand its fledgling museum into a large, permanent institution.

“I believe museums are even more important than libraries,” sad Harl J. Cook of the society. “We should teach our children natural history. At the present time, a child goes out of the schoolroom and doesn’t recognize it.”

He claimed that Spokane was in the center of the finest prehistoric field in the world, and that “within the next 25 years it will be the most popular hunting ground for ancient fossils on the entire continent.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1861: The legendary Pony Express officially ceased operations, giving way to the transcontinental telegraph. (The final run of the Pony Express was completed the following month.)

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