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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: Corbin and her caretaker changed story on mansion-burning as evidence against them mounted

 (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
(Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)

In a surprise development, Anna Corbin, widow of the late D.C. Corbin, and caretaker Louis Lilge pleaded not guilty to first-degree arson charges.

Surprise, because Corbin had earlier confessed to her role in a plot to have Lilge burn down her mansion in order to collect insurance money.

Lilge denied those charges and broke his silence. He attributed Corbin’s confession to “a temporary or otherwise deranged mental condition.” He claimed that Corbin had “often expressed her love” for him.

In other developments, Spokane’s fire chief reported that the fire started in three places, not two as earlier believed. This strengthened the case that the fire was deliberately set.

The chairman of the American Legion post in Spokane reported that Corbin had approached him five times, asking if the Legion would like to buy her home. The Legion was not interested.

Also, a local broker reported that Corbin had been speculating heavily in oil stocks. He said that during the transactions, Corbin “complained to me about having such an expensive house to keep.”

From the gender beat: Two young women, one of whom claimed to be the daughter of prominent Spokane family, were found wearing men’s clothing on a Northern Pacific train at Missoula.

“Neither would give a reason for traveling in men’s clothing or where they were going,” police said.

They were removed from the train, but no charge was made against them.

Police were attempting to ascertain their identities. The names they first gave police were admitted to be aliases.

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