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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: A vaudeville star convicted of forgery had gone missing while out on bail

 (S-R archives)
(S-R archives)

Marie McDonald – convicted forger, one-time murder suspect and former vaudeville performer – was nowhere to be found.

McDonald was acquitted in one of the most sensational murder trials in Spokane history, but was convicted on the lesser charge of forgery. She was sentenced to one to 15 years at the Walla Walla penitentiary, but had been out on bail pending an appeal.

“If she does not appear, the bond will be declared forfeited and we will scout the country for her in an effort to make her serve her sentence,” the prosecutor said.

If she did not turn up within a few days, she would lose her $2,000 bond and become a “fugitive from justice.”

“I haven’t heard from Marie in months and have no knowledge of her whereabouts,” said her attorney (and uncle). “She left town without my knowledge and I did not know she had gone until some time afterward. I have heard she went to Seattle, but I do not know if such is the case.”

Her appeal had been denied, and she was supposed to turn herself in to authorities to serve her sentence.

Yet now she was missing and nobody knew where she was. One of her bondsmen received word she was in Mexico. This, too, was unverified.

Also on this date

1914: President Woodrow Wilson, acting on a joint congressional resolution, signed a proclamation designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

2012: President Barack Obama declared his unequivocal support for same-sex marriage in a historic announcement that came three days after Vice President Joe Biden spoke in favor of such unions on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

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