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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

100 years ago in Spokane: Missing woman implicated in the McNutt murder found in a Mexican jail

Detective Chester Edwards of the Spokane Police Department told The Spokane Daily Chronicle he’d found Fay McDonald, who was wanted to report to the penitentiary for three years on a forgery charge.  (S-R archives)
Detective Chester Edwards of the Spokane Police Department told The Spokane Daily Chronicle he’d found Fay McDonald, who was wanted to report to the penitentiary for three years on a forgery charge. (S-R archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

A Spokane detective said he found Fay McDonald, one of the notorious McDonald siblings, in a dance hall in Tampico, Mexico.

She was going by the name Harriet Levernson but is known to the “American crowd” as “Harry.”

The detective had her arrested by Tampico authorities, but her friends “raised money for her protection” and prevented the detective from taking her back to the U.S. The detective said when he left she was still in a Tampico jail, and there was no extradition treaty.

He believed, however, that she would come back to the U.S. of her own accord. She told the detective that she longed to come back because she missed her family and was running out of money.

She had earlier been sentenced to three to 15 years in the state penitentiary for forgery but disappeared before the sentence was carried out. Her sister Marie McDonald also skipped out before serving her sentence. There was speculation that she too was in Mexico, but no confirmation.

The two sisters, along with their brother Ted McDonald, had all been charged with the murder of W.H. McNutt but were acquitted in a sensational trial. They all blamed the murder on another brother, Will McDonald, who had vanished and had never been located. The two sisters were convicted on a lesser charge of forgery in connection with the same case.

From the Halloween beat: It was a relatively quiet Halloween in Spokane, with relatively few serious offenses.

The news out of Seattle was more grim. A boy, 17, was seriously injured after a Halloween companion repeatedly discharged a shotgun “to make some noise.”

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