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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: The 10-year-old twins last seen with a boy who drowned had differing stories from that day

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

George Bafaro, one of the 10-year-old twins who was with William McLachlan, 8, when he drowned, changed his story in an interview with a Spokane Daily Chronicle reporter.

He said his brother, Will, had in fact gone wading in the Spokane River with William. But George only admitted this after several employees of the nearby Crystal Laundry reported they had seen two boys in the river that day while another sat on the bank.

“Aw, Will, tell them the truth,” George said in the Chronicle interview. “You know you were in the river with William.”

Will still refused to admit he went in. He said the water was “terrible cold.”

George said all three of them had gone down to the riverbank to play. At one point, Will and William decided to go swimming. They undressed and started to wade around. William then did a little jump, went into the water and grabbed a rotten root. The root broke off, and William did not come up.

The twins said he “never yelled or nothing.” Then the twins went home and didn’t tell anyone because of a “fear of a spanking.”

From the court beat: H.A. Eitelberg, a former Army lieutenant and apparent war hero, confessed to passing so many bad checks that he had forgotten where he passed them.

He used the money, he said, to buy narcotics.

Police found a photo in his possession that showed him in a lieutenant’s uniform, decorated with Croix de Guerre and other medals for bravery. He was booked on three counts of petty larceny.

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