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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

100 years ago in Eastern Washington: The hunt was on for two suspected safecrackers out of Ritzville, and what was thought to be a bootlegger’s antics turned out to be something much darker

 (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

The Ritzville police chief engaged in a running gun battle with two armed safecrackers at the Meyers-Shepley Dry Goods Co.

E.L. Starring, the police chief, said he was making his early morning rounds at 2:30 a.m. when he heard an explosion from the store. He entered the store and startled two robbers.

They “ran for the alley, shooting as they went.”

Starring returned fire and emptied two guns. The robbers made a desperate move to escape by crashing though the back window of a print shop and exiting out the front.

They got away, but searchers found considerable blood at the print shop, indicating they had either been hit by bullets or cut by the glass.

A posse was organized and the search was on.

From the cemetery beat: Residents near the Deer Park Cemetery noticed a suspicious man sneak into the graveyard and bury a box in an unused plot.

They thought he was a bootlegger concealing his liquor stash. So they called the sheriff.

When the sheriff and deputies arrived, they found something more shocking than booze in the plot. They found the body of a newborn baby.

The coroner said he was unable to determine if the baby was stillborn or died shortly after birth. The sheriff had few clues to work on, because the description of the man was meager.

Also on this day


1893: Women vote in a national election for the first time in the New Zealand general election.