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

100 years ago in the Inland Northwest: A Spokane woman was accused of her husband’s gruesome killing near Thompson Falls, and the mystery of William Edwards’ injuries was solved – partially

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

Lulu Siler, 38, of Spokane, was charged with a “revolting crime” at a railroad crossing near Thompson Falls, Montana.

The body of her husband, A.B. Siler, was found “horribly hacked at the throat … both the windpipe and jugular vein had been severed by some sharp instrument and the vertebrae exposed.”

And who “found” the body?

That was Mrs. Siler, who told her boss at a Western Union crew kitchen that she had found her missing husband’s body, but, suspiciously, “had gone about preparing breakfast for the crew before she told anyone.”

Both man and wife worked at the Western Union camp kitchen. Multiple sources told police there were “many rifts” in the Silers’ family life. Police believed Mr. Siler had recently taken out a $5,000 life insurance policy, with his wife as beneficiary.

“The case is particularly baffling, but every bit of evidence we have points to murder,” the Sanders County prosecutor said.

Authorities suspected she might have had an accomplice, “a man with the appearance of well-dressed hobo,” and a warrant was also issued for him, in the name of John Doe.

When Lulu Siler was taken into custody, she denied vehemently that she had anything to do with her husband’s death and “flew into a rage.”

From the crime beat: William Edwards regained consciousness and resolved one of the mysteries surrounding his condition.

He said he was attacked and beaten by highwaymen, who stabbed him in the chest and hit him in the head with a blackjack. Doctors had been puzzled about the cause of his wounds after he arrived at Sacred Heart Hospital with a gash in his chest. He fainted before he could tell his story.

The mystery of who perpetrated the attack was unsolved.