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

50 years ago in Expo history: Hotel capacity was becoming an issue, and a century ago, a boy’s shocking crime may have had a sympathetic motive

 (S-R archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

Demand was high for tickets and hotel rooms during May, Expo ’74’s opening month.

This helped expel some lingering worries that Spokane would throw a big party and nobody would come. Expo’s performing arts manager reported that the box office was “doing exceedingly well” for the big concerts and other attractions.

“Optimistically, we hope to do a half a million dollars worth of business at the box office before the fair opens,” he said.

On the other hand, Expo demand was creating a new worry. Hotel-motel capacity in May was running low.

“The number of persons seeking housing is running about double what we anticipated,” said Expo’s director of hospitality services.

Some rooms were still available, but he said his office was getting about 4,000 inquiries a day.

From 100 years ago: A 15-year-old boy shot his father to death – but if the boy’s story was to be believed, there were extenuating circumstances.

The boy, Louis Craven, told police that his father had been responsible for poisoning 100 dogs in Spokane, a crime that had baffled police for weeks. The boy also said his father had slashed the throats of several cows belonging to neighbors. The boy said his father also threatened to kill his mother, and had prepared a box of poisoned candy to “send to another woman whom he disliked.” The city chemist found that the candy was indeed saturated with strychnine.

The boy said the final straw came when his father slapped him for “walking sloppy” on the way home from church, and then striking him when they got home. The boy walked into the house, grabbed a .22 rifle, and emptied the magazine into his father.