|By Jennifer K. Bauer, Lewiston Tribune, Idaho|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The clues that can solve a murder are like bread crumbs.
As minutes, then days, then weeks, then years slide by, they crumble away and are eaten up by the birds of time. The trail can no longer be seen. The people who walked it are gone and only sad questions and whispered rumors remain.
Unsolved murders scar a community's history.
Many of the following accounts and photos were gathered by
Four murders were committed in a two-week period in
Longtime Lewiston businessman
A roadside sign and a trail outside
The hanging was in revenge for the murder of
With very few Euro-Americans in the area, compared to 350 Chinese living in
About four miles out of town, they were attacked by "masked men" who were Caucasians masquerading as American Indians. They surrounded the party, set up a pole between two trees and attempted to hang all five. The pole broke and they had to get another. No one was ever punished for the lynchings. --
More than 30 Chinese miners were murdered for their gold while working along the
The crime was discovered when bodies began washing up around
Different versions of the story tell of the thieves "pouring lead" into the Chinese. One man was beaten to death with rocks or driftwood. One of the accused killers was quoted as having said he thought he was doing his country a favor.
Six men were accused of the crime. Three fled and were never seen again. Three were found innocent after a three-day trial for which few records exist. The gold, about
Roberts later confronted Sutherland in town and a fight broke out. Roberts pulled his revolver and killed Sutherland with three shots to the abdomen. He was arrested and brought to
A masked mob of probably a dozen men arrived at the town jail
No one in the mob was ever identified. Mounce later served in the
After visiting friends in
Richardson went to Asotin to report the crime.
That night, seven or eight men hid outside the jail and took the deputy sheriff by surprise. Viles was quietly lynched in the Asotin jail yard. --
The body of
Levi was the proprietor of an Indian gambling resort called Levi's Hell and had a history of run-ins with
At the time of his death he was out of jail on bond, waiting to answer to a charge of highway robbery. -- Branting
Searchers found her body and her remains were put on display at an Asotin funeral parlor where hundreds came to view her and the weapon.
That night, an estimated 300 to 600 people gathered in Asotin. Close to midnight a mob assembled. "A white cloud of dust from the hooves of a hundred horses signaled their coming down the hillside." More than a dozen masked men marched abreast to the city jail. The guard was overwhelmed. A shot was fired and a hundred more masked men appeared.
Hamilton was carried out with a rope around his neck. The dust from the mob "blinded the vision," the reporter wrote. At the corner of First and Filmore streets, the rope was thrown over a guy wire and Hamilton was tugged to his death instead of dropped.
People lit matches to see his blackened face and cheered before leaving the body to hang until dawn. --
Police confirmed the finding after a brief investigation. A Dr. Costello said it was the limb of an old woman. The gruesome discovery was made near a pavilion that was used in the summer for dancing. An arm was also found. Police tied up the dog and denied it food for most of a day in hopes the animal might lead them to the rest of the remains.
No one was reported missing in the area. The case was never solved. -- Branting
He had gone to Spokane to buy stock for the
An intensive search by local and state agencies failed to find her. Her mother filed documents in
The body was discovered by
The case was labeled a "jungletown" death, named for the area of town near
Robbery was the apparent motive, as the station's cash drawer was missing. His wife found his body when she stopped by the station at
Ironically, a nearby billboard displayed an illustration of a boy pointing two guns at a service station man with the words, "Extra Friendly Service." --
A 29-year-old "blonde divorcee" was found strangled in her home in the
Johnson was the mother of two daughters, ages 3 and 6, who lived with her parents in
Her killer was never found. -- Karlberg
Roy, 67, worked as a night watchman at
Their bodies were discovered after police found their 1957 Chevrolet sedan abandoned 45 miles west of Clarkston. The house was unlocked with no signs of forced entry. Neighbors reported hearing sounds the night before. A man in his 20s was seen hitchhiking from the location of the car toward Colfax and Spokane.
Numerous suspects were investigated over the decades but the case remains unsolved. -- Karlberg
(c)2014 the Lewiston Tribune (Lewiston, Idaho)
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