Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight Hiram M. Chittenden Patsy Collins Gordon Hirabayashi Home William Boeing
Search Encyclopedia
Advanced Search
Featured Essay
Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search
7100 HistoryLink.org essays now available      
Donation system not supported by Safari     Donate Subscribe


Cyberpedias Cyberpedias
Timeline Essays Timeline Essays
People's Histories People's Histories

Selected Collections
Cities & Towns Cities & Towns
County Thumbnails Counties
Biographies Biographies
Interactive Cybertours Interactive Cybertours
Slide Shows Slideshows
Public Ports Public Ports
Audio & Video Audio & Video

Research Shortcuts

Map Searches
Alphabetical Search
Timeline Date Search
Topic Search


Book of the Fortnight
Audio/Video Enhanced
History Bookshelf
Klondike Gold Rush Database
Duvall Newspaper Index
Wellington Scrapbook

More History

Washington FAQs
Washington Milestones
Honor Rolls
Columbia Basin
Walla Walla
Roads & Rails

Timeline Library

< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >

Armed robbers kill King County Sheriff's Deputy Robert C. Scott on April 4, 1920.

HistoryLink.org Essay 3756 : Printer-Friendly Format

On April 4, 1920, King County Sheriff's Deputy Robert C. Scott is shot and killed by armed robbers on Rainier Avenue near Cloverdale Station. Deputy Scott and four other deputies encounter two masked men who are systematically flagging down and robbing motorists at gunpoint. After the officer is shot, the bandits take two motorists hostage and speed away in their automobile. One robber kills the other in an argument.

On the evening of April 3, 1920, two masked men set up a roadblock on Maple Valley Rd. east of Renton, using their automobile. They stopped motorists and robbed at least five "auto parties" (Seattle P-I) at gunpoint. Then the bandits drove towards Seattle and set up a similar roadblock on Rainier Avenue near Cloverdale Station shortly after midnight.

Earl M. Eba, noticed that his car was being driven north on Rainier Avenue by two unknown men. Eba gave chase in another car accompanied his friend A. J. Smith. "We hadn't gone very far before we came upon my car ditched by the side of the road" (Seattle P-I). The robbers had stopped another car with three people and were robbing them. The suspects were confronting Eba when a car with five deputies drove up.

According to press reports, the deputies fired first and the robbers shot back. One of the first shots hit and killed Deputy Robert C. Scott who was riding in the front seat. Approximately 20 shots were fired in the battle, one of which disabled the deputies' car.

The bandits ordered Eba and Smith to drive them towards Seattle on Rainier Avenue. The robbers told their hostages that they would kill them if they were stopped by police. Enroute to Seattle, Eba and J. Smith heard a shot in the back seat. "This was the shot that ended the bandit's life," Eba said (Seattle P-I).

Elmer Cady was apparently shot by his partner "Blackie," later identified as Albert Guettel, a shipyard laborer and a drug addict. Guettel ordered Eba to stop at 1st Avenue and Pike Street in Seattle and told the hostages to take Cady to the hospital. Then Guettel fled. Cady was found "sitting up stiffly in the back seat" (Seattle P-I) with his pockets turned inside out.

"Shoot to Kill"

Seattle Police and King County Sheriff's Deputies began searching for the suspect and notified police in Everett, Tacoma, and Portland. "I have instructed my deputies to shoot to kill," Sheriff John Stringer was quoted as saying. "The robberies outside the city limits in recent months have almost equalled those inside the city" (Seattle P-I). Two men were arrested in Portland, but then released after being cleared. Guettel's photo was published in daily newspapers.

Robert C. Scott was 32 years old and had a wife and two children.

"Posses Hunt Bandits Who Kill Deputy Sheriff After Robbing Five Auto Parties," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, April 4, 1920, p. 1 (transcribed by Sgt. Tom Smith, King County Sheriff's Office); "Elmer Cady Pays Life Forfeit For Holdup Of Autos," Ibid.; "Shoot To Kill Order Issued Against Bandits," Ibid.; "Authorities Seek Slayer Of Scott," Ibid., April 10, 1920, p. 10. Special thanks to Sgt. Tom Smith, King County Sheriff's Office, for calling this incident to our attention and for sharing research material.

Travel through time (chronological order):
< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >

Related Topics: Crime |

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both HistoryLink.org and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

Major Support for HistoryLink.org Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, April 10, 1920
Courtesy Seattle Public Library

Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search

HistoryLink.org is the first online encyclopedia of local and state history created expressly for the Internet. (SM)
HistoryLink.org is a free public and educational resource produced by History Ink, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt corporation.
Contact us by phone at 206.447.8140, by mail at Historylink, 1411 4th Ave. Suite 803, Seattle WA 98101 or email admin@historylink.org

Untitled Document