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Topic: Crime

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Anti-Chinese Activism -- Seattle

Chinese immigrants, largely men, began arriving in Seattle in the 1860s, and played a key role in the development of Washington Territory, providing labor for the region's mines and salmon canneries a...

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Bentz, Eddie (1894-1979)

Tacoma's Eddie Bentz was never as famous as some of his partners in crime, such as Machine Gun Kelly or Baby Face Nelson, but then, Eddie never liked cheap publicity. J. Edgar Hoover, or more probably...

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Bob Ingram recalls the early years of the University of Washington Police

Robert F. "Bob" Ingram was a police officer at the University of Washington from 1951 to 1978, retiring with the rank of Captain and head of all the department's criminal investigations. The following...

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Cafe Racer: Seattle's Famously Quirky Dive

Easily one of Seattle’s all-time quirkiest and best-loved neighborhood dives, the Café Racer Espresso (5828 Roosevelt Way NE), has since 2005 offered up good coffee, simple food, cheep beer, and fu...

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Carroll, Charles Oliver "Chuck" (1906-2003)

During the 1950s and 1960s, Charles O. "Chuck" Carroll was, arguably, the most powerful man in Seattle and King County. As King County Prosecutor he was the effective head of all law enforcement in th...

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Childhood Memories of Criminologist Luke May, by his Granddaughter

In this People's History file, Mindi Reid, granddaughter of the renowned Seattle criminologist Luke S. May (1892-1965), recalls him as a beloved grandfather. Luke May, known as America's Sherlock Holm...

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Dashiell Hammett's Tacoma

Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961), acclaimed as the creator of modern American detective fiction, spent a winter in Tacoma not long before he began writing the stories that would make him famous. This acco...

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Finding William Hamilton: A Transatlantic Detective Story

Michael Atkins relays the story of William Hamilton, an Irishman who came to Seattle in 1909. One of Hamilton's grand nieces in Ireland posted a query on a usenet group on the internet. Intrigued, Atk...

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Fort Lawton to Discovery Park

During the 1890s Seattle, to boost its economy, actively sought an army post. The War Department also desired an army presence and encouraged the City to provide free land. The land was conveyed in 18...

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Freeway Protest in Seattle on May 5, 1970: A Policeman's View

From a police officer's vantage point, former UW police officer David Wilma recounts the anti-war protests of May 5, 1970, a response to the United States invasion of Cambodia during the Vietnam War. ...

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Harry Tracy: Trail of the Northwest's Last Desperado Tour

Journey back to 1902, and follow the trail of Harry Tracy -- the Wild Northwest's last desperado -- one step ahead of the posse. Written by Alan J. Stein and designed by Chris Goodman.

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Hazzard, Linda Burfield (1867-1938)

Dr. Linda Burfield Hazzard was a sadistic and greedy quack who convinced patients that only by starving themselves for months at a time could they regain their health. Unsurprisingly, many of her pati...

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Hillman, Clarence Dayton (1870-1935)

For almost 20 years beginning in 1896, Clarence Hillman was one of the most prominent businessmen and real estate developers in Seattle. His aggressive and even fraudulent sales of vacant land laid ou...

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I Touched Harry Tracy's Corpse by Charles May Anderson, M.D.

Physician and historian Charles May Anderson of Sprague, Lincoln County, wrote this fascinating account of rural life in the early twentieth century and the pursuit and death of murderer and prison es...

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King County Historical Bibliography, Part 04: Crime, Law Enforcement, and Justice

This bibliography on crime, law enforcement, and justice was prepared as a community history resource by staff of the former King County Office of Cultural Resources, now 4Culture (King County Cultura...

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Lady of the Lake

The Lady of the Lake is a true story and one of the more enduring legends on the Olympic Peninsula. This tale of murder, a body that turned to "soap," and the hunt for a killer has absorbed readers an...

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Letourneau, Mary Kay (b. 1962)

Mary Kay Letourneau, at one time a respected elementary school teacher in Burien, is now a convicted sex offender whose illicit relationship with one of her students has both repelled and fascinated p...

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Maleng, Norm (1938-2007)

Norman Kim "Norm" Maleng was King County Prosecuting Attorney for 28 years, during which he implemented legal reforms, mentored future judges and politicians, and made national news while prosecuting ...

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Marijuana Legalization in Washington

Washington became one of the first two states, along with Colorado, to legalize adult recreational use of marijuana when voters approved Initiative 502 on November 6, 2012. The vote was the culminatio...

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Masked Robbers Trammel Train in Ballard

Romantic tales of bank heists, train robberies, and hold ups were favorites of American newspapers, large and small, in the early part of the twentieth century. Among these is a story set in Ballard, ...

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May, Luke (1892-1965)

Luke May, known as America's Sherlock Holmes, was a pioneering "scientific detective" who moved to Seattle in 1919. He was an independent private consulting detective whose work represented a radical ...

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McGraw, John H. (1850-1910)

John H. McGraw was elected Washington state's second governor in 1892. He arrived in Seattle from Maine during the 1870s at the age of 26, and got a job as a clerk in the Occidental Hotel. He joined S...

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McNeil Island and the Federal Penitentiary, 1841-1981

McNeil Island, located in southern Puget Sound, was named in 1841 by Lt. Charles Wilkes of the United States Exploring Expedition in honor of William Henry McNeill. McNeill (the name, but not the isla...

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McNeil Island Corrections Center, 1981-present

The McNeil Island Corrections Center, located in southern Puget Sound, 2.8 miles from Steilacoom, Washington, was the oldest prison facility in the Northwest. Built in 1875, it began as the first fede...

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