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Clark County Sheriff > About the Sheriff > History of the Office

History of the Office

By Inspector David McKay

Of all the institutions of justice, the office of the Sheriff has had the most colorful past. The Sheriff has achieved mythic proportions through the tales of Robin Hood and Sherwood Forest in English folklore. The American version of the Sheriff conjures up visions of the old west and the heroics of Wyatt Earp and Pat Garrett, battling it out with train robbers and cattle rustlers. Like many myths, the truth is substantially different.

The English Sheriff can trace its roots well beyond the Magna Carta to the earliest foundations of English society. Originally elected by the local inhabitants and then later appointed by the King, an individual known as a "reeve" was responsible for maintaining the peace within a geographical area known as a "shire". The "shire-reeve", or sheriff, was also responsible for assessing and collecting taxes, prosecuting and judging wrongful acts, and acting as the military representative of the King.

By the beginning of the 13th Century, the role of the Sheriff had become more defined. However, abuses by the Sheriff's or the King through them, led to several specific restrictions of their authority in the Magna Carta of 1215. Article 30 stated that "No sheriff or bailiff of ours shall take horses or wagons of any free man for purposes except on the permission of that free man". Article 45 stated that the King would not make ....sheriff's or bailiffs except of such as know the law of the realm and are well inclined to observe it".

The development of English colonies in North America transferred much of the English legal system. The Virginia colony was the first to establish a "provost marshall" that was responsible for military defense and acted as the executive arm of the court in each of the colonies "shires" (counties). The responsibility for military defense was later transferred away, leaving the judicial functions for the Virginia sheriff's. This served as a model for other colonies and are the main responsibilities of Sheriff's today. [1]

The settlement of the west by the United States led to the need for laws and organized government. Organized government in the Pacific Northwest was first established with the creation of the Provisional Government of the Oregon Territory in May, 1843. This territory not only consisted of what is now Oregon but everything north of the Columbia River to Alaska. Based upon the 1839 laws of the Iowa Territory, Oregon's new legislative committee established statutes that created a single Sheriff for the entire territory. The first sheriff, Joseph L. Meek, was charged with being the conservator of the peace and to;

  • Cause all offenders to appear for trial
  • Suppress all riots, routs, affrays, fights, and all crimes and breaches of the peace
  • Attend all district courts
  • Have the care and custody of the jail. [2]

A year later, the internal division of the Oregon Territory was reorganized and that part of the territory, north of the Columbia River was formed into the Vancouver District. This was shortly changed to Vancouver County. With the establishment of a formal territorial government in 1849, the name of Vancouver "County" was changed to Clark County. At the same time, the single Sheriff of Oregon was replaced by elected Sheriffs in each of the established counties. The first Sheriff of Clark County, William Ryan, was appointed by the Governor to fill the period between the creation of the territory and formal elections in Clark County in June, 1850.

The first elected Sheriff was Andrew J. Bolen, who was elected by a total vote of twenty-two. [3] Elected to serve a one year term, Sheriff Bolen's real claim to fame was to be later appointed an Indian agent and then getting his throat cut by the Yakima Indians in 1855. This in turn led to several punitive raids by the U.S. Army. [4]

Sheriff Bolen was succeeded in 1851 by Sheriff G.H. Ambrose. He in turn was replaced by Sheriff J. Willis in 1852. On March 3, 1853 Congress created the Washington Territory and Clark County was transferred to its jurisdiction. For the first ten years Washington Sheriff's were elected to single year terms. In 1863, the legislature changed the term of office to two years.

During these early years Clark County was virtually unpopulated. The federal census for the county during the year 1850 showed a population of only 643, with the majority of those being soldiers. By 1860, the population had risen to 2,381. The population continued to rise until it reached 5,490 in 1880. [5]

Due to the low population, little consideration was given to constructing either a courthouse or a jail. Initially, prisoners, when absolutely necessary were housed first in the goal of old Hudson's Bay Fort and later in the military stockade at Fort Vancouver. This arrangement was finally altered with the construction of a jail located just northeast of the two-story wooden courthouse constructed two years earlier. This two story wooden facility was constructed for $1,155 by Silas Maxon from a special jail tax. [6]

On June 13, 1860, Mr. A. H. Sheffield proposed to the Board of County Commissioners that he be allowed to run the jail and be given custody of any prisoners held there for the term of one year for the purpose of "working the prisoners for wages". In turn, Sheffield would be paid $1.50 per day and would be responsible for finding the work and watching them. The funds would be paid from the wages that the prisoners earned. This proposal was unanimously accepted by the Board and Mr. Sheffield was made Jailer of Clark County. [7]

The role of the Sheriff during the latter half of the 1800's was mostly mundane and related to his "civil" functions as opposed to law enforcement. Sheriff's and their deputies would be found performing a variety of duties such as serving subpoenas and summons, seizing private property (attachment) pending an outcome of a civil action, seizing private property (executions) for sale to pay a judgment, summoning a coroners jury, and sitting in the Superior Court as bailiff. Serious crime during this period was rare. Prior to 1885, only three murders were reported. Of those, the first occurring in 1866 and the second in 1867 involved soldiers from Vancouver Barracks. [8]

Other forms of crime also occasionally occurred during these early years. The local newspaper of the time reported on October 5, 1882 that Issac Marker was robbed of $15 by two men who backed their demand with a pistol. [9] In November of 1885, Sheriff L.B. Clough was reimbursed a total of $40 for the expense of a boat and posse and commended by the Board of County Commissioners for preventing a prize fight (boxing). [10]

By 1883, judicial activity had increased to the point that the decision was made to construct a new courthouse. This courthouse was constructed on the site of the present courthouse and was build at a cost of $44,460. Unlike the original, this one was constructed to house the Sheriff's Office and the jail in the basement. [11]

The general configuration of the jail is not known. What is known is that it was not escape proof. At least one escape took place on November 1, 1887 when three prisoners were able to construct a "key", let themselves out of their cell, and escape. One of those to escape was a Dave Robinson, whose real name was David Merrill, who would latter become famous along with Harry Tracy. On this occasion, Merrill was unlucky, for he was captured in Portland just four days later. [12]

It was also not fireproof. Clark County awoke to discover during the previous night, November 24, 1890, their modern courthouse had burned to the ground. The fire, apparently caused by defective furnace pipes, quickly consumed the building and it was a total loss. The Sheriff, Marion Fleming, and his family lived in the courthouse at the time and were able to escape unscathed. There were six prisoners in jail at the time and all were saved, albeit a little singed. While no lives were lost, but virtually all of the county records dating back to its establishment were destroyed. [13]

Construction of a new courthouse quickly begun. Prisoners were transferred to jails in other counties such as Klickatat County. Constructed on the same site as its predecessor, this courthouse was also built with the Sheriff's Office and the jail in the basement. A report by the State Auditor later made the following comment about the third Clark County jail:

"It is equipped with one large cage containing three cells, which will accommodate three prisoners each. Besides this, there is an extra cell, a padded cell for insanity cases, and one women's cell. The interior of the jail is spacious and airy, is kept clean, dry and sanitary in every respect." [14]

Besides the new courthouse, the 1890's also saw an increase in population and with it, additional crime. Prisoner #1 in the post fire Register of Prisoners was a Dr. J.B. O'Brien who was charged and convicted of the crime of "assault with intent to commit murder". Prisoner #2 was a Charles Williams accused of Robbery. Prisoner #3 was Edward Gallagher charged with Murder. Gallagher is of interest in that he holds the distinction of being the only man legally hung in Clark County.

Gallagher was originally arrested by the Skamania County Sheriff for the murder of a local farmer, Lewis Mar. According the report of the coroner's inquest, Mar met his death on or about November 7, 1889 as a result of "...two gun shot wounds in the body and wounds made upon the head and face by some means unknown and that the said wounds were inflicted with murderous intent by some person or persons unknown". [15]

Due to the lack of a jail in Skamania County and the fear of an impartial jury, Gallagher was transferred to the Clark County Jail on November 20, 1889. Fate almost intervened when the courthouse and jail burned to the ground on February 25, 1890. However, although singed, he and the other inmates were moved to secure although less dangerous locations.

Although a defense of insanity was presented by his lawyer, George Steward, Gallagher was found guilty and a death warrant was issued by the court on June 15, 1890. Gallagher's time of reckoning came on July 11, 1890 at approximately 1:15 p.m. The newspaper reported that the jailers had their hands full as they prepared him for hanging. It was reported that Gallagher was:

"...finally thrown down and held while the Sheriff [M.J. Flemming] handcuffed his wrists and strapped his legs. He was raised to his feet and placed on the trap. The black cap and rope were properly placed upon his head and neck. During all this time Gallagher uttered not a word until the Sheriff asked him: 'Is there anything you want to say?' purely in the hope that Gallagher would confess at the last minute. No answer came. 'Did you kill the man, or did you not? Now answer!' said the Sheriff again. 'None of your d---d business' came from under the black cap. There were the last words uttered by Gallagher. The next instant the sheriff pulled the lever and he shot through the drop. His neck was broken and the work of the executioner complete." [16]

The only other information of note on Edward Gallagher was that the Sheriff charged the court a total of $157.10 in special meals, travel costs and sheriff's fees. In addition, a further $50.00 was charged to execute the death sentence. [17]

The 1890's was a decade of substantial change for Clark County. The 1890 census showed that the population of the county increased by over 200% during the 1880's. It continued to grow as the approach of the Twentieth Century. This growth in the county led to a gradual change in the primary role of the sheriff from civil duties to law enforcement. An examination of the Sheriff's Register of Prisoners for the years 1890-1893 shows that while crime was low it was increasing. While people were put into jail for a variety of crimes, most fell into one of four categories. Assault was the most common crime with about twenty percent of those jailed being charged for this offense. Larceny, or common theft, was another common crime involving about sixteen percent of those arrested. The jail was also the holding facility for the "insane" pending judicial determination as to whether they should be transferred to a state institution or released.

Vagrancy was another common charge. At the time, vagrancy was a catch-all charge used to clean the streets of undesirable people. A cursory examination of the jail records shows that this was occasionally used on young women. This suggests that prostitution was becoming a problem.

Most of the Sheriffs prior to the turn of the century were not what would be called career police officers. These individuals were just civic minded citizens who took time out of their lives to act as public servants. Both John Fletcher and W.D. Sappington are typical examples of these citizen police officers. Fletcher moved from Kansas and took residence in the Salmon Creek area of Clark County in 1870. In 1874 he won election to the Assessors Office and served one term. He then won election for Sheriff at age thirty-five in 1876 and was re-elected in 1878. He then returned as Assessor; serving in that capacity until 1886. [18]

W.D. Sappington was born in Yamhill County in 1864. After graduating from school, he worked as a mechanical engineer at Cascade Locks for five years and then worked as a butcher in Portland. In 1903 he moved to Yacolt and opened a meat market there. He ran for and was elected Sheriff in 1907 to a two year term. He was re-elected to two additional terms as Sheriff, leaving office in 1912. Sappington later served as a county road supervisor for eastern Clark County, and as a special deputy sheriff while farming his two hundred acre homestead located out of Washougal. [19]

While most criminal activity was minor in nature, occasionally the Sheriff was faced with a major problem. Once such problem occurred when Harry Tracy escaped from the Oregon State Penitentiary. Tracy was a vicious outlaw who, it is claimed, was thrown out of Butch Cassidy's Hole-in-the-Wall gang for being too mean. By today's standards, Tracy would have been labeled a psychopath. Harry Tracy and his cohort, David Merrill, were convicted and sent to the Oregon's Penitentiary for robbery. Merrill was well known to the Sheriff's Office having escaped from the Clark County jail in 1887 on a theft charge.

On June 9, 1902, Tracy and Merrill escaped from one of the workshops at the penitentiary. With the aid of Tracy's wife, two rifles and ammunition were hidden among tools. In the process of escape, three guards were killed and an inmate was wounded. After scaling the walls, the two convicts fled north on foot. Although a posse was sent in pursuit and the Oregon Militia called out to help, both men eluded their pursuers and reach the Columbia River. Obtaining a boat, they rowed across into Clark County and continued north. [20]

Alerted, Sheriff John Marsh gathered a posse of about sixty men and began staking out likely escape routes. On the afternoon of June 16, Deputy Bert Biesecker and volunteer Luther Davidson had taken up a position near the old Bett's Bridge crossing Salmon Creek just to the east of the current Salmon Creek Avenue bridge. At dusk two men were seen to wade across the creek. When they reached the road on the north side Biesecker stepped out onto the road and told them to stop. A rifle shot was his only response. Both sides quickly retired to cover firing as they went. After thirty minutes, Biesecker and Davidson, thinking that the escapees had fled returned to their buggy so as to get in contact with Sheriff Marsh. As they started, Merrill and Tracy fired five shots from concealed positions. One shot hit the horse in the rump, the second passed under Biesecker's arm, through his coat and grazing is fingers. The third bullet grazed the horse in the head with the fourth striking the horse in the ribs. The last bullet sliced some harness leather. While he urged the horse to speed up, Biesecker believed that horse had already gotten the message. Miraculously, no one was seriously injured. [21]

Although attempts were made to watch potential crossing points along the Lewis River, Marsh was unable to regain contact with the escapees. Both continued north, stealing as they went. Apparently, Tracy got into an argument with Merrill in Lewis County and shot him dead. Going on alone, Tracy went to Seattle area and engaged in several gun battles with law enforcement there. He then fled eastward to Lincoln County where, after being surrounded in a wheat field and later wounded in the leg, Tracy committed suicide. [22]

The Sheriff's Office was never very big during this time. It generally consisted of the Sheriff and two or three deputies. To assist him, the Sheriff also appointed a varying number of Special Deputy Sheriffs who could assist him on a part-time basis or as needed. The Sheriff and his deputies were required to act as the jailers with the courthouse janitor acting as the night jailer. During 1915 only 186 individuals were brought into the jail. While the facility was rated to house twenty-eight prisoners, its average daily population was only six in that year. The cost to house a prisoner was approximately 38 cents per day. [23]

Costs associated with operating the Sheriff's Office were also generally low; especially prior to World War I. Between 1895 and 1915, as shown below, the Commissioners generally allocated about 8% of their general expense budget to the Sheriff. The cost of operation only began to rise after World War I.

Clark County Sheriff's and Jail Costs --- 1895-1925 [24]
Sheriff's Jail Total County Percent of Budget

Year Costs Costs Costs Budget
1895 $ 2,163.50 $ 96.00 $ 2,259.50 11.19%
1900 $ 1,707.11 $ 143.50 $ 1,850.61 7.78%
1905 $ 1,923.90 $ 683.60 $ 2,607.50 8.19%
1910 $ 3,014.53 $1,559.15 $ 4,573.68 7.47%
1915 $ 5,736.37 $1,745.67 $ 7,482.04 6.21%
1920 $14,583.21 $4,506.23 $19,089.44 11.07%
1925 $12,196.75 $5,370.47 $17,567.2 11.70%

Merrill Fuller, a nineteen year old telegraph operator, was arrested for shooting, J. H. Stewart, a train conductor at the Ridgefield Station on June 30, 1910 at about 4:10 a.m. The victim was killed instantly by a single shot from a .32 caliber revolver. The cause of the shooting was an argument between Fuller and Stewart over when the train was going to leave the station. The suspect was taken into custody by Deputy Sheriff George Johnson, who had commandeered an automobile and drove up to the scene. Fuller readily admitted shooting Stewart but claimed it was a case of self-defense. He was released three months later when he was found not guilty by a jury. [25]

Sheriff Cresap and one of his deputies were involved in a shoot-out with two "highwaymen" who held up the Capital Hill street car on evening of May 10, 1911. These individuals were believed to have been involved in an earlier holdup. At the time, it was believe by Cresap that one of the robbers was hit but fear of ambush restrained the officers until daylight. Renewed search the next day failed to locate the culprits although witnesses reported two men on a "fast run" northward from Felida. [26]

When the United States declared war against Germany, a tidal wave of anti-German feeling swept over the country. Anyone who declared an affinity for things German or who showed any anti-war sentiment was condemned. As elsewhere in the nation, Clark County law enforcement was ever vigilant for German saboteur and spy rings. Between January and November, 1918, five subjects were jailed for either being a "spy" or for sympathetic leanings. Of course, these people were not spies or saboteurs. But the aggressiveness of the police in rooting out German sympathizers was understandable and may have been due, in part, to the fort and several important war industries such as the Spruce Mill located at what is now Pearson Airpark that were located in the area. [27]

At the wars' end, fear of the Germans was replaced by the strong fear of Bolshevism (communism). This fear was focused primarily upon the activities of the International Workers of the World (I.W.W.). Also known as the "Wobblies", the I.W.W. was met with considerable resistance from the established community; especially veterans groups. In the Northwest, this culminated in the Centralia "Massacre", when the Wobblies ambushed members of the American Legion who where trying to bust into the I.W.W. meeting hall while marching on Armistice Day, November 11, 1919. Several Legion members were shot and killed. Retaliation in Lewis County was swift with several Wobblies being hunted down and shot or lynched. Many more were arrested. A general sweep of Western Washington by law enforcement authorities was also conducted with the intent to sweep away this "seditious organization". In the week following the Centralia Massacre, nine subjects were arrested and incarcerated by the Clark County Sheriff. The lucky ones were released by May of the following year. The not-so-lucky were sent to prison. [28]

One of those arrested was a 19 year old architect's helper by the name of Ray DeAutremont. Arrested at his hotel by Sheriff Johnson on November 17, a week after the massacre, DeAutremont attempted a brazen escape a couple of days later. Its failure led him to be sentenced to a year at the State Reformatory at Monroe. While unknown at the time, DeAutremont and his two brothers Hugh and Roy, later became nationally famous as one of America's last train robbers. On October 11, 1923, the DeAutremont brothers held up the Southern Pacific's Number 13, the "Gold Special", near Ashland, Oregon. Using dynamite, they destroyed the mail car in an attempt to gain entry, and in the end, three members of the train's crew were shot to death and a fourth blown up. Not a penny was ever stolen. [29]

"What county officials call the most brutal and most bestial murder in the criminal annals of southern Washington was committed last night beside the railroad track near Battle Ground when Anna Nosko, little 12 year old school girl, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Nosko, living a mile north of Battle Ground, was brutally slain following a criminal assault by a beast in human likeness." [30] This sentence started the Columbian's long article on the Nosko murder case of 1923.

On March 8, 1923, Anna Nosko, while walking home from school, was attacked, raped, and then murdered. Upon notice, Sheriff William Thompson rushed to the scene and an investigation ensued. Suspicion soon centered on a twenty year old farm hand by the name of George Edward Whitfield. Arrested, Whitfield was transported to Vancouver. During a search, blood was found on his clothes. Whitfield denied any involvement in the murder and claimed that the blood was from a chicken he had killed earlier for dinner.

Public outrage was such that Thompson transferred Whitfield to the Pierce County Jail six days later for the prisoner's safety. He returned on the evening of March 19, after passions had cooled. His trial in May ended in a guilty verdict and a sentenced of death was rendered. Whitfield was sent to the gallows two years later.

As the Sheriff is an elected partisan office, the involvement of politics has always been an integral part of the position. While most early elections were uneventful, the election of 1922 was of a different sort. On this occasion, the dominant Republican Party fielded five candidates. They were:

  • Ira Cresap---Previously elected the Sheriff back in 1914
  • Fred L. Bowman---County probation officer
  • Abe Miller---Clark County Commissioner
  • W.W. Laws---One time Deputy Sheriff
  • Charles McCafferty---Former ticket taker on the Interstate Bridge. [31]

The winner of the primary election was then to face off against William Thompson, the Democratic incumbent Sheriff. Vigorous campaigning was conducted during the summer and fall of that year with the Columbian reporting that the probable Republican victor would be Fred Bowman. That is until it was reported that Mr. Bowman was endorsed by the Klu Klux Klan. It appears that Bowman, who was also courting the anti-Klan faction, took a fence sitting attitude and quickly lost support of both groups. Ira Cresap was eventually elected as the Republican candidate for Sheriff. However, the inter-party infighting insured that Thompson was re-elected. [32]

The adoption of the Eighteenth Amendment and subsequent passage of the Volstad Act in 1919 was supposed to be a good thing for Americans. Temperance groups argued that many of the nation's ills were caused by intoxicating liquor. While its prohibition may have been desirous to Americans, it was not what they wanted. As a result, a flourishing trade of bootleg liquor was created by a number of enterprising citizens, who constructed stills to manufacture "white Lightning" for sale. Potential profits were high and "moonshiners" were willing to take whatever steps necessary, including violence, to protect their investments. Thus, enforcing the prohibition laws was a dangerous business.

This was particularly true in Southwest Washington. Clark County lost its first deputy when Deputy Wilfred E. Rorison was killed in a raid on a still near Stevenson on August 7, 1922. Rorison, a 26 year old newly hired deputy, had received information on an illegal still operation and had passed the information along to Federal authorities. Two agents from Seattle were sent to Vancouver to conduct the raid. Rorison accompanied them to Stevenson and after acquiring the necessary warrants, all three proceeded to the believed site of the still. As they arrived at the site, they observed Paul Hickey. Words were first exchanged and then gunfire. When the shooting stopped, both Rorison and Hickey were dead and Federal Agent Morgan wounded. [33]

Clark County was again to witness prohibition violence when, newly elected Sheriff, Lester Wood, was shot and killed on the afternoon of May 22, 1927. Deputies were originally sent to the foothills of Dole, southeast of Yacolt, to look for a still after arresting Douglas Lowery for transporting thirty gallons of liquor. The three officers, led by Chief Deputy Tom Kemp, proceeded up a tributary of Rock Creek, but were confronted by a rifle toting Ellis Baker who ordered them to "get out of here". The officers wisely withdrew and one of them, Roy Johnson, went down to call for additional assistance. Kemp and Deputy Hugh Jones returned to the area, and after discovering a large scale distilling operation consisting of a 120 gallon still and three 500 gallon holding tanks, proceeded to destroyed the equipment. As they quickly left the area, they heard, in the distance, the sound of gunfire from the area of the still. What they heard was the shootout that left Sheriff Wood dead. [34]

Wood and Deputy Ben Miller had driven up to Dole Valley after they had received Johnson's call for help. Meeting Johnson, Wood leading his two deputies, proceeded back up the trail, unaware that Kemp had already struck. As Wood rounded a bend in the trail he was confronted by a man carrying a rifle. As he brought his shotgun to his shoulder, Wood yelled "Put up your hands, I'm the Sheriff!" The man instantly fired his rifle striking the Sheriff. Wood fired as he fell but was dead within minutes. Johnson fired several shots at the assailant but the latter had vanished into the woods. [35]

Additional aid was sent for, and a general posse of local lawmen rushed to the scene. On the suggestion of the county Game Warden, L.E. McCurdy, the group surrounded a small cabin about a mile from the crime scene. Inside, they found Luther Baker and his brothers Ellis and Edwin, as well as a Lester Hunting. All four men were arrested and transported back to the Sheriff's Office. In addition, Ellis Baker's son, Lewis "Ted" Baker, was also arrested as part of the bootlegging-murder investigation. Although interrogated at length, the men denied involvement in the murder.

Suspicion soon centered on Luther Baker as the man who fired the fatal shot. This was based on eyewitness statements from the two deputies present as well as from wounds found on Baker's leg, which were suspected as coming from Wood's shotgun blast. In addition, bloodhounds followed a scent that went from the murder scene to the cabin, a fisherman had identified Luther Baker as the one who he observed carrying a rifle as he passed by shortly after the shooting, and Edwin Baker had stated to the investigators that Luther had arrived at the cabin carrying a rifle approximately a half hour after he had heard the shooting. [36]

This was not the first time that the Bakers had run afoul of the law. Records of the Sheriff's Office show that thirty-three years earlier, in November, 1894, Luther had been found guilty of Assault and Battery. Luther, Edwin and Ellis Baker had also been arrested in January, 1916, and later sentenced for poaching violations. Ellis was arrested again in December, 1919, and found guilty of 2nd Degree Assault. [37]

While a vigorous defense was conducted, Luther, Ellis and Ted Baker were quickly convicted of murder. The obligatory appeals commenced immediately with the case eventually coming before the Washington State Supreme Court. In a 5-4 decision the court ruled that Ellis Baker was to be sentenced to life in prison. The death sentence on Luther Baker was confirmed. With his appeals exhausted and a refusal by Governor Hartley to commute his sentence, Luther Baker, prisoner #12401, was led to the gallows at the State Penitentiary in Walla Walla and hung before dawn on March 29, 1929. [38]

The same court determined that there was insufficient evidence to convict Ted Baker of murder. The court concluded that transporting firearms to the still site did not prove premeditation for murder and they ordered the charge of murder dismissed. While this was good news for Ted, he had little time left to enjoy it. Racked with tuberculosis, Ted Baker died on September 30, 1929. [39]

While many criminals are identified and apprehended quickly, some evade the police for years and in some cases forever. One such case involved the murder of Herbert Caples, a 29 year old self-employed tobacco salesman. Shortly after 11:30 p.m. on March 10, 1934 Caples, after a long work day collecting receipts, had returned to his home at 32nd and "R" Street in Vancouver. On approaching his home he was accosted by two individuals. Witnesses reported that an argument ensued, shots fired and two men were observed fleeing the scene. The Police soon arrived and discovered Caples shot dead. [40]

An investigation soon concluded that the motive for the shooting Caples was robbery. Stolen, besides a watch burglarized from his house, was an estimated $560 in cash that Caples had in his possession as a result of that days sales. While an extensive investigation was conducted by both the Vancouver Police and the Sheriff's Office, no credible suspect was pinpointed. The key break in the case came when Glenn R. Stringer, an inmate at the Oregon State Penitentiary, confessed to killing Caples.

During the confession and subsequent interviews, Stringer identified a Ralph Tremaine as his accomplice. Stringer's stated that Tremaine had previously "cased" Caples and that they had traveled from Portland with the "sole intention of holding up Caples". Caples resisted this robbery attempt and both Stringer and Tremaine then shot him. Either shot being fatal. They then returned to Portland and split the money. Tremaine then left for Medford, while Stringer remained in the area. [41]

Tremaine, who was known to a number of Oregon police authorities, went by a long list of aliases. Although raised in Southern Oregon, Tremaine was a drifter who was constantly on the move throughout the country. These two inclinations made quick apprehension very difficult. Although police officers scoured the Pacific Northwest, sent wanted flyers throughout the United States and followed up any worthwhile leads, by 1938 the trail had grown cold. [42]

It remained cold for over twenty-six years until March 29, 1960 when a Jerome Raymond Young, age 48, was hospitalized at an Indiana mental institution for the insane. A check of his fingerprints by the F.B.I. determined that Young was actually Tremaine. Although finally located, Tremaine was never charged with the Caples killing, as he was insane and many of those involved had since passed away or left the area. [43]

By the 1930's it was becoming painfully clear that the Courthouse Jail was fast becoming inadequate. The influx of prisoners, primarily through liquor prohibition laws, had stretched the Sheriff's physical abilities to hold them. In 1930, the Sheriff jailed 527 subjects. The average daily prisoner population for that year. The passage of the twenty-first amendment in 1933, saw a dramatic reduction in the level of incarceration. By 1934, the average daily population had dropped by one-third to twenty and the Sheriff only processed 428 arrestees. [44]

While elimination of prohibition laws relaxed the strain on the jail, its age and designed was now making it a security problem. A series of successful jail breaks started on May 7, 1931, when bootlegger Patrick Kelley sawed through the iron bars covering one of the basement windows of the "main cell room", created a 10" x 12" hole and squeezed out. Although the weakness of the jail's security was known, replacing the bars with ones made out of hardened steel would cost in excess of $1,600; an amount that the Board of Commissioners said was unavailable. [45]

The security problems continued with a second escape two months later. On July 11, three inmates sawed through three iron bars, and escaped during the lunch hour. One was apprehended within hours and the other two a few days later. Further embarrassment occurred on August 7, when six prisoners including the three who escaped in July used acid and saws to break through the same window bars used in previous escapes. Three days later yet another escape attempt was foiled when the jailer discovered the partially cut through bars. [46]

The escapes continued into 1932, with the May 23 escape of three inmates via the tried and true method of sawing through the soft iron bars. This was evidently enough embarrassment for the county. Shortly afterwards, "saw proof steel bars" were finally installed over the jail windows. However, the installation of these bars merely furthered the creativity of the inmates and the escapes continued. On September 7, five prisoners broke out of the jail. These prisoners were considered a security risk and had been locked in the cells of the main holding cage. Nevertheless, they were able to saw through the heavy padlock locking the cell door, enter, saw through that lock securing the small unused "padded cell"and then proceeded to dig their way through the brick wall and flee. It was not until breakfast the next day that jailer found he was a few prisoners short. By October 24, four of the six escapees were back in custody. [47]

The steel bars were having an effect on actual escapes but desire continued unabated. On October 31, 1933, eleven prisoners attempted to escape by tunneling. A "secret alarm system" warned the deputies and the bid for freedom failed. Two months later an ambitious tunneling attempt reminiscent of the "Great Escape" was made. Equipped with only a nail and an old table knife, the prisoners cut through the concrete flooring, penetrated the courthouse foundation and had dug an eighteen foot tunnel within five days. Elaborate precautions were made to conceal the tunnel and the tunnel dirt was carefully flushed away. While within a few feet of freedom, the attempt was discovered when a small pool of muddy water was noticed on the floor. [48]

The Sheriff's Office enjoyed a five year reprieve from further escapes until April, 1937, when yet another one took place and three men fled after cutting through the bars. The influx of prisoners and its general condition led to the conclusion that a new jail facility was needed. This corresponded to the general county need for an expanded courthouse. Unlike the previous two jails, the decision was made not to place the jail in the basement but on the top floor of the courthouse. [49]

In its construction, 170 tons of steel were used. When contemplating escape a prisoner was faced with having to saw through a minimum of two sets of bars. One set were hollow and filled with compressed gas that, when released, would sound an alarm and note specifically where an inmate was attempting to escape from. The doors to the main cell area were mechanically controlled from the outside and access to the jail was generally through a single elevator. Even escape at this point was barred by at least one additional steel door. This jail was going to be about as impregnable as reasonably possible. [50]

By the beginning of December, 1941 the Sheriff's Office had a new high security jail. Over the previous five years, it had also slowly expanded in size to now consist of the Sheriff, six deputies, and two jailers. The budget for 1942 was set at $33,335. [51] In addition the Sheriff also had a number of special deputies and a newly created "Mounted Patrol" of citizen volunteers that eventually became the Sheriff's Posse. [52]

World War II now created a whole new series of problems for the Sheriff. Foremost was Henry Kiaser's decision to begin mass shipbuilding in Vancouver for the war effort on a scale never seen before. This required bringing in thousands of workers from all over the country which in turn created the need for constructing thousands of housing units. This housing, constructed by the Federal Housing Authority also needed a variety of public services.

The Federal Housing Authority contracted with the Sheriff to provide police service to these housing areas. As a result, the Sheriff hired an additional sixty-five deputies for this purpose. While Deputy Sheriffs, these "Heights" officers were actually a separate component with their own organizational structure, office, personnel system and pay scale. By the beginning of 1944, the Sheriff's Office budget had expanded threefold to an authorized $95,828. [53]

The addition of so many new deputies caused considerable internal stress upon the department. A major complaint was the rate of pay. Housing Authority deputies were paid about ten percent more than deputies working out of the main office. This was due to the fact that the former officers were paid at the Housing Authority pay scale with the money being funneled through the county coffers. In late 1944, the Housing Authority agreed to pay the money directly to the county and the county would then "pay" the officers. When that occurred the salary of the Housing Authority deputies dropped from $221.66 per month to that of "county" deputies; $200. Immediately forty Housing Authority deputies quit in protest with only thirty minutes notice. Agreements on altering the rate of pay were made within days, and the officers returned to work. [54]

Another area of concern were the deputies themselves. Until the war, Clark County was totally rural. Deputies hired grew up in the area and everybody knew just about everybody else. The vast majority of the Housing Authority deputies came from other parts of the country and their attributes and qualities were not known. The lack of familiarity of an officers background and the lack of a formal background investigation certainly played a part in development of small scale corruption in the heights office. In April, 1945 three "Heights" deputies were arrested on charges of graft in connection with a payoff from a nightclub across from the Bagley Downs housing project. All three officers were comparatively new and had moved to Vancouver from other parts of the county. While small in scope, the three fired officers caused a great deal of distress with the county. The judge, Paul Elwell, strongly advised the officers to "leave town" and "start anew some place else". [55]

The introduction of so many new inhabitants also generated substantially more crime and other problems for the Sheriff's Office to handle. During the late 1930's, the Sheriff's average daily prisoners housed in the jail was about twenty. By 1943 the number of prisoners varied from forty to seventy with the majority generated from the housing areas. In addition, the Sheriff also complained that Clark County ranked next to Seattle in the number of commitments to the state mental hospital at Steilacoom. The "greater proportion" he charged were those that were brought to Vancouver by the Kaiser Company recruiting agents and those coming here to work in other war industries. He even charged that a good number were former inmates of mental institutions in other states. These additional problems created additional strains on the ability of the Sheriff to provide basic services as there was no reimbursement from the Federal Government. [56]

An examination of the prisoner register book for the war years shows that while a large number of arrests were made, the crimes tended to be minor in nature, with liquor being the primary contributor. Many violent crimes appeared to be domestic violence related. Thomas Elbert was sentenced to twenty years in prison after he was arrested by Deputies Markley and Haskins for murdering his common-law wife, Willie Williams, on May 2, 1944. Gale Schiltz was arrested by Sheriff Brady and his deputies on July 13, 1944, for the shotgun assault on his wife. He was sentenced to ten years at the Washington State Penitentiary. James Burts was arrested on New Years Day, 1945, for the murder of his common-law wife, in the Bagley Downs housing project off of Forth Plain Road. [57]

Other significant incidents investigated by the Sheriff's Office during the war years was the murder of Arthur Rowe, the Bratlie Mill fire in Ridgefield, the fatal traffic accident that killed Irving Parks and sent Clifford Stewart to prison for ten years, and who placed the dead skunk on the porch of the Ridgefield School's music teacher on Halloween Night, 1943?

By the end of 1945, the war was over and shipbuilding and other war related industries were shutting down. However, the problems associated with them continued. As can be seen in the chart above, the need for law enforcement services did not return to the low levels of the late 1930's. Instead, the demands and resulting costs of police services continued to rise. By 1950, the Sheriff's budget was over one-third higher than its highest point during the war years. Clark County had changed. [58]

The abduction and subsequent murder of seventeen year old Jo Ann Dewey on the night of March 19, 1950 was a major shock to county residents. Dewey's body was later found in Skamania County's Wind River. Suspicion soon focused on Thurman Wilson and his brother Utah. Warrants were issued and the duo were later arrested by the F.B.I. in California. While this was a City of Vancouver investigation, the Sheriff's Office had some involvement in the case.

A small controversy developed a month after the abduction, when Sheriff Earl Anderson revoked the special deputy commission of Claude Bone. Deputy Bone was "fired" for failing to render aid to Jo Ann Dewey when he observed the abduction taking place. What was unique in this case was the fact that Claude Bone was also a two term Clark County Commissioner. During this period, members of the commission were generally given special deputy commissions as a courtesy. Bone denied the allegation, stating that he had provided the Vancouver Police with all the information that he had within minutes of the abduction. He further charged that the allegation was politically motivated. Bone later, for the record, made a motion before the commission asking for the Sheriff to resign. It died for a lack of a second. [59]

After the brothers' arrest and transfer from California to the county jail, Sheriff Anderson had microphones installed in their cell to gather incriminating evidence. The resulting recordings were of poor quality and while tantalizing, was of no relevance to their later trial and conviction.

The second were the brothers' involvement in an abortive escape attempt from the Courthouse Jail. During the early morning hours of November 28, 1950, three juveniles overpowered the jailer on duty and secured the keys to the jail. After locking the officer in a cell and looting the commissary, the juveniles unlocked the now convicted Wilsons. With the assistance of a jail trusty, they overpowered the youths and forced them into a cell. They then released the injured officer and called for assistance. The story became even more bizarre when the juveniles presented a united front in claiming that it was Thurman Wilson who planned the escape in the first place. This was denied by Utah who stated that, "They'd blow my head off if I got downstairs". In any case, the escape would have been futile, for the jailer's set of keys did not include the key to the final set of doors between them and freedom. [60]

With the conclusion of the Wilson Brothers investigation and trial, Clark County seemed to drift off into the backwater of crime. Annual reports of crime activity prepared by the Sheriff's Office show a significant decrease in serious crime. During 1950 only three robberies and three rapes were reported to the Sheriff. In addition, the Sheriff's Office took an additional forty-seven commercial burglaries and made a total of only 807 arrests. This latter figure was down form the 1949 total of 1,229 arrests. By 1953, the total had dropped to 755 arrests. [61]

The lack of crime allowed officers to conduct other policing programs. In the early 1950's a program of the type that is now called community policing was introduced by the Sheriff's Office. This was the issuance of free food, clothing and other essentials to needy residents or stranded visitors. While county funds could not be used for the purpose, deputies got around this by generating funds through an annual St. Patrick's Day dance. [62]

As with the 1950's, murders during the sixty's tended to be rare. In May, 1964, Mary Boyer was murdered by her sixteen year old son Alexander. Two years later another brutal slaying occurred with the death of eighteen year old Pamela Jean Darby. The resulting investigation pointed to Edwin Alfter as the culprit. Alfter later pled guilty and was sentenced to life in prison.

When murders did occur, the guilty party was generally close at hand. However, the Sheriff's Office was faced with a "who-dun-it" on June 24, 1962, when they responded to Rt. 2, Box 141, Battleground. At this address, located in the Amboy area, deputies found sixty-seven year old Lester McCollum, dead. Also dead at the scene was his associate, Charles Hale, age 71. In spite of a three month investigation and the follow-up of every lead presented, no arrests were made in the case.

Further violence awoke Clark County with the murders of Howard Morford and Genvieve Jennings by John Frederick Anderson. Later dubbed the fly-in killer, Anderson unexplainably, shot and robbed Ms. Jennings as she gave him a ride in her cab. He then stole the cab and drove north. Spotted by the police, Anderson led police in a high speed chase that ended when his car crashed into a barbershop in Diluth. He then jumped out of the car and proceeded to shoot the barber, Morford and his two customers. When deputies surrounded the shop, Anderson gave up. In a plea bargaining arrangement, Anderson pled guilty to second degree murder in the death of Morford. Prosecution for the Jennings death was deferred in case he was about to be paroled.

In January of 1974, Anderson was returned to Clark County to stand trial for the murder of Jennings. In a second plea bargain, he pled guilty to the murder of Jennings and was sentenced to a second life sentence. However, because the second sentence was to run concurrent with the first, Anderson was eligible for and received parole a year later. This was unfortunate, for Anderson was later convicted of three more murders in Pierce County during the late 1970's. [63]

While murder was still rare, the rate of other serious crime began to substantially grow during the mid-sixties. As the chart below attests, the rate of serious crime jumped 137% in just five years. Part of the reason for the increase was the influx of new residents moving into the community. But the vast majority was simply due to more criminals committing more crimes. It was becoming obvious that the Sheriff's Office was fast becoming incapable of dealing with its obligation. The old ways of policing had to change with the times [64]

With the election of Eugene Cotton as Sheriff, the department began to radically alter itself to meet those challenges. Cotton, an F.B.I. National Academy graduate, demanded and got substantial increases in manpower to deal with the growing crime problem. Cotton also re-organized the department. He created a specialized criminal investigative unit to deal with complex crimes. A drug enforcement unit was also formed to combat the growing sale and use of illegal drugs and narcotics. Training, traffic enforcement and crime prevention programs were also adopted. College education was encouraged and the rate of pay was increased to attract the best qualified candidates.

These changes came not a moment too soon, for both crime and the county were rapidly growing. During the 1970's the number of serious crimes reported to the Sheriff increased from 1,307 in 1970 to 6,564 for all of 1979. This was an increase of 422%. Population in the unincorporated county too began to expand. The total population increase for the 1970's jumped 81% according to the U.S. Census. The increase in population and crime rate led to a substantial expansion of the Sheriff's Office. During the 70's, there was a 79% increase in the number of employees. [65]

During the 1970's, the Sheriff's Office investigated a number of major crimes which were more associated with big cities rather than small counties. They included the armed robbery/kidnapping and burglary escapades of Daniel and Alice Becker. These two were believed to be responsible for at least thirty-six armed robberies, along with a number of burglaries and at least one kidnapping during 1970 and 1971. Arrested by Clark County deputies in March of 1971, the Beckers were convicted three months later and sentenced to several twenty year terms at the penitentiary. Additional crimes included a double homicide on New Years morning, 1974, that led to the arrest and conviction of Dale McGuire and a series of sexual assaults and burglaries that culminated in the arrest and conviction in 1979 of Dennis Lynn Monroe. Monroe (known locally as the Hazel Dell rapist #2), later indicated that there were thirty-five separate incidents.

The impact of drugs nationally was also felt locally. In early morning hours of October 13, 1977, persons or person unknown shotgunned Alma Belinda Baker in a parking area at the Ridgefield Junction. An intensive investigation ensued and while suspects were identified, not enough evidence was obtained to warrant arrests. Over eight years later information developed that eventually led to the arrest of Gwendolyn Star James and Mathew "Max" Thomas for this murder. The motive for Baker's murder was that she stole someone else's drugs.

On November 18, 1976, the Sheriff's Office suffered the loss of a deputy in the line of duty. At 9:02 a.m., on the above listed date, an employee of Hazel Dell Hi School Pharmacy reported an armed robbery. The employee stated a male subject, later identified as Larry William Edwards, entered the store and demanded containers of class "A" narcotics. After Edwards left the pharmacy with the narcotics, the employee called the Sheriff's Office giving a description of Edwards and the vehicle he was driving. A few minutes later, a deputy observed the vehicle at 78th Street and St Johns Road and initiated a traffic stop. The subject refused to exit his vehicle and was observed popping some pills. With the assistance of other deputies, Edwards was removed from the vehicle and during his arrest, Deputy Martin Sowders was shot and killed in the line of duty. Edwards was booked into the Clark County Jail and was held without bail. Edwards was also identified as an ex-convict on parole from the Washington State Penitentiary.

The transition from a rural police agency to a suburban one, and overall expansion created a series of internal stresses within the organization. These stresses created some unpleasantness that included internal bickering, a law suit, a wildcat strike by deputies, and bitter election campaigning between incumbent Sheriff Cotton and aspirant Frank Kanekoa in 1978.

The voters elected Kanekoa and the Sheriff's Office began yet another era. During the 1980's the department continued to expand on the accomplishments of the 1970's. Under Sheriff Kanekoa's direction, the Sheriff's Office become, in 1986, only the thirty-first department in the nation to achieve national law enforcement accreditation. This program required participating agencies to adhere to over 900 standards of law enforcement excellence. In 1991, the Sheriff's Office was subjected to further scrutiny and was awarded with re-accreditation for an additional five years. This made the Clark County Sheriff's Office the only Sheriff's Office in the western United States to have achieved this level of demonstrated excellence. The Office was also one of the first agencies in the state awarded law enforcement accreditation on the state level in 1990.

In May of 1984, the Office moved into the new Law Enforcement Center next door to the courthouse. Included was a new jail that could house three times the number that the older detention system could accommodate. This was important for the Clark County was continuing to grow. Between 1980 and 1990, the unincorporated county grew by almost forty thousands residents. And with those people came an increase in crimes. Many of these crimes are still fresh in many peoples' minds. These cases included the Hazel Dell rapist (#3), David J. Sterling (1982), the arrest of John Lee Larson, who was accused of murdering his girlfriend by cutting her heart out with a pair of scissors (1981), and George Lucas who murdered and then dismembered his victim (1989). The 1980's also saw an intensive investigation that led to the arrest and conviction of the internationally infamous child murder, Westley Allen Dodd, who even now, after his execution, is still affecting the citizens of Washington.

With the retirement of Sheriff Kanekoa in 1990, an election took place which saw Garry Lucas elected Sheriff. As, with his predecessors, Lucas has continued moving the Sheriff's Office toward continuing excellence. The cornerstone of his administration has been Community Oriented Policing. This is a policing philosophy that tries to prevent crime by solving problems before they become crimes. It also requires close communication with the public. In a way it is a return to the type of policing that was common at the turn of the century.

And here our story ends.

HOWEVER, there are still quite a few questions that the Sheriff and his deputies would like to have answers to. They include:

  • Who murdered Hale and McCollum back in June, 1962?
  • Who murdered and then dumped Barbara Ann Derry's body down the silo at the old Cedar Creek Grist Mill in February of 1972?
  • Who was the person whose remains were found in the Fly Creek area of North Clark County?
  • Who stabbed Robert Casson to death on or about July 5, 1981?
  • Where is Kimberly Kersey who vanished on the afternoon of March 11, 1987?

In some cases we know but can not show, yet! In some cases, we just don't know. However, as the Sheriff's Office passes its 150th birthday, we will still be looking for the answers.


Footnotes

[1] Vicki Lee; The Historical Changing Role of the Clark County Sheriff; Doctoral Project Paper, Portland State University, 1986, pp. 2-3.
[2] Charles Abott Tracy, "Evolution of the Police Function in Portland, Oregon, 1811-1874" (Ph.D. diss.,University of California, Berkeley, 1976), p.64.
[3] B.F. Alley and J.P. Monroe-Fraser, History of Clarke County,
[4] Bob Beck, The Vancouver Columbian, "Settlers, Indians fought near Sevenson in 1856", May 1, 1989, p. 1.
[5] Auditor's Exhibit of the Finances of Clarke County, Washington (for the period from July 1, 1904 to December 31, 1905), p 12.
[6] Howard J. Burham, Clark County's First Court House , in Clark County History, Fort Vancouver Historical Society (Volume II), Vancouver, Washington: Pioneer Printing, 1961; p.57.
[7] Records of the Clark County Commission, Book "A", pg. 21.
[8] B.F. Alley, op. cit., p. 279.
[9] Vancouver Independent, October 5, 1882.
[10] Records of the Clark County Commission, Book "C", November 28, 1885, pg. 128
[11] Clark County Capital, (Clark County Courthouse Dedication Book), November 29, 1941, p. 15.
[12] Vancouver Independent, November 2, 1887.
Vancouver Independent, November 9, 1887.
[13] Vancouver Independent, February 26, 1890.
[14] F.C. Pratt and J.W. McConnaughey, State Examiners; Report on Clarke County; Department of Auditor of State, Bureau of Inspection and Supervision of Public Offices; May 11, 1912; p. 149.
[15] Report of the Skamania County Coroner's Inquest Jury into the death of Louis Mar; State of Washington vs. Gallagher; Cause #10-A; Records of the Clark County Clerks Office
[16] Vancouver Independant, July 16, 1890, p. 2.
[17] Clark County Sheriff's Office, Docket and Fee Book (Vol. 1), p. 4 & 19.
[18] B.F. Alley, op. cit., p. 357.
[19] Fred Lockley, History of the Columbia River Valley, Volume II; Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., pp. 337-339.
[20] Oregon State Penitentiary; Biennial Report; October 1, 1902.
[21] Esther Moberg; A Clark County Manhunt; ??????????
[22] Harriet U. Fish; Law Enforcement in Washington State; Olympia, Washington: Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs; 1989; pg. 49.
[23] Clark County Auditor, County Auditor's Annual Report --1915, p. 19
[24] Figures obtained from the Clark County Auditor's Reports for the years 1895, 1990, 1905, 1910, 1915, 1920, and 1925.
[25] Clarke County Sheriff's Office, Register of Prisoners (Vol. 1A), p. 125.
The Vancouver Daily Columbian, June 30, 1910, p. 1.
[26] Vancouver Columbian, May 2, 1911.
[27] Clarke County Sheriff's Office, Register of Prisoners (Vol. 1B), passim.
[28] Clarke County Sheriff's Office, Register of Prisoners (Vol. 2), passim.
[29] Clarke County Sheriff's Office, Register of Prisoners (Vol. 2), p 23.
Larry Sturholm, All for Nothing, Portland, Oregon: BLS Publishing Co, 1976; pp 41-50.
[30] Vancouver Columbian, March 9, 1923, p. 1
[31] "Political Gossip", The Vancouver Columbian; August 9, 1922, p. 1.
[32] "Political Gossip", The Vancouver Columbian; August 10, 1922, p. 1.
"Political Gossip", The Vancouver Columbian; August 29, 1922, p. 1.
"Political Gossip", The Vancouver Columbian; September 5, 1922, p. 1 & 4.
[33] Mary P. Martin, "The Death of Wilfred E. Rorison", in Clark County History, Fort Vancouver Historical Society (Volume XXX), Vancouver, Washington: Pioneer Printing, 1989, p.49-50.
[34] The Vancouver Columbian; May 23, 1927.
[35] op cit
[36] op cit
Vancouver Columbian, May 25, 1927
[37] Clarke County Sheriff's Office, Register of Prisoners (Vol. 1A), p. 28.
Clarke County Sheriff's Office, Register of Prisoners (Vol. 1B), p. 168-169.
Clarke County Sheriff's Office, Register of Prisoners (Vol. 2), p. 9.
[38] Vancouver Columbian, March 29, 1929.
Washington State Penitentiary Inmate Record, Luther Baker, #12401
[39] Vancouver Columbian, September 30, 1929.
[40] Clark County Sheriff's Office, Case File: Caples Murder Case.
[41] op cit
[42] op cit
[43] The Vancouver Columbian, April 5, 1960.
[44] Clark County Auditor, County Auditor's Annual Report --1930, p. 25.
Clark County Auditor, County Auditor's Annual Report --1934, p. 19.
[45] The Vancouver Columbian, May 8, 1931.
[46] The Vancouver Columbian; May 8, 1931.
The Vancouver Columbian; July 11,.1931.
The Vancouver Columbian; August 8, 1931.
The Vancouver Columbian; August 11, 1931.
The Vancouver Columbian; August 12, 1931.
The Vancouver Columbian; September 22, 1931.
[47] Vancouver Columbian; September 8, 1932.
Vancouver Columbian; October 24, 1932.
[48] The Vancouver Columbian; January 23, 1934.
[49] The Vancouver Columbian; April 26, 1937.
[50] Clark County Capital, (Clark County Courthouse Dedication Book), November 29, 1941, p. 13.
[51] Clark County Auditor, County Auditor's Annual Report --1942, p. 19.
[52] The Oregonian, November 24, 1941.
Letter from Sheriff Richard Brady to Vancouver Mayor John Hogg, November 1, 1943.
[53] Letter from Sheriff Brady, op cit.
Clark County Auditor, County Auditor's Annual Report --1944, p. 21.
[54] Vancouver Columbian; December 4, 1944.
[55] Vancouver Columbian; April 5, 1945.
[56] Letter from Sheriff Brady, op cit.
[57] Clark County Sheriff's Office, Register of Prisoners (Vol. 6), passim.
[58] Clark County Auditor, County Auditor's Annual Report (annual reports ;for the years 1940-1950), passim.
[59] Vancouver Columbian, April 10, 1950.
[60] Vancouver Columbian, November 28, 1950.
[61] Vancouver Columbian, January 2, 1951.
Vancouver Columbian, January 1, 1954.
[62] Vancouver Columbian, June 18, 1953.
[63] Vancouver Columbian, July 25, 1982.
[64] Southwest Washington Association of Governments, Population and Economic Handbook (1991-1992); p. 25.
Annual F.B.I. Uniformed Crime Reports, 1965,196, 1967, 1968, 1969,1970.
Serious crime is defined as murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, grand larceny, and auto theft.
[65] United States Department of Justice, Crime in the United States, 1970; passim.
United States Department of Justice, Crime in the United States, 1979; passim.
Southwest Washington Association of Governments; Population and Economic Handbook, 1991-1992; Vancouver, Washington: 1992; p. 24.

NOTE: "Serious Crimes" is defined as murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft and auto theft.

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Clark County Sheriff's Office:
Street Address: 707 West 13th Street, Vancouver, WA 98660
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 410, Vancouver, WA 98666
Main phone: (360) 397-2211
Telecommunications Relay Service: (800) 833-6388, then call (360) 397-2445
E-mail: sheriff@clark.wa.gov
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Responsible Elected Official: Sheriff Garry E Lucas

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