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Looking back: Rigby man’s hand amputated, teen confesses to blackmail and explosive chemicals injure boy

Ucon High School, around 1946. | Courtesy photo
IDAHO FALLS — EastIdahoNews.com is looking back at what life was like during the week of Oct. 3 to Oct. 9 in east Idaho history.
1900-1925
RIGBY — A Rigby man was involved in an accident that required his right hand be amputated, The Teton Peak reported on Oct. 8, 1903.
George Poole was on a traction engine when he placed his hand on the side of the engine to see if it was overheating.
“Reaching too far, his hand came in contact with the cog wheels, mashing it terribly,” the local paper wrote.
Following the accident, which happened on the outskirts of Rigby, he was taken to his brother-in-law’s home. The paper said “medical aid was summoned” and the “injured member amputated at the wrist.”
1926-1950
IDAHO FALLS — A 19-year-old who was sentenced to 40 days in jail on Oct. 9, 1928, on a charge of stealing a can of cream, also confessed he tried to blackmail somebody.
The Rigby Star said Eldon Dees admitted he placed a piece of cardboard on the lawn of Mrs. Hurst with a message that read, “Is your daughter’s life worth $200 to you? If it is, put $200 in bills or greenbacks in your mailbox Saturday night by 10 o’clock. We have your daughter in Colorado in our power. If you do not put money in the box Saturday night, we will seize your daughter and you will never see her alive again.”
The message continued, “Warning. Don’t tell anybody, not even your neighbors or relatives about this or you will never see your daughter again. … Don’t have anybody around the box. I will send one of my men after the money. If anything happens, we will kill your daughter. We mean business.”
At the time the note was delivered, the daughter mentioned was “safe at home,” and no attempt was made to abduct her.
The Bingham County Sheriff’s Office said a charge would be placed against Dees. The teenager was thought to be connected with a “gang of young men” who have been “implicated in several similar escapades.”
1951-1975
POCATELLO — Police traced the source of explosive chemicals that “cut and burned the eyes, hands and stomach” of a Pocatello boy, the Idaho State Journal said on Oct. 5, 1954.
Detective Chief Glenn Hadley said Edward Loveland, 16, told officers he sold the chemicals to Donald Collins but had no more in his possession. Loveland said he traded a model plane for the chemicals from James Ball, 19, a year prior.
Ball told officers he saved up the chemicals during laboratory class in his senior year of high school.
“The chemicals that exploded when Donald Collins shook them in one of his play test tubes from a youth chemistry set (were) identified as red phosphorus and flaked potassium chlorate,” Hadley explained.
Collins was “under almost constant treatment” by a physician working to “assure his eyesight will be saved.”
1976-2000
POCATELLO — An alleged apartment fire turned out to “be nothing but a stinking pan of cabbage,” the Idaho State Journal wrote on Oct. 9, 1977.
Three trucks and nearly a dozen firefighters were dispatched to the scene around 3 a.m. after a neighbor reported the smell of smoke.
Officials said a pan of cabbage had been left on the stove and was “creating one terrible odor.”
The post Looking back: Rigby man’s hand amputated, teen confesses to blackmail and explosive chemicals injure boy appeared first on East Idaho News.
Source: eastidahonews.com

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