The Spokesman-Review from Spokane, Washington on August 11, 1989 · 8
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The Spokesman-Review from Spokane, Washington · 8

Spokane, Washington
Issue Date:
Friday, August 11, 1989
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yl'riwifTIV A14 The Spokesman-Review Fri , Aug 11, rs), Spokane, Wash. 1 f Statt photo by Dan Peile fActor David Bertis is carried out of Doyle Wheelers home Thursday during Unsolved Mysteries - filming. -Unsolved Mysteries acting not easy for Spokane man r By Tom Sows Staff writer David Bertis of Spokane had his hands tied behind his - back and a rope wrapped tightly around his neck. .Another man grabbed the rope and dragged Bertis t down a flight of stairs. A third person placed a handgun J to his head and pulled the trigger. Stage blood was smeared in the Spokane actors hair. I With a TV cameraman asking for another take, Bertis Tliad to do the scene for a fourth time Wednesday. Then I he had to crawl to a table, pull a phone down with his legs, and dial 911 with his tongue. - Bertis, a 30-year-old airline employee and part-time actor, was not having fun. This is hard work. When I finished yesterday, I was shaking, he said Thursday, T while a crew from the TV show Unsolved Mysteries prepared for another shot. " Bertis and three other Spokane actors earned $415 a fay during filming to re-create the April 1988 shooting L of Doyle Wheeler. In the incident, the former San Diego ..police officer was burned with cigarettes and shot ; through the ear, apparently by unknown assailants who entered his Stevens County home. For three days this week, the TV crew from Burbank, alif., used Bertis and other local actors at Wheelers i-home to re-create the incident, which the shows producer called a classic whodunit and a crime against a heroic cop who stood up for his beliefs. The episode will air this fall, and Wheeler, 37, hopes I a viewer will see it and help identify the people behind Tthe crime. ; C 'The mystery behind his shooting still haunts Wheeler, ;an Army veteran who served with the San Diego police force for 10 years. He has said the attack may have -been a hit orchestrated by his former associates in retaliation for his testimony against a San Diego officer. I Some officials, including officers with the San Diego police department, have suggested Wheeler arranged pthe attack on himself to discredit his former partners. No one has been charged with the crime. A Califor- nia investigation earlier this year found no evidence that I San Diego police officers were involved. FT.We dont do investigative reports, producer Mi chael Palazzolo said. Unsolved Mysteries is not biased. What did happen was that somebody shot Doyle Wheeler. The California attorney generals office said he couldnt have done it to himself. We just present the facts and hope the truth rises to the top. Palazzolo said that one of every four crimes or unusual occurrences seen on Unsolved Mysteries has been solved. Composite drawings of two men Wheeler says joined in the attack will be broadcast during the show. Viewers with information will be asked to call a toll-free number, Palazzolo said. Thursday, Bertis had an easier day playing Wheeler. He worked about three hours in the afternoon, while the crews taped scenes of medical crews removing the injured Wheeler from his home. Bertis met Wheeler for the first time this week, when the two men were sent by the TV crew to a hairstylist. Wheeler was preparing for a two-hour interview that afternoon. Palazzolo wanted Bertiss hair to look exactly like Wheelers. Originally, Unsolved Mysteries planned to have Wheeler playing himself, following the shows policy of trying to use at least one real person in its segments. But Wheeler refused. Instead, he was interviewed on camera and helped the TV crew to keep the re-creation accurate. Palazzolo said he sees similarities between Wheelers life and the story of Frank Serpico, the New York detective who testified against corrupt police officers and found his life threatened by his ex-colleagues. For myself, I think Doyle Wheeler is a man who stood up for his ideals and what he believed in, Palaz-zalo said. And then all hell broke loose. He said Unsolved Mysteries interviewed Donovan Jacobs, the San Diego officer who was described by Wheeler in a murder trial in 1986 as a hothead and bigot. Wheeler has said Jacobs may be behind the shooting, but Palazzolo said Jacobs has a different opinion. He told us, on camera, that Doyles crazy and that he needs psychiatric help so he can get on with the rest of his life. Bridge readied for buffalo skull By Mike Prager Staff writer 'A' Spokane sculptor on Thursday took another step toward replacing the battered buffalo skull adorning the northwest portion of the Monroe Street Bridge. Don Rodgers is working with city officials to restore the skull that was apparently knocked to pieces when it was struck by a large truck in an accident believed to have occurred in 1982. The remnants of the decorative skull were removed from the bridge on Thursday and the surface prepared for mounting a 485-pound replacement on Tuesday. 'It will give a little lift to the bridge, said Rodgers, who recently moved to Spokane from Washington, D.C. Rodgers and city officials on Thursday also installed four, green and white flags on the bridge, commemorating tire states Centennial. The flags, each with an emblem of the buffalo skull, were placed atop the four decorative arches. Last October, Rodgers was in Spokane and made a mold of one of the other skulls, from which he has carved the replacement. The skulls were originally cast from actual buffalo remains and are reminders of a time when the bridge the largest concrete span in the nation when it was built in 1911 was more ornate, with ironwork and light globes. Rodgers said he noticed the broken skull on a previous trip to Spokane, and offered his services to the city as a way to bring attention to his sculpture and other artwork. He said he would like to resculpt the buffalo skulls on the other three arches. Scott Brooks-Miller, the citys historic preservation officer, said the new skull will be mounted on two stainless steel rods drilled into the archway. Epoxy cement will be used to secure the new skull to the arch. Rodgers said in a prepared statement that only 551 bison were still alive a hundred years ago in 1889, after the great herds were decimated through hunting. Judge orders release of documents on sect OBITUARY By Bill Morlin Staff writer NEWPORT, Wash. Public disclosure was ordered Thursday of court documents relating to the investigation of a religious sect under investigation for alleged sexual conduct involving children. The public has a right to know the details of a sealed affidavit which lead to a sheriffs search of the C.E. Hobbs Foundation in July, Superior Court Judge Larry Kristianson ruled. J find this to be an interesting case Kristianson said before he ordered the release of the search warrant affidavit next week. Spokane attorney Carl Maxey, representing the Hobbs Foundation, said he'jnll appeal Kristiansons ruling be-forrthe state Court of Appeals before thelscheduled release of the document on Wednesday. The affidavit, based on information front .former members of the church, apparently gives the reasons why authorities were seeking audio recordings of sermons which were delivered by Clifford E. Hobbs, the founder of thd sect. Authorities have said the recordings include references to sexual contact between adult and juvenile mem bers of the Hobbs Foundation. More than 500 cassette recordings were seized on July 8 when deputies, given a search warrant by Pend Oreille District Court Judge Ralph Perkins, raided the Hobbs compound, about five miles north of Newport. Using the same affidavit, Pend Oreille County deputies simultaneously asked Spokane County District Court Judge Charles Dorn for a warrant to search a Spokane residence where they believed video tapes were stored. Dorn denied the request. The search warrant affidavit, but not the names of informants in the case, was sought by The Spokesman-Review and Spokane Chronicle. Maxey sought to keep the affidavit sealed, saying that release of the information would violate the privacy of Hobbs and others. You cannot open this document, Maxey told the judge, because its release would violently expose people who arent even suspects to a terrible invasion of their privacy. Attorney Duane Swinton, representing the Spokane newspapers, argued that two state Supreme Court cases have held that search warrants and accompanying documents should routinely be matters of public record. Robert E. Pruett Service for Robert E. Pruett, 52, will be at 11 a.m. Monday at Yates-Hodge Funeral Home in St. Maries. Cremation will follow the service. Mr. Pruett died Wednesday in the Floodwood area near Orofino, Idaho, after apparently suffering a heart attack. Born in Parma, Idaho, he was reared at Wendell, Idaho, and as a young man enlisted in the Air Force, serving in Puerto Rico and North Africa. Mr. Pruett then was a long-haul truck driver before coming to St. Maries from Twin Falls, Idaho, in 1971. He worked for the Northern Units Logging Division of Potlatch Corp. for 14 years and currently was employed by Jack Buell Trucking Co. Survivors include his wife of 31 Vi years, Beverly; one stepdaughter, Paula Marshall of Mountain Home, Idaho; two sisters; and one step-grandson. The Spokesman-Review seeks to publish news of all deaths in North Idaho. Because of space limitations, however, the newspaper can run a full obituary only if the deceased had lived in the region for at least 10 years and had significant ties to the community. Woman swims across strait Canadian coach is first to make trip in 3 3 years Associated Pres VICTORIA, British Columbia Canadian swimmer Vicki Keith conquered the 19-mile-wide Strait of Juan de Fuca on Thursday, climbing out on a driftwood-strewn beach after a swim of about 14 hours. She had estimated it could take her as long as 20 hours. On hand to greet her under sunny skies was a cheering crowd of more than 3,000. The 28-year-old swim coach from Kingston, Ontario, finished the chilly crossing from Port Angeles, Wash., and climbed from the water a few hundred yards from the point where Marilyn Bell landed 33 years ago. Bell was the last person to make the swim. Keith is the first swimmer to make the crossing using the butterfly, one of swimmings most demanding strokes. Five others have made the swim using the freestyle. She had expected to spend 20 hours in the water, almost double Bells record of 10 hours and 39 minutes. She stepped into the water at 2:10 a.m. PDT and finished her swim shortly after 4 p.m. PDT. Keith slowed down about a mile from shore and 5K3t- KVERAGESAN0 OMENTAL GOODS MY;TE-MART.F00DS W?805 GARUAND CROSS FROMTHE MILK BOH conferred with support crew in nearby boats. But she picked up the pace after a few words of encouragement and started her final push through thick beds of floating kelp in 50-degree water. To stay in that water all these hours, boy oh boy. That takes a lot of guts," said Bert Southern, a retired Victoria resident whose condominium overlooks the strait If you stuck your toe in that water, youd pull it out in a second its so cold. The swim clearly had taken its toll on Keith. One of her support crew jumped into the water to swim alongside her as she neared the shore. The successful crossing helped erase memories of Keiths failure last month in the Catalina Channel off the California coast. She was pulled out of the water just six miles from shore after swimming for 19 hours. Keith has swum all five Great Lakes, has swum Lake Ontario twice without stopping and was the first to conquer the English Channel using the butterfly, her team says. She uses the swims to raise money for charity for the Variety Club and disabled children. Keiths swim across the strait was hampered by choppy waves more than six feet high and a strong current early Thursday. Here or To Go! Scrapbook Restaurant South E. 3023 28th 535-0617 Valley E. 12828 Sprague 928-6601 In celebration ot Love, Peace, Music and Food It was twenty years ago today, our forefathers brought forth on this continent an event called Woodstock. And to celebrate this anniversary the Festival of Four Cultures welcomes you to "Woodstock in the Park." (Lilac Bowl Riverfront Park) JOE MAMA ("50s Rock and Rol THE JETS MIN 016 DOCKS BAUD (Country Rock with an attitude) 2:00 .. 4:00 i.i. (Lead Singer and Guitar Player from the Byrds) 6:00 p.m. PAPA jonii GREA0E1 (Special Guest Artist) festival of four cultures . Featuring Peter Albin ill (Bl9 brother and the Holding Company) Spencer Dryden (Jefferson Auplane) rf Barry "The Fish" Melton Si (Country Joe and the Fish) j J Sf Merl Saunders y (The Saunders - Jerry Garcia Band) ci4sic hock v mi 7 1 TICKETS $9.50 Adults ( 13 and up) - s5.00 (Children and Seniors) Tickets available at all G & B Select-a-Seat Outlets and many Spokane area Taverns or call 325-SEAT m iPisii J

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