FYI – I filed a public document request (PDR) for police and fire department investigative reports for the District 81 Adm Bldg arson fire and the Zukor arson/murder fire.  The new Nordstrom’s is located at River Park Square where the District 81 Bldg was.  The STA Transit Plaza now sits where the Zukor Clothing Store (Jamison Bldg) was.  In the Zukor fire SFD Captain Hanna was killed when the side of the building gave way crushing him.

The following email I sent to City Clerk Pfister is self-explanatory.  I’ve corrected a couple of spelling errors in the original message.

Ron the Cop


Dear Ms. Pfister,

It was a pleasure to meet with you and Ms. Lamon yesterday and helping facilitate my records request for the police/fire investigative reports for these major fires in Downtown Spokane.  The following in no way is a reflection on the services of your office.

As you know I was very surprised/shocked after reviewing the box containing the “files” that the FD did find regarding the Zukor Fire (AKA Jamison Bldg).  You said you would convey my comments back to the PD and FD.  To save you the time I thought I would put my comments in writing so that you can forward them to each.

In the past I have provided more than enough information that these departments should have located the investigative files on these fires.  The “files” that the FD did locate only contained fire photos and no investigative reports of any kind.  Needless to say this took me by total surprise.  I am a recently retired criminal investigator and have been involved though not directly assigned to investigate on duty deaths of police officers.  As I told you these deaths result in notebooks full of investigative reports.  These files are treated with great care and never “disappear” or can’t be located.  Particularly open homicide investigations are kept for ever and handed down within homicide bureaus to incoming investigators.  While these sometimes become “cold cases” they are always locatable. I can recall the murder case of Cheri Jo Bates that occurred when I was in junior HS.  There was believed to be a connection with the Zodiac killer.  When I was promoted to detective the Bates murder file was assigned to a current homicide detective.  When I retired I knew the “young” detective that inherited the Bates murder case.

While I’m very disturbed that the case files for the District 81 Bldg arson fire can’t be located (Now the location of the Nordstrom’s at RPS), I’m literally floored that the investigative files for the Zukor arson/murder fire are no where to be found.  SFD Captain Hanna died fighting this arson fire.  There are a number of special circumstances that would qualify Captain Hanna’s death as a capital case.  While at the time the case may have grown cold where I’m from this would always be an “open” case and would be aggessively investigated should new info/evidence come to light.  My interest is that there may have been evidence collected at the fire scene that I won’t disclose here that with modern forensic methods may be able to now develop latent fingerprints and/or DNA of the arsonist.  If so this information can be run in AFIS and DNA data banks to identify the arsonist.  Further I’ve done property title searches before and after this fire of property that would eventually become the STA Transit Plaza.  I’m finding many parallels between the STA Transit Plaza Project and the RPS bond fraud including by coincidence related parties that may have a financial interest.  To be perfectively blunt anyone that may have participated in the STA Transit Plaza Project that has knowledge re the Zukor Building fire and conceals it and or aids and abetts those who may have “commissioned” this fire may have criminal liability in Captain Hanna’s murder.

It is my belief that these files are locatable.  I will extend my original offer to assist the PD and FD to locate these files at no charge to the City if asked to “help.”


Det. Ron Wright (Retired)

PS  Have a great holiday weekend:-)