Breaking Blue

Timothy Egan

Breaking Blue

Breaking Blue

  • Title: Breaking Blue
  • Author: Timothy Egan
  • ISBN: 9781570614293
  • Page: 186
  • Format: Paperback

In 1935, the Spokane police regularly extorted sex, food, and money from the reluctant hobos many of them displaced farmers who had fled the midwestern dust bowls , robbed dairies, and engaged in all manner of nefarious crimes, including murder This history was suppressed until 1989, when former logger, Vietnam vet, and Spokane cop Tony Bamonte discovered a strange 1955In 1935, the Spokane police regularly extorted sex, food, and money from the reluctant hobos many of them displaced farmers who had fled the midwestern dust bowls , robbed dairies, and engaged in all manner of nefarious crimes, including murder This history was suppressed until 1989, when former logger, Vietnam vet, and Spokane cop Tony Bamonte discovered a strange 1955 deathbed confession while researching a thesis on local law enforcement history Bamonte began to probe what had every appearance of widespread police crime and a massive cover up whose highlight was the unsolved murder of Town Marshall George Conff The fact that many of those involved, now in their 80s and 90s, were still alive made it imperative that Bamonte unravel this mystery The result is Breaking Blue, a white knuckle ride through institutional corruption and cover up that vividly documents Depression era Spokane and an extraordinary case that few believed would ever be brought to light.

Recent Comments "Breaking Blue"

Timothy Egan is an important Western writer. Not a writer of Westerns, but a Western writer. He documents forgotten stories of the American West, with a particular emphasis on the Northwest. Among his more important works are The Worst Hard Time (which departs from his usual northwestern setting and focuses on the people in the plains states during the Dust Bowl), Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher, and my personal favorite, The Big Burn, which opens with twenty of the most compelling pages of p [...]

Very timely even though the case this book covers is in 1935. Not much has changed in law enforcement here in Spokane. We just had the announcement today of the chief of police retiring and her second in command all when the Otto Zehm case is being looked at as being handled wrong. It is sad the corruption still runs so deep in the police force here and that it has a long history as mentioned in this book.

Remember, the police are your friends - NOT! At least not in 1930's Spokane or even until the 1990's according to this book. This book is the true story of a murder committed in 1935 in the small NE Washington town of Newport by an off-duty Spokane police detective and accomplices during a burglary of the local creamery. The town night marshall happens upon the burglary, of butter no less, and is shot dead. The Spokane police, most of whom are corrupt and on the take, closes ranks around one of [...]

One of the best nonfiction books I've read. It reads more like a fictional story than nonfiction. It's not dry and boring. It might have some embellishment but it's amazing.

Interesting story about the longest unsolved murder in the country.

An early Egan, but still excellent. I love the way he weaves together time, place, and people to tell a great story. Egan's writing is excellent; he draws into the web of his story, hard to put down, but it's a frustrating read because of the arrogance of power that it reveals. The powerful in this story ignore ethics and morality to keep their power. The reality Egan reveals reminds me why I'm a Libertarian.

I think it speaks well of a book when it produces an emotional reaction in the reader. Reading this book made me angry.On Sept. 14, 1935, a gang of thieves breaks into a creamery in Pend Oreille County, Wash to steal butter and other dairy commodities that were valuable on the black market during the Depression. A town marshal named George Conniff intervenes and is murdered.The case goes unsolved until 1989, when Pend Oreille County's against-the-grain sheriff, Tony Bamonte, comes across it whil [...]

An outstanding recommendation from a colleague on the transformative power of historical research. Eagan begins by reconstructing 1935 Spokane (and you can see his fascination building for the Dust Bowl for his next book)--an agricultural valley worried about hobos, Okies and scarcity, teeming with bootleggers and vice and aided by a police department of head-knocking goons. When a creamery (butter was .40 a pound) robbery ended in the death of a county sheriff, it was an open secret that a Spok [...]

As a resident of Spokane, WA this was a book I HAD to read. It certainly explained a lot of the annimosity and contempt that the local police had for anyone who questioned their authority. This book is a fantastic read. I lent my first and second copies and they came back after years of being passed from friend to friend. I finally found a copy on E-bay and it is my keeper. You will love this if you like to learn about life in the town of Spokane during the great 30's and how it played out in th [...]

Great read about local history though one that portrays a coverup of corruption in the Spokane Police Department during the time of the depression. Such a story is probably not unique when exploring corruption in the US during this time in our history, where abuse of power and authority were not unusual. When poverty was a significant issue among the population when food shortages, limited housing, few jobs and homelessness, created desperation for so many.

Washington State and 1935, and what a time it was. Bill Parsons was a rookie cop making $27 a week who tried to be honest, much like Frank Serpico here in New York. Spokane was a den of bootleggers, whores and gamblers who remained in business due to the top to bottom corruption of the police force and judicial system. The thin blue line kept Parsons silent after the murder of a cop killed during a robbery by a fellow officer. The victim was guarding a large creamery where butter was stolen and [...]

Timothy Egan has established a style that is compelling. When he's weaving a powerful crime mystery he takes you on a journey of Northwest natural history and culture. When he's focusing on culture and natural history, we see it through the eyes, and sometimes the souls, of his compelling real-life characters.Breaking Blue took me on a journey through time as the area surrounding Spokane as it was finding its way following invasion by white settlers. These newcomers were not always the best and [...]

The book explores the 1935 murder of a deputy in Newport, Washington, in Pend Oreille County north of Spokane. The hero of the book is a sheriff in Pend Oreille County in the late 1980s who was exploring the history of the police department and discovered the unsolved crime.I read this book for a column I wrote on non-fiction books about the Pacific Northwest. I particularly liked the less often told history of Spokane and Pend Oreille county. I also liked the way Egan tells the story through th [...]

I love Timothy Egan for his in-depth research and readable writing. He did not disappoint here telling the story of a a 1930s corruption, burglary and murder cover up within the Spokane police. Only solved in the late 80s due to incredibly dogged research and questioning, the case broke through the blue barrier of loyalty amongst police. I do quite a bit of work in the rural areas around Spokane and love understanding more about the history now. Thanks for the recco, Ken!

An intriguing story with some great historical information. I think I just don't care for Timothy Egan's writing style. It's a second book of his that I have read for book club and I didn't enjoy the first one either.

Gripping story, flowery proseAn excellent story about a murder, police cover-up, and investigation. However, Egan writes with an overly flowery style which detracts from the heart of the story.

4.2 Stars.MiltonOwned

Breaking Blue, a novel, is not Egan's best. Perhaps he needs to stick to non-fiction where he is a master.

If you ever question why people don't trust the police read Breaking Blue. One of the most striking things about his book was the scene in which the murder of an Eastern Washington Sheriff was killed in 1935. In the midst of the Great Depression a group of corrupt cops starting robbing cooking supplies, in particular, butters butter is the reason someone was killed. As I read Breaking Blue I just couldn't shake the fact that a man was dead over butter. The Depression was a different time and peo [...]

This was a good story and I enjoyed reading it but Timothy Egan really, really excelled at most of the other books he's written. I didn't think this one was quite up to his normal level of amazing story telling.

In 1935 in the small town of Newport Washington, 40 miles north of Spokane, a Marshal was shot to death when he interrupted some thieves stealing butter from a local creamery. A halfhearted investigation was conducted however the killers were never "officially" found. Could it be that the reason this case was never solved was because the criminals were members of the Spokane police force?Fast Forward 50 years to 1996 and we have Tony Bamonte who is the sheriff of Newport and he is working on his [...]

I liked the history, I disliked the personal story of Tony Bamonte.Spokane was a cesspit of killing, robbery, and corruption from the time white men first arrived in the neighborhood, about 1811. Now I don't know exactly what was going on when only the Indians lived there, but they did manage to live there for thousands of years without destroying the land. When white men arrived, well never mind reasonable behavior. Logging, killing Indians including those trying to surrender, killing 800 horse [...]

Timothy Egan details Pend Oreille County Sheriff Anthony "Tony" Bamonte's pursuit of justice in the 1935 killing of Newport sheriff George Conniff, a crime that remained unsolved in the late eighties. It's one of those rare books whose conclusion one could easily google but you don't feel the need to. I was content to follow Bamonte's investigation to its conclusion.(view spoiler)[It's hard to say if justice is served. The guilty parties and conspiracy keepers are old, dying or dead and the Spok [...]

I'm a westerner through-and-through. If I haven't punched cows through the region Timothy Egan has written about , I've backpacked, hunted, or fished it. It's God's country. I now live in a region called The Palouse which is discussed. It lies seventy miles south of the turret of Breaking Blue, Spokane. Of his books, the three that I've read, the style of Breaking Blue may be my favorite, although born a child of the Dust Bowl, I preferred the subject of The Worst Hard Time .As you read Breaking [...]

Heading out to Eastern Washington or Montana? Take this book with you.It's our good fortune that journalist Timothy Egan is obsessed with the Depression era. To think that times were so dire, the unraveling of society so great that a bully cop could murder another cop and get away with it for 40+ years is astounding. The inside view of a corrupt police force explains why my parents of the 60s held a very low opinion of police officers and this opinion continues to this day in communities which a [...]

A very interesting true crime book, from an unusual angle. In "Breaking Blue", the center of the book is a small town sheriff who is writing a history of the history of the local police force as his master's thesis. But one crime in the past catches his attention, a crime of a fellow officer unsolved after decades. His fascination grows, and reaps its consequences in his life as he digs deeper and deeper.I appreciate it that this particular book gives the victims their due. The pain experienced [...]

This book is one that grasps mystery, corruption, and deceitfulness and brings it to a head. The author explored a murder case committed by a fellow lawmen in the 1930's for his graduate thesis. He doesn't understand why this murder along with seven subsequent ones went un-investigated. This is a concept that boggles the reader as well until the author describes "Cop Code." It as an unspoken bond between lawmen that they don't rat each other out, nor sell them out, and stand by them through thic [...]

Two main thoughts from this book:1. In the edition I read, there were some strange typos. Wrong usage of would (wood instead). A random x sometimes showing up in the text, things like that. Weird for a book that was written in the 1990s and then reissued ten years later. Would've thought they'd picked those up.2. I really like Tim Egan. He does a great job not only writing about the facts of the case (which are sort of interesting). But, I'm not a big true crime reader, what really kept me readi [...]

Remarkable not only for the details of the specific case, the murder of a marshal in Pend Oreille County, Washington by Spokane police officers in 1935, and the solving of that crime in 1989 by driven then-sheriff of Pend Oreille, Tony Bamonte.  At the time, it was the nation's oldest continuing murder investigation.  Of perhaps far more interest is the description of Depression-era of so-called law enforcement, a time where far too many police were hired thugs, who beat the poor, lived off co [...]

The story was engaging and suspenseful. I learned a lot about police work and the culture of the Northwest during that time period. I hadn't known much about either before reading this. Eagan does a great job with historical writing, making events and characters leap off the page and come alive before your eyes.That said, I can't give the book more than 3 stars because I thought some parts of the book were repetitive. Several sections re-counted what the protagonist had learned in a prior chapte [...]

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    Published :2018-011-14T23:13:28+00:00