Anthony Bamonte, 47, is sheriff of Pend Oreille County in the late 1980s. Working on a master's degree, he decides to write a history of the sheriffs that preceded him. The project leads him to an unsolved murder case that's 54 years old: the fatal shooting of a marshal in the tiny border town of Metaline Falls in 1935. The victim, a former policeman doing security work for a creamery just weeks short of his retirement, was killed during an armed robbery for butter.
As Bamonte explores the case, he discovers a massive coverup involving the Spokane Police department, centered around a detective who apparently took bribes, was involved in a theft ring, and may have shot more than one suspect with impunity. The beleaguered sheriff presses forward with the case that almost no one wants him to solve, trying to break through the "wall of blue" that protects law enforcement officers from colleagues who don't want to "snitch" on one another. This is a sobering but thrilling true story of the breaking of the nation's oldest continuing murder investigation.
This report prepared by David Loftus