At the point of his shotgun, Deputy Miles Pierce ordered the tramps out of the brush. One was a man with striking red hair. His name was Frank “Red” Lane, though he also used the alias Eward Fliss. The 24-year old was in possession of three handguns. The other man found sleeping in the brush was 20-year-old Engolf Snortland, who was described as tall and blond.
Their capture was followed a short time later by the capture of Albert Reynolds, 24, who had been spotted about 100 yards away by two local boys.
Meanwhile, John Kite, a local dairyman, had reported selling a couple of quarts of milk, a loaf of bread, and some jam to a scruffy looking pair of men who claimed they had just arrived on the morning freight and were in the area to pick cherries.
Within an hour Kendrick Town Constable Ernest Davis along with two Latah County deputies located the “cherry pickers” and arrested them without incident. The last fugitives were identified as 19-year-old Robert Livingston and “Seattle George” Norman, a well-known outlaw in the Northwest.
Lt. Gov Kinne would soon identify the four younger men as his kidnappers. Norman, who hadn’t taken part in that fiasco, was the ringleader of the group. He had sent the four to hijack a car so they could all rob a bank they had their eyes on in Pierce. Kidnapping was just a by-product of their need for a getaway car.
Their bumbling, violent actions in the kidnappings had marked the men as inept criminals. To underline that judgment, authorities found they had left the $200 they had stolen from Tribbey behind in his car when they abandoned it.
Local citizens, many of whom had spent hours searching for the abductors, were outraged at their vicious behavior.
When deputies escorted the outlaws to the Nez Perce County Jail in Lewiston, some 1,500 men were gathered in front of the building, many of them armed. While Sherriff Harry Dent created a diversion to distract the crowd, Lewiston Police Chief Eugene Gasser got the prisoners in through the back door.
Having avoided an angry crowd, the outlaws did not avoid the wrath of the law. The four carjackers pleaded guilty to kidnapping and were on their way to the Idaho State Prison in Boise, just eight days after the incident took place. Each got sentences of up to 25 years.
“Seattle George” Norman, the brains behind the plot to rob the bank, pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to the kidnapping and was sentenced to two years in prison.
Although the planned bank robbery went ridiculously wrong it turned out that three of the four men involved in the kidnapping were experienced bank robbers. They were identified through fingerprints as the men who had kidnapped one of the owners of a bank in Gilmore City, Iowa. They had held his family prisoners overnight just weeks before. They forced the banker to open a safe in the morning and got away with $5,000.
Iowa wanted the men back. Governor Baldridge was quoted as saying, “Idaho would be extremely reluctant to let Lieutenant Governor Kinne’s abductors out of prison to go to Iowa or anywhere else for trial on other charges.”
Most of the culprits used aliases, but 19-year-old Engolf Snortland was the champion at names. He also went by Egnos Snortland, Enos Snoysland, Robert Livingston, Frank Lane, and Albert Reynolds. Careful readers will note that the latter three aliases were the names of his partners in crime. That made it confusing for reporters who often used variations of the men’s names and aliases when listing them.
Snortland/Snoysland/Livingston/Lane/Reynolds was the most difficult to pin a name on, but it was Frank Lane who became someone else in criminal history.
Lane, according to Idaho State Prison records used the alias Edward Fliss. He was pardoned in April 1934. It took him about two seconds to land in seriously hot water again. This time Fliss was the name that went down in the records.
Lane/Fliss had met a prisoner by the name of William Dainard in the Idaho State Prison. Dainard was the mastermind behind the kidnapping of George Weyerhaeuser on May 24, 1935, one of the more infamous crimes in the Pacific Northwest. Fliss was convicted in relation to that kidnapping for helping Dainard exchange some of the ransom money. Fliss received another 10 years in prison for that.
This story started with Lieutenant Governor Kinne. Sadly, it ends with his death, not long after the abduction.
Kinne had a case of appendicitis, so diagnosed by a local doctor who thought it not especially serious. He delayed an operation, perhaps too long. Kinne’s appendix had ruptured, causing peritonitis. He died on October 1, 1929 at age 50, having been in office less than a year.