The Rest of the Story

The Death of a Reporter

By Michael Wendland

June 2,1976 Max M. Klass, a forty nine year old attorney, sat in his second floor office in the Mahoney building. A Democratic candidate for congress from Arizona's Third District in the coming fall election. Klass had spent most of the morning going over campaign material with his staff. At 11:35, he was trying to catch up on legal work before his wife drove into town for their weekly luncheon date. Klass was dictating a routine auto accident claim into his desktop recording machine when it happened: "I've received reports from the doctors, which I enclose undercover of this letter. The property claim is in the amount of $1,205.25, together with $400 for each of the two girls for a total amount of $2,005.25. Paragraph. If we are unable to resolve this rather simple matter, I suspect that the next stage would be for me to file a..."

The sound of the blast stopped Klass short. He shut off the machine and spun around in his chair, wondering whether the floor-to-ceiling window behind his desk had broken. It had sounded like a sonic boom, but it was much too loud. It had actually jarred him from his seat. Klass stood up and pulled open the heavy draperies.

Directly below his window, he saw someone crouched low beside a late-model pickup truck. The man was looking towards the Clarendon House. Klass followed his gaze, spotting a thick plume of white smoke reaching skyward from the south side of the hotel.

"Quick, Shirley, call the fire department. There's been an explosion at the Clarendon," he shouted to his secretary, bursting out of his office.

Klass ran outside, stopping at the back door of his office building for another look.

"Help-Help me," a thin, high-pitched voice wailed from the direction of the hotel.

Klass strained his ears. Again he heard it, realizing that the explosion had come from a car, not the Clarendon.

"Help me-Help-"

He trotted toward the sound, almost tripping several times over hubcaps, tires, and chunks of metal torn loose by the blast from dozens of cars in the parking lot. Other people from nearby offices raced across the pavement from all directions, only to suddenly turn around on seeing the bombed car, their faces ashen, their eyes terrified.

The first thing Klass noticed was the blood-thick and bright--dripping into a widening pool beneath the car. His stomach reeled. A man sprawled half out of the driver's side, his torso face down on the asphalt, his legs draped at a grotesque angle across the seat and onto the floor of the car. The injured man was conscious, though obviously in deep shock. His glazed eyes darted frantically back and forth and his shoulders heaved, as if he was trying to push himself upright.

Lonnie Reed, a young refrigerator serviceman who had been installing an air conditioner nearby, stood over the bleeding driver of the bombed car.

"Take it easy, fella, a doctor will be here in a minute," soothed Reed, who had once worked as a hospital orderly.

Bending over, he took off his belt and looped it around the driver's right leg, attempting to fashion a tourniquet to halt the gushing blood. Incredulously, he looked up at Klass.

"Oh my God! There's nothing left to get a hold on."

Klass had no belt. He looked desperately up to the second-floor balcony of the Clarendon. the explosion had blown out every window on the south side of the hotel and a dozen or so guests stood amidst the broken glass outside their rooms.

"Somebody, please," Klass shouted, "throw down some towels." For a moment the hotel guests just stared back. "Please, quick, some towels. Throw down some towels."

Someone did and Klass had started to put the towel on the bleeding leg of Don Bolles when there was a twist on his shirtsleeve.

The reporter had managed to twist around and raise himself up on an elbow. He was tightly clutching Klass's shirt and staring intensely into the attorney's eyes.

"Adamson," he said through clenched teeth, his face contorted in shock and pain. "Adamson."

Klass was sure of the name. Bolles pronounced it clearly. But the rest of the message was not so distinguishable- either "Adamson sent me" or "Adamson set me."

With that Bolles fell back, lapsing into unconsciousness. Sirens suddenly filled the air as an ambulance and two fire trucks screamed into the Clarendon perking lot. Klass and Reed stepped aside. A softball-sized chunk of what was unmistakably human flesh, caught the attorney's eye. He swallowed a wave of nausea and looked away, the smell of blood and smoke engulfing him.

Once more, briefly, as paramedics from the Phoenix Fire Department worked over him, Don Bolles regained consciousness.

"They finally got me," he said. "Emprise-the Mafia-John Adamson-Find him."

Klass couldn't take it anymore. As the experts began administering an IV and labored to stop the bleeding, Klass wheeled around and ran back to his office. As he neared the back entrance, his wife pulled her car into a parking spot not far from his own car. In a voice tight with emotion, the attorney tried to tell her of the injured man.

It was Mrs. Klass who discovered the white overalls lying in a heap next to the trash container at the rear of Klass's office building. She thought they belonged to a painter. Somehow, she hadn't understood Klass's description of the bombing and thought the ambulance was for a painter who had fallen from the Mahoney Building. The attorney again explained what had happened. He remembered the pickup truck he had seen parked below his window immediately after the explosion. Could the man he saw crouched next to the truck have anything to do with the bombing? He walked over to the trash container and examined the overalls. The looked almost new, with just a trace of grease in one spot. With them was a white sheet that also looked new.

Klass found a police officer and told him of the pickup truck and the overalls. After filling out a witness report, he rejoined his wife. He no longer felt like lunch.

"Who was it Max?" his wife asked of the injured man. "I don't know, some bum I guess. Probably someone who just got out of jail.

Don Bolles was in excellent spirits on the morning of June 2. It was his wedding anniversary. And it was Wednesday, downhill to the weekend. that morning he had a routine hearing at the Capitol. And once he drove over to the Clarendon House to talk with this Adamson fellow, the day would pass quickly. There would be a good lunch at the Phoenix Press club with friends. Back at the office, it wouldn't take long to rough out his notes from the hearing into story form for the Thursday Editions. If he was lucky, he'd be home by four. That would give him some time with the kids before he and Rosalie went out to celebrate the eighth year of their marriage with dinner and a movie.

A tall, bespectacled man who wore his fair hair in an out-of-style pompadour, Bolles looked forward to seeing the movie All The Presidents Men. Despite the fine reviews, he wondered whether Hollywood had oversimplified his profession just as it did with police shows.

Don Bolles didn't particularly like the term "investigative reporter," even though that job description fit his work for the past decade. Since reporters have nothing to report without first investigating, he felt the adjective was redundant and hoped that 1976's sudden infatuation with "investigative reporters," evidenced by the Watergate film and a host of shallow TV shows, wouldn't cheapen the public image of his profession. For he was proud of his job.

Considering the Eastern dominance of the media, he hadn't done too badly. While his newspaper, the Arizona Republic, was almost unknown nationally, Bolles was not. Just the week before, he had been invited to fly to the Midwest to speak to an important group of reporters and editors. Bolles was miffed when the Republic refused to pay his expenses, but the invitation pleased him immensely. While the general public did not know his name, his peers did. His style was not great; nobody confused his prose with H.L. Mencken's. But he could dig. He knew his craft.

Don Bolles was born to newspapering. His father was an editor for the Associated Press and he grew up hearing newspaper stories. In 1953, after serving with the army in Korea, he followed his father and landed a job with AP, learning the business in the east and the south as a sports reporter and rewrite man.In 1962, he came to Phoenix from New Jersey and jointed the staff of the Republic, a conservative news paper owned by the Pulliam family. It didn't take Bolles long to become the star of the paper. Less than a year on the job, he exposed the Arizona Department of Public Safety,the state's highway patrol, which maintained a secret slush fund used to entertain state legislators. Next, he focused in on the Arizona state tax and corporation commissions,writing page one banner stories of bribery and kickbacks that eventually led to indictments against to tax commissioners and to a Pulitzer Prize nomination. In 1967, he turned his attention to land fraud, Arizona's number one industry, uncovering a swindle involving more than a thousand people across the nation.

Bolles was the first to link an ex-con named Ned Warren, Sr., to the state's billion dollar land swindle, documenting how Warren, in secret associations with some of Arizona's most prominent businessmen, had scammed millions of dollars from Easterners who thought they were buying a retirement home rather than a chunk of barren desert.

By 1970, Bolles was enmeshed in the tangled world of the Emprise Corporation, a many-tentacled sports concession firm based in Buffalo which was closely linked to organized crime in a number of states. Bolles' reporting stopped the firm from taking over horse and dog racing in Arizona after Bolles discovered, and wrote stories about the taps Emprise had placed on his telephone in an effort to learn his sources. Bolles became such an expert on Emprise that he was flown to Washington,D.C., to testify on the firm before state Senate investigating committee. His Emprise work introduced him to the ways by which organized crime takes over legitimate businesses. Months of careful record checking gave Bolles a list of nearly 200 known Mafia members or associates who had recently settled in Arizona. With another Republic reporter, he wrote a series called "The New Comers" which named the mobsters and their new business associations in Arizona. All of this Don Bolles shared with reporters around the country. In a craft crowded with huge egos and ruled by fierce competition, Don Bolles' generosity was rare. When checking into a mobster from Chicago or Detroit or New York, Bolles was quick to get on the telephone and urge colleagues from those cities to join him. He did not hog glory. He felt too strongly about what he was doing.

But paranoia got him in the end. He tired of attaching a piece of Scotch tape to the hood of his car to make sure no one tampered with his engine, a routine practice when working on particularly sensitive stories. He became frustrated with the pious platitudes of politicians who vowed action on his stories but never did a thing. He began drinking too much and told his friends that the only things he believed in anymore were "God and children." He blamed his malaise on a policy of "official gutlessness in town." and said he had his fill of muckraking because "no one cares." His first marriage broke up. He was a burnt-out case.

The business does that to good reporters. It's nothing new. After a while, it just isn't worth it. The twenty-four-hour-a-day pressure; the worry of million-dollar libel suits; the late-night anonymous phone threats; the anger that comes when no one cares; indifferent, timid editors; the difficulty in making a twenty-thousand-dollar-a-year salary support two families-all eventually overwhelmed Don Bolles. He had done his part. So, in September of 1975, as he entered middle age, Don Bolles asked to be taken off the investigative beat.

His life began to come together again. Transferred to the legislative bureau in the state capital, he adjusted to the beat of a new drum, working a basic ten-to-six day. The job finally took a back seat to his wife and seven children. Six-year-old Diane, who was born deaf, was his and Rosalie's. Four of the kids came from his first marriage and two were Rosalie's by a previous marriage. He started playing tennis and jogging, trimming his six-foot-two frame into the muscled leanness of his youth. Friends said he was happier than he had been in a long time. In early 1976, he turned over his extensive files on the Mafia and organized crime to John Winters, another Republic staffer.

Bolles came up with a couple of pretty good pieces on the legislative beat. Most notably, he forced the resignation of millionaire rancher Kemper Marley from the state racing commission. When Arizona Governor Raul Castro nominated Marley for the position in March, Bolles searched the records and found that Marley had been Castro's largest single campaign contributor in 1974. Bolles pressed further, discovering that back in the forties Marley had been charged, though later acquitted, of grand theft while serving as a highway commissioner. Marley had allegedly taken a truck engine owned by the state. A few years later, Marley was appointed a member of the Arizona State Fair Commission, where, Bolles learned, he had been accused of financial mismanagement and flagrant nepotism.

Eight days after the seventy-year-old Marley took his racing commission seat in 1976, the controversy unleashed by Bolles's stories prompted the legislature to force Marley's resignation.

But that was March. It had been mostly routine stories ever since. And Bolles, while generally happy with his more relaxed job, was just a trifle bored.

That's probably why he jumped so fast at the call from John Adamson.

Actually the first call came Thursday morning, May 27, from Dick Ryan, a court stenographer whom Bolles had met several years before while covering trials in the Maricopa County courthouse. During the last week of May, Ryan telephoned Bolles to say that he knew a man named John Adamson, who claimed to have information, who claimed to have information linking Arizona Congressman Sam Stieger and the Empise Corporation to land fraud. Ryan said he didn't know Adamson well, but that Adamson had asked him to get in touch with Bolles and pass on the news tip. This sketchy information was intriguing. Rumors abounded that Arizona congressmen and senators were mixed up in the land fraud industry. But Emprise, whose organized crime associations were involved mostly with sports concessions, didn't make sense. Neither did a connection between Stieger and Emprise. During his investigation of Emprise, Bolles had received strong support from Stieger, who actively fought the moves by Emprise to infiltrate the state's racing industry. The congress man had often spoon-fed Bolles major news tips on the Emprise scandal. Still, Bolles listened to Ryan. The reporter had learned long ago never to dismiss a tip just because it didn't make sense. He told Ryan that, sure, he'd be interested in talking to this Adamson fellow.

Adamson himself called Bolles shortly afterwards. He repeated the information relayed by Ryan, adding two more prominent political names: Arizona Senator and 1964 Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, and wealthy Phoenix jeweler and former state GOP boss Harry Rosenzweig. Adamson refused to be mare specific over the telephone. A meeting was set up for the island restaurant at four-thirty that afternoon.

Adamson was a tall, swarthy man, a chunky, two-hundred pounder, who wore dark prescription eyeglasses and claimed to have documentation of the charges. The two talked for about fifteen minutes. Bolles tried to zero in on just what Adamson had but got nowhere. All Adamson would say was that he could prove the land fraud connections and that he had an informant, from San Diego, to whom he would introduce the reporter and who had further proof. The meeting broke up with Adamson promising to turn over the documentation and informant. Bolles told he to call when he had it, then left for home. His daughter was graduating from the eighth grade that night he explained to the brooding Adamson.

On Tuesday, June 1, Adamson telephoned Bolles to say he had the proof and that the San Diego informant was also willing to meet Bolles. Another meeting was arranged, this one for the next morning at a downtown hotel. On the desktop calendar at his office he wrote: "John Adamson...Lobby at 11:25...Clarendon House...4th and Clarendon."

The morning of June 2 was routine, except that it was his anniversary. Rosalie was glowing when Bolles, wearing white shoes and a new blue leisure suit, kissed her goodbye at nine o' clock that morning. Earlier, just after breakfast, she had given him a new billfold as a present. She, too, was looking forward to the movie.

At the Capitol, Bolles covered a dull legislative hearing on a proposed automobile emissions control bill. He left the office about eleven-fifteen, telling his boss, Capitol Bureau Chief Bernie Wynn, that he was going to meet a news source downtown and the n planned to go over to the Phoenix Press Club to attend a luncheon of the journalism society, Sigma Delta Chi. Bolles was to chair a meeting of the Ethics Committee at the SDX meeting. Afterwards, he said, he would return to the press room and write his story on the auto emissions bill. Bolles told Wynn he hoped to get home early that afternoon since it was his wedding anniversary.

The reporter arrived about eleven-twenty-five, parked the white 1976 Datsun he had purchased the month before at the southern end of the building in the second row of the parking lot, and entered the hotel lobby. He waited about ten minutes and then heard his name being paged by the desk clerk. Bolles took the call from the house phone. It was Adamson explaining that the meeting was off because the informant from San Diego had chickened out. Bolles didn't really care. What the hell, the information had been less than specific right from the start. It was no big deal. Just another wild goose chase. Every reporter is used to such inconveniences. Bolles thanked Adamson for calling, gave him directions to his office in the state capitol, and told him to phone if the informant changed his mind.

Nodding to the desk clerk, Bolles left the hotel for his car in the parking lot. He had just enough time to make the luncheon.

Max Klass didn't learn who the victim really was for several hours. And when he did, he would feel like crying. He had guessed to his wife that the bleeding man in the bombed car was a bum. Later Klass found out it was Bolles. Max Klass and Don Bolles were friends. When Klass ad first become active in local politics, running for mayor in Glendale, a position he held for ten years, Bolles wrote several news stories about him. Later as Bolles did crime reporting, they often ran into each other in the superior court building where Klass was representing clients. Klass hoped Bolles had recognized him when he tried to help that morning. He wanted Bolles to know he cared.

It was a busy morning in the city room of the Republic. The Phoenix Police Department was expected to go on strike shortly after noon, and a half-dozen reporters had just finished a meeting with city editor Bob Early, a burly native of the Midwest whose father, Robert P. Early, was managing reporter of the Indianapolis Star, another Pulliam-owned paper. Early assigned the reporters to cover various angles of the planned police strike and sat down at his desk. Jim Dooley, the Republics picture editor, walked over to tell him what he had just heard over the police monitor.

"Something about a bombing," Dooley said. "Over at the Clarendon House."

Early didn't waste any time. Only eight months before, a hoodlum named Louis Bombacino had been blown to bits when a plastic explosive detonated beneath the rear axle of his Lincoln Continental in Tempe, the normally quiet suburban Phoenix city that is the home of Arizona State University. Bombacino, 52, had been living there with his wife and teenaged son under an assumed name provided by the FBI after his 1968 testimony helped send a half-dozen high-level Chicago mobsters to the penitentiary. The blast that killed Bombacino was so strong that it hurled portions of his car a quarter of a mile away.

Early had the city desk contact Jack West, the reporter at police headquarters covering the planned strike. He was told to go immediately to Clarendon House. Similarly, Roy Cosway, a photographer, was dispatched from the Republic office. West called in on his arrival, passing on the license number of the small white import that had been blown apart in the explosion.

"But listen to this," he said almost as a footnote. "The cops think the guy was a reporter."

The city desk called the Arizona DMV, asking for a license plate check on the bombed car. The department would call back.

Reporters began clustering around the City Desk almost the minute Dooley relayed the message he heard over the police radio. When another West call firmed up the rumor that the victim of the blast had been a reporter-a press parking sticker was on the windshield of the bombed car--they broke into a babble of confused conversation.

"Where's Sitter? Where's Sitter?" someone shouted.

Al Sitter had taken Don Bolles's place as the paper's top investigative reporter. In recent months, he had been hammering hard at land fraud, organized crime, and the political and business connections that make both possible. Sitter drove a white Toyota.

But almost at that moment, Sitter walked into the city room. "You re not dead," Early shouted, clapping him on the back. Then the phone rang and Early, as he answered it, remembered that Don Bolles also drove a white import. It was the DMV. The registration on the car was to Don Bolles.

Early hung up the telephone and slammed the desk. "Jesus Christ!" he shouted. The reporters looked up. Again he slammed the desk. "Jesus Christ!" Then he told them who had been in the car.

Obscenities filled the newsroom. Wastebaskets were kicked. Reporter Paul Dean, one of Bolles's closest friends and best man at Don and Rosalie's wedding, flung his pen at the wall.

"What the hell was he working on?" asked Early. No one knew. The outburst didn't last long. Within five minutes, twenty reporters and photographers were working on the story, tracing Bolles's last activities, going through his notes in the press room of the state capitol and at his desk in the city room, standing by the hospital, interviewing witnesses in the parking lot of the Clarendon House, and trying to figure out just who would want Bolles dead and why.

Someone from the Republic called Rosalie Bolles at home, told her that Don had been hurt, was on his way to St.Josephs hospital and to sit tight, that she'd be picked up by a staffer and taken to the hospital. Rosalie Bolles waited twenty minutes. Then, thinking that her husband had been injured in an automobile accident, she couldn't wait any longer. Using the second car that Don had bought a few years before, she drove herself to the hospital. She identified herself in the emergency room to a nurse and was ushered to a waiting room. Five minutes later, she was told only that her husband was hurt and was being rushed into surgery, that his injuries were serious. A jumble of thoughts ran through her mind. It was their anniversary. There would be no quiet dinner and movie. Forty-five minutes after her arrival at the hospital, she learned that a bomb had gone off beneath her husband.

Bolles had lost more than twenty pints of blood in the Clarendon parking lot. He was in surgery for almost six hours. His legs had suffered the most extensive damage. The right one was beyond hope and was amputated above the knee. The left leg was not much better, though doctors decided to wait and hope that it could be saved. The loss of blood and the severity of the injuries had driven him into deep shock. Massive internal injuries were expected.

It didn't take long for reporters from the Republic, joined by newspeople from their afternoon sister paper, the Phoenix Gazette, to come up with a suspect: John Harvey Adamson.

Reporters take notes. They have to. And Don Bolles, besides twice fingering Adamson as he lay suffering in his bombed Datsun outside the hotel, left adequate documentation on exactly whom he thought he was meeting at the Clarendon. He had also talked to other reporters about the man. Good news sources seldom fall so easily off a tree and land in a reporter's lap. Yet Adamson, professing to have detailed information about some of the state's most powerful political leaders, had done just that. Bolles sensed a sham from the start. He told Bernie Wynn and other reporters after his initial in-person meeting with Adamson the week before he saw the makings of a political smear. The 1976 elections were just beginning to heat up. It was too coincidental that Adamson, whom Bolles had never heard of before, would suddenly call him up with information of fraud and political chicanery unless their was an ulterior motive. Bolles had been off the investigative beat for seven months. Why was Adamson calling him now? Still, one could never rule out godsends. Maybe Adamson was a fraud, trying to sting the reporter along, to get him to make a few phone calls and thereby start the winds of political gossip. But maybe he really had something, too. Bolles had to find out. The second meeting would tell him.

Within an hour after the bombing, as Don Bolles was just entering surgery at St. Joseph's, John Adamson was the subject of a statewide police APB. By midafternoon, reporters for the Republic had a full description of him.

He was a classic sleaze. At thirty-two, Adamson was a heavy vodka drinker and user of Valium. The closest he had come to business success was a brief period when he ran an auto tow-away firm specializing in hauling off cars that were illegally parked and then charging the owner fifty dollars to get them back. He was a braggart and a name-dropper who rubbed elbows with minor league lawyers and real estate people who hung out in a sting of look-alike bars off Central Avenue. Of late, he claimed to be a breeder of racing dogs. In bars like the Ivanhoe, the Phone Booth, and Smuggler's Inn, Adamson was the guy to see if you wanted a good deal on turquoise jewelry, "hot" Mexican silver, or a new leisure suit. Just don't ask for a sales receipt.

The police knew him as a suspected fence, burglar, and arsonist who wasn't above performing some strong-arm stuff for a gambler in need of collecting from a reluctant loser. He was wanted even before the Bolles bombing, on a year-old warrant charging him with defrauding an innkeeper by leaving a Scottsdale motel without paying his bill. It was a minor charge, really. But it was at least a charge that would allow him to be held until something stronger came up.

As it turned out, he wasn't held long. Adamson turned himself in on the old warrant the day after the bombing, posted $100 bond, and within an hour, was drinking vodka in the Ivanhoe, loudly bragging that he had nothing to worry about.

Republic reporters followed Adamson to the lounge and reported in detail how he sent his white shoes out to be cleaned and made and received several phone calls. He left briefly to go next door to a manicurist and have his nails done. When Adamson left the bar, a half-dozen reporters in three cars tried to tail him. Adamson, wildly turning corners and careening through shopping-center parking lots, shook his pursuers-nearly causing a "Keystone Cops"-like smash-up in the process.

Over the next week, reporters began tracing Adamson's movements, especially during the twenty-four-hours following the bombing. What they found made screaming headlines each day. The evening of the bombing, Adamson fled the city on a specially chartered airplane to Lake Havasu City, a resort community on the Colorado river in the north-west corner of the state. The airplane had been chartered by Neal Roberts, a forty-five-year-old prominent Phoenix attorney.

Roberts was also a dog breeder, a raiser of Springer Spaniels. That's how he said he got to know Adamson, whom he described as "a colorful...Damon Runyon-type character" who was really a "gentleman" and a "...humorous, pleasant guy." Roberts was vague about why he had paid for Adamson's brief flight, but said his friend was in fear of his life. He also said he had been with Adamson the morning of the bombing, that Adamson seemed nonchalant and happy before leaving at about ten-fifteen. Roberts intimated that he had alot more to say but was not at liberty to go into any details at the present. But then he drew still another person into the picture: Max Dunlap, a well-known contractor and land developer from Lake Havasu City.

Dunlap, according to Roberts, was also an Adamson buddy. and shortly after Roberts arranged the flight for a suddenly fearful Adamson, Dunlap visited Robert's office with a request- to set up a $25,000 defense fund. Roberts said Dunlap was silent as to his reasons for getting involved, saying only that he "owed Adamson." Several days before the bombing, Dunlap had telephoned him, related Roberts, saying what a great guy Adamson was and how, should he ever find himself in trouble, the two of them should come to his aid. At the time Roberts had thought Dunlap was being overtly sentimental. But then, the day after the bombing, there was Max Dunlap again this time setting up a John Adamson defense fund-when so far, Adamson's only legal problem was an outstanding misdemeanor charge.

Roberts, lean and silver-haired, bearing a strong resemblance to Texas's John Connally, stopped talking to reporters then.

But the newspaper stories on Robert's statement and Dunlap's involvement soon connected Kemper Marley to the Bolles bombing. For Marley, the aging, millionaire rancher and political kingmaker who, because of Don Bolles's stories, had been forced to resign from the state racing commission three months before, was almost a father figure to the forty-seven-year-old Dunlap.

Roberts fueled the fire even more. In a statement to police in which he fearfully sought immunity in the Bolles case in exchange for his cooperation, Roberts hinted that the Bolles killing may have been Marley's idea of "frontier justice," aimed at getting even for the damage done his pride by Bolles's reporting and his subsequent resignation from the racing agency. The Republic got ahold of the statement and promptly bannered it.

On June 8, doctors amputated Don Bolles's remaining leg and his right arm in a frantic effort to halt the raging infection that coursed through the reporters body. Four days later he died. Bolles's doctor, William Dozer, said, "He put up the most courageous, heroic fight I have ever seen anyone put up for his life."

Almost immediately, Adamson was arrested. He was drinking in the Ivanhoe when the police came for him. This time the charge was murder.

At his preliminary hearing, the evidence was overwhelming. In his apartment police had found an instructional book on bomb making called The Anarchist Cookbook, wire, tape, and magnets of the type used to fasten six sticks of dynamite on the undercarriage of Don Bolles's Datsun. testifying against Adamson was his sometime mistress, Gail Owens, who told of how she had gone to San Diego with Adamson shortly before the bombing and witnessed him buying a radio-control transmitting device. The dynamite beneath Bolles's car had been detonated by such a unit. Next, Robert Lettiere, Adamson's dog-breeding business partner and a convicted felon, testified that he had accompanied Adamson to a Datsun dealership in near by Scottsdale where Adamson had inspected the underside of a car similar to Bolles's. Adamson had also driven through the parking lot of at the Arizona Republic to get an idea where Bolles parked his car, said Lettiere. Finally, Lettiere revealed that Adamson had bragged after the bombing about how well he had done in planting the dynamite and how he wasn't worried about his future because he had strong support from politically powerful people. Lettiere also mentioned that Adamson told him that if he ever bombed another car it wouldn't be a Datsun, because Bolles had survived the initial blast. "That was a hell of a charge I built under that car. I can't understand how the man lived."

Adamson was bound over to stand trial in Maricopa County Superior Court on a charge of first-degree murder. There was no bond.

Beyond reasonable doubt John Harvey adamson was Bolles's assassin. But he had not acted on his own. Someone had hired him. The question was who? And perhaps even more important, why?

Numerous other questions emerged as the reporters from the Republic began delving deeper into the case. Was Bolles killed as a direct result of his investigations? Was his death meant to serve as an example to the media, to discourage reporters from sticking their noses into the mob's affairs? Don Bolles had made alot of enemies. Yet, with only a few long ago exceptions, the mob had avoided retaliation against reporters. And Don Bolles hadn't been working on any thing sensational for months. Or had he?

Bolles kept a file for future stories in his desk at the Capitol Press room. In his neat, precise handwriting, he left a note in the top of the file indicating that senator Barry Goldwater and Congressman Sam Steiger had written letters used to tout a virtually worthless land development. Bolles had jotted down that the letters had supposedly been written at the direct request of Ned Warren Sr., the so-called godfather of Arizona's land fraud industry, who then used the letters to convince buyers, mostly U.S. servicemen stationed in the Far East-that the land was a good investment. Goldwater, known for his arch-conservative politics and outspoken defense of a strong military, was a retired brigadier general in the U.S. Air Force. His endorsement of the Warren project would be a powerful sales tool.

Both Goldwater's and Steiger's names had been mentioned by Adamson in luring Bolles to his death.

Paul Dean, Bolles's best friend at the paper, was convinced the bombing was a direct result of an ongoing Bolles investigation. "I think Don got hit because he was a phone call or a couple interviews away from blowing the lid off this state," he said a few weeks after the bombing. "Don was the kind of reporter who didn't give up. He's the kind of reporter who could put a story together. And the other side knew it."

As June wore on and the stifling heat of the desert began to engulf the city, the reporter friends of Don Bolles felt the same depression and frustration that had caused him to drop out of the fight. There was so much that needed to be done. While Adamson was in jail and the police were narrowing in on his coconspirators, the Republic staffers assigned to keeping the Bolles story on page one knew they were only tackling part of the problem. His death-by a bomb at high noon in the very heart of the city-was obviously meant to accomplish more than just an end to the snooping of a nosy reporter.

Bolles was killed by people who considered murder a logical reaction to troublesome inquiries.

That was what was so chilling about his death.

Whatever it was about the state of Arizona that had so corrupted Bolles's killers, that had made land fraud the state's biggest business, that allowed 200 recognized leaders and underlings of organized crime to find exile there, that prompted politicians and businessmen to look the other way- that was the real story.





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