Signwriter Theodore Dillon and his wife went into the Sprague Street tavern in Spokane, Washington, bought a dozen bottles of liquor, and announced to everyone present: “We’re holding an impromptu party at our place next door and you’re all invited. Let’s go have some fun.”

About 20 people cheered, put down their glasses, and trooped out to the Dillons’ place. Hardly anyone knew anyone else, but that didn’t seem to matter. That night, Friday, January 14th, 1944, the party went on until the small hours of the morning.

One of those present, Woodrow Wilson Clark, boasted he was a hotel cook (in fact he was a dishwasher) and made eggs and bacon for everyone. He told one partygoer: “Women find me irresistible.” But when he started getting amorous with Mrs. Dillon and another married woman at the party, Mrs. Judy Staples, Theodore Dillon intervened. “Pack it in,” he warned Clark. “This isn’t that kind of party.”

Around 4 a.m., tired and drunk, Dillon and his wife, Mrs. Staples and another partygoer named Frank Winnett fell asleep on a bed. Last man to leave was Woodrow Wilson Clark.

At breakfast next morning a neighbour found the foursome still on the bed. All of them had been bludgeoned with a hatchet. Theodore Dillon and Judy Staples were dead from their massive injuries, Mrs. Dillon and Frank Winnett were just about alive.

By the time Spokane Police rounded up Woodrow Wilson Clark, Mrs. Dillon, who never recovered consciousness, was also dead. Only Frank Winnett survived the butchery.

Asked what made him do it, Clark said: “I remember chopping wood for the stove and cooking a lot of bacon and eggs. After that I was pretty drunk, and some of the guys got angry with me for making passes at their women.

“That’s what made me mad. I waited until everyone but the four of them had left. They said they were tired and were going to take a nap. When they all fell asleep on the bed I went into the kitchen, got the hatchet and beat them over the head with it. I don’t know what made me do it.”

On March 20th, 1944, after a 12-day trial, he was found guilty of the three murders. He was hanged in the state penitentiary at Walla Walla on Wednesday, February 6th, 1946.