Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Project Jukebox Survey

Help us redesign the Project Jukebox website by taking a very short survey!

Judge James Fitzgerald, Interview 1

Judge James Fitzgerald was interviewed on June 3, 2005 by Margaret Russell in Anchorage, Alaska. Originally from Portland, Oregon, James Fitzgerald worked as a fireman and served in the US Marine Corps before going to law school at Willamette University. He was Assistant U.S. Attorney in Ketchikan and U.S. Attorney in Anchorage, Special Legal Counsel to Governor Egan, city attorney in Anchorage, and State Commissioner of Public Safety. He was one of the first eight judges appointed to Alaska’s Superior Court in 1959 and served through 1972, was a State Supreme Court Justice from 1973-1975, and was on the U.S. District Court of Alaska from 1975 until his retirement in 2006. In this interview, he talks about working cases in his early years in Ketchikan and Juneau, relationship between local police and the US Attorney’s office, mental health cases and Morningside Hospital, local, state and federal jurisdictions, conflict over fish traps, police coverage around the state, enforcement of liquor laws, setting up the state’s court system and receiving judge training, the Court-Bar fight and state Bar Association issues, getting appointed and serving as a judge, and notable cases he handled.

Judge Fitzgerald was also interviewed by Margaret Russell on September 16, 2005 (tape number Oral History 2012-02-10) and November 18, 2005 (tape number Oral History 2012-02-11) in Anchorage, Alaska. Judge Fitzgerald also was interviewed on May 5, 1982 by Pamela Cravez and in July and September 1982 by Claus Naske where he discusses other parts of his life and career. These interviews (Naske interviews: ORAL HISTORY 82-68-09/12 and ORAL HISTORY 82-70-03/04) are available at the Joint Archives of the Alaska Court System and the Alaska Bar Association, Alaska State Court Law Library, Boney Courthouse, Anchorage, Alaska (907) 264-0585/(888) 282-2082 and at the Oral History Collection, Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks, (907) 474-6773.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 2012-02-09

Project: Judges of Alaska
Date of Interview: Jun 3, 2005
Narrator(s): Judge James Fitzgerald
Interviewer(s): Margaret Russell
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
Alaska State Library, Institute of Museum and Library Services
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.

After clicking play, click on a section to navigate the audio or video clip.



Law school and taking the exam to be a fireman in Portland, Oregon

Flight training with the Marine Corps

Leaving the Marine Corps, beginning his education, and finding a job

Becoming a court reporter and going to law school

Quitting the Portland Fire Department

Meeting his wife, and moving to Alaska

Arriving in Ketchikan, Alaska, and working pulling lumber and as a deckhand

Going to graduate school

The US State Department under President Roosevelt during World War II

Appointment of Senator Gruening as Director of Territories in the US Department of the Interior

Appointment of Gruening as Governor of Alaska

Being Special Legal Counsel to the Governor

Working toward an appointment at the US State Department

Becoming Assistant US Attorney in Ketchikan

Getting involved in legal cases to reform prostitution, gambling, and corruption in Ketchikan

Suspension of Pat Gilmore as US Attorney

Indicting the US Marshal

Sentencing in the US Marshal case

Cowboy Butler murder case in Ketchikan

Hanging two black men found guilty of robbery

Prosecution of Cowboy Butler case and courtroom behavior

Insanity case where a woman drowned her children in Juneau

Transfer from mental hospital in the Lower 48 back to Alaska

Click play, then use Sections or Transcript to navigate the interview.

After clicking play, click a section of the transcript to navigate the audio or video clip.


MS. RUSSELL: It's June 3rd, 2005. This is the oral history of Senior Judge James M. Fitzgerald of the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. We are..... JUDGE FITZGERALD: District of Alaska. MS. RUSSELL: District of Alaska. I'm going back to my own history.

We are in the Appellate Court Library, in the Boney Building, and the judge is familiar with this building, aren't you, Judge?

JUDGE FITZGERALD: Uh-huh. I was -- when I was appointed to the Supreme Court, I got -- on the fourth floor,

and down at one end was Bob Erwin, and down at the other end was Conner.

And Erwin's still around. Conner died back -- Roger Conner.

MS. RUSSELL: You had about three years on the Supreme Court, correct?

JUDGE FITZGERALD: Pretty close. Four years..... MS. RUSSELL: Yeah. JUDGE FITZGERALD: .....or three. MS. RUSSELL: Yeah. JUDGE FITZGERALD: I don't know exactly.

MS. RUSSELL: And we'll talk about that. Just for reference sake, I want to remind you that your history has been taken previously a number of times.

Claus Naske of the Ninth Circuit took your oral history;

Kim Rich; Pam Cravez, who's a local lawyer; Kim Rich is a local journalist;

and in San Diego, District Court Judge John Rhoades. And I understand all of those interviews covered quite well your years as a district attorney in Ketchikan

and your years during the war and your very interesting experiences at Pearl Harbor and so forth.

You went to law school at Willamette, is that correct? JUDGE FITZGERALD: Correct.

MS. RUSSELL: And did you also work as a fireman at the same time?

JUDGE FITZGERALD: Yes. Well, I took a leave of absence during the school year, but I was appointed to the Portland Fire Department.

MS. RUSSELL: And did you have any other activities? Was there something about a court reporter in those years?

JUDGE FITZGERALD: Well, what happened is I -- my last year in high school, I lived with my best friend, whose name is Nugent (ph).

And his dad was a captain in the fire department. And he thought I was going to --

because I'd had a rocky time in high school, he thought the best thing he could do was get me a job in the fire department.

So I was still a teenager, and he sent me down to file with the Civil Service Commission, and take the examination.

So I went down there, and they rejected me because I was still a teenager.

Well, he appealed that. He was a good firehouse lawyer, and he appealed it because he said there's a age limit of when you can be appointed; you have to be 21 to be appointed as a firefighter;

but there's no age limit on when you can take the exam.

And he filed the appeal and then they gave me the exam and I took it.

I was still a teenager. And when I -- when the grades came out, they gave me a half grade.

I was graded as 16-1/2, because that's the -- they didn't know where to put me on the list.

So they graded me 16-1/2, and had I been 21, I could have been appointed then.

But I forgot all about it, and after -- I joined the Marine Corps shortly after Pearl Harbor.

I was in the South Pacific, and that's where I had my twenty-first birthday.

And about -- a couple months after that, I got a notice from the City of Portland that on my twenty-first birthday I'd been appointed to the Portland Fire Department.

So I didn't take that seriously. I was going to stay in the Marine Corps as a pilot. They'd sent me back to the States after I finished my combat tours. And

so I had gone through two years in flight training and I was stationed in Pensacola.

And they -- Marines talked to me about becoming a commissioned pilot. I went through as an AP, enlisted pilot.

And so they sent me before a commissioning board and the commissioning board decided to recommend me for a commission.

But I'd been in the Marine Corps about -- almost six years by that time.

They told me that I had to reenlist.

My enlistment originally in 19 -- early 1942, was long past, and I was entitled to a discharge.

So I was going to reenlist and on my reenlistment they would grant me a commission.

And I was going to stay in as a pilot. And because -- one of the outlying fields out at Pensacola, and they'd assigned me to kind of like ferry duty.

They were closing air fields, and they would send some of us out -- for instance like down to Texas, to Brownsville, Texas,

pick up planes and fly them different places, where they were either going to dispose of them or use them.

And so I got a call from Marine Headquarters, which is at the main base on Pensacola,

and said that my reenlistment papers were being drafted and I should come in to reenlist.

They -- from the various bases around in Pensacola, they -- the bus would come out from the city and go from base to base.

So I took the bus from where I -- the field I was at, and started to go to the main site, which was a -- maybe an hour and a half to two hours away.

And on the bus, I got to thinking about a number of things. And I decided I'd better get out of the Marine Corps.

MS. RUSSELL: Had you thought about law school at that point?

JUDGE FITZGERALD: No, not at all. And so when I got to the main site, instead of reenlisting, I told them I wanted my discharge papers.

And they gave me -- they said, well, they were prepared, and they discharged me in Pensacola on December 7th, 1946.

And I'd bought an old Buick, and that's when I drove across the country.

I had some stops along the way, I'd gone (indiscernible).

When they sent me to flight training, it turned out I'd had a couple of semesters of college that I put down, but I never took an examination, so I had no college credits.

They decided I didn't have enough education, so they sent me to Murray State Teachers College in Kentucky,

and I did the -- some -- took some courses there and from there I was sent to preflight in Athens, Georgia,

and from Athens, Georgia I was transferred to preflight in Iowa City, Iowa.

And then I went through the flight training.

MS. RUSSELL: So did you get out of the Marines with a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science? JUDGE FITZGERALD: With what? MS. RUSSELL: With a bachelor's degree?

JUDGE FITZGERALD: Well, no. I -- what happened is I got paid quite a bit of money when I was discharged. I'd go home.....

MS. RUSSELL: Meaning to Portland?

JUDGE FITZGERALD: Go all the way to Portland. And I -- ­didn't take me long to spend the money. And I decided I'd better find a job,

so I called up a -- fire department, and they checked me out and said, "Oh, you -- you've got credit under the law for all the time that -- since you were appointed to the fire department and you were in service,

you get credit for that time, and you're going to have probation."

But they sent me to learn how to be a fireman.

And they -- so I started at Engine 1 and Truck 1 and Squad 1 in Portland, which was at Fourth and Taylor.

And across the street, they had this kind of a -- a school.

And these -- there were a lot of young women over there, because they were taking the training program to become court reporters.

And they would stand out on the corner in nice weather, and they'd be smoking, of course.

And I'd cross -- I would cross the street and I'd talk to them.

So I asked them one time whether they could hear the fire bell when we -- it alerted in the fire station, and they said all the time.

So I talked to the captain and said, "I'd like to go over there when I have time off."

And he said, "Well, you can go over there," but he said, "if you miss the bell, you're going to get suspended without pay for 30 days."

And so I went over and started on the -- learned how to be a court reporter, just because I wanted something to do. And so.....

MS. RUSSELL: Were you using -- old stenotype machine or something?

JUDGE FITZGERALD: Yeah, it was a steno machine, uh-huh. And I passed the course and then they gave you the stenotype machine.

So all the others in the class, just about, they went to various places. I wasn't going to become a court reporter.

But they had a -- kind of a night law school in Portland.

So I heard about it and I went down there, and it was just nights and it wasn't accredited or anything. I started there and I was there and took some courses.

Then I found out that I could -- ­if I graduated from there, I could take the Oregon bar exam, but I wouldn't --

it wasn't certified and I couldn't take the bar exam anywhere else.

So I decided I might go back to law school -- might try and go to law school. Well.....

MS. RUSSELL: Had you thought then that you might end up in Alaska? Is that one of the reasons you wanted to be.....

JUDGE FITZGERALD: No, I just decided I ought to find out if I could graduate from college.

So when the -- I talked to the dean at the University of Oregon Law School and the dean at the University of Willamette Law School,

and there's no way I could get into law school; I was going to have to go liberal arts.

So they -- the schools asked to have my training program, what I'd done in the service and so forth, evaluated.

And when they did that, they had a means in Washington, D.C. to do it,

and under the evaluation they give you two years, which they would give me any college credit for.

I'd gone to flight training and I'd gone to other programs.

So I got the two years, but the dean at the law school at Willamette said, "Well, if you do a year of liberal arts, I'll let you into law school, then you'll have to finish up your

liberal arts and get your degree before we'll graduate you from law school."

So I went down and talked to the fire chief, and he said, well, they'd give me a leave of absence.

They had some other guys taking leaves of absence from the fire station to go back to school.

So I got a leave of absence from them, but I had to --

they would take me up on holidays and during the summertime and (indiscernible). And I worked there.

And so finally, I did get through third year.

Well, the following year, which would have been the fourth year, I was turned down for the -- what I found out was --

went down and talked to the chief again -- his name was Granfeld-- and he told me that

they had some other guys that had taken a leave of absence for college, and one of them I knew real well.

But he was playing professional football for the New York Giants and he was taking a couple college courses, but he was basically a professional football player.

And he said, that's the end of the leaves.

So I had to -- if I wanted to go back to school, I'd have to resign.

And I resigned then from the Portland Fire Department.

And I had -- when I'd gone through high school, I had a very close friend.

His name was John Dorrigan, and we played high school football together and we were going to go play college football together.

But he'd been killed during the war in the Phillippines.

But I -- his dad and my dad had come from County Kerry in Ireland.

And since I went to -- when I was going to resign from the fire department, I went from -- I talked to --

old Dorrigan, because I still would visit the Dorrigans. I'd been close.

And I always remember him.

My father had been put in a veteran's hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. He died there.

And I remember talking to Dorrigan and saying "Well, I'm going to" -- the old man -- I'm going to -- I think I'll get out of the fire department.

And he said, "My God, Jim, don't do that. Your dad would be stunned."

During the Depression, he said, the City of Portland issued for employees vouchers,

but the vouchers had to be cashed, you'd go to a store and whatever and they'd take the voucher, but they'd discount them.

And he said, the only -- the only employees that were paid cash or checks from the City of Portland are the police and the firemen, he said, so don't quit.

But I did quit, and I did other things in the summertime. I have a --

MS. RUSSELL: Not court reporting, though?

JUDGE FITZGERALD: No. I could chose it, but I wasn't interested in becoming a court reporter.

So I took -- when I took my first year of law school, I took some extra courses and eventually I got enough to graduate.

I was given a degree in liberal arts in 1950, and I got my law degree in 1951.

And my wife, Karin, had -- she'd been a nurse.

But she wanted to pick up another year of liberal arts in college, so she was going to Willamette when I met her.

And we got going together and we finally got married.

And she and I -- I took -- when I graduated from law school in '51, I took the --

decided to take the bar exam in Oregon. I took the bar exam.

And the day we finished the bar exam -- I finished it.

We had an old Model A, and we loaded everything we had, we owned, in the Model A, and we started off for Alaska.

MS. RUSSELL: You didn't own much, did you?

JUDGE FITZGERALD: I had a lot of books from college. But I was pretty much -- almost broke.

And I remember they checked you going into Canada, to see that you had so much money, and I didn't have the money.

I talked to the guy, the border guard, and he finally said, "Get in your car and get going."

And so I went -- and we went -- it was -- the roads in Canada -- we couldn't get to the Alaska Highway.

The road to the Alaska -- ­there was a road that's supposed to join with the Alaska Highway, but we couldn't go through it in the summertime.

We went west to Prince Rupert, loaded the old Model A on a Canadian steamship on the forward deck, got to Ketchikan.

And we got to Ketchikan.

And I was looking for a place where we can stay, and I heard that there was a schoolteacher who had a --

rented an apartment up on the hillside, and we went up there and

God, the Model A was really covered in mud. And we

knocked on the door, and the guy came and he said to me, "What do you want?"

And I said, "I want to rent your apartment. The schoolteacher. I hear she goes on vacation every summer, and the apartment's vacant until she comes back."

And he asked me where I was working, and I said, "I haven't got a job yet."

He said, well, "I'm a superintendent," he says, "down at the Ketchikan Spruce."

He said, "I'll take you down there tomorrow and get you a job if you --

and then I'll rent the place to you (indiscernible)."

So the next morning I went down there and I got a job pulling lumber on the green chain.

And I pulled lumber there until fishing season. That would have been July.

Then I went out to Ward's Cove. And I told them I was a good deckhand.

MS. RUSSELL: Were you?

JUDGE FITZGERALD: No. But they put me aboard a big cannery tender called The Rolf II.

And we were -- it ran 24 hours a day, and we brailed from the big fish traps in Southeast Alaska.

And they were huge. You have no idea how big a fish trap was.

And that's where I learned about fish traps. And after that, I had a --

I'd been granted upon my graduation a fellowship at the University of Washington in a program that went on for the last seven years.

So when -- after I finished as a deckhand on the cannery tender, we got another cannery tender that was going to Seattle that Ward's Cove had.

They put me on to work as a steering down to Seattle from Ketchikan.

And I went to graduate school for a year. And upon graduating, -- fun. I hadn't graduated.

I was supposed to get my master's at Washington, and go to Cornell in the East and get my doctorate and then go to Europe on a Fullbright.

That was the program I was in.

MS. RUSSELL: What was your subject area? JUDGE FITZGERALD: Hmm? MS. RUSSELL: What was your subject area?

JUDGE FITZGERALD: Well, they had decided after World War II to -- there were some congressional hearings and other hearings,

and they decided to redo the State Department.

And -- because during World War II, the State Department was unable to really negotiate at a high level.

And Roosevelt appointed, for instance some of his top cabinet people to do the negotiations.

He also negotiated. And they had this review of the State Department. They decided was --

it was relatively unable to conduct very important foreign affairs.

MS. RUSSELL: Was that for lack of authority or lack of skill or.....

JUDGE FITZGERALD: No, that was the structure of it. MS. RUSSELL: Oh.

JUDGE FITZGERALD: They appoint a lot of people like politicians and various branches of the State Department, and the idea was they would establish like a Latin American

branch of the State Department, but the people that would be trained for it would have to have a lot of education.

And so that's what it was all about. And I'll tell you kind of an interesting thing, I don't know.

Were you here when Gruening was senator, Gruening and Bartlett?

Well, this is just a side tale. Gruening had been --

gone through Harvard Medical School, and he became a friend of a guy by the name of Frankfurter who went through Harvard Law School and then became a professor of law at Harvard.

And what happened is he and Gruening were good friends.

And when Roosevelt was elected in 1932, he didn't take office until March.

The President-elect had to wait until March to be sworn into office.

Later on it was changed; he's sworn in now in January by amendment to the Constitution.

So Frankfurter had been offered that job because he was considered a very able legal professor and whatever.

He'd been offered a job by Roosevelt as Solicitor of the Department of Justice.

Roosevelt really wanted to make some changes.

Frankfurter later wrote a book called "His Reminisce," and he said he decided he didn't want to take the job.

He didn't want to become a technical lawyer.

He became a technical jurist, I can tell you that.

Anyway, what happened is when he turned it down, later on he was called by Roosevelt to Hyde Park.

And Roosevelt wanted his advice on some selections he planned to make,

because he wanted to change a number of policies of the government.

And one of the policies he wanted to change was the policy toward Latin America.

Latin America had been -- it's foreign policies had sort of been controlled by the U.S. under the so-called Monroe Doctrine.

But Roosevelt wanted to change that.

So when he had Frankfurter come to Hyde Park, he asked him if he knew anyone

who could be a person to undertake the revision of our policies toward Mexico and Latin America.

Well, Gruening had written a book; he -- instead of becoming a doctor, he'd become a reporter, and then he started writing.

And he wrote -- written a book about Mexico and the changes that should be brought to Mexico and all that.

So Frankfurter said, "Why don't you get Ernest for that position."

And Roosevelt said to him, "Ernest. Who the hell is Ernest?"

Well, anyway, Gruening got this job as Director of Territory in the Department of the Interior.

Well, he had a rocky road with Ickes, who was Secretary of Interior.

And Ickes decided he didn't want Gruening as Director of Territories anymore.

So he was going to fire him.

Well, when he went to fire him, Roosevelt heard about it and told him that he had to get a suitable position for Gruening.

So he then decided to appoint Gruening as Governor of Alaska.

And Gruening obviously knew nothing about Alaska, but he became Governor of Alaska. And he was the territorial Governor of Alaska until Heintzelman was

appointed when the administration changed, the Eisenhower administration.

And I remember I was Assistant U.S. Attorney in Southeast and I was in Juneau, and the --

Heintzelman was to be sworn in at the -- they have an old theater in Juneau, and he was sworn in at the theater.

I went to the theater and I saw Heintzelman and Gruening was there and Gruening was asked to make a speech. And he made a wonderful speech.

And Heintzelman had been the head of the Forestry Department. He wasn't very skilled in making speeches.

MS. RUSSELL: What did Gruening talk about? Do you recall?

JUDGE FITZGERALD: Gruening? He talked about the changes that were -- should be made in Alaska.

How -- he was an advocate for statehood but he wasn't getting anywhere because

the Department of the Interior wasn't pushing for statehood at that time.

And -- but he became senator and he was a very controversial senator.

MS. RUSSELL: In what way?

JUDGE FITZGERALD: What way? He -- the reason I knew about it was because Egan appointed me Special Legal Counsel to the Governor

and sent me to Washington for six months before statehood.

And I was supposed to meet with various agencies and whatever. There were transitional problems.

And I found Washington was a -- you had to understand it. And there were agencies which -- they would cooperate with Alaska,

the territory, if it's going to become a state, and others that just --

did everything they could to make it difficult.

And so Gruening and Bartlett were the two senators and Rivers was the congressman. First one (indiscernible). All Democrats.

And they held a Monday meeting and I was invited to the Monday meeting,

because there were some policies that they felt that Egan should make the decision on.

And I was supposed to keep track of. Finally, I tried to work out of Gruening's office because I couldn't get any appointments.

Whoever I was supposed to get an appointment with in an agency, they'd either left town, were leaving town, or they couldn't meet with me.

So I found -- I started going to Bartlett. And he had a old-time secretary, and -- Mary Lee Counsel, and she could get me an appointment with anybody. And she did.

And so Gruening and Bartlett had become very, very controversial.

And when he had a dispute with some agency or some member of the -- Roosevelt's --

or the President's people back there, he -- if he wasn't happy with it, he would (indiscernable) the meeting.

He'd call a press conference. And that -- that's why you couldn't get -- couldn't get -- I couldn't get us appointments out of his office.

MS. RUSSELL: So he embarrassed people.

JUDGE FITZGERALD: Sundborg was his administrative assistant.

And -- but Bartlett, he got along very, very well back there. And so when

I worked out of his office especially with him. He could --. His secretary (indiscernible).

MS. RUSSELL: And that was George Sundborg was it, who was the..... JUDGE FITZGERALD: He was the..... MS. RUSSELL: .....assistant?

JUDGE FITZGERALD: He'd gone back -- he'd been the editor of the newspaper that started in competition with the Daily Empire in Juneau.

He -- and they'd -- it had a rocky time.

And then -- when Alaska was supposed to become a state.

Sundborg was very political and Gruening wanted him.

And he made him his administrative assistant.

MS. RUSSELL: After you graduated from law school, you said you came up here and then went back down and you were

going to get a fellowship with the idea of going to work for the State Department. Correct?

JUDGE FITZGERALD: Eventually getting an appointment. The theory was that when you got this experience and whatever,

you would be appointed to a division in the State Department and -- but you would become skilled in the issues and in this sort of thing;

and you were going to go to Latin America, you'd help plan the conferences and the programs and get to know the people like.....

MS. RUSSELL: Were you studying a particular area of the world?

UDGE FITZGERALD: No, I was studying the problems that had been disclosed during the Roosevelt administration and the changes that had to -- that had been made.

And Roosevelt, of course, was traveling around with Churchill and meeting with Stalin and all the rest of them.

And he also had, oh, top administrators who would do some of the negotiating.

And the theory was, is this would -- this is what should develop. The State Department had become unskilled.

And so the program I was in studied problems that they'd had prior to World War II and during World War II.

And I remember one of the programs I had to take was on constitutional law.

And we had a professor at the University of Washington, who had taught us -- he'd gone to Oxford and he was very, very skilled.

I thought I knew all about the law; well, I learned an --

I learned more about constitutional law in his program than I ever learned when I was going to law school.

So anyway, what happened is at the end of -- during my first year at the University of Washington --

I had met some of the attorneys in Southeast Alaska when I went to work at Ward's Cove and worked in the -- and on the green chain.

And one of them was -- there was only three or four law firms in Southeast -- in Ketchikan.

They had Ziegler, King and later became -- they were known as Ziegler, King and Cloudy, Gore and Jernberg.

Gore was an old-time territorial judge who'd been up in Nome.

He had a big family. His daughter is married to Murkowski, Nancy Gore.

Well, I knew Bob Gore real well.

And anyway, I got a letter from Jernberg, and he said, "There's a vacancy in the U.S. Attorney's Office, and it --

they needed an assistant U.S. attorney in Ketchikan, and if you'd like the job, I can get it for you."

So in those days, the -- ­canned salmon had a lot of influence in Southeast Alaska.

And Faulkner, Banfield and Boochever represented canned salmon out of Juneau and Gore and Jernberg out of Ketchikan.

So he told them to give me the job, and I talked to the head of the program I was in.

And he said, "Well, why don't you take it for a year," he said, "it'll look good on your resume,

and I'll let you -- I'll give you a leave of absence for a year."

And so I took it. And I never left it. I dropped the program.

MS. RUSSELL: Was it the law, do you think, that made you divert from your State Department goal or was it Alaska?

JUDGE FITZGERALD: I was trying cases one after another and I had to investigate a lot of them,

because in those days the territory had an Attorney General. And the Attorney General was J. Gerald Williams.

But it had no criminal authority.

All the criminal cases except for sitting magistrates had to be brought before the territorial judges, territorial --

and there were four territorial judges and four districts in Alaska. And the one in Southeast was Folta.

And he -- what happened is the Chief of Police in Ketchikan, who was very inexperienced, but he was a local guy, became Chief of Police.

And he had a wife and a -- children on a boat down in Thomas Bay so --

But he also had other relationships.

And this led to a effort by some reformers in Ketchikan who wanted to --

There was open gambling and open prostitution in some municipalities or cities in Alaska, and Ketchikan was one.

And these reformers wanted some changes made, and the chief had got in hot water.

And the city manager in Ketchikan was a guy named Vic Guns; he was an attorney.

And he had been told by Folta, the judge,

that he wanted the problems in the Anchorage -- in the Ketchikan Police Department taken care of.

And Vic Guns, I was told, had gone to the city council wanting to know who was running the town, Vic or -- Vic Guns as the city manager, or the judge.

And he came down from Juneau. And he declined to take any action on the Creek Street line in Ketchikan.

And Folta then reconvened the grand jury and he told them he wanted the grand jury to investigate corruption in the local police department, if there was corruption.

And, God, a -- so the grand jury was reconvened,

and Pat got on the wrong side of the grand jury, my boss, Pat Gilmore.

And they met, and then they were -- he told me to get subpoenas out for all the madams on Creek Street. Most of them were old-timers, and they had names.

I remember one is Francis Martin, also known as the Prairie Chicken, and she'd been on Creek Street for years.

And so Pat had told me, my boss had come down from Juneau to tell me to get subpoenas out.

I got the subpoenas issued to the deputy marshals -- there were two deputy marshals in Ketchikan.

Fred Bryant (ph) and a guy by the name of -- of (indiscernible).

Anyway, when -- Guns had refused to take action doing anything with the police department like firing people and so forth.

That's when Folta reconvened the grand jury to investigate corruption.

And Pat Gilmore, my boss, was very considerate of all these old women off The Line, because they'd been there for years.

And we -- ­in the -- after the first morning of the investigation, he questioned some of them.

And I remember -- the name Frances Martin comes to mind because Pat asked her if she'd ever done any favors

or paid off any members of the police department, and her answer was something like this: "Why, Pat, you know better than that.

I've never done any favors for anybody in the police department. You know better than that."

Well, we went to lunch and we came back from lunch and went to go in the grand jury room. And it was about 1:30, 1:15.

The foreman, as soon as we opened the door to go in, jumped up and said, "Just a minute, gentlemen, I need to see you outside."

So we went back out. The foreman came out and he said, "We've taken a vote and it's unanimous.

We will conduct the investigation. We don't want anyone from the U.S. Attorney's Office in there during our investigation."

Pat tried to argue with him and he just turned around, opened the door, went back in, and closed the door.

And what happened then is a lot of things came out.

Because The Line was allowed in Ketchikan and all the gambling was allowed.

The slot machines in the bars and all the rest of that.

And so after a while, Folta had gone back to Juneau, he was called by the grand jury to come down. And

he came down in the afternoon and he met with the grand jury for a couple hours.

And his clerk, a guy by the name of Leavers, came to us and said, "Well, he's going to convene the grand jury.

He tells you it's at 7:00 o'clock tonight, and you'd better be there."

So we were all there at 7:00. And the courtroom was absolutely crowded.

Word had gotten around town. So he -- Folta asked the grand jury foreman if he had a report and the grand jury foreman said yes, he did.

Folta said to him, "What's your report?" And he said, "The grand jury now recommends that

the Chief of Police and the Captain of Police be indicted for obstructing justice, and the U.S. Attorney be removed from office." And.....

MS. RUSSELL: Meaning Pat Gilmore?

JUDGE FITZGERALD: Yeah. And Pat jumped up and said, "I want to be heard," and whatever, and

Folta lashed out at him and told him he was not to have any contact at all with the grand jury.

And I was to perform such duties the grand jury should require, but that Gilmore could not give me any instructions relating to that investigation.

And, my God -- so about two days later, Gilmore was laid off by the Department of Justice, and was sent back to Washington.

And he was back in Washington a couple weeks.

Then he came back out to Juneau and then down to Ketchikan. He came down to Ketchikan,

he told me he'd had to give his resignation to the Department of Justice and they were going to announce it, and they did.

And God, it was a big shock.

Folta instructed me to prepare the indictments charging the Chief of Police and Captain of Police. And I said,

"I don't know anything that they did."

He said, "You're to do what the grand jury requests, and if you don't do it," he said, "I'm going to take action."

And then he told me that when the Department of Justice, the --

there had been changes in the administration. The Eisenhower administration came in and --

the Attorney General was a guy by the name of -- was it William Rogers, I think.

And the Assistant Attorney -- or the Deputy Attorney General was another guy out of New York who later on became Secretary of State.

Anyway, and Folta told me, when the foreman went to -- he wanted to call Folta and tell Folta that I hadn't -- I wasn't drafting the indictments.

And Folta then had me come in chambers and I told Folta the reason I couldn't is I hadn't heard any of the evidence. I didn't know anything.

Folta then told me he'd gotten a call when the Attorney General had suspended Gilmore, and the Attorney General wanted to know whether I could be trusted.

And I blew up, I told Folta, "I don't give a God damn what you told the Attorney General." I said, "There's no way I can draft an indictment if I don't know what the offense was or what the evidence was."

So anyway, he -- Folta then said he'd speak to the foreman, and the foreman came in --

went in and spoke to Folta about a quarter of an hour. So -- and then he came out.

And the next morning the foreman came and got me and told me I had to go to the grand jury, and they were going to call some witnesses.

And so I heard the witnesses and drafted the indictments. And.....

MS. RUSSELL: Memorable occasion.

JUDGE FITZGERALD: Well, whatever. Folta's law clerk was a guy by the name of Ted Munson.

He was his law clerk. And I got a call from the Department of Justice after I returned -- gotten the indictments ready.

He said -- I'd had to go up to Juneau to -- and I had wound up up there having to indict the U.S. Marshal, who pled guilty to the charges.

And I got a call then from the Department of Justice, and they were telling me that I would be terminated in Southeast Alaska.

And they had communicated with Anchorage, Alaska, the Third District, and I could go there as Assistant U.S. Attorney but there'd be a new U.S. attorney in Southeast.

And that turned out to be Munson, Folta's law clerk. So I came up here.

MS. RUSSELL: While you were in Southeast, did you also have cases in Juneau?

JUDGE FITZGERALD: Yeah, I had to go up to Juneau and try the U.S. Marshal.

I was the only one left in the office.

MS. RUSSELL: What was the -- what were the charges against the U.S. Marshal? Similar to those against the city people?

JUDGE FITZGERALD: Oh, God, the U.S. Marshal -- these -- what happened is that these local municipalities, as Pat Gilmore had told me early on my first week in the office, that

local affairs such as local gambling and local prostitution could be left to local authorities, but that we would prosecute if they requested prosecution.

But they had their own decision to make.

And so when I was up in Juneau, the mayor of Petersburg sent a letter to me and he said that this -- a madam had established --

I'll call it a bawdy house -- just on the outskirts of Petersburg.

Petersburg didn't tolerate it, and he wanted somebody -- he wanted to have it investigated and prosecuted.

So I called in the U.S. Marshal and sent him down there.

And he came back after about a week and I -- he came in and reported to me and he said, "So I went down there; there's not a damn thing to it."

Well, in those days, mental cases had to be taken Outside to Portland.

Morningside, the hospital in Portland, had a contract with the Department of Interior.

And that's where all the mental patients had to go.

Well, we'd had a mental -- a woman in Ketchikan that we had a hearing on.

The hearing was before the magistrate, or commissioners, they were called in those days,

and a small jury of six people. And they found her insane. She was --

MS. RUSSELL: How did that manifest itself, her insanity? JUDGE FITZGERALD: Huh?

MS. RUSSELL: How was her insanity manifested? What had she done?

JUDGE FITZGERALD: Oh, she had called the police and made accusations and initiated -- got some of the investigations initiated and all the rest of it.

She had a friend who was a packer on one of the islands off Ketchikan, and they had mines in the -- down there at that time.

And he packed into the mine, and she -- he got prosecuted and she -- she really lost it.

So when the grand -- when the jury found her incompetent and insane,

the marshal had to put her in the marshal's jail and hold her there until they could transport her to Portland.

Well, when they transported a woman to Portland, they would have to have a matron,

somebody in the Marshal's Office, a woman in the Marshal's Office, went.

So anyway, the marshal -- we used to have breakfast together when Folta was holding court, like in Ketchikan we'd go to court -- the U.S. --

the people in the U.S. Attorney's Office would be there, the deputy marshal would be, the local police would be there, and the attorneys would be there.

In those days they would be appointed during -- while the grand jury was meeting to defend these guys that were charged.

And one after -- these cases would be tried one after another.

Well, the attorneys would be there in the morning and we'd all go up to the courthouse together after breakfast.

We'd always go to the Inger -- I think it was Ingersoll's in Ketchikan.

And all walk up to the courthouse together, and then the grand jury would issue its report and then you'd give the judge the indictments, and he would then start appointing attorneys.

And the attorneys were appointed by the judge at that time, but they weren't compensated.

They had to -- that was part of their duties.

So anyway, what happened, when chief of -- when the marshal came back from Petersburg,

he told me there wasn't a damn thing to it, that he'd investigated and there was no house down there.

But about a week later, he was at breakfast and he introduced his deputy marshal, this woman who was -- she was with him, to go down to Ketchikan and take this mentally insane woman down to Portland, to Morningside.

Well, it turned out he had gotten acquainted with this -- what they called working girls at that time.

And she was out of New Orleans. And so she agreed to --

she'd go down to Portland with him and be the matron that would take this woman down to Morningside, and then she was going to go on to New Orleans.

But he'd had a relationship with her.

Well, what happened is, somebody from Petersburg then wrote and said the U.S. marshal had hired a known prostitute in Petersburg as a special deputy.

And, boy, I went in one morning in Juneau, I was trying cases, and here's this --

­they had two FBI agents down there and one of was a guy by the name of Bob Fort and the other guy's named Jim Casey and here they were.

And they had authority at that time in investigation of misconduct and corruption of government officials.

To place some of them under oath, including the U.S. Marshal, because he's appointed by the President.

Well, when they put the marshal under oath, he lied to them. They'd already investigated.

They knew what the truth was and all the rest of it. And so they presented it to me.

Well, I made a mistake. I thought, he's been marshal down there for years,

and the new administration was in, and I thought, what should be done is -- take it to the Department of Justice.

They might just want his resignation, and avoid the embarrassment of having him indicted.

So anyway, I told him that I didn't want to indict him, but to take it to Department of Justice.

Well, those were the days of J. Edgar Hoover -- and in those days there was no long-distance system in Alaska, it was --

except that was handled by the Alaska communication system -- a branch of the Air Force.

And so with the department -- the agents, had direct communications with the FBI in Washington, and when Casey and Bob Fort called back there, guess who they spoke to?

They spoke to a guy by the name of J. Edgar Hoover.

J. Edgar Hoover, he immediately arranged a meeting with the Attorney General.

Told the Attorney General that this marshal had lied under oath and all the rest of it.

And a day later, when I went in in the morning there was a young airmain there with his uniform because -- he was from ACS, and he had a telegram for me.

And it was from the Deputy Attorney General in Washington.

And it said that the case of U.S. versus the marshal would be presented to the grand jury at Juneau, Alaska forthwith,

and that this was an order directed to me by the Attorney General of the United States, naming the Attorney General.

Well, I had to take it in and poor old Sid, the marshal, was -- he was promptly indicted.

They heard the FBI agents and all of those.

MS. RUSSELL: And did he go to prison for that?

JUDGE FITZGERALD: Well, he -- the deputy -- Chief Deputy in the Marshal's Office was a guy by the name of Byington.

Byington was issued a warrant by the Clerk of the Court Bevers (ph), and he arrest -- who arrested the marshal, brought him up.

I was ordered to appear at the -- in the afternoon with the marshal. And Byington brought him into court.

And in those days there was no pre-sentence investigation or anything else. It was --

the U.S. Attorney would make a recommendation to the judge and then he'd proceed to sentencing, sometimes with the jury in the box.

Anyway, Folta asked me my recommendation, and I said I recommended a big fine and then I recommended a term of -- I requested it be suspended and he be placed on probation.

Well, when -- Folta asked him some questions, and then he proceeded to sentence him.

And he went along with my recommendation for a fine, but he sentenced him I think to 18 months to do for perjury.

So anyway, he -- he goes back into chambers, I walk down the hall, and about half an hour, my door slams open. It's about 5:30. I'm getting ready to go home.

And it's Folta. And he asked me what my recommendation was.

I told him, he said, "That's not enough. Come down to the courtroom immediately."

So, I went down to courtroom.

Byington brought the marshal in.

Folta lectured me, said my recommendation wasn't adequate.

He then proceeded to impose an amended sentence on the marshal.

He gave him the fine, and then I think he gave him 18 months in the slammer and told the -- or the Chief Deputy Byington to take him immediately down to the cell, and he did.

MS. RUSSELL: Was Folta known to be quite punitive? JUDGE FITZGERALD: Hmm?

MS. RUSSELL: Was Folta known to be quite punitive in his sentencing?

JUDGE FITZGERALD: Folta was called Hanging Judge Folta among friends,

because the last -- in the territorial days at that time, the penalty for murder in the first degree under the territorial statute was death by hanging,

unless the grand jury should make a recommendation for life imprisonment at hard labor.

And I tried a case involving a guy by the name of Cowboy Butler for murder in Ketchikan my first year there.

And I had an argument with Gilmore because I didn't want --

I wanted to ask for the recommendation of life imprisonment at hard labor, because this guy --

I'd been involved in the investigation of Cowboy Butler, and he killed a very prominent Native in Wrangell, Alaska.

And I'd had to go up to Wrangell and investigate, and I got some statements for prosecuting him.

Well, what happened was the -- about two years before that, a couple of guys -- I think they were both blacks -- went into a liquor store in Juneau

and robbed owner of the store and shot and killed him.

And they were prosecuted, and Gilmore prosecuted both of them.

Both of them ultimately were hung.

And I -- the hanging was pretty grim, I can tell you. And I won't go into it. It was primitive.

MS. RUSSELL: I heard something about it being in the stairwells. Is that.....

JUDGE FITZGERALD: It was a stairwell. And it had a courtroom -- courthouse, office building,

and it had -- on one end of it they had this big stairs in the middle where the stairs were.

They would remove the stair -- had the -- where you walked in, the stairs, they would remove that floor, which was probably about -- almost as big as this.

And the stair -- part of the stairs went down and part of it went up.

And what they did was they -- well, what they did was taking a -- they removed it and cut a square and what it would do is they would fasten a rope to the underneath of the platform upstairs.

And it would hang down. And this square, they had a latch on it, and the latch -- they tied a cord to the latch.

And the latch ran over to the wall, where there was another kind of a wheel, and then it went down the hall,

went down along the wall in the basement, to where they had a lever.

And the cord was tightened at the bottom of the lever. And when these law enforcement officers would pull the lever,

that would cause the latch to be pulled on the -- and this door would open and the -- and the guy would drop through.

Well, the witnesses -- we were sitting around on this platform and chairs right around the guy, and he would just drop down and be hung.

And, boy, it -- I remember -- they -- what they had was they had a local policeman and a deputy marshal down there when they hung these two guys. Different -- on different occasions.

And they each put their hands on the lever, and they would be given a signal which was -- somebody would tramp on the platform.

They'd pull that lever and the lever and the -- or the latch to pull the -- and the door would open and the guy just drop down in the basement.

MS. RUSSELL: Do you know how many people were hung that way?

JUDGE FITZGERALD: I only remember these two, and they were the last two.

And so when I prosecuted Cowboy Butler in Wrangell -- ­there'd been a lot of lying about it and all the rest of it, but I got that straightened out and prosecuted him in Ketchikan, and Gilmore --

so we -- he was -- he'd prosecuted these two guys that were hung -- told me that he -- went on and left the -- ­asked the jury in my final summation to make the request for life imprisonment at hard labor. In other words, they would just find him guilty.

And I argued with Gilmore about it, and he finally told me, well, I could argue the evidence in the opening statement to the jury,

but he would make the final summation. And that he was going to ask them to return a verdict of guilty of murder in the first degree without any recommendation.

And he was a spellbinder in some cases. And when he was making his final summation -- I'd argued the evidence -- and he kept lowering his voice until you could barely hear it.

And the court reporter -- her name was Mildred Maynard (ph), and she had a harsh voice,

and she was there with a stenograph, taking it down, and she also had a recorder.

She couldn't hear it very well. And all of a sudden, as Pat's leaning forward and the jurors were all leaning forward,

and he was just about to ask them to return a verdict of guilty and without any recommendation, there was this raucous voice -- "Louder, please!"

And it just shook the whole courtroom. And Folta, the judge, glared at her.

Pat turned around, and they were -- it was just -- they had for -- and she recoiled. I mean she realized, and she's sitting there at her back,

and but when the jury did return a verdict -- in those days, the jury was -- was not sent -- they were sent to the jury room,

and this jury had to spend the whole night in the jury room.

They wouldn't put them in a hotel or anything else.

And they spent the whole night there and half of the next day and then came back with a verdict,

found the defendant guilty but recommended life imprisonment at hard labor.

Anyway, that was all that.

MS. RUSSELL: That turned out right for you.

JUDGE FITZGERALD: Well, I spent my -- I'd seen a lot of deaths, you know, when I was in the service.

And I really -- I didn't want to play any part in having these guys hung.

MS. RUSSELL: You were talking earlier about how insanity cases were handled.

I understand there was a case in Juneau involving a woman with more children than she could feed that you got involved in too that had that..... JUDGE FITZGERALD: Oh, God. MS. RUSSELL: .....aspect to it.

JUDGE FITZGERALD: She -- what happened is the -- there was a guy by the name of Carpenter who came down from Anchorage to Juneau, and he was investigating theft of government checks.

There was quite a raft of government checks had been stolen out of mailboxes and whatever in -- in Juneau.

And he's the only Treasury agent up here, Dave Carpenter. And he was down there.

And he'd investigated -- he'd come in my office in the morning, we'd had -- I had an appointment with him, and he started presenting these cases, and it was one after another.

And so I decided to go out -- and the main secretary in the office -- her name was Rose McMullen(ph).

And when I went out of the office, I wanted to get some complaint forms.

I was going to write a rough draft of the complaint and give it then to one of these secretaries out there to type up.

And I went out there, and I saw that she had this woman with her.

And so I knew him and I just said hello. And I said to Rose McMullen, "Give me some complaint forms."

And she said, "The Chief wants to see you."

And I said, "Yeah, what's up, Chief?" And he said -- well, he said, "I have this woman here. She threw her kid -- a couple of kids into the bay."

And I thought it was -- she'd been drunk or something, and I thought it was just she;d threw them in the bay and then somebody'd gotten them.

Well, I said to Rose, "Give me one -- a complaint form" -- oh, I've forgotten it -- it was misconduct basically and --

I went back in the room and, God, about two minutes later, she comes in the room and she hands me a slip.

And I look at this slip and it said they're both dead.

And then it hit me, and I jumped on my feet, and I go out and I said to the Chief, "They're both dead?"

And he said, "Yes." So I went back into my office and I said, "Dave, I've got to take care of an emergency here; come back and see me this afternoon."

And I went out of that office and I went into another office.

And I had -- the Chief let me take the woman in there. And I remember saying to her, "Two of your children are dead?"

And she said, "Yes." And I said, "In God's name, why?"

And she started off in a kind of a -- What had happened is, she had a girl who was about 10 or 11 and she had a girl who was about four, and she'd had this baby, just had the baby.

And she lived downstairs in an apartment house that was right in downtown Juneau, but it was a real trashy apartment house.

And there was a -- she said they had a refrigerator, but she opened the refrigerator this morning and there was no milk for the baby, no food for the kids or anything in it.

So what she did was she told the older daughter to get dressed.

She helped the four-­year-old get dressed, then she took the baby, put the baby in a baby carriage, and they left the apartment.

And she was about two blocks from the main dock in -- down in Juneau, where the ships tie up.

And I had thought that when she threw them in, it was just like in the bay, not -- anyway, she'd gone down the dock.

She'd taken the baby out of the baby carriage, right on the edge of the dock, threw the baby in,

picked up the four-year-old, threw the four-year-old in. And the eleven-year-old, she ran off.

And she went back to the apartment.

And later on when -- Welfare -- ­they didn't have much of a Welfare at the time, but Welfare put the daughter, the eleven-year-old, with a couple of foster parents temporarily.

And what had happened is -- I interviewed her, and she said to me -- I said, "What are -- what happened?"

And she told me that she saw her mother throw the baby in and then the four-year-old, and then she ran off.

And she said she went back to the apartment. Her mother came back to the apartment, and her mother said to her,

"If you weren't as old as you are, I'd have thrown you in too."

Well, Christ. That had been witnessed and that's when the Chief of Police came in.

Her husband was a cab driver.

And this cab driver would come home some -- drove a cab some nights, times at night, and whatever. Sometimes he'd come home, sometimes -- but he wasn't giving her any money.

She didn't have any money. And he -- so I was -- decided to take her statement.

And just about the time I was going to get the secretary in to take her statement,

God, I heard this uproar in the outer office, and I threw the door, and a guy is beating on the door and saying, "Let me in. Let me in." And, God, I opened the door and I said, "Who the hell is this?"

The secretary, Rose McMullen (ph), said, "He's her husband."

I said, "You so-and-so" -- I didn't call him a so-and-so, I called him a -- I said, "You're just damn near as guilty as she is, and I'm going to prosecute you for everything I can."

And he turned around and ran out.

Well, anyway, I charged her.

Well, in those days the judge did not appoint an attorney for a defendant unless the attorney --

unless the defendant had been indicted and had generally pleaded not guilty, except for a murder case.

And the judge -- and appointed an attorney immediately, only if it was murder, he appointed two.

And he appointed two of the Juneau attorneys to represent her.

And they came and I'd taken her statement. She was fine, didn't (indecipherable).

And so there was only one psychiatrist in the territory and he was in Juneau.

And the two defense attorneys asked immediately to have her evaluated by the psychiatrist.

And the psychiatrist evaluated her. Well, the test for insanity then in a criminal case was called the M'Naughten rule.

And the M'Naughten rule said to you had to know the nature and the quality of the act and know that it was wrong.

And those are -- ­you had to have that knowledge.

Well, the psychiatrist there decided that she met the M'Naughten test.

And so we had a hearing with the psychiatrist, and Folta at the -- after the hearing the defense attorney --

found her insane, and committed her, and she went to a prison in West Virginia or something -- Alderson.

But they also handled mental incompetence, and she was there.

And I -- a number of years went by, and I came up here. I had come into Anchorage, and I was -- at that time I did come -- ­I was a Superior Court judge but I was the chief judge.

So I talked to -- so I -- there was a guy by the name of Yandell who was a great friend of mine. He was in the District Attorney's Office.

Bob Yandell was an old, old man. He'd gone -- and he'd been in the Army in World War I and he'd lost his leg, been shot in France, lost his leg, had it -- it was amputated.

And so he had this false leg, and -- so what happened is, in World War II, he tried to enlist in the Marine Corps, and by God, he -- finally the Marines enlisted him, one-legged old man enlisted in World War II.

MS. RUSSELL: How old was he then? Do you know? JUDGE FITZGERALD: Huh? MS. RUSSELL: How old was he?

JUDGE FITZGERALD: Oh, God, he had been a -- he was a veteran of World War I.

I don't know, he had to be in his late sixties or -- so anyway, I got this note from Yandell, who was in the District Attorney's Office.

He was a hell of a prosecutor. He was a tremendous prosecutor.

And he said that he had a file on a case that had been sent to him from Juneau, and this woman had -- was out at the API.

And I said to him, "She can't be at API. She was sent to Alderson in West Virginia."

And he said, "No, she's at API."

But what had happened -- and I told him to get all the information.

And I got ahold of the guy who was the head of API at that time and interviewed him with Yandell (ph).

And he told me what had happened, that this woman had been declared at Olderson -- that they should put her in a mental hospital in Washington, D.C. St. Elizabeth's, I think they call it,

and she'd been sent there.

And that when they built API out here, after a while, the head of the St. Elizabeth had gotten hold of the head of API

and he said, "We have an insane woman from Alaska and we need to send her back to Alaska."

So what had happened, they sent her back to Alaska, and she was at API.

But the original sentence is still in place, so I -- God, when I found that out, I got ahold of -- I couldn't handle the case because I'd had it before.

And took the next senior judge, a guy by the name of Moody, they assigned the case to him, and I got ahold of two attorneys down in Juneau.....

MS. RUSSELL: The defense attorneys?

JUDGE FITZGERALD: Yeah, the guys that represented her. I said, "You guys better take a look at this now."

What had happened is that when she'd been sent to St. Elizabeth, they kept her a number of years,

but then Alaska built it and they got their own psychiatric institute and whatever, and the guy at St. Elizabeth he wanted to send her out here to Alaska, because he -- she was from Alaska.

Well, what had happened is, this eleven-year-old, she -- I remember I'd interviewed her a couple of times

and I had an attorney from -- and she had a very clear memory as to what happened with her mother.

And she'd been subsequently adopted by the foster parents and she had taken their name.

She didn't have her family name or her mother's name.

And she had finally gotten out of high school and was I think a freshman at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

And she'd also -- it turned out, the head of the psychiatric hospital had come back to him -- she'd had a terrible guilt feeling that it went back to why her --

­did her mother throw these two kids in and why her mother said, "If you weren't as old you are, I'd throw you in too."

And she had a mental collapse at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and they had her come down here to API and be evaluated.

And she was being evaluated, and, my God, she meets this other woman in API.

And when they start talking, they find out they haven't had any communication at all in all the years in between.

And they're mother and daughter. And, God -- well, when they -- there's new psych --

Moody orders new psychiatric evaluations and whatever.

And he finds that this woman is truly insane, but that she's a real danger, and has never --

would never be competent, and orders that she be committed to API permanently.

And so I get ahold of the head of API and I'm asking about this young girl that's been a student at UAF.

And he said, "Oh, we've sent her back up there." He said, "It was wonderful for her, because she had all these problems,

and now for the first time, she knows all that happened and why it happened." MS. RUSSELL: Wow.

JUDGE FITZGERALD: And said, "She's doing fine now in school."

And so I -- to myself, I thought, well, if -- this could never have a better conclusion than it has now.

I never want to know anything further about it.

And I told my secretary in my office, if anything ever came involving it, it had to go to Moody.

And so, to this day I've never heard how the girl turned out or -- but I'm sure the woman's passed on now.

MS. RUSSELL: Were you.....

JUDGE FITZGERALD: But that was her -- that's quite a ­adventure. And Yandell, he brought it all to my attention.

MS. RUSSELL: The only other item from the early years in the Ketchikan-Juneau area that I'd like to cover before we wrap up this session today

is the Charlie Cannon case, which I guess was a murdered girlfriend with the burned body.

Can you recall any of the detail from that case?

JUDGE FITZGERALD: Yeah, I can recall some of it. But I'm going to get a ticket if I don't get down there.

MS. RUSSELL: You want to wrap it up today, and..... JUDGE FITZGERALD: Huh?

MS. RUSSELL: You want to wrap it up for today? JUDGE FITZGERALD: I'd like to wrap it up now. MS. RUSSELL: Let's wrap it up. And we'll be back in a few weeks. Thank you very much.