confession, Harry Orchard states that a man names Steve Adams
was with him and assisted him on many of his
bombing missions, not the least of which was the bombing of the Independence, Colorado, railroad depot, where some fourteen non-union scabs were blown into eternity.
According to Idaho law, the confession of an admitted murderer cannot be used to convict other members of the conspiracy--unless it can be corroborated by "independent evidence.
, according to Harry Orchard, is an habitual drunk, a weakling, and an ignorant man.
Jack Simpkins and Steve Adams
cannot be found.
Reluctantly, McParland agrees to go ahead with Simpkins and Adams
At about this same time, Steve Adams
is located and arrested near Baker City, Oregon, and is taken to Boise.
A miner named Steve Adams
, implicated by Orchard in the bombing of a Colorado train depot that killed thirteen non-union miners and the killing of two claim jumpers in northern Idaho, was arrested.
Threats of hanging and promises of immunity finally induced Adams
In a matter of days, Steve Adams
makes a full confession, not only corroborating most of what Orchard has said but adding a few murders in northern Idaho to which Adams
was a party with the missing Simpkins.
Bothe Harry Orchard and Steve Adams
have signed detailed confessions.
For example, in his
confession Steve Adams
describes how he
was taught to make "Pettibone Dope," a liquid that bursts into flame when exposed to air.
says several years earlier Haywood sent him to Pocatello, Idaho, with several jars of the liquid, which he
was instructed to throw into a railroad car filled with strikebreakers due to pass through.
Unable to accomplish his
carried the evil-smelling jars into a vacant building just outside of town and buried them in the dirt floor.
is willing to take McParland to Pocatello and show him where the jars are buried.
Accompanied by the Pinkerton detectives, prison guards and a reporter from the Idaho Statesman, Steve Adams
goes to Pocatello and supervises the search for the jars of "Pettibone Dope".
Darrow sees at once the most damaging part of the case to the defense is Steve Adams'
confession, which corroborates Orchard's in many details.
Darrow's first priority was to convince Adams
to withdraw his confession and thus make the state's case against Haywood stand on the uncorroborated testimony of Harry Orchard.
Denied personal access to the closely held Adams
, Darrow was able to contact an uncle, known as "old man Lillard," living near Baker City, Oregon.
McParland, coldly furious, believes there is a way to tighten the screws on Steve Adams
is released from custody on a writ of habeas corpus , the sheriff of Shoshone County
is waiting with a warrant for his
arrest on a murder charge.
Central and northern Idaho are extremely mountainous; in those days, direct transportation by rail from Boise to Wallace was impossible.
By rail, one could go east to Pocatello, north into Montana, then west to Wallace, Idaho; or one cold go west into Oregon to Pendleton, north into Washington, then east to Wallace.
Either way, the prisoner, Steve Adams
, will have to be taken out of the state of Idaho--and the prosecution fears that the moment his
physical person leaves the jurisdiction of the state of Idaho, habeas corpus writs will fall like manna from heaven.
But Steve Adams
is not on it.
The trial of Steve Adams
held in Wallace, Idaho during February, 1907 for the murder of Fred Tyler was a dress rehearsal for the main show soon to take place in Boise.
A couple of men have disappeared and rumor has it that Steve Adams
and Jack Simpkins have killed them.
Reluctant witnesses give indefinite testimony; the jury deadlocks six and six; Steve Adams
goes back into the Wallace jail to await a new trial.
But Steve Adams
is still in the toils of the law, with the shadow of the noose hanging over him.
But if you will affirm your original confession . . . Steve Adams
remains sullenly silent.
If so, the defense's success in persuading Steve Adams
, by bribe or threat or whatever, to withdraw his
confession was the key to victory.