SPOKANE, Wash. — The 30th anniversary of the day famed historian Tony Bamonte pulled a murder weapon from the bed of the Spokane River comes just days ahead of his memorial.
Bamonte's discovery on August 22, 1989, solved what people called the oldest cold case in the country. He started investigating the murder as a part of his thesis at Gonzaga University, while also serving as sheriff of Pend Oreille County.
Peers told him the task was a waste of time but Bamonte did not listen to the naysayers, eventually bringing justice to the victim's family.
His discovery made the cover of the New York Times in 1989 and eventually was turned into a New York Times best-selling book called "Breaking Blue" by author Timothy Egan.
But this case is just one of many things Bamonte is known for, including his significance as an Inland Northwest historian.
Bamonte passed away after a battle with pancreatic cancer on July 11, 2019. He was 77 years old.
His memorial service is set for Saturday, Aug. 24 at 2 p.m. in the Davenport's Grand Pennington Ballroom.
Bamonte's wife said she had to move the memorial to the Davenport Hotel due to the amount of people who wanted to honor her late husband.