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Looking back on North Bend’s long arm of the law | Photo gallery

King County police officers are show with two kegs of beer, which they confiscated in 1976 after breaking up a juvenile drinking party on Reinig Road.
King County police officers are show with two kegs of beer, which they confiscated in 1976 after breaking up a juvenile drinking party on Reinig Road. 'Crackdown on Young Drinkers Has Begun,' said the headline, in this Valley Record archive photo.
— image credit: File photo

Kym Smith has a passion for the history of North Bend law enforcement. The office manager for the soon-to-close North Bend substation, she’s spent several years diving into the early minutes of the city, and the Valley Record’s archives, building a picture of the history of independent policing in this community, a legacy that ends, or changes, with the new contract putting police duties in the hands of a new Snoqualmie-North Bend department on March 7.

Policing in North Bend dates back to the days of George H. Mead, the town’s first, cigar-smoking justice, and Frank E. Harte, the first chief of police, who took office in January 1912. Two years later, on Feb. 10, 1914, the police department was armed, with one Colt pistol. Cost: $17.25.

New era

In those early days, police chiefs were not just cops. They were dogcatchers. They certified citizens’ sewer systems. And they collected their own salaries from tickets and fees. Most of their work came from minor offenses like setting off fireworks illegally, or drinking in public.

The city’s own police department ended in 1974. In that year, King County sheriff’s deputies took over, in the first contractual arrangement between a city and the county. Since then, a dozen King County sergeants have acted as the city’s police chiefs. They applied for the job, and the final choice was made by the city council and mayor. Sgt. Richard Phillips was the first deputy to serve as chief. One man, Dave Jolly, served on three different occasions. The substation, where Smith has assembled her archive for Thursday’s open house, has housed the local force since 2000. Prior to that, the police substation was the current conference room at North Bend’s City Hall.

Since taking over North Bend’s policing duties in 1974, the sheriff’s office has investigated some interesting, high-profile and occasionally quirky cases:

Food Phantom

Above, deputies investigate an odd crime, in which a man raided local camping sites for food. Deputies dubbed him the "Food Phantom."


Cops on bikes

Roger Connelly, above, demonstrates how police were able to sneak around more using 10-speed bikes instead of patrol cars in 1974. The idea is that the bikes are quieter than the noisy Dodge police cruisers, so that deputies can surprise gas-siphoning thieves who work nights.

 

Keg crackdown

Above, deputies confiscated two kegs of beer from a drinking party crackdown in April of 1976, the first haul from the party patrols that local police do every spring, through today.

Marijuana grow

In June of 1974, deputies destroyed a 1,500-plant marijuana growing operation on Weyerhaeuser land near Snoqualmie, one of the biggest pot-grows ever found in the Valley. An “unidentified reliable source” told deputies about the illegal farm.

 


Serial killer’s dumping ground

North Bend was known to be used as a body dump site by serial killer Gary Ridgway and, just outside of the North Bend Sheriff’s station coverage area, by Ted Bundy. In 1976, the Record published a police sketch and warning by deputies seeking a killer named “Ted”—a long-haired Bundy—believed to be responsible for the vanished women.


Cop car rammed

The squad car above got rammed during a 1976 chase that began in North Bend and ended on Interstate 90, east of town. The 19-year-old Snoqualmie man at the wheel had a suspended license, hit a cop car, then spun out of control and slammed into an embankment. He was arrested for reckless, drunk driving.

 

The big crimes

The sheriff's office has handled its share of high-profile cases in North Bend. Among the most sensational were the Oct. 28, 2004 murder-suicide of Annie and David Chung at their North Bend restaurant, Happy Sushi and Teriyaki. David Chung had no criminal past. But that fall, his marriage was troubled.

His wife had a restraining order against him and he spent two nights in jail. Chung took a taxi from the Issaquah jail to the restaurant, stabbed his wife four times in the kitchen and then stabbed himself fatally.

Teresa Cahill

In 2002, Teresa Cahill’s body was found by hunters in the area on Nov. 18, 2002. Her husband, Craig Cahill, reported her missing from their Tacoma home Nov. 16, and made a tearful television appearance about the case, before being arrested on suspicion of murder. Cahill was convicted of her murder in 2003, and sentenced to 45 years in prison.

 


Keller murders

On April 22, 2012, North Bend resident Peter Keller shot his daughter, Kaylene and wife, Lynnettee, in their sleep, then torched the home and escaped to a log-built bunker in steep country above North Bend’s Forster Woods neighborhood. Police had him surrounded him days later, when he took his own life. He spent nine years secretively building the hideout on Rattlesnake Ridge. In chilling video diaries, Keller left few clues as to why he did what he felt he had to do, other than saying that he couldn’t live a normal life anymore. To ensure that the memory of Lynnettee and Kaylene Keller lives on, the Rocha family established a scholarship fund in Kaylene’s name, geared toward young people like her. Part of the Seattle Foundation, the fund will help teens with interests similar to Kaylene, who had planned to attend the DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond.

Chief Timeline

North Bend Police Department ceased at midnight on December 31, 1973. King County Police Department assumed police services on January 1, 1974

Sgt. Richard Phillips         January 1, 1974 – October 17, 1974

Sgt. David Jolly                  October 17, 1974 – October 14, 1976

Sgt. Bruce Miller               October 14, 1976 – May 1, 1977

Sgt. David Jolly                  April 27, 1977 – April 5, 1978

Sgt. Jerry Lane                   April 6, 1978 – April 30, 1979

Sgt. Howard Reynolds    May 1, 1979 - Sept 30, 1979

Sgt. David Jolly                  Oct 1 1979 -?

Sgt. Robert Cline              1982 -?

Sgt. John Goldsmith        May 1987 – January 31, 1990

Sgt. Lorie Goldsmith       February 1, 1990 – ?

Sgt. Robert Iness              June 25, 1991   (not a chief – Patrol Officer in charge)

Sgt. Dave Germani          January 1, 1993 – April 15, 1998

Sgt. Grant Stewart           April 16, 1998 – July 15, 2003

Sgt. Joseph Hodgson      July 16, 2003  – August 15, 2009

Sgt. Mark Toner                August 16, 2009 – 2014

 

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