Sunday, October 19, 2014

I Should Have Killed Him Then Part Two

Theresa Kennedy Dupay, the Slabtown Chronicle’s newest guest blogger, has a flair for historical research and dramatic storytelling. Here is the second part of her study of the murder of Police Lieutenant Phillip Johnson. This case is also featured in my new book with JB Fisher Portland on the Take. I hope you like it. – JD Chandler

Well-known and beloved, retired Lt. Frank Springer was hired in 1938 by the Portland Police Bureau. In 2008, retired Springer sat down and in a 4 hour taped interview, revealed many surprising elements about his 35-year-career with PPB. As a young patrolman Blaine Chase was one of Springer's early trainers. With twenty years’ experience in police work, Chase showed Springer the ropes of how police work was really done; how to be safe, what to do and what not to do. Frank Springer was known as a perceptive and observant young patrolman in those early days and it’s not surprising that Springer would easily discover certain details about Chase and his earlier history at PPB that other officers would apparently fail to unearth. Springer described Chase as a “good trainer” but as a man whose career had passed him by. According to Springer, Chase was a man who was troubled with “severe depression” and “bitter resentment” over an old grudge that he could not seemingly part with. Springer also claims that the atmosphere at Precinct # 1 was generally quite “tense” as the two ex-partners were assigned to work the same shift, and “... neither man would speak to the other.” (JD Chandler, 2014).
Frank Springer was a rookie when he met Blaine Chase. The two men remained friends until Chase’s suicide in 1941. Courtesy of Portland Police Historical Society.
Springer goes on to recall the incident, “Sometimes you get a sixth sense, policemen will talk about that. This is an instance where I had it. My partner and I had gone into the station to get some gas for the car and then left and had only gone ten blocks, when we get a call to return to the station (East Precinct, 7th and Alder Street) because there had been a shooting. I turned to my partner and said, “I bet Chase has shot the Lieutenant!”And where in the world that came from, I have no idea at all. It just came as a flash. So, we went back there and we were the first car there, because it was our district.”(Springer, 2008).
Three days before the shooting, Springer remembers that Blaine Chase called on him and his wife Jerri at their family home for an unexpected visit. After some small talk, Chase offered Frank Springer a valuable rifle that he claimed he no longer wanted to keep. Springer was surprised and flattered by the gesture but refused to accept the rifle, probably because he could see it was expensive and that it would be inappropriate and opportunistic to accept it.“Incidentally, I told you that I worked with Chase a couple of nights. He was a lot older than I of course, but he was a good trainer. About three nights before the shooting, he came over to the house, first time he'd been there and he visited with Jerri and I [sic]. He went out to his car and got a rifle and a fishing pole and brought them in and he said, “Here, I want you to have this.” And I couldn't imagine what in the world he was giving that to me for, because he hardly knew me. But I argued with him and said, “I can't take a rifle like that, I don't know anything about rifles.” And he said, “Well, I thought you might like it” and I said, “I'm sorry but it’s not for me.” And I said, “I'm not a fisherman either but my wife likes to fish.” and he gave the fishing rod to her. It was a nice salmon rod; I still have it up in the attic. Looking back, he must have planned the murder-suicide, or else he wouldn't be giving away his possessions like that.” (Springer, 2008).
Only hours after the shooting, an all-points bulletin went out to local police stations. This information was broadcast and rebroadcast to all the state police stations. “5:25 AM. WANTED FOR THE MURDER OF LT. JOHNSON, EX-OFFICER ARTHUR B. CHASE, 57 YRS, 5 FEET 9, 200 POUNDS. BLUE EYES-LT COMPLECTION. PARTLY BALD, GREY AROUND THE TEMPLES. WALKS WITH A SLIGHT LIMP. WEARING WHEN LAST SEEN, A DARK GREY SUIT, RED TIE WITH SMALL FIGURES, WHITE SHIRT, REDDISH BROWN OXFORD SHOES. DRIVING A 1939 BUICK COUPE, BLACK COLOR. HE IS WELL ARMED, HAD WITH HIM A .45 AUTOMATIC, A .32-20, A .38, A .25, A SHOTGUN AND A RIFLE.”
Blaine Chase was the subject of an intense manhunt in the hours after he shot Lt. Johnson. He was a rogue cop and he knew he wouldn’t survive long if he was caught. Courtesy of Portland City Archive.
All major roads in the city were blocked and every available officer was out and looking for Arthur “Blaine” Chase at various checkpoints throughout the city. Police went from car to car as people tried to go about their daily business within and without the city limits. In the teletype, Chase was described as an “Ex-Officer.” He was the enemy. He was wanted for murder. As a seasoned street cop, Chase must have known that were he to be captured, he would likely be shot and certainly at the very least beaten severely for having killed, in cold blood, someone as well-regarded as Lt. Phillip Johnson.
Chase had to have understood that aspect of police culture. He also had to have known his life was essentially over and there was no place to hide. As all police in the city were searching for Chase, the first place they chose to look was his most recent apartment, in a string of various apartments and hotels across the city where he lived. In his apartment, detectives found that he had cleaned out all of his personal effects,” with not much left behind. They found only an “old, dirty Mallory hat,” an empty quart bottle of whiskey, a pair of women’s black leather gloves and a discarded crime novel by writer Ellery Queen. The novel found in Chase's room may have been the 1941 classic, “Ellery Queen and the Perfect Crime,” as it was very popular that year.
The detectives spoke to the manager and discovered that Chase had hired a moving truck to remove the contents of a storage locker in the basement less than a week before. They also wondered what happened to his expensive boat and whether it had been moved out to one of the local rivers. The manager was unaware that Chase had for all intents and purposes moved out of his apartment. While detectives searched the Chase apartment, they discovered through the manager that Chase had three women friends with whom he associated. Eleanor Sallard, Vivian Morris, who called on him weekly, and his favorite of the three, Mrs. Mary Robinson. The police couldn’t make contact with any of the women and no further mention is made of their attempting to contact or question them at a later date.
Perhaps most revealing is the testimony of one Special Officer, Frank J. Parker, a close friend and regular associate of Chase. In Parker's sworn statement, recorded May 9, 1941, the day of the killing, he admited that he and Chase were “good friends” who “associate in our spare time, as well as during working hours.” Parker went on to explain that two days before the killing he and Chase drove around together, as they both worked the same special officer beat. “He rode around with me for a while and during the conversation he told me that he thought [the Lieutenant would not press any charges against him] because of some trouble he and Johnson had had some time back. With reference to this trouble he stated that he should have shot Johnson at that time. I asked what he meant by that and he just passed if off with a shrug.” (Official Officers Report, 1941).
Lt. Phillip Johnson had a long relationship with Blaine Chase. It was reported that Chase regretted not killing Johnson years before. Courtesy of Portland City Archive.
What could Chase have been referring to? Why would he feel he had something over on Johnson that would prevent him from ever being disciplined for his chronic lateness and absenteeism? Was Chase really that angry at a superior officer for suspending him for being late from oversleeping due to drunkenness? And did Chase really feel that death would be a worthy or equal punishment for such a misdemeanor? Or was it something else that fueled Chase's hatred of Johnson? Something more personal perhaps?
At one point, toward the end of his 2008 interview, Frank Springer, finally revealed the long forgotten truth about Arthur “Blaine” Chase and what fueled the hatred he felt for Lt. Phillip Johnson. On September 15, 1921 Blaine Chase, a respected policeman with 3 years on the job, age 37, married Venola Katheryn Pierce, a telephone operator from Boise, Idaho in Vancouver. In Chase's personnel file, Pierce is listed as 19-years-old at the time of their wedding, but according to US Census records, she was only 18, having been born June 20, 1903. Chase had already been married and divorced twice before. His first wife was Maud Godbey, whom he married December 30th, 1904, at the age of twenty. He is reported to have left her after four days and that “They were divorced in Judge McBride's Court at Oregon City, April 20th, 1908.” He then married Helen Fanno Britton in October, 1913 with no divorce date given in the PPB personnel file.
Considering his desultory history with his prior wives, who were both around his own age, it is very possible that Venola was a pretty young girl with whom Chase was very much in love. Something changed that status though; something from an unexpected source. Chase and his new wife were married about a year, when 48-year-old Phillip Raymond Johnson, Chase's then partner, began to secretly pursue Venola, beginning an affair with herShe fell hopelessly in love with Johnson and left her husband soon after the affair began. As soon as Venola left Chase, Johnson promptly dumped her, abruptly ending the relationship. Apparently, Johnson was interested in the illicit sex an affair would provide him, but not interested in dealing with the inconvenience or embarrassment of a very young, adoring wife.
Blaine Chase’s ill-fated 1921 marriage to Venola Pierce was at the heart of the fatal dispute he had with his ex-partner, Lt. Phillip Johnson. Courtesy of Portland City Archive.
“The story actually starts way back, 20 years before, when the Lieutenant, Phil Johnson and Chase the patrolman, were partners. Johnson got to fooling around with Chase's wife and Chase's wife fell in love with Johnson and so she divorced Chase to marry Johnson. When the divorce was final, Johnson says, “No way, I never meant it to go like this!” Now Chase could live with the divorce but he was still in love with his wife and he couldn't live with her being dumped like that. So, the bitterness started. Years went by and by some stupidity in the chief's office, they put those two on the same relief. I had worked with Chase a couple of nights and Johnson was our Lieutenant and they never spoke. The friction grew and Chase came to work late one night and Johnson suspended him. For a suspension to take place, you had to have a hearing, so the morning that the hearing was set, (May 9, 1941) Chase came into work about 3:00 am and he had two guns [sic]. He came into the station and he started shooting at the Lieutenant. Johnson went into the back room where the desk Sergeant was and he dropped to the floor and got behind a desk. Chase followed him in there and killed him. There were bullet holes all over the station. Incidentally, it’s a photography shop now and the bullet holes are still there.” (Springer, 2008).
Springer claims that Chase still loved his wife and was furious with the insult of Johnson dumping her. But why would Chase be so angry at the idea of an insult like that? Perhaps it is because the insult of Johnson not marrying Venola and essentially abandoning her would contribute to a loss of reputation and community respect that Venola could never recover from. This was after all 1922, during prohibition and other forms of social and cultural repression were the accepted norm. The scandal that Venola had allowed or even encouraged to happen to her marriage might have ruined any future prospects for her. Perhaps Chase understood this and perhaps that is why he was so angry when Johnson eventually threw her away. Venola and Chase ultimately did not reconcile, though it was well known how much he continued to pine for her, grieving her loss. Even if he'd wanted to, taking Venola back would have made him a laughing stock with his buddies on the police force and his pride would likely not have allowed that.
Other Oregon state records indicate Venola married again, after her divorce from Chase was final. In 1934, vital statistics records show that Venola Katheryn Chase married Arthur Wood on June 22, 1934, in Multnomah County. Not only did Chase lose his young wife to duplicity and infidelity, to a man he may have considered a friend and his partner on the job, but he lost her forever when she remarried another man. This was something that clearly festered within Chase's mind and contributed to a huge level of rage and sorrow as the years passed and he was unable to create any other manner of personal happiness for himself.
It’s likely also that Chase felt inferior to Johnson in other ways too. Johnson was a charming, well-mannered Southern gentleman. He was college educated and a healer, having completed a degree as a licensed Chiropractor. And unlike Chase, Johnson was able to advance through the ranks. As Chase attempted to go on with his life, becoming an “excellent hunter” and “fisherman” who often went out on fishing and boating excursions, he was not able to recreate the kind of happiness he'd once had with young Venola. He never married after this third marriage failed and though he did associate with women in intimate relationships, he kept them at a distance, continuing to live alone for the remainder of his life.
As time went on, Chase must have realized he'd never be promoted the way Johnson was. His resentment and envy for Johnson must have become all consuming. It would have been easy for Chase to blame Johnson for all his troubles, heartache and bad luck. And that obviously, is indeed what happened. Chase became increasingly more disillusioned with police work, and more hardened to the job. He became chronically ill, often calling in sick and simply not showing up for work for two and sometimes three days at a stretch, without calling in his absences, which was of course, the expected protocol.
The absenteeism could have been due to his well-known problem with alcohol, but also must have been a form of rebellion. To go A.W.O.L without so much as a telephone call to his supervisor's had to have been a blatant act of aggression on his part. He was testing his luck, and seeing exactly how much he could get away with. Also recorded in the Chase personnel file is that in June 1937, Chase broke one of his legs, which left him in a constant state of pain for several months. This probably made the drinking even more necessary, if only to alleviate the pain that contributed to a mild limp in his gait. By 1939, the leg was reported to have healed, though Chase still walked with a discernible limp. There is currently no record of the cause of the injury in his personnel file, which probably means he broke his leg in his off hours, and not while on duty.
Experts in criminal causation generally claim that the taking of a life usually occurs after a person has experienced one or more forms of traumatic and bewildering loss. And Chase certainly had, in a multitude of ways. According to Oregon Census records, in about one year, Chase's despised mother Clara (the one who had married at least four men) passed away July 23, 1940, while in her late 80's and living in California. There is no indication that Chase took any time off to attend her funeral. Then his father, Edward Chase died sometime in early 1941. In one year, Chase lost both parents and was then fired from a long and demanding career as a beat cop. When comparing his life to Johnson's, it must have seemed that Johnson had it all. He had college degrees, was a high ranking official in the police bureau, was well-liked and had been happily married for several years with a loving wife named Sarah, waiting at home every night. Their marriage date in 1928 is listed as July 5th, Johnson's very birth date.
What did Chase have? Nothing apparently. He'd lost it all. He'd lost his reputation, his job and most of all he'd lost the young girl named Venola, not only to an affair but also to another marriage. Venola would always be the young, pretty wife he had loved and lost. She would never age in his mind, she would always be that pretty girl; the one who got away. There was no way Chase could go back in time and change things. All he could do was change the future. And he would. He would make certain of that. The seed of revenge must have begun germinating in Chase's mind years before he actually began preparing to act on it. The desire to even the score must have started out slowly and then as he became more desperate, more ill, and more lonely and disenfranchised, must have become an all-consuming, full-time fantasy life that he courted.
An official report by Captain H.A. Lewis, submitted to Police Chief Harry Niles on May 10, 1941, gave an extremely negative appraisal of Arthur “Blaine” Chase. The report was critical of Chase’s professionalism, ability and overall character. In addition it presented a motive for Johnson’s killing. In the report, Lewis stated, “In regard to the recent tragedy in which Officer A. B. Chase shot and killed his immediate commander, Lieut. P. R. Johnson, I have given this matter considerable consideration and have investigated it from all angles as far back as when these men came to this precinct. In this way, I have come to the conclusion that A. B. Chase had grown so resentful toward any authority, or discipline, or criticism of himself or his actions that he allowed it to prey on his mind to the extent that it became, in a way, a sort of mania. In the belief that the Lieutenant was unfairly riding him he made up his mind to “get even” and took this way of doing it.” (Official Police Report, 1941).
Lewis went on to detail the fact that Chase’s behavior had become more and more intolerable since the injury to his leg in 1937. “He seemed to think that no one had any right to tell him anything and resented any criticism or orders from any one. At that time he was in rather a bad way. His leg was in a cast and he complained of more or less pain at all times.”(Official Police Report, 1941).
Theresa Kennedy Dupay has thoroughly investigated this case and will present her final conclusions in Part Three of I Should Have Killed Him Then, coming soon at the Slabtown Chronicle.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I Should Have Killed Him Then

            I’m always pleased to welcome a guest blogger here at Slabtown Chronicle and I’m proud to present our newest guest blogger Theresa Kennedy Dupay who has written a series of articles on a crime I mention briefly in my new book Portland on the Take (with JB Fisher). This very public murder-suicide rocked Portland in the months before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, but it was very quickly forgotten. Ms. Dupay has really dug into the details and brings us the full story, starting with Part One…

     “MURDUR.” This is the first word on the top, left-hand corner of the typewritten Officer's Report, under “subject.” It is unknown who wrote the word, in cursive, as it appears on three other witness statement forms, (probably carbon copies) completed by different officers. The officer either didn't know how to spell the word properly, or was merely in a hurry and too careless to correct the glaring error. The likelihood is that he was rushed and didn't see it. Today the term used would not be murder but rather homicide. The death the document references occurred May 9th, 1941, when one police officer killed another police officer. The bad blood grew over a decades old grievance, that apparently could neither be forgotten, nor forgiven.
     Early, that morning, Veteran patrolman Arthur “Blaine” Chase, (who had recently been suspended and would have been formally terminated that day by Mayor George Baker for “conduct unbecoming a police officer") entered the old, East Precinct and a single shot was heard ringing throughout the building. Commonly referred to then, as Precinct # 1, the building is located at 626, on the corner of SE 7th and Alder Street and was formerly the location of the original Water Bureau.
Photo courtesy of Oregonian Historical Archive - Multnomah County Library.
     At 3:27 am, that morning, Chase shot his longtime rival and enemy, Lieutenant Phillip Raymond Johnson. Chase walked to the office doorway, after entering through the North-facing, double door entrance, and as Johnson arose from his chair, Chase shot him, at point blank range, aiming for Johnson's groin. The bullet entered the right side of the pelvis, shattering bone, and exiting the right buttock. But the powerful trajectory did not end there. The bullet penetrated a wall behind Lt. Johnson, entering a metal locker and tearing through the left sleeve of a uniform blouse belonging to one Officer Schenck. After being shot, Lt. Johnson fled through a doorway, to the left of his desk, running into the desk officers quarters and into a back office, on the other side of the building, with Chase following behind. Johnson ran past Patrolman Cook and Special officer Turley, as Cook sat at his desk and Turley stood nearby. Johnson uttered his last known words, when he breathlessly exclaimed “Chase shot me!”
     Chase followed, with a gun in each hand. He stood near the doorway, looking into the back office, with numerous metal lockers behind him, bearing their solitary witness to the murder he would so callously commit. Chase held a powerful .45 automatic and a .38 revolver as Johnson crouched low, trying to get cover behind a wooden desk. “When coming into the room Chase ordered Special Turley out of the room and commenced firing at Johnson.” Chase is reported to have barked at Turley, “Get out of here while the getting is good!” But another policeman reports that Chase said, “Get out of here while you still have a whole skin!”
     Whatever was said, Turley fled while he had the chance, going the way Chase had come in, in an effort to secure his pistol and come to the aid of his wounded Lieutenant. Patrolman Cook was trapped in back of his desk in the far left hand corner of the room, and fell to the floor, taking cover behind his desk, as both men exchanged rapid gunfire. Johnson shot at Chase five times, missing him with each round. Chase shot at Johnson five more times, hitting him in the right hand, between the ring and the little finger, with the force of the round knocking the gun out of Johnson's hand. Johnson was also hit in the left hand, just below the index finger and then hit in the left knee, on the outside portion, just below the knee cap. After unloading most of the rounds in both the .45 and the .38 revolver, Chase ran out the front entrance, running across the street to the service station. There he got into his 1939, black Buick Coupe and sped off, heading toward Washington street and ultimately, Barton Bridge in Clackamas County.
     Before Johnson was carried away, a Lt. Schulpius found him on the floor and attempted to communicate with him. “We arrived at 3:36 am and immediately endeavored to talk to Lt. Johnson, but he was unconscious and had a glassy stare in his eyes” (Official Officers Report, 1941). Johnson was taken to Emmanuel Hospital, by the Oregon Ambulance Company, and sometime later, at 4:02 am, was pronounced dead by one Dr. Lockwood. The likelihood of course, is that Johnson died well before 4:02 am and was probably dead or dying at 3:36 am, when Lt. Schulpius attempted to speak with him.
     None of the shots Johnson endured were lethal gut or head shots, so its likely that Johnson died of shock, blood loss and the massive heart attack that would follow. He lasted only about nine minutes after the first round tore through his pelvis. Johnson was 66-years-old at the time of his death, Chase, the shooter, 57. But what could fuel such lethal hatred? What could drive one policeman to kill another?

Photo courtesy of Oregonian Historical Archive - Multnomah County Library.
     When I first learned the story of Arthur “Blaine” Chase and Phillip Raymond Johnson, through my friend and crime historian JD Chandler, it seemed fairly simple. And like your typical non-law enforcement civilian, I found myself making enormous blanket generalizations about the tragedy. Poor Chase, I thought to myself. Johnson must have really crossed the line. Once I secured complete copies of all the documents in Chase and Johnson's files, perfectly preserved by one Sergeant Ralph O'Hara, (who rescued thousands of such PPB personnel files from the destruction of the incinerator) I discovered a very different story about two highly imperfect, yet multi-faceted men. Two very different men who would pay a heavy price for the choices they'd made decades earlier.
     Blaine Chase, much like Phillip Johnson came to his career in law enforcement late in life. Chase was 34-years-old when he was sworn in, April Fool's Day, 1918. Johnson, was 36-years-old when he was sworn in as a peace officer, October 16th, 1909. Johnson had been born and raised in the South, coming of age in Montross, Virginia and then moving to Oregon as a young man. Chase was a native Oregonian, born in Logan, Oregon, an “unincorporated community in Clackamas County,” near Milwaukie and the Barton community, coming of age in both close-knit farming communities. Chase's occupations are listed as an “Express Messenger” and a “farmer” before becoming a police officer, while Johnson worked as a “Laundry Driver” for the Troy Laundry Company in Portland, on SW Pine Street before he became an officer. They had started out as equals, of a sort, and had even worked as partners, but differences relating to personality, education level, drive and ambition led to a distinct disparity socially and professionally. And that eventually led to betrayal.

Phillip Johnson joined the Police Bureau in 1909 and worked as Blaine Chase's partner before being promoted to Lieutenant. Photo courtesy of Oregonian Historical Archive - Multnomah County Library.
     While leafing through Blaine Chase's personnel file, it became clear that by the late 1930's, this officer was profoundly burnt-out by the profession. Its also very likely, Chase had been a poor choice from the start. The file details more than one motor vehicle accident Chase had been involved in. In one such accident, Chase was seen “swerving all over the road” yelling profanity, and repeatedly ordering another driver to “get over!”which was the vernacular of the day for “Pull over!” In another report, a Portland citizen discovered and reported a stolen car and wanted to be paid the listed reward money, but to his dismay he discovered that Portland Police Officer Arthur Chase claimed he found the car first. Chase was given the reward money and would not even consider giving the other man half. The civilian wrote a letter of complaint to the chief of police in protest. The chief backed Officer Chase and the matter was closed.
     Chase was described by more than one civilian and police supervisor, as angry, bull-headed, overly aggressive and impatient. In one “History Sheet” form, written up by the Women's Protective Division, an allegation was made that Chase had gotten a woman known only as “Miss Andrews” pregnant. The charge is listed as “Bastardy” which refers to “the begetting of an illegitimate child.” The form documents more than one meeting with Miss Andrews, Chase and chief of Police Leon Jenkins to resolve the matter. Miss Andrews claimed that on October 25th, 1925 she was invited by Chase to spend time with him in his room. They had met at Ireland's Sandwich Shop in Portland, in July or August of that year and became friends. The report goes on to say, “She had burned her arm; was feeling badly. He was kind; wanted her to rest awhile in afternoon.” At that first official meeting with the police Chief, November 10th, 1925, Chase said he would “...see her through.”
     The woman needed money for an “operation” as Dr. L. R. Roberts had written a letter claiming she was too delicate and weak to “carry a infant to maturity” and “live.” The letter claims she was two months pregnant. It is also revealed that due to the distress of the situation, Miss Andrews attempted suicide November 2nd, 1925. Later during another follow-up meeting for the same issue, dated January 10th, 1926, Chase offered to give the woman $200 if she would release him from any “future obligation.” He wanted nothing to do with her or the baby she claimed to be carrying.
     Sometime later, Miss Andrews offered another letter to Chief Jenkins, claiming she suffered from “Albumin” and“should have treatments for some time.” She indicated that she wished Chase to pay for this as well. The condition of having Albumin unusually refers to a blood disorder from low protein levels. This can be caused by many things, such as Tuberculosis, poor nutrition, kidney and liver disease due to alcoholism, infections of the feet, decayed teeth, infected gums and even chronic bladder infections. All of those symptoms might be consistent for a “Chippy” or an amateur, or sometime prostitute. 
By the 1930s Blaine Chase was a burned out cop. His personnel file shows that he was probably not fit to be a cop in the first place. Photo courtesy of Oregonian Historical Archive - Multnomah County Library.
     Miss Andrews did not however, follow up with any claims for money for the “operation” she had previously stated she needed. And “Officer Chase did not make any attempt to raise the money,” the report concludes. The information presented in these documents presents a challenge. Was Miss Andrews really pregnant or was she merely a prostitute looking to make some quick money by smearing the reputation of a well-known, hot-headed, local policeman? In a time in Portland's history when prostitution was rampant and indeed accepted, the con of accusing a police officer of making a woman pregnant might seem an attractive idea to those criminals who might believe they could get away with such a ploy. And Chase would have been an easy target, particularly if he was known to visit prostitutes. There is no follow up information on the issue and no resolution offered or recorded in the file.
     Another woman entered into the beleaguered life of Patrolman Chase; a Mrs. Lois Mae Davis. She was a good friend who refered to Chase in the familiar, as “Blaine” and claimed to be a “very close friend.” She sent a letter to Chief of Police Jenkins, begging for help. She asked the Chief to force Officer Chase to repay a $140 loan she said she could prove, by virtue of a bank promissory note, that she had afforded him. As Mrs. Davis was a widow with two small daughters, who earned “half” of what Chase made, and who was struggling financially, she sent a letter, full of typo's and misspelled and crossed-out words to the Chief. He responded sometime later in a Memo, in which Chief Jenkins indicated that Officer Chase claimed “he does not owe you any debt,” and informed Mrs. Davis that it was a civil matter and she should take it up in the courts, “ the proper manner.” The matter was closed. The woman was ignored and Chase did not repay the alleged $140 loan.
     Two years later, July 22nd, 1927, another History Sheet from the Women's Protective Division was filled out with yet another accusation against Chase. This charge is described as “Neglect of Aged Woman.” Mrs. Isacson was elderly and alone. Her husband had recently died. “Mrs. Isacson is sick, not able to be alone and without funds. Husband died two weeks ago. Arthur Chase, a policeman, is her son; he lives in Montgomery Apartments. Third and Montgomery. Chase knows his mother is destitute and does nothing to help her.” This form also has no stated resolution to the problem or if Chase offered any funds to prevent the homelessness of his aged mother, other than $10 which he claimed to have given her sometime before.
     What would compel a man to ignore his elderly mother and allow her to become destitute and perhaps even homeless? When Chase was born in 1884, there were no real laws against child abuse. Fathers and mothers could beat their children to the point of near death and were rarely charged with a crime. Census records indicate that Chase's mother “Clara” had been married at least four times during her life and possibly more than that. Census records from 1900 also show that Blaine Chase was living with a Step-father with the surname of “Richey” and that his last name had been changed to Richey for a short while. Chase must have resented his mother Clara for forcing him to change his name, because as soon as he was able, he changed his last name back to his natural father's surname of Chase.
     Phillip Johnson's personnel file shows a very different sort of man. He was a self-starter, studious and ambitious. He attended three years of Chiropractic college in Portland and became a licensed Chiropractor. He was an enlightened healer. Eventually, he also earned a law degree from an Oregon University and after becoming a patrolman, slowly advanced through the ranks, earning high praise from all those he worked with. Johnson is described as having “a pleasant personality” and as “easy going.” He was a man who “rarely gets ruffled.”
     Chase on the other hand, did not advance through the ranks and remained a patrolman, walking a beat his entire career. The more Chase remained on the job, the more surly, disengaged and alcoholic he became. At one point an evaluator describeed Chase as a man who suffered from a “superiority complex.” He became known as someone who was given to bragging about his superior policing skills at the expense of other officers who were apparently, not as tough or capable. At no time in Chase's career though, did he earn any commendations from his superiors or letters of praise from citizens.

Theresa Kennedy Dupay continues her research into this story and we can expect further chapters on this case from her in the near future. JC  Here is part two.