Editor’s note: This article is reprinted from the May 12, 1916, edition of the Evening Capital News in Boise and was itself a reprint of a Pocatello Chronicle article. Walter Currans was one of the many aliases of Joseph Henry Loveless.


Under arrest on murder charge: Husband of woman slain at Dubois in jail accused of the crime.


A man believed to be Walter Currans, well known about Lava Hot Springs for his bootlegging and notorious in Pocatello — as a jail bird — was arrested Sunday morning at an early hour by D. W. Worthington of the Revelare Detective agency, and Sheriff John Spencer of Fremont County in Spencer, Ida., charged with beating out his wife’s brains. Her death resulted after 50 hours of intense agony. It is charged that the axe was wielded by her common law in Dubois at an early hour Saturday morning, after she returned home from a dance in that city.

”Papa Killed a Man.”

A young son of the woman, who first reported the death of mother, said afterward, “Papa killed a man at Pebble,” and “Papa makes money, too,” and upon this statement the authorities believe the slayer of J.C. Smith, the wealthy Pebble rancher who was killed about a year ago, is now in the hands of the Fremont County authorities.

Record Of the Woman.

The woman who was killed Saturday night in Dubois had given her name as Mrs. Smith about that city, but it has been learned that she is Mrs. Ada Loveless. She lived for some time around Lava Hot Springs, and she was an alleged bootlegger. She and the man, who gives his name as Smith, but it is thought to be Walter Currans, had been in Dubois for a short time. Their operations in that vicinity had caused Smith to be put under surveillance for some time.

Story of the Child.

On Friday night Mrs. Smith and her little son, eight years old, went to a dance, where they remained until nearly 2 o’clock. After the dance Mrs. Smith and another woman went to a hotel and ate some cake and the little boy went home. Mrs. Smith left the hotel. In about an hour the little boy returned and told that his mother was lying on the floor, asleep, and snoring heavily. The hotel man gave him some matches, and he returned home where he found that his mother was dying. His father was not there.

Currans Is Caught.

Neighbors answered the boy’s cries and the authorities were summoned. Sheriff Fisher of St. Anthony happened to be on his way to Dubois with the detective from Pocatello, and he immediately conducted a search for the husband. All day Saturday the search was fruitless, and on Sunday morning the local detective, Fisher, and the justice of the peace at Spencer, a town near Dubois, found Currans crawling under a train, which was seen to leave for the north. Worthington dragged the alleged murderer from the truck and he was taken into custody by the sheriff. He has not been given a preliminary hearing as yet.

Has Bogus Money.

At the time of the arrest counterfeit money was in the possession of Smith, and with this as evidence and the fact that the little boy said his father made money, there will probably be a federal charge brought against him, in addition to the murder charge.

Pocatello Chronicle