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Lecture – The Don Bolles Story at Mustang Library

June 2, 2016, marks 40 years since Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles was fatally injured in a car bombing. This story about the murder originally
published May 28, 2006. Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles was killed when a bomb went off in his car in June 1976. Here’s a look at the key players involved in the murder case.

Don Bolles was an investigative reporter, hired at The Arizona Republic in 1962. He immediately began making a name for himself, probing the influence of the mafia on Arizona dog and horse racing, uncovering bribery and kickbacks on the state tax and corporation commissions and investigating a conflict-of-interest scandal involving two state legislators. On June 2, 1976, he left the newsroom to meet a source at the Hotel Clarendon in Phoenix. He left a note in his typewriter at the office saying he would meet with the informant, then go to a luncheon meeting and be back about 1:30 p.m. He walked into the hotel lobby and had been waiting for a few minutes when a call came to the desk for him. He spoke on the phone for a minute or two then left the hotel, according to the reports. His car was in the parking lot just to the south of the hotel on Fourth Avenue. He apparently started the car and had moved a few feet when a bomb strapped to the underside of the car detonated, blowing open the driver’s door and shattering his lower body. He died 11 days later.

His murder was suspected to be mob-related, but was later found to be connected to his reporting on land fraud schemes by local contractor Kemper Marley, a business and ranching partner of EE Brown, and an eventual major owner of land currently in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. There are a host of others associated with this murder case involving corruption around the Brown family.

Location: Mustang Library – 10101 N 90th St, Scottsdale, AZ 85258

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