Looking back: Prisoner kills his five roommates, 12-year old boy rescues man and local sheriff wins hunting competition - East Idaho News
Looking Back

Looking back: Prisoner kills his five roommates, 12-year old boy rescues man and local sheriff wins hunting competition

  Published at  | Updated at

IDAHO FALLS — EastIdahoNews.com is looking back at what life was like during the week of May 23 to May 29 in east Idaho history.


BLACKFOOT — A prisoner in the Idaho state asylum killed his five roommates, The Sugar City Times reported on May 29, 1913.

Peter Bradovitch killed his roommates by beating them over their heads with a table while they slept.

“There was no evidence of a struggle between the maniac and his victims except on the body of (one),” the local paper wrote. “So quietly did Bradovitch accomplish the killing that guards sleeping across the hall were not awakened.”

The heads of all five were “completely crushed” and the bodies weren’t discovered until the guards made their rounds in the morning.

“Bradovitch was disarmed without resistance and placed in solitary confinement,” the article said. “He refused to talk today and so far the asylum officials have been unable to determine what caused him to attack his fellow patients other than he held some fancied grievance against them.”

The coroner’s jury exonerated the asylum officials from all blame after “having developed it was necessary to confine several patients in one compartment owing to the overcrowded condition of the institution.”

The institution had accommodations for 250 inmates but there were over 300 patients at the time of the murders.

Bradovitch had been in the asylum for two years and before that, he’d been in the state penitentiary, where he was serving a life-sentence for murder.


RIGBY — A 12-year-old boy rescued a 65-year-old man from drowning in the South Fork north of Ririe, The Rigby Star said on May 27, 1937.

The boy, Kendell Workman, was fishing in the Snake River below a bridge near Ririe when Hyrum Frew fell backwards from a clump of cedars he was fishing from into about 12 feet of water.

“The boy hooked his legs around a log and caught Mr. Frew by the suspenders as the helpless man, after going under once, was carried past,” The Rigby Star explained.

Workman held Frew’s head above water until Workman’s grandpa and another man arrived and were able to get the “exhausted man” out of the water.

“It was reported that Mr. Frew was unable to swim and the timely action of young Workman probably saved his life,” the article stated.


PRESTON — A former Franklin County sheriff won a national competition, according to The Preston Citizen’s May 24, 1962, paper.

Ray Talbot won first place in the 1961 North American Big Game Competition sponsored by the Boone and Crockett Club. The club is an organization of big game hunters founded by Theodore Roosevelt. The award was given to Talbot for a mule deer.

“This years entries are far and away the finest ever submitted — which May appear somewhat surprising in the face of the population explosion and increasing urbanization and highway building in the United States,” Robert S. Waters, chairman of the records committee, mentioned. “Among this year’s award-winning entries are five all-time world records and several that exceed or tie for the all-time second place. This is a spectacular record.”

The awards were based on judging of submitted heads or accurate measurements, which are scored under an established formula for each species, the article noted.

Overall, there were 2,342 entries in the 1961 exhibition, which was 700 more than in 1959. Those who participated in the hunt came from 33 states, Canada and Switzerland.


POCATELLO — A teenager was in critical condition following a shootout with police, the Idaho State Journal announced on May 24, 1976.

City police pulled over Craig Turner, 16, Anthony Zahm, 17, and a female juvenile at the Red Steer Drive-in. Officials believed the vehicle was involved in two recent burglaries of a home on Pocatello Creek Road.

“Pocatello police held the three until a search warrant could be served by the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office,” authorities said. “But before deputies arrived to serve the warrant, the three fled in their Dodge Dart and opened fire on city officers.”

Idaho State Police, Chubbuck Police and county deputies pursued the vehicle. During the chase, Turner was shot by authorities and wounded in the spine. The chase ended when the suspect’s car struck a telephone pole.

Turner was taken to Bannock Memorial Hospital and admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. He was charged with first-degree burglary. The burglary involved the theft of more than $6,000 in rifles, jewelry and liquor from the Pocatello Creek home of attorney Peter D. McDermott.

Zahm was charged with assault with intent to commit murder. The female juvenile was not charged at the time of publication. She was taken to the hospital and treated for shock.