Phoenix street signs honoring slain Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles

Amanda Luberto/KJZZ

The Clarendon Hotel.

A downtown Phoenix hotel will honor an Arizona Republic reporter killed by a car bomb 45 years ago.

In June 1976, Don Bolles drove his white Datsun to the Clarendon Hotel. The investigative journalist, known for covering corruption in the racing industry, thought he was meeting with a potential source.

But as Bolles waited in the lobby, police and court records say a man tied six sticks of dynamite under the Datsun. When Bolles backed up his car, another man used a remote control to detonate the bomb.

“His life was taken from him as he truly used his profession in journalism to make our city a better and safer place to live,” Steve Beuerlein said.

He told the Phoenix City Council on Wednesday that he grew up with Don Bolles’ daughter.

“When her father was murdered, we had just finished eighth grade and it was exciting – it was supposed to be such an exciting time, and it ended up being such a sad summer,” he said.

The bust of Don Bolles

Amanda Luberto/KJZZ

The bust of Don Bolles.

When Beuerlein noticed agenda item 90, he texted Bolles’ daughter. It was a request from the Clarendon Hotel to pay for top hats on signs honoring the journalist.

“And she didn’t know it was going to be on the agenda,” he said. “She said it was absolutely wonderful. She and her sister have asked me to pass on their appreciation to all of you and thank you for this consideration. Her family and grandchildren will be proud of this recognition that you all have. opportunity to offer Don Bolles.

Council approved the request and the eight 30-inch signs will be mounted on existing sign posts at 4th and Clarendon Avenues and 4th Avenue and Osborn Road.

For many years the hotel has exhibited a bust of Don Bolles with a description of his life and death. In April 2019, while a renovation was underway, the hotel’s owner told KJZZ that he had removed graphic crime scene photos from the hallway and planned to “find another way to better represent the situation.” and present it better.

Don Bolles Way sign 4th Avenue and Clarendon

Phoenix City Street Transportation Department

A worker installs a Don Bolles Way memorial sign at Fourth Avenue and Clarendon on July 6, 2021.

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