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News Release
Photo: Alvin Karpis (left) and James Carty (right). This is from the James E. Carty Collection at the WSU Vancouver Library, Archives and Special Collections
Photo: Alvin Karpis (left) and James Carty (right). This is from the James E. Carty Collection at the WSU Vancouver Library, Archives and Special Collections
CCHM Speaker Series "From the Files of James E Carty: The Case of Alvin "Creepy" Karpis" (Photo) - 09/22/21

Vancouver, WA – Join Robert Schimelpfenig, WSU Vancouver Library’s Archivist, on Thursday, October 7 as he shares records from the Files of James E. Carty and discusses the former Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s unique relationship with the depression-era gangster, Alvin "Creepy" Karpis. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the event begins at 7 p.m.

Discover Carty’s role as a parole attorney and his contentious battle with J. Edgar Hoover. Learn about the continuing friendship Carty and Karpis maintained. Hear about the efforts and extraordinary technology the WSU Vancouver Library is pursuing to uncover hidden contents within the collection that are rendered inaccessible by an aging and obsolete media format.

"The James E. Carty Collection illustrates a breadth of Clark County history through the life and career of James Carty.” says Schimelpfenig, “A WSU alumnus who was born from local pioneer stock, Carty casts a significant imprint as a lawyer, politician, historian, joker, and an all-around good Samaritan. For a moment in the late 1960s he was thrust into the national spotlight as the man responsible for freeing Public Enemy #1, Alvin “Creepy” Karpis."

The Clark County Historical Museum’s Speaker Series is a monthly exploration of Clark County history with industry experts, community members, and local artists. For our 2021 Season, the Speaker Series central theme is “The Stories that Shape Our Community: Past, Present, Future.” We’ll explore the stories, struggles, and triumphs of the various people that call Clark County home.

The CCHM Speaker Series is sponsored by the Clark County Historic Preservation Commission and Wager Audio. General admission is $5; seniors and students are $4; children under 18 are $3; and the evening is free for CCHM members, veterans, and active-duty military personnel.

Attendees are encouraged to arrive early, as it is seating is limited. For the safety of staff, visitors, and our families, CCHM does require proof of vaccination for admission to all CCHM events.

For those unable to attend our in-person Speaker Series event, we will also be providing a virtual Speaker Series. More information to follow.

For more information, contact the museum at 360-993-5679 or


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