Don Bolles (July 10, 1928 – June 13, 1976) was an American investigative reporter whose murder in a car bombing is linked to the Mafia.
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Don Bolles Roots Out Corruption and Pays With His Life
On June 2, 1976, Bolles left behind a short note in his office typewriter explaining he would meet with an informant, then go to a
luncheon meeting, and be back about 1:30 p.m. He was responsible for covering a routine hearing at the State Capitol, and planned to
attend a movie with second wife Rosalie Kasse that night in celebration of their eighth wedding anniversary. The source promised
information on a land deal involving top state politicians and possibly the mob. A wait of several minutes in the lobby of the Hotel
Clarendon was concluded with a call for Bolles himself to the front desk, where the conversation lasted no more than two minutes. Bolles
then exited the hotel, his car in the adjacent parking lot just south of the hotel on Fourth Avenue.

Apparently, Bolles started the car, even moving a few feet, before a remote-controlled bomb consisting of six sticks of dynamite taped to
the underside of the car beneath the driver's seat was detonated; the explosion shattered his lower body, opened the driver's door, and left
him mortally wounded while half outside the vehicle. Both legs and one arm were amputated over a ten day stay in St. Joseph's Hospital;
the eleventh day was the reporter's last. However, his last words after being found in the parking lot the day of the bombing were: "They
finally got me. The Mafia. Emprise. Find John [Harvey Adamson]."
Arizona Republic Investigative Reporter
Don Bolles
The exact motive for the crime remains a mystery, but many speculate the Mafia holds responsibility, as a large concentration of Bolles'
work involved organized crime, even going as far as to run a story naming over 200 known mafia members operating in the state of
Arizona. Some suspected that Kemper Marley, a man who made millions in the liquor distribution business in Arizona in a partnership
with Cindy McCain's father and fraternal uncle, was behind the Bolles murder, but Phoenix police could find no evidence linking him with
the crime, and he continued conducting business in Arizona until meeting his own death, cancer-related, on June 25, 1990 in La Jolla,
California.  Even Barry Goldwater, the Presidential hopeful, has been linked to this case.

The S.F. Examiner on October 20, 1976, reported that Maricopa County Dist. Atty. Donald Harris "said a conspiracy by 'the country club
set' was more likely than Mafia involvement in the June 2 bombing that fatally wounded Bolles. ... The mob doesn't kill cops and
reporters. This is not a Mafia case." The examiner article stated "Bolles, 47, frequently wrote about land fraud. [His stories] eventually
resulted in passage of an emergency measure legislative bill opening 'blind trusts' to public scrutiny." According to trial testimony,
Adamson had gone to San Diego with a girlfriend and purchased the electronics for two bombs. Police searching his apartment later found
the electronics for one bomb. Also according to trial testimony, Adamson early on June 2 went to the Arizona Republic employees' parking
area and asked the guard which car belonged to Bolles.

The incident sparked an investigation in the months that followed, known as the Arizona Project, with Robert W. Greene assuming the
head and drawing nearly 40 reporters and editors from 23 newspapers including The Milwaukee Journal and Newsday.
The Newseum, a $400 million interactive museum of news and journalism located in Washington, D.C., features Bolles' 1976 Datsun 710, which had
sat for 28 years in the Arizona Department of Public Safety's impound lot, as the centerpiece of a gallery devoted solely to the slain journalist.
John Harvey Adamson pleaded guilty in 1977 to second-degree murder for building and planting the bomb that killed Bolles. Adamson
accused Phoenix contractor Max Dunlap, an associate of Kemper Marley, of ordering the hit, and Chandler plumber James Robison of
triggering the bomb. Adamson testified against Dunlap and Robison, who were convicted of first-degree murder in the same year, but
whose convictions were overturned in 1978. When Adamson refused to testify again, Adamson was charged and convicted of first-degree
murder in 1980 and sentenced to death, which was overturned by the Arizona Supreme Court. In 1989, Robison was re-charged, and re-
tried and acquitted in 1993, but pleaded guilty to a charge of soliciting an act of criminal violence against Adamson. In 1990, Dunlap was
re-charged when Adamson agreed to testify again, and was found guilty of first-degree murder.

Max Dunlap died in an Arizona prison on July 21, 2009.

Among the last words that Bolles mentioned was Emprise. Emprise (later called Sportservice and now called Delaware North Companies)
was a privately owned company that operated various dog and horse racing tracks and is a major food vendor for sports arenas. In 1972,
the House Select Committee on Crime held hearings concerning Emprise’s connections with organized crime figures. Around this time,
Emprise and six individuals were convicted of concealing ownership of the Frontier Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. As a result of the
conviction, Emprise's dog racing operations in Arizona were placed under the legal authority of a trustee appointed by the Arizona State
Racing Commission. Bolles was investigating Emprise at the time of his death. However, no connection between Emprise and his death
was discovered.
Bolles grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey, and attended Teaneck High School, graduating in the class of 1946. He pursued a newspaper
career, in the footsteps of his father (chief of the Associated Press bureau in New Jersey) and grandfather. He graduated from Beloit
College with a degree in government, where he was editor of the campus newspaper, and received a President's Award for personal
achievement. After a stint in the United States Army in the Korean War assigned to an anti-aircraft unit, he joined the Associated Press as
a sports editor and rewriter in New York, New Jersey and Kentucky.

In 1962 he was hired by the Arizona Republic newspaper, published at the time by Eugene C. Pulliam, where he quickly found a spot on
the investigative beat and gained a reputation for dogged reporting of influence peddling, bribery, and land swindles. Former colleagues
say he seemed to grow disillusioned about his job in late 1975 and early 1976, and that he had requested to be taken off the investigative
beat, moving to coverage of Phoenix City Hall and then the state Legislature.

Bolles was the brother of Richard Nelson Bolles, author of the best-selling job-hunting book, What Color is Your Parachute? He shares a
grandfather, Stephen Bolles, with humanist theoretician Edmund Blair Bolles. He was married twice and had a total of seven children. His
daughter, Frances Bolles Haynes, has co-authored four books on job hunting.
John Harvey Adamson