Bolles investigator hopes to find new home for famous car

Don Bolles’s car on display at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
/Photo by Jim Small | Arizona Mirror

Newseum in Washington closing

By Jeremy Duda | Arizona Mirror

The white Datsun, surprisingly well preserved despite the many years it spent exposed to the elements in an outdoor lot, still looks much as it did more than 40 years ago, the day six sticks of dynamite exploded underneath Don Bolles. The driver’s side door hangs open, as it did after Bolles crawled from his bombed-out car and onto the searing blacktop. The ground beneath the car is visible through a gaping hole in the floor. 

Forty-three years after the murder of Bolles, a reporter for The Arizona Republic, the car stands as a monument to a journalist who paid the ultimate price for his work. But that monument won’t be open to the public for much longer. 

Beset by financial problems, the Newseum, a Washington, D.C., institution dedicated to the craft and history of journalism, will close its doors at the end of the year. The museum is searching for a new, more affordable home. Until then, its exhibits will go into storage. That includes perhaps its most famous artifact, which is the centerpiece of an exhibit dedicated to Bolles.

George Weisz is hoping that won’t be the case. 

For the second time, Weisz, who spent years working on the Bolles case at the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, wants to find a new home for the shattered Datsun. Whether it stays in D.C. or comes home to Arizona, Weisz wants to ensure that the car remains open to the public. 

A Phoenix police crime scene photo taken June 2, 1976, showing the car that Arizona Republicreporter Don Bolles was driving in the parking lot of the Clarendon Hotel when six sticks of dynamite stuck under the car were detonated by remote control. Bolles ultimately died from his injuries.


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