Eight months ago a tow truck showed up at West Seattle's Rotary Viewpoint Park, removed an 18-foot totem pole and, with the help of a police officer directing traffic, drove off into the night, instantly creating a weird whodunit. Yesterday, the now-restored totem pole -- which was originally donated by the Rotary Club 34 years ago -- was returned to its rightful home, ending this strange tale of larceny right where it began.
The pole was recovered in Oregon shortly after the theft alongside another just like it, one that had been stolen from a Fred Meyer parking lot in Renton.
Interestingly enough, back when this story originally broke -- and before Jenks' name was released -- I poked around to try and find anyone who knew him, eventually talking with someone who lived near him in Lake Sawyer.
This person -- who asked then to remain anonymous -- told me that when they first met Jenks, they though he was incredibly smart. But, over time, they said, that intelligence morphed into a kind of bullying arrogance. For what it's worth, they also said that the idea that Jenks would take a piece of public art solely so he could display it in his home -- which was apparently his motivation -- didn't seem too far out of line with his character, they said.
Anyway, according to the fine folks at West Seattle Blog, the pole is not done being re-dedicated. That ceremony will take place next month.