Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Green River Gary: The Portland Connection

Anne Rule’s book Green River Running Red is a remarkable piece of work. Rule tells the story of one of America’s worst series of killings in two ways, from the point of view of the victims and from the point of view of the killer. It is a story that Rule was involved in from the beginning and that she followed all the way through. Rule will not write about a crime until it has been solved and gone to the jury. In this case she waited more than twenty years to tell the story of Green River Gary Ridgeway.

Anne Rule has a knack for telling a frightening story in a frightening way. She does this very well here. Maybe the scariest part of the story is about Ridgeway’s third wife, a woman he was married to for nearly twenty years. Ridgeway married his third wife in 1985, after the worst of his killing frenzy had ended. He did kill while they were married, but not at the frenetic pace he had kept in 1982 – 1984. His wife knew nothing of his crimes and was shocked to hear that her husband was the Green River Killer.

Ridgeway did most of his killing in Seattle and in south King County, but it is clear that he traveled to Oregon and he may have killed at least one victim here.

On June 13, 1985 human bones were found near Bull Mountain Rd in Tigard, just south of Portland. Police came to investigate the discovery and soon realized they had another cluster of Green River victims.

Soon they had identified the bodies of two women; Denise Darcel Bush, 23, and Shirley Marie Sherrill, 19. Ironically Denise Bush was originally from Portland, she had last been seen in Seattle, though. Bush disappeared on October 8, 1982 near the corner of Pacific Highway and S. 144th. Sherrill had spent considerable time in Portland, working The Camp, a prostitution area that flourished in downtown Portland in the 1980s. Sherrill too had disappeared from Seattle in the International District on October 18, 1982.

Bush was identified by the effects of an earlier brain surgery on her skull. In a macabre twist, Ridgeway had split her skull into three parts and it was found in three separate areas hundreds of miles apart. Ridgeway was playing games with the police.

The Tigard cluster yielded two more bodies before police were through searching; Tammy Liles, 16, who disappeared sometime in the summer of 1983 from downtown Seattle, the other was never identified and is listed as “Oregon 1”. Sadly Tammy Liles had become so estranged from family and friends that no one ever reported her missing and very little is known about her.

Although all of the identified victims found in Oregon had disappeared from, and probably been killed in, Washington, Police in Oregon feared that the Green River Killer had moved south. Seven prostitutes had disappeared in Portland in the last year and at least four were likely Green River victims.

In September, 1985 a 15-year-old girl working as a prostitute in Portland’s Camp was abducted, raped and brutally attacked off of Bull Mountain Rd near Tualatin. She survived and was able to describe her attacker. Many people thought it looked like composite drawings of the Green River Killer. Since Ridgeway’s arrest some people believe this woman’s attacker was Ridgeway, but he has not confessed to that crime.

The September, 1985 attack seems to be much different than Ridgeway’s usual M.O. In this attack the victim was punched, kicked and strangled with panty-hose and a bandana. Ridgeway liked to use his forearm to strangle his victims and he liked to do it while having sex with them.

William Stevens II, one of the main suspects in the Green River Killings, lived in the Tigard area for a while and may have been responsible for some attacks against prostitutes and may have killed. Stevens died of cancer in 1991. He was a main suspect in the killings in 1988 after several people called into a TV show about the killings and said they suspected Stevens.

Stevens was cleared after credit card records seemed to prove that he had been out of the area in 1982 at the height of the killings. His adoptive brother, who had helped to clear him during the 1988 investigation, later became convinced that Stevens was the Green River Killer and for years he had a website that claimed to prove his brother was the killer.

The one victim that Ridgeway may have killed in Portland was Bobby Jo Hayes, 21. The last time anyone remembers seeing Hayes was on February 7, 1987 in Portland. She had just been released from jail on a prostitution charge and she had said that she was headed for Seattle. No one heard from Bobby Jo for another sixteen years, when Gary Ridgeway confessed to killing her.

Gary Ridgeway says that he killed 71 women. He is very precise about the number. He has confessed to and been convicted of 48 killings. Ridgeway says that the police are not smart enough to find his other victims. He has also admitted that he is not smart enough to find them either.

Ridgeway lived most of his life in Renton, WA and he worked for over 30 years at the Kenworth Truck Plant. He never missed a day at work, until he was arrested in 2001. Although he did some traveling during that time, he was pretty much tied to the south Seattle area. There is no telling where the bodies of the rest of his victims are.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Like Talking to a Reptile

Sebastian Alexander Shaw may be the coldest most devious serial killer yet. A man filled with rage who often felt the urge to kill people in his life, decided it was safer to select his victims at random. Convicted of three killings and two rapes in Portland, Shaw admitted at one point that he has killed 10-12 people, including at least one case in California.

In 1994, while working as grocery clerk at the Hawthorne Safeway, Shaw was arrested in a stolen car. It turns out now that the car was stolen in San Ramon, CA early in June, just days after 14 year old Jenny Lin was murdered in her Castro Valley, CA home nearby.

Police found a handgun in the front seat and a rifle in the trunk. They also found a “murder kit” which included a blindfold, plastic ties, pepper mace, a throwing knife, a roll of duct tape, a lead weight tied in the end of a sock, two ski masks, six packages of surgical gloves and three sexually explicit magazines. San Ramon was not interested in extradicting Shaw for car theft and other charges were dropped.

The Alameda County Sherrif’s Department has now named Shaw as the main suspect in the death of Jenny Lin. He has been a suspect for years, but Alameda County officials had to put their case on hold until Multnomah County was finished with him. Now with Shaw serving three life sentences, the California authorities are proceeding with their investigation.

Larry Findling, a retired Portland cop who worked the Shaw case, says, “He’s a cold customer, who won’t tell you a thing. I hope the police in California have DNA on him, because I don’t think Shaw will talk.”

Alameda County is not telling what they have on Shaw yet. They say they would have preferred not to name Shaw publically as a suspect, but a TV reporter contacted Lin’s family and let them know.

Jenny Lin was found on June 27, 1994, naked on a bathroom floor stabbed in the abdomen. Police believe that her killer planned to rape the young girl, but was frightened away; possibly by her father returning from work. Was she another random victim that Shaw acted out his rage-filled homicidal fantasies on?

Shaw once agreed to confess to as many as a dozen murders in exchange for a guarantee that he would not receive the death penalty and that he would be allowed to serve his sentences in Federal Prison where he would be allowed to smoke – Oregon prisons are non-smoking. Authorities were willing to negotiate, but would not give Shaw the guarantees he wanted.

Michael Stahlman, another retired Portland cop who interrogated Shaw about the killing of Donna Ferguson and Todd Rudiger, said that talking with Shaw was “unnerving.” “I was a cop for 30 years, and he left a real impression on me. He had no sense of the suffering and horror that he was causing. It was like talking to a reptile.”

For now the reptile is in the Oregon State Prison and California authorities are working to bring charges against him in Lin’s murder. Who are the other victims? There may be as many as eight more. I might have missed the Lin case if it wasn’t for a reader of this blog.

So tell me, are there any unsolved stabbings in your area that might be Shaw’s work? His preferred method seems to be stabbing, but he is known to also have carried a gun and he tried to smother one of his rape victims. He grew up in Redondo Beach, CA, so I would be interested in unsolved killings along I-5. That seems to be a likely route that Shaw would have traveled. I would also be interested in cases in Eastern Oregon, Washington, Idaho and maybe Northern Nevada. Those are all reasonable, if long, drives from Portland.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Rock n Roll Homicide Part Four

Facing the Music

A few days before Christmas 1997 Larry Hurwitz returned to Portland in custody. He was charged with four counts of tax evasion. He appeared in U.S Circuit Court in Portland on December 23. Mike and Penny Moreau, Tim’s parents came from New Orleans for the hearing.

The Moreaus were desperate for any news of their son. They not only opposed the death penalty they had urged the Multnomah County Prosecutor, Norm Frink, to offer Hurwitz immunity if he would lead them to Tim’s body. Frink offered Hurwitz a plea bargain on murder charges, but all he would say is, “I have nothing to say.”

Just a year before Larry Hurwitz had been at the top, promoting a major concert for Sting in Vietnam. Now he felt the tightness of his situation and was in a surly mood. On seeing the Moreaus when he entered the court, Hurwitz was seen to utter something that no one heard. The Moreaus later said they felt he was trying to intimidate them.

Hurwitz plead innocent to the tax charges and was released on bail until his trial. Detective Steve Baumgarte, who had been investigating Moreau’s murder for nearly eight years was encouraged that Hurwitz was in court. He said every time there was publicity on the murder new information came out. So far his evidence hadn’t been good enough for the Grand Jury to indict Hurwitz.

The noose was tightening around Larry Hurwitz, though. As the Federal Prosecutor revealed evidence that Hurwitz had not only hidden over $400,000 in income, he had used an elaborate scheme involving cash purchases of rare metals to cover up his crime. There was also evidence that he had tampered with a Grand Jury witness to keep from being indicted.

In April Hurwitz plead guilty to one count of tax evasion and agreed to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes, penalties and fines. He thought he would get no more than 10 months in jail, but the judge tacked on an extra two months because of Hurwitz’s deviousness.

“We haven't given up hope yet. There's a certain degree of satisfaction that someone has forced Mr. Hurwitz to plead guilty to something,” said Mike Moreau. In July Hurwitz was sentenced to a year in jail with three years of supervised probation to follow. He was ordered to report to the Federal Correction Facility at Sheridan, OR in September.

Did Larry Hurwitz make a plan to skip bail and flee the country? Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. At one point the government believed it enough to have Federal Marshals detain him. The pressure became so great that Hurwitz asked the court to allow him to report to prison early. He began serving a year in Federal custody in August 1998.

“We know there's (sic) more people out there that know about the murder case, but they were afraid of him,” Mike Moreau said from his home in New Orleans. “We just hope and pray someone who knows what happened to Tim will come forward now because it's safe.” Moreau was right about people being afraid of Larry. Among his colleagues in the music business Hurwitz was known as “Scary Larry.”

And the information did come out. Late in October, 1998 George Castagnola, a local stage hand who had worked at Starry Night in 1990, was indicted for the aggravated murder of Tim Moreau. Facing a possible death sentence, Castagnola plead guilty and agreed to cooperate in the case against Hurwitz.

Castagnola said that when the counterfeit ticket scam came out, Hurwitz asked Moreau to take the blame. Moreau demanded money to keep Hurwitz’s part in the scam secret. On January 21 Castagnola and Hurwitz met and agreed to kill Moreau. They drove out the Columbia Gorge and dug a grave for Moreau on the Washington side.

Two days later, in a hallway at Starry Night, Hurwitz wrapped a wire garrote around Moreau’s throat and Castagnola wrapped his face in duct tape. They buried Moreau that night.

Castagnola tried to lead Police to Moreau’s body, but was not able to find the location of the grave. In August 1999 Castagnola was sentenced to 10 years. “I'm happy to get it over with,” he told Circuit Judge Joseph F. Ceniceros. “I'm happy to get into the prison system and have this behind my back.”

Mike and Penny Moreau were not surprised by Castagnola’s lack of remorse. “After you consider the brutal nature of the murder and how premeditated it was, we weren't expecting an apology because of what we know about him and how he did it,” Mike said outside the courtroom. “Regardless of whether it was sincere or not, he is going to be in jail for 10 years.”

By that time Larry Hurwitz was facing 5 counts of aggravated murder and was facing a death sentence himself. Hurwitz agreed to cooperate. He plead no contest to murder charges, still denying his guilt, and made a “good faith effort” to help Police locate Moreau’s body in Skamania County. Hurwitz was not able to locate the grave, but he tried hard enough to get only 12 years for murder.

Mike and Penny Moreau were not ready to quit yet. In 2001 they brought suit for wrongful death in their son’s case. Hurwitz, still refusing to take responsibility for his crime, was forced to pay $3 million to the Moreau’s and stipulate that a civil jury would have found him guilty in Moreau’s death.

This was as close as the Moreau’s could get to Hurwitz admitting his guilt. The financial penalty was aimed at getting at Hurwitz’s alleged secret assets and to “ensure that he will have consequences for the rest of his life.”

Mike and Penny Moreau don’t have their son’s remains. But as Penny said, "We've been out to the area where they say Tim is. It's beautiful. Tim came to Portland because he loved the woods. I could accept it if he were to remain there.”

Rock n Roll Homicide Part One: Starry Night
Rock n Roll Homicide Part Two: Missing Presumed Dead
Rock n Roll Homicide Parth Three: Travels With Larry

Sunday, May 21, 2006

A Personal Note

I want to get a little personal tonight and let you know how I got started on this project of collecting Portland murders. I have been a fan of true crime since I read In Cold Blood at about the age of 12. I became so interested in the case I learned how to look up stories in the old newspaper microfilms. I read the New York Times coverage of the Clutter Family murders that had inspired Truman Capote.

I was hooked on reading true crime after that, but I was also hooked on reading the old newspaper stories. As I grew up, I got away from reading the old newspaper stories, but I stuck with true crime. I ate up Helter Skelter and the works of Anne Rule.

In 1991, my best friend James Lee was killed during a taxi cab robbery in Seattle. James had been driving a cab for just a short time and his death came as a big shock. The aftermath of James’ death and the trial of his killer showed me the intense damage that murder causes. Not only the life of the victim is taken, the lives of the victim’s survivors are also damaged, as is the life of the killer.

James’ death was a turning point in my life. I returned to college and finally finished my degree. I moved into a more professional stage of my career. But my personal experience with murder left me fascinated.

In 1996 I returned to Portland for the first time in nearly 12 years. My first night in Portland I made the mistake of checking into the Century Plaza Hotel, which was located at 415 SW Alder. This hotel has had many names over the years. Currently it is Hotel Alder and it is low income housing run by Central City Concern. They have done a complete remodel of the building in the last two years and it looks very nice now.

When I stayed at the Century Plaza ten years ago it was in the last stages of its decay. The building is a maze-like warren of hotel rooms (currently 99 units) that has been used for nearly a century as housing for the marginal and endangered members of Portland’s working class.

The room that I stayed in had a strong aura of violence and I felt very unsettled there. I managed to spend one night, although I never was able to make myself lie on the bed. The next night I opted for sleeping in my car. The whole time I was in this hotel room I was convinced that something terrible had happened there.

A few months later I was settled in Portland and in my new job. The idea that something horrible had happened in that room stayed with me. That’s when I began reading the old Oregonians on microfilm and collecting Portland murders. I became obsessed with finding out what had happened in that hotel.

It took me a while, but I finally found it. In fact I will post the story of what happened there (one of the very worst domestic violence cases I have ever encountered) next. By then my project had grown into what you are starting to see here on my blog.

Don't Look Too Close

1969 was a violent year in Portland. In the spring there was the hysteria over the “Co-ed Killings” and the search for Jerome Brudos who was responsible for killing four young women. The summer saw riots in Albina. One cop, Patrolman Steven Sims, was cited for excessive violence during the north Portland trouble. In September Sims would be charged with first degree murder in the shooting death of an escaped fugitive.

Shortly before Sims’ arrest Portland had one of its most shocking domestic violence cases. Some remembered the death of Kitty Genovese in New York City a few years before. New Yorkers took quite a beating for not helping a poor young woman as she begged for her life. In September 1969, Portlanders proved that they could be as callus as any New Yorker.

It began at the Duke Hotel, now the Whitney Gray Apts, on SW 12th, above Jake’s Famous Crawfish on September 14. Rosalie (Glenda) Hornsby, 30, was drinking in the room of Finis Taylor on a Sunday evening. About 9:30pm there was pounding on the door. Rosalie probably knew that it would be John Peterson, 30. She had been living with Peterson at the Miller Hotel and she must have known how possessive he was. We’ll never know if she knew how violent he was.

Peterson grabbed Hornsby and pulled her from the room. He pulled her so roughly that her head hit the wall, hard. Police later found a dent in the plaster and a smear of blood. Hornsby lost consciousness and if she was lucky she never regained it.

Finis Taylor, who had been drinking with Hornsby, closed his door and did not call the police. Hotel managers Leonard and Alice Dorland were downstairs at the time and came up in the elevator to investigate the huge crash.

When they arrived on the third floor they found Hornsby on the hallway floor with Peterson standing over her. Peterson picked her up and the four rode down in the elevator together. The Dorlands noticed that Hornsby was unconscious and having trouble breathing. As the elevator descended they also noticed that she lost control of her bladder.

The Dorlands said later that Peterson had told Hornsby to wake up more than once. “Wake up. I’ll kill you if you don’t,” Peterson said. Dorland followed Peterson as he carried Hornsby to a car outside the building occupied by two other men. One of the men (who was never identified) said, “Don’t look too close. Everything will be all right.”

Dorland did not call police, although “he was tempted.” “We would have called,” he said, “but he [Peterson] said they were married.”

A short time later Peterson entered the Miller Hotel, now Hotel Alder, on SW 4th, where he and Hornsby lived. Peterson was carrying Hornsby according to night clerk Wilson Rich. Rich believed that Hornsby was drunk.

About 12:30am Peterson called downstairs and spoke with Russell Jones, who had taken Rich’s place at the front desk. Peterson told Jones that he had hit his wife and wasn’t able to wake her. He asked Jones to come to his room to check on her.

Jones went to room 305 where the couple lived and saw Rosalie Hornsby lying on the bed with the covers pulled up to her chin. He said that he did not enter the room or look around it. He did not try to talk with Hornsby, but said she appeared to be alive and sleeping and he thought she was probably drunk.

Jones did not call the police. Peterson stayed in his room for about an hour making phone calls and left the building at about 1:30am. He told Rich he was going to get a car to take his wife to the hospital. Peterson did not return and Rich forgot about the woman dying upstairs.

About 2:55 am, Johnny Lewis, occupant of another room on the third floor called the police. He said he had been walking past room 305 and noticed that the door was open. He looked in and saw Rosalie Hornsby naked on the bed and she had apparently been beaten.

When police arrived they found that blood was splattered all over the walls, floor and furniture in room 305. Rosalie Hornsby died the next day at Multnomah County Hospital. John Peterson turned himself in to Police later that day and was charged with first degree murder.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Portland Cold Case #79-19210

Portland Police Bureau’s Cold Case Unit has only been in operation about two years, but they have been having a lot of success. Through DNA matches they have solved several cases recently, including finally linking Cheryl Ayer’s death to Randall Woodfield (The I-5 Killer) – remind me to tell you about him.

The cold case unit has "a total of about 280 unsolved murders right now in Portland, dating back to probably the early 1970s," says Sgt. Wayne Svilar, head of the unit. Among the vicitms of these unsolved murders are 63 women.

"Female victims, for the most part, are victims of physical contact cases," says Svilar. Close contact between the killer and victim means "there would be an exchange of some sort of evidence between them," says Svilar.

With all of the cases the cold case unit has solved in the last year survivors of murder victims must be feeling some hope. The case of Donna Kuzmaak is a case that has had little hope of being solved for a long time.

Kuzmaak,23, was found beaten, stabbed and strangled to death in the basement of her home on March 21, 1979. Kuzmaak was a young woman on the go working as a realtor at nearby E.G. Strasson in the pre-yuppie age. She left work early on the day of her death and went home.

She would have arrived home about 3pm. About 4:30pm her husband got home from work and found her body. The over-kill could suggest that she knew her killer, which is most often the case, but the 1970s were seeing an explosion of murder of random victims. Ted Bundy to the north and the Hillside Stranglers to the south are just two obvious examples.

So who killed Donna Kuzmaak. Many of us would like to know.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Rock n Roll Homicide Part Three

Travels with Larry

Portland became an uncomfortable place for Larry Hurwitz after the disappearance of Tim Moreau. His business was in trouble, the negative publicity around the disappearance combined with the oversold and overheated reputation Starry Night had acquired hurt business. The counterfeiting of tickets turned off concert promoters and they stopped using Starry Night for their shows.

Larry desperate for good bookings made errors like the Fake Toto concert of 1990. Starry Night announced a concert by hit band Toto known for such hits as "Rosanna'' and "Hold the Line.'' Fans paid $14.50 to $15 for tickets, premium prices for 1990. They were disappointed when they were entertained by Bobby Kimball, an ex-singer for Toto who left the band in 1984. Kimball had been playing his scam on a national tour. Larry had to give a lot of refunds for that one.

In addition the homeless street people and the poor retirees who made Old Town their home had begun to wear tee-shirts with the slogan: Who Bombed Sav-Mor? I want to know! 294-0250. The Oregonian called them “grim-faced soldiers who had invaded the neighborhood with a question on their chests.”

Rumors were rampant about the bombing. The one that turned out to be nearest the truth was that a conspiracy of local business owners had hired two Chinese tong members to firebomb the building, while police and firefighters looked the other way. But that wasn’t common knowledge yet.

The tee-shirts were part of a campaign by Bill Rees, a former college professor who had built an empire by buying up the aging buildings of Old Town. He had owned the building that had been burned in the bombing. The Oregonian said of him: He has a special sympathy for the aging pensioners holed up in Old Town hotels and shows limited but real good will toward those who have forged their own private hell.

By 1991, things were too hot in Old Town for Hurwitz and he sold Starry Night to David Leikens’ Oregon Theater Management Corp. Leikens happened to also own Double Tee promotions, the largest rock and roll concert promoter in the state. Leiken’s changed the name to Roseland and it is a good place for a concert today.

Jim Redden’s reporting in Willamette Week and the activities of Mike and Penny Moreau, kept public attention on the missing Moreau. Hurwitz’s failed libel suit just made things worse. Because he claimed monetary damages in his suit, he had been forced to file income tax returns for 1977 – 1990, which he had never done.

His obviously faked income tax returns got the IRS interested and soon they would uncover a profit skimming operation that operated at Starry Night from about 1987-1990. They said that Hurwitz had skimmed about $450,000 that he had not declared on his income tax.

Hurwitz’s testimony under oath during the libel suit also exposed his role in the plot to kidnap John Stanley’s parents in 1983. One of the questions Hurwitz was asked was about the statement in Redden's article that when Hurwitz learned about the missing money, "he immediately swore to kill Stanley.''

"Did you immediately swear to kill Stanley?'' asked the lawyer.

"I may have said those words,'' said Hurwitz. "Could be a figure of speech.''

When asked if it had been his idea to call Stanley’s parents and lure them to Portland by telling them their son was in an accident. Hurwitz claimed that Evan Parrish, an employee, had come up with the idea. Hurwitz said, “If you can do it go ahead.” He had even given Parrish the phone number for Stanley’s parents.

Hurwitz said that to say they planned to hold Stanley’s parents for ransom was “a lie.” They had only meant to use “parental persuasion.” You can understand why people connected Hurwitz with the popular TV show “Twin Peaks”.

If he thought he had suffered from “scorn of friends, neighbors and members of the community,” he would really find out what that was like now. It got especially bad in 1992 when the police searched the river for Moreau’s body and seized the carpet from Hurwitz’s office.

In 1994 Hurwitz slipped out of town and quietly moved to Seattle. There he made the contacts that allowed him to start promoting concerts in Asia. Shortly afterward, probably coincidentally since the IRS would soon come down with an indictment for tax evasion, Hurwitz moved to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. There he continued to organize popular concerts and promote ethical American business values.

In 1996 the IRS investigation began to heat up and in February 1997 Hurwitz was indicted in Federal Court for tax evasion. The U.S. State Department revoked Hurwitz’s passport and asked the Vietnamese to deport him. In November, 1997 Vietnamese authorities took Hurwitz into custody and he was deported to Thailand.

Federal authorities agreed to cooperate with Multnomah County in their murder investigation. Soon Larry Hurwitz would be coming home to Portland to face the music.

Coming Soon:
Rock n Roll Homicide Part Four: Facing the Music
Rock n Roll Homicide Part One: Starry Night
Rock n Roll Homicide Part Two: Missing Presumed Dead

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Unanswered Questions

Gary Douglas George, 51, was found beaten to death in his house on NE 42nd on April 24, 2006. Police say they have no “focal suspect." The problem may be that there are too many suspects, or that there is an obvious suspect, but no way to connect them to the crime yet.

George had lived in the rundown house, the only residence in an industrial area, for at least 12 years. Police say they have been called to this house at least eight times since 1994. George reported that he was the victim of various crimes from assault to armed robbery. George himself was arrested for assault in 1998, but charges were dropped in that case.

The most recent incident at the house, may be connected to the murder, but if it is Detective Barry Renna, isn’t saying. On March 1 George reported being in a gunfight with his ex-girlfriend and her ex-husband. George and Treva Jane Richardson, 47, had been fighting since they broke up. He claimed she had taken his car and he refused to return her dog. Richardson had been calling all week threatening to kill George if he didn’t give back the dog.

On March 1 Richardson and her ex-husband, David Earl Hughes, 51, showed up at George’s house on NE 42nd. Richardson broke one of the front windows of the house and climbed in yelling, “I want my dog.”

George grabbed a gun and Hughes broke the other front window and began pouring gasoline into the house. "I'm going to burn your house," the district attorney’s affidavit quotes Hughes saying. "You really screwed up, Gary!" Hughes then fired a shotgun and George returned fire.

Richardson and Hughes fled the area, apparently without the dog. They were arrested nearby and police found an illegal sawed-off shotgun that belonged to Hughes. Richardson and Hughes were charged with attempted murder.

Hughes admitted firing the shotgun and pouring the gasoline. Richardson admitted breaking into the house with a toy gun. She also admitted taking the shotgun from Hughes to “make me look scarier.”

The Grand Jury did not indict the couple for attempted murder. "It was determined that he was not shooting at him," Norm Frink, chief deputy district attorney, said. "He was shooting, shall we say . . . for emphasis." The two were however indicted for several offenses including attempted arson, possession of a short-barreled shotgun, menacing, coercion and burglary.

Richardson remains in Multnomah County jail on $127,000 bail. She has a previous conviction for a drug offense in 1993. Hughes was released on March 22 on $202,000 bail. Hughes had no previous criminal record, but was arrested on Aril 22 on a Clackamas County forgery warrant. He was released on his own recognizance the next day.

The day after Hughes was released on the forgery charge, Gary George was found in a pool of blood in his rundown house. Police will not say if they have questioned Hughes in the murder. Hughes and Richardson aren’t talking.

There has been no news on this case for several weeks. The questions remain – unanswered.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Gangs That Can't Shoot Straight

Well the shooting season has begun here in Portland. Last year Portland’s shootings centered in the downtown area, my neighborhood, and they tended to be melees that erupted in gunfire. This year drive-bys are in fashion. Portland’s shooters are staying true to form, though. As always more bystanders get shot than participants.

The season got off to a rough start on April 14 in NE Portland when someone in a blue Thunderbird fired several shots into a day-care center, injuring a four year old boy. Fortunately the boy is “doing fine.” Thank God four year olds are as tough as they are.

The target in that case, Charles Crockett , finally convinced a Multnomah County judge that he poses a threat to the community. In a phone conversation with his mother, that he knew was being recorded, he said of his uncle, “He is lucky I have hanging over my head what I have hanging over my head. Someone needs to kill him."

His uncle’s crime? Telling the police that Crockett said he would “take care” of the shooters who hit his mother’s 4 year-old foster son. Judge Nely Johnson decided that Crockett poses a threat to his uncle at least and possibly to a witness in a drug case he has pending. Bail remains at $100,000 and Crockett remains in jail.

Crockett is benched for the season so far, but others are taking up the slack. Although North and Northeast Portland seem to be the popular neighborhoods for shooting this year, downtown is still in the competition.

On April 18 James Lee Sims was shot in the shoulder and wounded near the corner of SW Oak and Fifth. Sims was released from jail in October after 4½ years for assault with a deadly weapon. The Police reassured us that the shooter and the victim knew each other.

After last years bloody shooting season the Police are pretty touchy on the subject of downtown safety. "Statistically speaking, downtown Portland is relatively safe compared to other metropolitan areas," said Paul Dolbey, a Portland Police Bureau spokesman. "Very rarely do we have a stranger on stranger attack."

He may be right, but I tend to agree with Aneida Garcia, a freshman at Heritage High School in Vancouver visiting Portland. She said, “There were a lot of people around, so anyone could've gotten shot." I just wish she had paid more attention in English class. No one has been arrested in that shooting.

On April 25 Todd A. Rutherford Jr, 15 was wounded in a drive-by shooting in front of the Multnomah County Albina Library on N. Killingsworth. Nearby Jefferson High School went into lockdown as the shooters sped away. Police said it was a “gang related” shooting and that part of Killingsworth is well known as a drug activity zone which has at least one shooting every season.

Quintrell Holiman and Javier Rhone, both 17, and associated with the Hoover Crips gang, were arrested for Rutherford’s shooting on May 3. Rutherford, a student at Benson High School had been absent from school since early April, but police said they did not know the reason for the shooting.

Yesterday we had the latest entry. About 11:30pm someone in a small red sedan opened fire on three people waiting for a bus at NE 60th and Cully. Only one of the victims suffered serious injuries and all are expected to recover.

An undercover Police officer, conducting surveillance, witnessed the shooting and chased the car. The chase ended near N. Mississippi and Holman St., where everyone bailed out of the suspect vehicle.

Two men Acey Runningbird, 20, and Marcus Ball, 29 were arrested in the shooting. One suspect is still at large. The victims and the shooters in this case are Hispanic. Police are not calling the shooting “gang related” but they say there has been trouble lately among Hispanic gangs in the Cully neighborhood.

Shortly after last night’s drive-by Police had to return to the neighborhood because of reports of a man with a shotgun near NE 60th and Killingsworth, very close to Cully. Rumor is that friends of the victims are arming for revenge. It looks like we’re in for a hot summer.

Wrap up from Last Season

There is good news in the case of the LinCKoln Park Bloods. With recent action from Portland’s Gang Enforcement Unit, the gang has been crippled by the arrest and conviction of 10 members; including Colby “Li’l Shooter” Benson, who says the CK in LinCKoln means Crip Killer.

Here’s a link to the Oregonian’s coverage of this case. Thanks to Detectives Doug Halpin, Mitch Hergert and Pete Simpson, who received Commendation medals for their work against this gang and the witnesses who risked their lives to put these dangerous people behind bars.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Rock n Roll Homicide Part Two

Missing Presumed Dead

Timothy Donald Moreau came to Portland in August 1986 to attend Reed College. Moreau had grown up in New Orleans, LA, where he was an Eagle Scout with one younger brother. According to his roommate at Reed, Moreau was a “mama’s boy” who was 15 pounds overweight when he arrived as a freshman.

Reed changed Tim Moreau, as it was meant to do. He became a vegetarian and started an exercise program, dropping his excess weight. He also began to take LSD, nothing unusual for a “Reedie” then or now.

After his first year at Reed, Moreau was a disillusioned young man. He was also extremely unpopular on campus, because he regarded most of his fellow students as “hippies” and not worth his respect.

In December, 1988 Moreau quit school to pursue a career in music promotion. With a friend, Wade Benson, Moreau started Riddlers, a recorded music dance club that met twice weekly at the Red Sea Restaurant.

In March, 1989 Moreau was hired at Starry Night to help with promotion, among other things. Moreau was excited about his job at Starry Night and he looked up to his employer, Larry Hurwitz as a role model. “Larry took him under his wing,” Jason Lally, Moreau’s roommate said, “Tim totally worshipped him.”

Moreau continued his experimentation with drugs and alternative sexuality. Close friends said that leather restraints and bondage devices were found in his apartment after he disappeared. Police also found ticket stock and other equipment for counterfeiting concert tickets in Moreau’s apartment.

Makes you wonder, though if good old Larry might have visited Moreau’s place before the police. Kindly old boss Larry was eager to tell the police about Moreau’s drug use as well.

January 23, 1990, the same day news of the counterfeit tickets was published in the Oregonian, Tim Moreau was summoned to Starry Night. Four days later, friends of Moreau reported him missing.

When police searched Moreau’s apartment the Oregonian reported that they found checkbooks, credit cards and cash. They also found “key evidence that suggested that there is a counterfeit conspiracy'' involving several other concerts in Portland. Detective Steve Baumgarte, of the Portland Homicide Division, took over the investigation into Moreau’s disappearance.

Already it wasn’t adding up as a disappearance. Hurwitz was telling the story that Moreau had gone into hiding because of the counterfeit scam. He went into hiding, but left all of his money behind.

"He left virtually everything behind,'' Baumgarte said. "That gives us quite a bit of concern. We consistently come across things that don't lead us to the conclusion that he went away on his own.''

Larry said that Moreau lost him in his car during a chase. Yet Hurwitz drove a high powered sports car, Moreau's car was a beat-up old Datsun that would barely do 55.

Larry wanted to create the impression that he was alone with Moreau when they met at Starry Night on January 23, but that was not true. Monitoring the meeting from another room, in case Larry needed help during the confrontation, was stagehand George Castagnola. Castagnola had been charged with attempted murder in 1981 when he “accidentally” fired a handgun during a police drug raid at his home. The charge was dismissed in a plea bargain.

In 1991, Larry Hurwitz sued Willamette Week and reporter Jim Redden for libel in their article Missing Presumed Dead which was published in June 1990. Redden’s article, which has been one of my main sources, outlined most of the charges and suspicions that I have recounted.

Hurwitz claimed that he "has suffered non-economic damages including but not limited to: humiliation; the scorn of friends, neighbors, and members of the community; embarrassment, anxiety, sleeplessness,'' since the publication. The case was eventually thrown out, but it may have been Hurwitz’s fatal error.

A year after Moreau’s disappearance, Baumgarte considered the case to be homicide. Moreau’s parents Mike and Peggy became very active in trying to find their son, spending thousands of dollars on private investigators and reward offers, but still no trace of Moreau could be found.

In the summer of 1992, Dave Wilson, an employee at Starry Night came to the police with a story he had heard drinking with coworkers. They said that Hurwitz “and another guy” killed Moreau in Hurwitz’s office. Then they weighted the body down with microphone stands and dumped it in the Willamette River under the Steel Bridge.

Baumgarte asked Wilson to wear a wire and talk with Hurwitz to try and gather some evidence. Wilson disappeared. The disappearance of another Starry Night employee raised the pressure against Hurwitz, who had already sold Starry Night, but still he seemed untouchable.

The police searched the river, but found no body. The next day they arrived at Starry Night with a search warrant and confiscated the carpet in Hurwitz’s old office, turning it over to the crime lab for analysis.

Wilson surfaced a short time later, when he was arrested in Springfield, OR on a cocaine charge. He said that he had been camping in the woods for the last two months. He also said that he had made up the murder story to try to help a friend who was facing drug charges in southern Oregon.

Police were stymied. Baumgarte didn’t doubt that Hurwitz had killed the young man; in fact he was pretty sure that he had. But knowing and proving are two different things – the Policeman’s Paradox.

Coming Soon:
Rock n Roll Homicide Part Three: Travels With Larry
Rock n Roll Homicide Part Four: Facing the Music
Rock n Roll Homicide Part One: Starry Night

Monday, May 08, 2006

Siskiyou Outrage

In 1923 Portland was a modern urban city, just beginning its huge sprawl as the impact of the automobile started to be felt. Police were concerned more with Prohibition, enforcing it or breaking it, than anything else. Meanwhile a railroad tunnel south of Ashland was to be the scene of what would go down in history as the last Old West Train Robbery.

On October 12, 1923, the city awoke to headlines screaming -- Siskiyou Outrage: Fiends Murdered Four Trainmen in Cold Blood. The killers were still holed up in a mountain cave hiding from lynch mobs of outraged railroad workers and a National Guard unit that searched for them with airplanes.

On that day no one knew that it would take four years and an international manhunt to bring the D'Autremont brothers to justice. The three young brothers, Roy, Ray and Hugh got nothing from the mail car they had attempted to rob. Instead they lay in their hiding place in danger of starving or freezing to death in the cold mountain nights.

Ray and Roy D'Autremont, born in 1900, were twins that were so near identical their mother had to tie ribbons on their wrists so she could tell them apart when they were infants. Roy(right) was a deeply religious Catholic who was already beginning to show signs of mental illness.

His brother, Ray(above), had been a proud member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and had served a year in jail for criminal syndicalism during the 1919 Red Scare that followed the Centralia Massacre. Hugh(below) was a 19-year-old recent high school graduate who idolized and competed with his older brothers.

Ray and Roy, having been raised on tales of Jesse James and Harry Tracy, had been trying to start a life of crime ever since Ray's release from jail in 1921. Ray had developed a deep resentment against the capitalist "System" and had convinced his brother that they had to strike back against it.

After several unsuccessful attempts at armed robbery, including one memorable occasion when they watched a rival gang rob the bank at Yacolt, WA while they cased the place for their own robbery, the brothers were nearly ready to give up their plans and resign themselves to lumber jobs which they hated.

The strange career of Roy Gardiner, who waged a one-man war against the U.S. Post Office during the summer of 1922, changed all that for the D'Autremont twins. Gardiner lost $200 in the mail in 1920. When Postal authorities refused to even hear his complaint Gardiner robbed a mail truck in San Diego, CA of $50,000. Gardiner offered to return the money if the Post Office would give him back his $200.

The Post Office refused to be blackmailed so Gardiner declared war. Writing letters to local papers all over the West Coast, Gardiner publicized his complaint and robbed Southern Pacific mail trains of over $300,000 in a series of raids. Each time he offered to return the money if the Post Office would return his $200. Gardiner's quixotic war, which ended with his arrest in 1922, attracted a lot of attention in the press. It also inspired the D'Autremonts. They decided they would rob a train.

By the summer of 1923 the brothers, now joined by their brother Hugh who had graduated from high school in New Mexico, had decided that they would hit Southern Pacific #13.

This train, known as the Gold Special, was vulnerable as it stopped for a brake check before entering Tunnel #13, south of Ashland, at the beginning of its long ride down the mountain into California. The brothers spent several months camped in the area, staking out the train and planning their big job.

The meticulously planned job couldn't have gone more wrong. The worst problem came when they tried to blow the door off the mail car with dynamite. Ray, the only brother with demolition experience, inexplicably left the dynamite job to his brother Roy. Roy having no idea how much explosive to use blew the mail car to bits, causing an inferno that incinerated the body of Elvyn E. Dougherty, the mail clerk who had locked himself inside.

The tunnel, rather than muffling the sound of the explosion as the boys had planned, amplified the sound which was heard at the railroad camps at Siskiyou, OR and at Hilt, CA, several miles away. Rescue crews, thinking that the engine had exploded left immediately and messages for help were telegraphed to all stations along the line.

Meanwhile back in Tunnel #13 the D'Autremonts were succumbing to frustration. Brakeman Coyle Johnson was shot to death during a moment of panic. As Ray's plan fell apart before his eyes, he desperately ordered the murder of engineer Sidney Bates and fireman Marvin Seng. His brothers coldly carried out Ray's orders.

Unable to enter the mail car, because of the smoke and flames, and hearing the approach of the rescue crews, the boys fled into the hills. After a long hungry ordeal in the mountains the brothers split up. Hugh eventually joined the U.S. Army under an assumed name and shipped out for the Philippines. Ray and Roy, also taking fake names, settled in Steubenville, OH and took jobs. Wanted posters with photographs of the brothers circulated widely. Rewards of $5,300 for each brother were offered.

Army Corporal Thomas Reynolds, after returning from duty in the Philippines in 1927, recognized a wanted poster for Hugh D'Autremont and led authorities to the youngest brother. Hugh tried to deny his identity, but soon admitted who he was and was returned to Oregon to face trial. Hugh claimed that the murder charges against him were unjust. He wove fantasies about his daring escape from lynch mobs and said he was returning to Oregon to clear his name.

Meanwhile a co-worker in Ohio had recognized the twins. They were soon taken into custody and transported back to Oregon. Ray was subdued on the trip home, but Roy seemed to enjoy the attention of the press. He told wild stories of their flight through the mountains and said they were returning to help their brother clear his name.

On June 21, 1927 Hugh D'Autremont was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. The next day Roy and Ray decided to stop denying their guilt. They made a full confession giving the first clear explanation of the disaster their plan had become. Ray and Roy plead guilty to murder and both received life sentences.

In 1949 Roy suffered a nervous breakdown in prison and was confined in the Oregon State Mental Hospital. He was lobotomized and spent the rest of his life under supervision. Hugh was paroled in 1958, but died a few months later of stomach cancer. The governor commuted Ray's sentence in 1972. He lived until 1984 writing and painting in Eugene, OR.

One of the bloodiest of U.S. train robberies was, in the words of Hugh D'Autremont, "All for nothing."

Sunday, May 07, 2006

One More Thing

By the way. If you have tried the links to my crime-map at www.platial.com then you probably already know that I did not know how to properly link my places. You might also be pretty confused about what I was trying to do.

The good news is I have learned to link the places and now it should be very clear what I am doing. I have gone back and corrected the links in my earlier posts and they should be correct from now on. Try it now. I think it will make more sense.

Hope your still enjoying what I'm doing here. Thanks for reading.

Rock n Roll Homicide Part One

Starry Night

Starry Night, a nightclub/theater now known as Roseland located at 8 NW Sixth Ave in Portland’s Old Town, opened in December, 1982. The Willamette Week announced the opening of this new music venue, saying there was “not a bad seat in the house.” A week later, announcing a concert by local band Nu Shooz, Willamette Week said, “While Starry Night may be a strategic venue for national acts, with its capacity of 967, at the same time it hopes to be a comfortable performance hall for local bands.”

The man behind Starry Night, Larry Hurwitz, who “turned a rundown church in the heart of Portland’s skid road into the city’s largest, most successful concert hall (PDXS 12/10/98)”, has an obscure history. Very little information is available on him before he opened the Starry Night club in 1982, when he was 27 years old.

Rumors are said to have circulated about Larry, and the source of his money, when he opened the club. Our source for those rumors? Larry himself:

“When I started people said my money came from the Mob on the East Coast. In the mid-80s, people said I was getting money from the bhagwan. Now people suspect Larry’s money comes from cocaine. None of it’s true. I’m so clean, it ain’t funny.”

Larry Hurwitz denied making those statements after they appeared in Willamette Week, but Larry has proved himself to be a liar many times. Whether his money came from the Mob or not, Larry acted like a mobster, over and over. He is anything but “clean.”

In 1983, when a security guard at Starry Night, John Stanley, allegedly stole $3,100 and another $3,000 worth of cocaine from Hurwitz’s office, Larry concocted an elaborate plot to lure Stanley’s parents to Portland and hold them hostage until Stanley returned what he had stolen.

Hurwitz was confronted at the airport by Port Police and questioned about the plot. The Port Police submitted documents to the Portland Police requesting charges of harassment and impersonating police officers against Hurwitz and an accomplice.

The paperwork somehow disappeared between the Portland Police Bureau and the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office. No charges were ever brought against Hurwitz or anyone else in that case. Stanley disappeared. He wouldn’t be the only employee of Larry Hurwitz’s to disappear.

The outcome of the “Airport Case” seemed to be part of a pattern for Hurwitz. Rarely was he held accountable for his crimes. Jim Redden, in his excellent series on this case that appeared in PDXS, chronicled cases where Larry Hurwitz got away with crimes:

*The Oregon Liquor Control Commission caught him selling wine and beer without a license, and then gave him a license anyway.

*He stopped filing income tax in 1977. However Hurwitz would eventually be held accountable for this.

*He filed for bankruptcy without disclosing millions of dollars of assets.

A crime Redden didn’t know about at this time, although he probably suspected it, was the bombing of Sav-Mor Grub, a grocery store located at 101 NW Sixth Ave about a block from Starry Night. Sav-Mor Grub was a grocery/convenience store that sold supplies to the derelicts and street people of Old Town.

Until 1986 Sav-Mor Grub had been Club 101, a tavern that appealed to a tough crowd of street people and drug addicts. In 1986 Club 101 lost its liquor license and Sav-Mor Grub was born. The crowd of toughs and street people still gathered on the corner drinking fortified wine. The Oregonian called the corner of NW Sixth and Couch “a festering sore in the eyes of the police and the business community."

On July 22, 1989 an arson fire was extinguished at Sav-Mor Grub, the fire did $125,000 worth of damage. On August 24, 1989 two huge explosions tore through Sav-Mor Grub at 4:26 a.m. The resulting three-alarm fire not only destroyed the grocery store, but also Henry's Resale, Portland Tattoo Shop and Demetri's Grocery, all adjacent.

Arson investigators said the fire was “damn suspicious” and agents from ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms) suspected either an explosive device or an arson that exploded. The Police weren’t sorry to see the businesses go. Neither were other business owners in the area, notably Larry Hurwitz of Starry Night and Al Jasper, who owned Marco Polo Restaurant, just around the corner. The bombing became one more enduring unsolved mystery of Portland.

Hurwitz always believed in going one better. His next crime became the enduring mystery of Portland for more than a decade.

On January 20, 1990 during a concert at Starry Night by John Lee Hooker, promoters of the concert found 180 counterfeit tickets. Police got involved in the case and soon found that the fakes had all been sold through a neighboring club, Day For Night 135 NW Fifth Ave, which was owned by Larry Hurwitz’s father-in-law. Some concert goers with fake tickets said they had bought them from Hurwitz personally.

When questioned by the police, Hurwitz said he knew nothing of the counterfeiting, but suspected one of his employees. On January 23 the story hit the Oregonian. That night Larry Hurwitz summoned his employee Tim Moreau, 21, to his office.

Hurwitz later claimed that he confronted Moreau about the fake tickets and they had an emotional meeting. Finally Moreau admitted the counterfeiting and agreed to turn over the money. Moreau said he would have to lead Larry to where the money was hidden.

According to Hurwitz’s story, Moreau eluded him at a stoplight and drove off into the night. Police later found Moreau’s car parked at the airport, but Moreau could not be proved to have taken any flight. Tim Moreau was never seen again.

Hurwitz blamed the counterfeiting on Moreau and said the case was closed. Larry’s story didn’t quite add up, though, and many questions remained.

Coming Soon:
Rock n Roll Homicide Part Two: Missing Presumed Dead
Rock n Roll Homicide Part Three: Travels with Larry
Rock b Roll Homicide Part Four: Facing the Music

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I've Been Thinking About Murder Lately.

Did he take his name from the character in XMen Comics or from the actor who played the face of Darth Vader? Wherever he got his name, Sebastian Shaw, the young man born as Chau Quong Ho in Vietnam 39 years ago, received his third life sentence for murder today in a Multnomah Co. court.

Shaw is not your average serial killer, though. Described by friends and family as an “explosive” young man prone to violence who once shot a television set and threatened his roommate’s life during an argument over doing the dishes. Shaw learned to hide his violence and turn it into different channels.

His first victim was probably Jay Rickbeil, the man for whose murder Shaw was sentenced today. Rickbeil, a paraplegic and proselytist for New Age beliefs, was found dead in his Southeast Portland apartment on July 3, 1991. His carotid artery was cut and he had bled to death. Rickbeil was known as someone who invited strangers to his home to talk and may have given his killer a card with his address on it.

The police had no suspects in Rickbeil’s death until police matched his DNA with a blood sample from Rickbeil’s home in 2001. By that time Shaw was already in jail, sentenced to two life terms for the murder of Donna G. Ferguson, 18, and Todd A. Rudiger, 28, in their Southeast Portland mobile home on July 17, 1992.

Police had no suspects in the 1992 killings until Shaw was connected, again through DNA, to a southeast Portland rape in 1995. The reason Shaw was able to elude police for so long is that he did not know his victims. That’s why he killed them.

In July, 1991 Shaw was suspended from his job at Paragon Cable for making frightening or offensive statements. In a rage he decided to act out his fantasy of killing someone. He decided the best way not to get caught would be to kill someone he didn’t know. That same day he killed Jay Rickbeil.

A year later Shaw was working as a security guard and became very angry at two coworkers. He was so angry he wanted to kill them, but knew that he would be the main suspect if he did. Instead he picked a couple at random and murdered them in their home.

When Shaw was arrested police seized his diary. It became clear from his writing that he had been thinking about killing for quite a while before he acted. An entry from February 1991 said, “I’ve been thinking about murder lately.” Another entry read, “My soul, now rotten, only wants to spread rottenness to others… Damn this creature I have become, for it is a dark beast.”

In 1994 Shaw was arrested driving a stolen car. In the trunk police found a blindfold, plastic ties, pepper mace, a throwing knife, a roll of duct tape, a lead weight tied in the end of a sock, two ski masks, six packages of surgical gloves and three sexually explicit magazines. In 1995 a woman was raped in her apartment near the Safeway on Hawthorne Blvd. where Shaw worked as a checker.

Police suspected Shaw right away, but couldn’t tie him to the crime. They asked Shaw for a DNA sample, but he refused to give it. They eventually got his DNA from a cigarette butt he threw away and they tied him to the rape. Shortly after that the Ferguson-Rudiger killings were also matched to his DNA.

In 1998 Shaw was indicted for the murders of Ferguson and Rudiger. He offered to confess to a “package” of murders. Skeptical detectives took Shaw’s offer seriously because of the nature of his crimes; selecting strangers, stalking them and preparing carefully before the killings.

Robert Gebo, a retired Seattle police homicide detective and serial killer expert, after examining the evidence in Shaw’s case concluded that Shaw is a dangerous predator who probably has killed other vicitms. "In our business, we would say the probability of him just sitting on his hands in the intervening years and doing nothing is slim to none," Gebo said.

In 2000 Shaw plead guilty to the Ferguson-Rudiger murders, avoiding the death penalty. By then he was not willing to talk to the police about other victims and they had not been able to connect him to any other cases. Then came the DNA match in the Rickbeil case. How many others are there? Only Shaw himself knows and he’s not talking any more.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Harry Tracy: The Mackintosh Bandit

The sun hadn't been up long on June 9, 1902. Breakfast was over for the prisoners at the Oregon State Penitentiary. A group of prisoners had just been marched from the chapel to the stove foundry where they worked. F.B. Ferrel, a guard with a reputation for cruelty was in charge of the detail. Suddenly two prisoners broke away from the formation, grabbed rifles that they had hidden nearby and shot Ferrel to death. It was the beginning of the bloodiest jailbreak in Oregon up to that time.

Thus was born the legend of Harry Tracy who would be idolized by a generation of young people as the Lone Bandit, the Oregon Badman, or King of the Western Robbers. In 1947 Stewart Holbrook, Oregon's great lowbrow historian debunked the myth, by telling the more-or-less true story of Tracy's pathetic career, but still Tracy is remembered as the one true western outlaw to operate in Portland.

To Read the rest of the story you will need to get my book...