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.


Blogger Kenrg said...

We've been watching this case on our local news here in the Bay Area, and have been wondering if it would make it on to your blog. Thanks for the added details and insight.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Magnolia said...

Excellent article.
I fixe the link to Time,also.vl

5:46 PM  

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