Crime in Oregon
Crime statistics (1960–2009)
Reported cases of crime in the state of Oregon between 1960 and 2009:
Capital punishment laws
The Oregon Constitution originally had no provision for a death penalty. A statute was enacted in 1864 allowing for the death penalty in cases of first degree murder. Authority to conduct executions was initially granted to local sheriffs, but in 1903, the Oregon Legislative Assembly passed a law requiring all executions to be conducted at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem, the first state prison in Oregon which opened in 1866.
Oregon voters amended the Constitution in 1914 to repeal the death penalty, with 50.04% of the vote. The repeal was an initiative of Governor Oswald West. The death penalty was restored, again by constitutional amendment, in 1920.
|Danford Balch||1811–1859||Murder||Convicted of murdering his son-in-law, Mortimer Stump, in 1859; was the first person executed by hanging in Portland.|||
|Ben Boloff||1893–1932||Criminal syndicalism||Soviet Russian communist sentenced to ten years imprisonment.|||
|Dallen Bounds||1971–1999||Serial murder||Born in Ashland, but did not commit any known murders in Oregon; convicted of murders in Washington, North and South Carolina|||
|Jerry Brudos||1939–2006||Serial murder, necrophilia||Committed multiple murders in Portland and Salem regions|||
|Ted Bundy||1946–1989||Serial murder, rape||Born in Vermont; confirmed to have abducted and murdered one female from the Oregon State University campus in 1974. Potentially responsible for additional unknown murders.|||
|Robert Lee Burns||1930–2002||Murder, robbery||Charged in 1963 robbery and murder of a police officer in California; subject of an extradition dispute between Oregon and California, but died before being extradited.|||
|Scott William Cox||1963–||Serial murder||Convicted of two homicides in Portland in 1993, and suspected in at least 20 others in the Pacific Northwest. Paroled in 2013.|||
|Diane Downs||1955–||Murder, attempted murder||Shot and killed daughter in rural Springfield; attempted to kill her two other children.|||
|Jim Elkins||1901–1968||Racketeering||Portland mobster and crime boss.|||
|John K. Giles||1895–1979||Murder||Convicted of murder in Oregon; escaped, and was later transferred to Alcatraz Island.|||
|George Hayford||1858–unknown||Forgery||Lawyer convicted of forgery in Oregon and California; falsely claimed to be Oregon Attorney General. Later arrested in Harlem, New York City and Washington, D.C.|||
|Keith Hunter Jesperson||1955–||Serial murder||Also known as the "Happy Face Killer"; committed at least two murders in Oregon, and is serving life sentence at Oregon State Penitentiary.|||
|Kip Kinkel||1982–||Spree killing||Murdered parents before committing 1998 1998 Thurston High School shooting; killed 2 students and injured 25.|||
|Richard Laurence Marquette||1932–||Serial murder||Convicted of murdering and dismembering three women in Portland in the 1960s and 1970s. He was the first person ever to be added as an eleventh name on the FBI Ten Most Wanted List.|||
|Harry Charles Moore||1941–1997||Murder||Second person executed in the state of Oregon since 1978 for murders of Thomas Lauri and Barbara Cunningham.|||
|Dayton Leroy Rogers||1953–||Serial murder||Murdered at least 6 women near Molalla between 1983 and 1987. Also known as the "Molalla Forest Killer."|||
|Ward Weaver III||1963–||Murder||Committed 2002 murders of Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis in Oregon City.|||
|Randall Woodfield||1950–||Serial murder, rape, robbery||Committed multiple crimes along Interstate 5 in Oregon, Washington, and California; estimated to have murdered over 44 people.|||
|Douglas Wright||1940–1996||Serial murder||First criminal executed by lethal injection in Oregon. Lured three homeless men to Warm Springs Indian Reservation and murdered them in 1993; confessed to the murder of fourth homeless man. Also committed double murder in 1969 in Portland.|||
|Year(s)||Incident / victim(s)||Location(s)||Notes||Ref.|
|1844||Murder of George LeBreton||Oregon City||Massachusetts-born pioneer and Oregon politician killed in the Cockstock Incident.|||
|1887||Hells Canyon Massacre||Hells Canyon||Massacre of thirty-four Chinese goldminers by members of a white horse gang.|||
|1895–1906||Sheepshooters' War||Crook County||Range war between cattle men and sheepherders. Resulted in the killing of over 10,000 sheep and several farmers.|||
|1924||Lava Lake murders||Deschutes National Forest||Triple-murder of three fur trappers near Big Lava Lake; one of the oldest unsolved murder cases in Oregon history.|||
|1946||Oak Grove Jane Doe||Oak Grove||Unidentified unsolved murder; victim discovered dismembered in the Willamette River over a six-month period.|||
|1949||Murder of Thelma Taylor||Portland||Teenage murder victim abducted and killed in St. Johns. Her killer, Morris Leland, was executed for her murder in 1953.|||
|1974||Cowden family murders||Copper||Family of four murdered while camping in the Siskiyou Mountains; murders remain unsolved.|||
|1974||Murder of Martha Morrison||Portland||Teenage murder victim who disappeared in Portland in 1974. Remains discovered in late 1974 in Vancouver, Washington, but were unidentified until 2015. Murder unsolved.|||
|1984||Rajneeshee bioterror attack||The Dalles||Followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh deliberately contaminated various eateries with Salmonella, resulting in 751 infections and 45 hospitalizations.|||
|1988||Murder of Mulugeta Seraw||Portland||Ethiopian immigrant murdered by three white supremacists; Kenneth Murray Mieske, Kyle Brewster, and Steve Strasser were convicted of his murder in 1990.|||
|1989||Murder of Michael Francke||Salem||Director of the Oregon Department of Corrections, stabbed to death outside department building. Murder remains unsolved.|||
|1995||Murders of Roxanne Ellis and Michelle Abdill||Medford||Hate crime murder of lesbian couple. Robert Acremant convicted of their murders and sentenced to death in 1996; sentence later reduced to life without parole.|||
|2004||Murder of Brooke Wilberger||Corvallis||One of the most publicized murder investigations in Oregon history. Joel Patrick Courtney was convicted of her murder in 2009.|||
|2012||Clackamas Town Center shooting||Portland||Mass shooting at Clackamas Town Center shopping mall; resulted in three deaths (including the perpetrator).|||
|2015||Umpqua Community College shooting||Roseburg||Deadliest mass-shooting in Oregon history; 10 deaths (including perpetrator) and 8 injuries.|||
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- Associated Press (August 20, 1995). "Files Found in Oregon Detail Massacre of Chinese". The New York Times. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
- Tupper, Melany (2010). The Sandy Knoll Murder, Legacy of the Sheepshooters. Central Oregon Books. pp. 2–20, 75. ISBN 978-0-983-16912-3.
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- Gillespie, Emily (July 13, 2015). "Remains of homicide victim found near Vancouver identified after 41 years". The Columbian. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
- Urbano, Mary Theresa (2006). The Complete Bioterrorism Survival Guide. Sentient Publications. pp. 60–61. ISBN 1-59181-051-5.
- "Assets of White Supremacist Are Target of Legal Maneuver". The New York Times. December 25, 1990. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
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- "State of Oregon v. Robert Acremant". Oregon Judicial Department. March 17, 2005. Archived from the original on August 8, 2007. Retrieved July 31, 2007.
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