Stories Of Abused Men In Oregon


 

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Stories here are reproduced under the Fair Use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.

If you have, or know of a story about abused men that should be posted here please send it, or a link to comments@ejfi.org.

Stories

Heart full of lies

Trust and faith

Women guilty in murder attempt of husband in Portland

Angry mother stabs 21-year-old son over popcorn in Oregon City

Portland woman sentenced to just five years in prison for deliberately killing her boyfriend with motor home

Corbett wife arrested after husband's remains found on their property


 

Heart full of lies

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In her book Heart Full Of Lies, author Ann Rule tells the story of Liysa Northon, a woman who murdered her third husband, Chris Northon, in order to collect his insurance money.

In the fall of 2000, Liysa convinced Chris to go on a camping trip with her and their small son in the remote forests of Oregon. But the idyllic vacation didn't last long; Liysa would later admit to ending her husband's life by shooting him in the head in what she claimed was an act of "self-defense."

From where she sits today, in an Oregon state prison, she still professes to have shot Chris only in innocence and fear — emotions she said were caused by her years as a victim of domestic violence. But according to her husband's parents and other sources, Liysa is a manipulative sociopath who spent years crafting a public façade of abuse persuasive enough to justify the cold-blooded murder of her husband. Rule has done an impressive amount of research to reconstruct the history of Liysa's crime and the stories of the main people involved, interviewing dozens of police officers, investigators and private citizens across the country.

Liysa and Chris Northon seemed the epitome of idyllic lovers when they married on a moonlit beach in Hawaii. Their friends admired the romantic couple: Chris — tall, athletic, handsome with a thatch of blond hair, a pilot for Hawaiian Airlines — and Liysa — attractive, charismatic, seductive, an acclaimed surf photographer, with a tanned, perfect body. Their son, Bjorn, looked just like his dad, and they were raising Liysa's son by a previous marriage. They had beautiful homes on the mainland and in Hawaii.

But it wasn't long before Chris saw a side of Liysa that he hadn't glimpsed before. Nothing was quite enough for her — she wanted more money, more property, and a future that included fame as a Hollywood screenwriter. She complained to her closest friends that her husband was a heavy drinker who beat her. The marriage seemed to be unraveling, but Chris struggled to hold it together, afraid he'd be separated from Bjorn and from Liysa's son, Papako. And then the worst happened.

On a sunny morning in October 2000, Chris Northon lay dead in a sleeping bag at a campsite beside a pristine river, while his wife drove four hours to a friend's house. Sobbing inconsolably she appeared to have been beaten, with a black eye and bruises on her knee. Yet questions arose that made Oregon State detectives suspicious while her family and friends stood staunchly by her, incredulous that anybody would ask such questions.

Ann Rule became involved with the mystery of Chris's death when one of his fellow pilots at Hawaiian Airlines contacted her, and only later did she learn that the ranking Oregon State Police investigator had thought of her to tell this story.


 

Trust and faith

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Note: This story has been edited to conceal the names of the parties involved at the author's request.

Thursday, March 6, 2003 — Jim had been working late at a photo shoot that evening. When he got home about 12:30 AM his wife began angrily questioning him as to his whereabouts that night. He had told her earlier that evening about the photo shoot and said that she could come with him if she wanted to. Thus, he was a little disturbed about her further interrogation, with the implication that she did not trust him. He has never cheated on his wife, or any girlfriend for that matter, to the best of our knowledge.

The confrontation escalated when her neurotic personality began emerging. She began raising her voice and speaking in a sharp tone, demanding that Jim immediately vacate the premises. Jim informed her that he was on the lease and would not be leaving. However, she could take off if she wanted to. She then threatened to have some big guys come over and drag him out if he wouldn't leave. She had made such empty threats before and Jim didn't take her threats seriously.

As she began speaking louder and louder, repeating her unenforceable demand, Jim reminded her of the thinness of the walls and pled with her to have some respect for the neighbors. Jim slowly attempted to place his left hand in front of her mouth, partially to block the spit that was flying, and also to further illustrate his dissatisfaction with her wild behavior. She violently slapped his hand away and yelled louder, as well as becoming more physically aggressive.

Lying down on the bed, he turned his back on her and placed a pillow over his head trying to drown out her demands and violent threats. That angered her more and she tried to physically throw him out of the bed, as she had threatened she would have her boyfriends do. They wrestled, during which she bit a chunk out of his finger, scratched the side of his neck, and gave him a fat upper lip, as well as a few other minor injuries. After he managed to stop her attacks he pushed her off the bed to get her away from him.

Being a strong-willed woman, and not to be dissuaded from her original demands, she then lunged at Jim, grabbing his hair in both hands and attempting to drag him off of the bed once more. She screamed again that she would kick him out of his own house. He restrained her a second time and again pushed her on to the floor to get her away from him.

She finally realized she didn't have the strength to toss Jim bodily from the house, She then went downstairs to call her boyfriend, following up on her earlier threats. Jim stayed upstairs. On the phone her demeanor flipped 180° from aggressor to victim as she began embellishing the night's events between sobs and tears.

Within ten minutes a fully-dressed man named Jess showed up and Jim quickly began to dress. Jess marched up the stairs towards Jim and grabbed his arms with enough force to leave bruises still visible a week later.

As they began to wrestle it became apparent to Jess that he could not over power Jim. At one point Jim had both of Jess' hands behind his back. Foolishly, Jim pushed Jess away and diverted his attention to his wife, pleading with her to make her boyfriend leave. In that moment Jess sucker-punched Jim with his right hand just left of Jim's left eye, causing blood vessels to rupture.

Jim looked Jess in the eye and said: "This is bullshit," and began walking downstairs to call the cops about the assault that had just taken place by an intruder in the middle of the night.

Once Jim contacted the police, Jess stepped outside the door and continued to glare at and insult Jim. Never having been in a fight, nor wanting to, Jim allowed these insults for some time, but enough is enough. Unlike the sucker punch, Jim looked Jess straight in the eye and landed a right jab, still holding the phone in his other hand. Jess' head bounced back from the impact and he came towards Jim and tried to pull him out of the house by his left leg. After Jim landed a few more blows to his face, Jess stumbled back from the door and Jim shut and locked it.

The police arrived within minutes but Jess was gone. Jim explained the situation to the police from as neutral a position as possible while trying not to implicate his wife in any way. Despite what she had done, Jim still felt inclined to protect her, as well as himself from any needless police involvement in their life as he pondered the situation.

She was not so inclined, having failed verbally, physically, and with her boyfriend's help to remove Jim from the house.

As a result of her allegations Jim was taken to the police station in the middle of the night and charged with fourth degree assault of his wife. Betrayed by his wife, and by the police as they questioned him, Jim competed the proper paper work and was conditionally released to walk back home to get his car.

Jim states that he has never been a violent man, nor does he wish to be. He has opposed acts of violence since he was a young man, and took up woman's issues, for example giving a presentation about rape at the local Community College. He spent over a year volunteering with a center for rape and domestic violence, helping women in abusive situations and providing free photos to the underprivileged moms at the cost of materials. Before funding was lost Jim had been hired to talk to kids about abuse and rape.

Jim is now of the belief that his wife took these actions against him because of the stand he has taken for women in general. To hurt him in the deepest possible way she can imagine she is attempting to discredit his core values. Jim, however, is now convinced of the wrong she has done him and is fighting her false accusations with every legal means at his disposal.


 

Women guilty in murder attempt of husband in Portland

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© 2004 Stuart Tomlinson, The Oregonian

Saira M. Munoz of Gresham sought to have a friend's husband shot

February 7, 2004 — A Gresham woman who offered a friend drugs, a pickup and sex to kill a friend's husband with a sawed-off shotgun last year was found guilty of attempted aggravated murder Friday afternoon.

The week long trial of Saira M. Munoz ended when a jury returned the verdict about 4 PM in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

Lt. Mike Shults, a Multnomah County Sheriff's Office spokesman, said Saira Munoz was found guilty of attempted aggravated murder, solicitation to commit aggravated murder, conspiracy to commit aggravated murder and possession of a sawed-off shotgun.

"These are major charges — the first three are all Measure 11 offenses and involve extensive jail time," Shults said. Ms. Munoz will be sentenced March 9.

Prosecutors said Ms. Munoz, 19, and Denise Blackburne, 51, went to Blackburne's apartment in Southeast Portland the evening of January 19, 2003. Ms. Munoz had a sawed-off shotgun under her clothing. Alvaro Vasquez-Cardenas, 22, who was at the apartment, said Ms. Munoz told him it was time to kill Blackburne's husband.

The plot never reached fruition. Instead, according to court documents, Vasquez went into the bathroom with Ms. Munoz and told her he wouldn't do it. Ms. Munoz offered him sex to carry out the killing, but he refused.

A Multnomah County sheriff's deputy stopped a car carrying Ms. Munoz, Mrs. Blackburne and Mr. Vasquez about 2 AM January 20, 2003, near Interstate 84 and Northeast 181 st Avenue. Deputies found a sawed-off shotgun and ammunition during the traffic stop and arrested all three.

Mrs. Blackburne pled guilty to a lesser charge of attempted murder in January and will be sentenced February 27, 2004.

Mr. Vasquez was released to close street supervision in July 2003 but violated the terms of the release. He was rearrested in December 2003, put back on close street supervision and again violated the terms of the release. A warrant was issued Dec. 27 for his arrest. He remains at large.

 

Stuart Tomlinson: 503-294-5940; stuarttomlinson@news.oregonian.com


 

Angry mother stabs 21-year-old son over popcorn in Oregon City

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© 2006 KOIN TV 6

December 9, 2006 — Clackamas County Sheriff's Office personnel responded Friday to a domestic disturbance call made from a son who claimed his mother had stabbed him.

Upon arrival, uniformed personnel contacted the mother and her biological son who were both present and alone in their apartment. Police separated the mother and son for interviewing purposes. Immediately deputies say they recognized the son had suffered very substantial knife wound cuts on his hand and face.

Authorities say that the altercation began when Marko Rajic Leposava, 21, ate some popcorn that had been prepared by his mother. The mother, 49-year-old Lepa Rajic Leposova, reportedly intoxicated, became enraged at her son for eating the popcorn she had made for herself. Marko says she slapped the bowl out of his hand onto the floor and demanded he clean it up.

Marko refused to clean up the mess and went into his room. He says he could hear her go into the kitchen but assumed she was making another cocktail. Lepa Rajic Leposova allegedly armed herself with a knife from the kitchen and attacked her son in his bedroom. Authorities say Marko suffered a deep cut to his face, about 2 inches from his eye. While trying to defend himself, Marko received several cuts on his hands.

While being treated at Milwaukie Providence Hospital for his knife wounds, Marko expressed additional concern to the deputy sheriff present about the bath towel he wrapped his wounded hand in to prevent the excessive bleeding. The deputy says Marko appeared anxious as he described the potential consequences he may suffer from his mother for soiling this towel with his blood.


 

Portland woman sentenced to just five years in prison for deliberately killing her boyfriend with motor home

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KPTV.com

November 17, 2008 — A woman who deliberately ran over her boyfriend with a motor home, killing him, was sentenced Monday to more than five years in prison.

Darlene Harding pled guilty to second-degree manslaughter last month in the case of the death of Kenneth Rowley in October 2007.

Rowley's friends and relatives had been waiting more than a year to tell the court — and Harding — about their loss.

The prosecutor told the court the couple had been in a violent relationship that was complicated by methamphetamine addiction.

Ms. Harding walked slowly into court Monday past members of her family who were waiting in support outside the courtroom. A half dozen sheriff's deputies kept her relatives separate from Rowley's.

Witnesses told police the couple had been arguing near Northeast 60th and Cully streets on the afternoon of October 12, 2007.

Rowley found himself in front of the motor home with Ms. Harding behind the wheel. She drove forward, ran him over and he died at the scene.

The mandatory sentence for the Measure 11 crime of manslaughter is six years, three months. Harding turned herself in the day after Rowley's death so has already served just over a year.


 

Corbett wife arrested after husband's remains found on their property

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Abstracted from article on KPTV12.com

February 12, 2009 — Human remains were found Friday near Corbett on the 14-acre property of a woman accused of killing her husband, investigators said.

The disappearance of 60-year-old Gerald Stomps in the Columbia River Gorge while supposedly on a fishing trip took an unexpected turn Thursday night when detectives arrested his wife on murder charges.

Lynn Stomps, 55, told Multnomah County deputies last week that she had been assaulted by a man who had pushed her over a guardrail, causing her to fall 20 feet down an embankment. Deputies had originally said it took her three hours to climb back to Gordon Creek Road and call for help.

After she was hospitalized, Multnomah County deputies launched an extensive search for her husband. Mrs. Stomps told deputies she saw her husband being chased toward the Sandy River by a second person, whom she only knew by a first name.

Multnomah County deputies later released sketches of two people who were being sought in connection with the disappearance of Gerald Stomps and the assault of Lynn Stomps.

However, on Thursday, they said they found inconsistencies with Lynn Stomps' statements about her husband's disappearance. Detectives said they found further evidence at the Stomps' home that led to her arrest.

Deputies were at the Stomps 14-acre tree farm just east of Corbett on Friday searching for more clues. Investigators said they've found human remains and — while they won't say whether the remains are from Gerry Stomps — deputies have arrested Lynn stomps.

Gerry Stomps was last seen in the community about two weeks prior to his wife's arrest. Deputies said Lynn Stomps faces charges of murder, abuse of a corpse and filing a false police report.

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Last modified 3/31/14