Portland serial killer fears: Dozens of missing women, girls raise ‘red flag,’ cold-case expert says

Whether or not there are serial killers in Portland and the surrounding area, the sheer number of disappearances in the area should be cause for concern, according to a veteran unsolved case investigator.

In a statement last week, police downplayed concerns about a serial killer after the bodies of six women were found in and around the city in five months.

About half of the 140 missing people in Multnomah County, Oregon, including Portland, so far this year, are women and girls, according to the state’s online database. There are currently 401 missing persons statewide.

But Joseph Giaccarone, a former New York Police Department sergeant and now adjunct professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said even if criminal activity is not suspected, the sheer numbers are a public safety concern. said it should be considered

Bodies of 6 women found in Portland area raise concerns over possible Oregon serial killer

The bodies of Joanna Speaks, Charity Perry, Christine Smith, Bridget Webster, Ashley Leal, and a sixth unidentified woman were collected from the Portland area in the last five months at 160. Found within miles. (Fox News Digital | Google Maps)

The number of unsolved cases involving missing women and girls in the first half of this year is already well above the 46 at the end of 2022, according to state tallies. The Portland Police Department, which keeps separate records and serves only a portion of the 466-square-mile Multnomah County, said it investigated a total of 489 missing person reports last year.

Giacarone said some of the disappearances may be related to Portland’s liberal policies against the homeless and open-air drug markets.

“There shouldn’t be tent cities or open-air drug markets that just breed this kind of behavior,” he told Fox News Digital. “It doesn’t have to be a heinous reason, and it doesn’t have to be murder.”

Split image of Smith and Real

Kristin Smith (left) and Ashley Rial were found dead in February and May, respectively. Portland police are investigating both incidents, but say they have “no reason to believe” that they are related. (Portland Police Department)

He said he suspects more bodies, possibly from overdoses, will be found, possibly covered up after the fact by panicked fellow users who don’t want to attract scrutiny.

“If you think there are only six in that area, you’re wrong,” he said. “A thorough investigation is required, including the dog’s corpse and everything else.”

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Police identified Christine Smith, 22, on February 19, Joanna Speaks, 32, on April 8, Charity Perry, 24, an unidentified woman on April 24, and April 30. The bodies of Bridget Webster, 31, and Ashley Leal, 22, have been found. , May 7.

Of the bodies found so far, the only one publicly declared a homicide by investigators was Mr. Speaks, who was found bruised to the head and neck behind an abandoned barn 35 miles north of Portland. Found dead with injuries.

Joanna wears a black shirt and speaks

Lawmakers in Clark County, Washington, said they were investigating the murder of Joanna Speaks after her body was found in an abandoned barn in Ridgefield, Washington. (Clark County Sheriff’s Office)

And at least one incident has been linked to homeless camps and outdoor drug markets.

Police found Perry dead in a culvert in Ainsworth State Park, 55 miles east of the city, but his mother, Diana, said he had a history of substance abuse and mental health problems. Allen told Fox News Digital.

Perry’s mother believed he was living in a tent in neighboring Vancouver to the north, but her daughter was last seen at a fentanyl open-air market in Portland, where she later overdosed. Knew.

Charity Perry laughing in the passenger seat of her car

Perry, a Vancouver, Washington, charity, was reported missing in April and was found dead on April 24 in a culvert near a park about 55 miles east of Portland, Oregon. (Diana Allen)

Perry was taken to a hospital where he was given Narcan and revived, his mother told Fox News Digital.

However, she was released without any address verification, no one checked her background, and the hospital did not contact her emergency contact, her mother, about the incident.

“I was trying to find her, but every time I went to the tent she was staying out and she wasn’t there,” Allen told Fox News Digital. “At first, she didn’t know she had been to Portland until she was told by a detective. Police can’t determine the date of my death, but I’m pretty sure it was in April. .”

charity perry counts money

Charity Perry sits on her porch counting money in an undated family photo. A homeless woman from Vancouver, Washington, went missing in April, and police later found her body in a park culvert about 55 miles east of Portland, Oregon. (Diana Allen)

Allen said he could not comment on the details of the incident because of an ongoing investigation, but said he believed there was evidence that his daughter was taken to an area in the park to cover up the body.

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“A drug overdose seems like hard work,” she says. “So I’m stuck in this fucking vehicle that I call the Ring of Fire. One side is trying to reach out for anything that might have a more naive reason behind it. The other side will suck you down the rabbit hole.” ”

Bridget Webster driver's license photo

Milwaukee, Oregon resident Bridget Webster was found dead in Polk County on April 30. (Pork County Sheriff’s Office)

Despite her troubles, Perry was very friendly and eager to meet new people, her mother said.

according to reports In “Oregonian”Investigators are investigating a possible connection between the deaths of Mr Speaks, the only confirmed murder, and Mr Perry and Webster. All three died within 3 weeks.

Giacarone said investigators were likely looking for patterns even if no evidence of a possible serial killer had been found, but said it was too early to rule out that possibility.

“If you look at the history of serial killers, they always prey on the most vulnerable people, especially those who are transient: drug users, the homeless, prostitutes,” he said. rice field. “After a certain period of time, people don’t really look for them, and the groups that those people hang out with, whether it’s a drug scene or a prostitution scene, aren’t really that friendly with the police.”

A search of the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System database revealed that at least four Jane Dawes were found in the area in 2022. One was a woman from Lowell, Oregon, in May. Another in November in Salem, Oregon. Two more women participated in March and April in Woodland, Washington. One of them was hit by a train. Two were found by the side of a rural road, and a fourth was found floating in the Columbia River.


“If a serial killer was involved in this case, he or she would have the perfect cover,” Giacarone said. “People are coming from different countries, different parts of the state, field drug sites, maybe prostitution, and everything else, and there’s a ‘police abolition’ movement going on in this city. Talk about a serial.” Killer sweet spot. ”

Portland, like other cities on the West Coast, has suffered a homeless crisis in recent years.

The city established an illegal campground reporting system. Residents can also call 311.

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