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  • Mark Rein

Family Business: Missing in Oregon City

Intro

Welcome to Crime Raven; true crimes, real-life stories from law enforcement, and issues crime fighters face. This podcast highlights crimes researched by retired Detective Sergeant Mark Rein, using publicly available information, court records, and personal recollections. Content may be graphic, disturbing, or violent. Listener discretion is advised. Suspects are considered innocent until found guilty in a court of law.

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Three

Three sits in the front room of his house, staring vacantly at the street through sparse trees. This has been his vigil for weeks. The neighbors up and down the street are quiet this early in the morning. The few that actually have jobs, the housekeepers, the construction workers all gone. Now the quiet neighborhood seems almost secluded.


Three's mind wanders back to his time in the Navy in the Philippines. He felt like a king there. You could do anything, buy anything. The poor girls would literally roll over for a piece of chicken.


He hadn't fully appreciated the privilege, but he had brought himself back a trophy from his favorite bar. The bitch. Three smiled to himself. For years, three had kept his girls in line. There was that early stupid slip up. The pair of sisters that hadn't taken their life lesson and shut the fuck up.


He'd paid dearly for that one. Three hadn't liked prison, so he tread carefully after that. The girls came and went. Some legal, some poached. Nothing had ever come of it. After all, the girls took whatever he gave, so they owed him. Part of this deal was that they had to pay him back and then keep their mouth shut.


Three learned his life lessons and applied them. Recently the new one was the younger the girl, the more likely they were to run their mouth.


Two of his daughter's friends had betrayed him. He had been so good to both of them. The booze, the dope, the parties. He took cool dad to a new fucking level. That he wasn't something in return. Shouldn't have been a surprise. That's how the world works. Call it their life lesson. And in three's opinion, 13 was a fine age for a girl to learn it.


One of those little chicks had been his favorite, almost a girlfriend experience. She liked the dope. He liked her, well; he liked her. That second girl, that bitch, had ruined at all. Ran her mouth like a freight train. She must have been jealous spreading shit about him and the friend.


Next thing Three knew, his daughter was hearing things she never should have known. The rumor spread, the pressure built. Then the cops were coming around asking uncomfortable questions with their smug, accusing looks. He told them where to take their bullshit. Right back to the girls' homes. Those girls came to him for shelter. Both girls one and two had been raped by their daddies. Tried and convicted. And the police wanted to accuse him for helping them, giving them shelter, generosity, guidance. Those cops had tucked tail and run when he told them that.


But that didn't change the fact. Girl two had been spreading the word when she should have been spreading her legs. Girl one, as much as he'd loved having her, had opened her fucking mouth when the police came by. They had both betrayed him.


That bought the next life lesson for him, and for them. The question had been, what was he gonna do about it? He'd once heard the best defense is a good offense. He'd borrowed a page outta daddy's book. Only he was better. Girl one had been easy. She didn't want to betray him. He'd watched and waited patiently, like one of those trap-door spiders.


Then one day he saw her walking to the stop alone. He'd lured her with the promise of forgiveness, practically waving the candy under her nose. She willingly took from him drunk little bitch. Then he'd had his fun. It was a bittersweet memory, their last time together, but he'd memorialized the event with a slab.


Now three sits in his hidey- hole blind again, by his reckoning, enough time has passed. He knows not to be greedy. He figures it's like fishing. Nobody cares if you fish, but if you take too many, that brings attention. He's smarter than that and way too smart for the pigs. The cops are like flies buzzing around, but Three knows of the law, and they have to have a reason to land on him.


This day, this lucky day, Three sees the other girl. For the first time in two weeks, she's walking alone. He starts to move around the dark house, using the best angles to see up and down the street. It's still quiet. No one's moving. Three unlatched the front door without opening it, and assumes a crouched position behind the door.


He can see the approach through a side window. The girl looks distracted. Perfect. In the quiet morning, air three can hear the footfalls crunching gravel on concrete. He times it perfectly, ripping the door open and surging out. The big man towers over the girl. There's a flash of fearful recognition in her eyes, and she instinctively pulls away. Too slow. Three wraps, one arm around her neck, and the other hand clamps flat across her mouth just before she can scream. Without pause, three forcefully turns and drags her back into the dark front of the house, slamming the trapdoor behind them.


Three has fantasized about this moment for a long time. She is completely his. He revels in the power, the control. The girl's crying. Three slaps her across her stupid little face as he drags her to the back of the house. She cries out, but it's okay. No one can help her now. He turns on her again forcefully shaking hands wrapped around the girl's throat as he yells rage filled accusations of betrayal. She cries out apologies as Three spins her small body and slams her down on the bed. He has a rope there and a knife. He flashes the blade in front of her face, promising to gut her right there if she doesn't cooperate.


With the threat, the girl tries to control her body's natural reaction. Her wide crimson eyes bulge. She convulses and heaves, fighting against racking sobs. Three watches the girl struggle with herself beneath him. He's seen it all before and he's thrilled.


This girl is different from the other. There will be no regrets for her. No memorial for her. Three looses merciless brutality beating while he rapes, and after a while when his lust and anger are almost spent, Three wraps his hands around the little girl's throat and squeezes. He stares into her eyes as convulsions hit, and life escapes her body.


Investigation

Ashley pond, a 13-year-old girl from Oregon City, a suburb of Portland, left her home on the morning of January 9th, 2002, and never returned. When she didn't walk in the door that afternoon, Ashley's mother, Lori, called the school. She found out Ashley hadn't attended any of her classes. The call to the school was quickly followed by contacts with friends, relatives, hospitals, and finally the police.


The police responded, took a report, and repeated the same inquiries that Lori Pond had made earlier. They got the same response. No one had seen Ashley all day. What the police knew was that Ashley Pond was a troubled teenager. She was too young to have much of a record of her own, but there was a record of what had been done to her.


They had recently convicted her biological father of molesting her. She had an alcohol problem. She had been a runaway. Despite mother's assertions to the contrary, the police felt Ashley was simply another angry girl trying to escape a bad family situation. One neighbor and father of one of Ashley's close friends had even suggested as much.


Lori Pond didn't believe it. Things had been better in her house recently, and she thought Ashley was finally emerging from the pall that had been cast by her father's betrayal. For the next few weeks, Lori loudly beat the drum in the neighborhood and surrounding community that something had happened to her daughter, and the police were not taking her seriously.


For the police, the problem was more of a nowhere to start issue. First, it was unclear that any harm had befallen Ashley. The apartment complex she lived in wasn't great. Catering to impoverished people who found themselves on the ropes. Everyone was receiving government services. Many tenants had mental and emotional problems. There were single mothers trying to keep track of hordes of children. Their boyfriends came and went from the complex in droves, often bringing chaos and violence with them.


In the days following the report, Ashley hadn't turned up in the hospital or dead in a ditch. To the police, who were busy holding other lawlessness at bay, no news was good news.

The problem with Ashley Pond was that she stayed missing a week, then two, then almost two months went by with no trace. Ashley's mother continued to make noise in the neighborhood. Then it happened again.


On March 8th, 2002, Miranda Gaddis, one of Ashley's best friends, left her apartment headed for school. She never made it. The story was sensational, and it was irresistible to the press. Two 13-year-old girls, same apartment building, same school, same dance group, and same apparent fate. It was the talk of Portland for days. It scared parents to let their children out to play. Whispers about dead girls and serial killers grew louder. They scourged the police department for their apparent inactivity. For missing girls, no news wasn't good enough anymore.


In response to the public outcry, the police department formed a missing girls task force. They were joined by several dozen agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The problem with where to start the investigation hadn't changed. The girls had many things in common. Both girls had been molested by their father figures, who had subsequently been convicted for the crime. This made them statistically more vulnerable.


Outside the house, the risk pool hadn't changed since Ashley's disappearance. As they looked for suspects and leads across the broader neighborhood, police found a target-rich environment. Close to a hundred registered sex offenders lived within a mile of the apartment building. The police fanned out and began talking to everyone. Hundreds of interviews produced leads that took them in various directions.


Thousands of tips poured in from local sources, and when the case got national and international coverage, suggestions poured in from across the globe. The already beleaguered investigators soon became bogged down, slogging through any bit of information that looked even remotely useful.


What had once been a problem with police inactivity became a frenzied mess. Police considered many men prime suspects. These men bitterly complained to the media about what they characterized as police harassment. One said that they had interrogated him half a dozen times, adding that detectives even tore apart his favorite camping site in their searches.


Evidence of an active police investigation could be seen in the neighborhood as detectives searched properties either with consent or by search warrant. They seized suspect cars for detailed evidence searches. Surveillance teams, some obvious, crisscrossed roadways as they tried to keep up with their quarry. As the weeks and months passed, the task force investigators scrutinized dozens of suspects, singling out several favorites.


They found nothing that indicated the fate of either missing girl. No trace of them had been uncovered in the thousands of man- hours spent searching. Then five months in, there was a break.


On August 13th, 2002, a man named Francis Weaver called into the 9 1 1 Center. Francis told the dispatcher that his father, ward Weaver III, had raped his 19-year-old girlfriend, Randy Onida.


In her statement to police, Randy Onida said that Weaver Three had given her a ride home earlier in the day. As he drove, his behavior seemed normal. Weaver three was her boyfriend's father, and he hadn't really given her a reason to distrust him in the past.

When they walked into the house, Weaver Three's demeanor changed suddenly. Without warning, he became enraged. Three tackled Randy to the floor, ripped off her clothing and raped her. When Three finished, he grabbed a cushion and tried to smother her. Randy fought and kicked three off of her. She fled, completely naked, from the rear of the house.


As she sprinted up the side yard, Randy grabbed a blue tarp off the patio and wrapped

herself in it. She ran out of the yard and down the street, where she flagged down a car. Francis arrived soon after and called the police.


By the time investigators interviewed Francis Weaver, he told them that he had confronted his father, Weaver three. Francis said that Weaver Three was distraught and confessed that he had killed the missing girls. Weaver three then fled from the house. After the rape investigation, police tracked down, arrested and remanded Weaver three on charges related to the sexual assault of Randy Onida.


Weaver three had been one of the top suspects in searching for the missing girls, even before Randy Otus rape. Then, considering the new charge and Francis assertions, the focus of the investigation coalesced on Weaver three and him alone.


Detectives dug deep in their new prime suspects past. What they and the media uncovered was horrific. To understand Weaver iii, you must first know about the first and the second.

Weaver one was the kind of man who beat his wife, Dorothy and his kids regularly. He liked to force sex on female members of the family. Dorothy couldn't tell him no, and when he tired of her, he brought women home and had sex with them while she was there. Weaver one sexually molested his daughter, and later two of his granddaughters. Dorothy took drugs to numb the pain of her life and molested her son Weaver two.


During his early life, Weaver two suffered beatings from his father and worse from his mother. Dorothy would sometimes punish young Weaver two by biting him until he bled. Weaver two responded by becoming brutal in his own right. As a boy, he tortured animals. Later, he graduated to beating his siblings. Weaver two was particularly cruel to his sister. He would rape her and afterward taunt her that she was pregnant with his baby.


In 1967, Weaver two was drafted into the Army and sent to Vietnam. He saw brutal combat and witnessed friends die in battle. When he returned from the war to civilian life, weaver two became a truck driver and a serial killer, murdering people he encountered on the roadsides as he traveled the Western states.


By 1983, Weaver two was in San Quentin Prison on rape and attempted murder charges. Sheriff Investigators for Kern County, California, went to talk to him about the murder of 18-year-old Robert Radford and his missing girlfriend, 23-year-old Barbara LaVoy. In 1982, Radford and Lavoy's car had broken down on the side of Highway 58, just east of Tehachapi. Radford was found, beaten to death near the car, but they found no sign of LaVoy.


During his incarceration, Weaver two told another prisoner what had happened to the missing woman. The confidant turned informant, which led to two's Orville, California Home. Lavoy's body was found under a newly poured concrete slab patio.


During the subsequent interview, Weaver two refused to say anything until he had talked to his mother. The next day, Dorothy went to San Quentin. She didn't think her son could hurt anyone, so cooperating with investigators, she urged him to get it out. Weaver two confessed that a year earlier he had come across Radford and LaVoy broken down on the side of the road.


He stopped beat Radford to death with a pipe and kidnapped LaVoy. He admitted to raping the woman and planned to keep her captive at his home in Orville until she bit his finger. Enraged, two strangled Lavoy to death.


They charged Weaver two with capital murder for the Tehachapi double homicide. He tried to make a deal to avoid the death penalty. Two volunteered to give them the details of 26 other murders. They refused. At trial, the jury took less than 45 minutes to convict him of murder. The next day, they sentenced him to die. In the follow-up investigation, it was determined that Weaver Two's trucking logs lined up with two or so dozen other unsolved murders along his driving routes.


Weaver Three was born on April 6th, 1963 in Humboldt County, California, a region north of San Francisco, appropriately referred to as the Lost Coast. Mom Trish Weaver had three children during her miserable marriage to Weaver two. The grandiosely named third, followed by daughters Teresa and Tammy Weaver.


When Weaver two tired of his unhappy little family, he split, appearing only periodically in the kids' lives. Trish Weaver, finally able to breathe, decided she didn't really like the freedom so much, and set out to replace what her family was missing. She achieved success in a Eureka California bar in 1967. Bob Boudreaux, 6 2, 200 pounds of brutal, abusive alcoholic, fit the bill.


It wasn't long before Tricia and Bob were living together, then married. Tricia's second nuptials turned out to be every bit as miserable as the first. But the unhappy couple welcomed their first child, Bob Jr. Within the year.


With the tutelage of his father and stepfather, weaver three was well placed to develop his own violent streak, praying on his siblings. Growing up, they largely left the children to their own devices. The family moved to Portland, so Bob Sr. Could work as a longshoreman. He was away all day, followed by long shifts on a bar stool. That routine wasn't good for the finances. Trish worked as a secretary, also working long hours in a vain attempt to meet needs. Years later, Tammy would sum up her young life as, "we were never a family. We were six people growing up in the same house, in a very violent house. Ward has put me through so much hell. For years after I left, I had nightmares about him."


It was a poorly kept secret among family that Weaver Three was sexually abusing members of the family by the time he was in high school. In April 1981, police detained him when a female relative accused him of raping her. In a hearing, the police and court agreed not to pursue charges in lieu of Weaver three enlisting in the military.


By the end of 1981, Weaver three found himself posted as a cook aboard the aircraft carrier US S Coral Sea, Home Base, the Philippines. Weaver Three's Navy career was not long. He abused alcohol and was often awol. By May, 1982, the Navy had slapped him with an other than honorable discharge and booted him out.


One souvenir Weaver three brought back from the Philippines was a wife whom he'd met in a bar. He and bride Maria Stout arrived in Portland and moved into the basement of the Boudreau's House. Perhaps not surprisingly, the marriage of Weaver Three and Stout was not a happy one. The police regularly went to the Boudreaux Weaver home for domestic clashes, some of which ended in an assault charge for the male half. Into this unhappy home Weaver three s first child, a son named Francis, arrived in December, 1982.


In 1984, Weaver three and Maria packed up and moved to Bakersfield, California to be closer to Weaver two, who is in San Quentin awaiting trial for capital murder. The marriage hadn't gotten any easier, but the family was growing. They had a second son named Alex. Weaver three had problems holding down a steady job, so they moved in with the Ordinoah family. The agreement was in exchange for shelter. Weaver three would help with the OA family business selling products within the local Filipino community.


On June 15th, 1986, two of the OA family daughters ages 15 and 16 were sent in the company van to pick up Weaver three from a local bar. During the drive home, he asked that they pull off the side of the road so he could relieve himself. When they stopped, Weaver three hit one girl in the head with a chunk of concrete, knocking her out. Then he raped the sister. Years later, the victims describe that. Weaver went from acting calm to attacking unprovoked and rage filled with no warning.


They sentenced Weaver to three years for the attack on the Ordinary Sisters. During the pre-sentence evaluation, he told a probation officer that he had trouble controlling his temper. His greatest fear was that he would end up like his father on California's death row.

When he was released from prison, Weaver three and Maria moved to Oregon, where in 1989, the unhappy family welcomed their fourth child, Mallory. By 1993, the marriage was over. Maria took out a DV restraining order and filed for divorce.


Over the next few years, Weaver three's unimpressive life ambled on. He sold low end drugs and was arrested for it. He had relationships with young women, choosing the ones he thought he could control. When he couldn't, he beat them and was arrested for that.

In the late 1990s and early two thousands, Weaver three and family had a house in Oregon City.. The neighborhood was barely lower. Middle class. It was mixed residential, small houses and small, sometimes wooded, lots and large multi-unit apartment complexes, most of which you could charitably label as rundown.


Weaver three fancied himself the cool dad. As his kids progressed through their teenage years, he would allow parties. He supplied booze and sometimes drugs. He used the situation to get close to vulnerable girls. It was this situation that Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis stepped into. They were friends of Weaver Three's youngest daughter, Mallory.

The girls all went to the same middle school and were members of the dance team. Pond and Gaddis had each experienced abuse at home, so they escaped by hanging out and sometimes staying overnight.


As the summer of 2001 ended, rumors circulated. The word was that Weaver Three was sexually involved with Ashley Pond. A teacher reported seeing him inappropriately kissing Ashley as he dropped her off at school. The police investigated. Ashley confirmed that Weaver Three had raped her frequently. Weaver three denied it and no charges were filed in that case.


On the morning of January 9th, 2002, Ashley Pawn walked to the school bus alone. Coincidentally, her route took her near Weaver's house. She never showed up at school. Two months later, Miranda Gata Spanish. Under similar circumstances.


After Ashley Pond's disappearance, Weaver three and his son Francis dug a hole in the ground beside their house. Francis later said that his father told him it was going to be a concrete pad for a hot tub. That account was confirmed later when, after Miranda's disappearance, reporters flooded the neighborhood, interviewing residents. In one on camera, weaver three proudly proclaimed, "I'm putting in a jacuzzi. The last time I checked that wasn't against the law". Around the same time, Weaver Three told another reporter that he understood himself to be the FBI's top suspect.


As the missing girls task force pressure increased, weaver distinguished himself with several such media statements. On July 9th, 2002, he appeared on Good Morning America, portraying the Girls as coming from troubled homes. He made himself the victim, saying that his daughter's friends were practically dumped on his doorstep begging for help. He said he did what he could.


The rape of Randy Onida, the allegations of Francis Weaver and all the backstory, gave the task force ample evidence to get search warrants for the Weaver property. The search occurred on August 24th, 2002. They found Goddess's decomposing remains in an empty microwave box inside a storage shed behind the house.


The next day, the concrete jacuzzi slab, minus the hot tub, was jack hammered apart. Ashley Pond's body was there encased in a 55-gallon barrel. Ashley's body was mummified. She was clothed but wore no shoes. She had a large contusion to her skull. Toxicology showed she had a blood alcohol level of 0.17%. The medical examiner theorized that he had kept her frozen for a period after her death, and investigators found a chest freezer in a storage unit rented by Weaver three.


Miranda's body was in a far more advanced state of decomposition. She was nude except for socks. There was a microwave oven in that storage unit that matched the cardboard box containing Miranda's body.


The trace evidence and witness interviews filled in some blanks. In the days following the missing girls, weaver three bought concrete mix, plastic shower curtains, and a cleaning solution. They found rolls of industrial plastic at a relative's house, matching the type that he wrapped the bodies in. Weaver three's fingerprints were found on tape used to pack the bodies. Victim head hair was recovered from a vacuum cleaner owned by Weaver Three's employer. The bodies had been trussed with ropes so they could fit into containers. Matching cords were found at some of the search sites. One of Weaver's three's relatives said that she helped him move property from his house to the storage facility because he was planning to move to Idaho.


On October 2nd, 2002, Weaver was indicted for the crimes against pond and Gaddis: aggravated murder, abuse of a corpse, sexual abuse in the first degree, attempted rape in the second degree, attempted aggravated murder, first degree attempted rape, sexual abuse in the second degree, and sexual abuse in the third degree.


Two years later, Weaver three pled guilty. A plea bargain allowed him to avoid the death penalty. They sentenced him to two life sentences with no parole.


More than 1000 people attended a memorial service for the girls. The crowd was filled with families carrying flowers and card. Teenage girls from their school, neighborhood and regional dance teams came. Many wearing yellow memorial ribbons.


Relatives and teachers showed photos and talked about the girls' lives and what they meant to them. The Oregon City Police Chief and the task force investigators were also there. Chief Gordon Huries said, "although most of us have never met them, we feel we have always known them. We adopted them into our law enforcement family, and we will never forget them."


In the investigation's aftermath, law enforcement took scathing criticism about the pace of the inquiry and points where, in retrospect, the murders might have been prevented. Many people wanted to know why Weaver three wasn't arrested after Ashley Pond's rape allegation. Critics pointed out Weaver's violent past, and that he had made media challenges inviting law enforcement to search his property at any time. In response, police said that Weaver three allowed limited searches. They even used cadaver dogs, but the bodies had been moved.


Francis Weaver received public praise for his courage in cooperating with prosecution and his public statements about the killings. From the beginning, he did not mince words, saying that he was certain his father was guilty of the murders.


On March 4th, 2007, Weaver Three's prison Barber attacked him at the Snake River Correctional Institution. The barber, also an inmate, pulled a shank and stabbed Weaver three's neck and shoulder. Three sustained serious injuries, but he survived.

Miranda Gaddis, youngest, Miranda Gaddis younger sister Mariah, went to the prison to speak with Weaver three in 2009. She was seeking closure and wanted to know exactly what happened to her sister. Weaver three told her that he killed both girls with his bare hands. He also told Mariah that it was his intent if he hadn't been arrested to murder her next.


On February 17th, 2014, Francis Weaver was charged with murder. Francis and his two co-defendants were accused of planning the ripoff of an associated drug dealer. Their plan was to seal 15 pounds of marijuana. During the robbery, the dealer was shot and killed. The robbery team then staged a car accident involving the body with the intent of confusing homicide investigators. There was no confusion, and the group was rounded up the following day.


Discussion

Marcy: One of the most striking things about this case. I guess the series of cases is the generational trauma and abuse and what it created.

Mark: This case is a lot. It's pretty amazing. There is a question that pops up in the articles when I was reviewing for this case. Is this genetic, the nature versus nurture thing?

And, it was later determined; I think during the investigation that Francis wasn't actually the biological son of Weaver three. So that kind of kills the idea that this is all genetics.

The people that said that were disappointed, obviously. This was nurture, right? The worst family environment's, creating the worst human beings. That's what we have here. Three generations of that.

Marcy: Four, if you count Francis. Commenting on the case against Francis Weaver, Annette Jolan, who was a professor at Portland State University's division of criminology and criminal justice said "when I was a police officer, there were some families known to all officers because of their involvement in crime, but I think it's very rare to have two generations of murderers and another generation accused of murder." and Dr. Jalan went on to say modern studies discount the idea of a genetic crime, predisposition and the focus in criminology is really on the social factors.

Mark: I think that's completely right. I too worked in a city where certain names, where we had generational sons, grandsons known, were doing all kinds of even violent crimes. And I'm convinced, based on what I've seen, is that's how families raised their kids and how they functioned that made them stand out.

Marcy: Being a victim of sexual abuse makes you at a statistically higher risk of being vulnerable to further sexual abuse or becoming a perpetrator. That cycle of sexual abuse really is the gift that keeps on giving.

Mark: We've talked about this before and that's a phrase that pediatricians used. And having worked in sexual assault and with the crimes against, children unit in my department, I know that to be true.

Both these girls were abused at home and that makes them more vulnerable. First it's, who knows chicken or egg, the home situation is not good. And it creates a judgment issues with the children going out as to what is appropriate behavior. And the other side of this Weaver three from an abused family that had crazy levels of dysfunction it made him the kind of person he was.

The other thing about this whole thing with the two girls is I was once again stricken by 1980s era sexual abuse of minor sentences, despite having been convicted of sexual abuse. One of the girls offenders received three years despite taking the full conviction. And the other one, despite taking the full conviction, just got probation.

Marcy: Maybe it's geography. You did just say that the Lost coast of California where Weaver two was born is the lost coast for a reason.

Mark: I was joking. It's beautiful there. A full disclosure: I was born in Sacramento. But that area, which is basically, if you go north of the really ritzy area just across the bay from San Francisco and you continue north, that's a region that is, has a reputation for being lawless.

It was the epicenter of big illegal commercial marijuana grows. It's isolated and rugged like Hill Country. The reason I said that is it doesn't surprise me that a long-haul trucker, serial killer, operated from there for years without detection.

Marcy: We could make up our own conspiracy theories with the lost Coast marijuana grow thing, and Francis Weaver's murder charge. Wasn't that a marijuana rip?

Mark: technically it did happen way north of the lost coast, but that's just the details. And it did involve weed and a murder, the family's apparent business and a really crappy attempt at and disposing of a body, which apparently he gets from his father and his grandfather.

Marcy: The weed owner was shot in the head multiple times and they thought a fake car crash was gonna cover that up.

Mark: Car crashes don't generally involve through and through holes in the head. And it was so unconfusing. They put the body in the car and crashed it into a tree, thinking that there'd be head trauma there would cover up. But, no, it did not fool the cops and everybody just picked up within 24 hours. Like I said, maybe it's a predisposition to a crappy disposal of bodies.

Marcy: There was a homicide task force in this case and you supervised part of a homicide task force. Do you wanna talk about that a little bit?

Mark: Yeah, it is for large, complex cases, and in this case it wasn't an enormous case, but it did have a ton of, they had tips coming from all over the world and no sign of where the girls went. So it's complicated and having a task force is really the way to put down a large, complicated set of cases.

In my case, one of them was we were having drug related rips across Anchorage. The crimes were brutal. People were getting shot, couple people killed. It really caught people's attention because one kid was killed in the middle of the day in the parking lot of Costco. Very busy place. And the other kid was killed in the back of a friend's car in the parking lot of a brand new drug store. One of the big chains on one of the busiest corners in the city. And he was just basically killed execution style by a bad guy. There was supposed to be a marijuana exchange from the bad guy. The kid was there. He is gonna exchange it and take it off to his very nice neighborhood and sell the weed. Instead, they took the money. Bad guy basically shot him in the side of the head unexpectedly. Pretty alarming.

On a task force, the duties are clearly defined and parted out. What happened with me is I took the afternoon and night shift, and another sergeant took the day shift. We each were assigned our investigative units. I had my crime suppression guys and attached me was my former unit, the vice unit, and also had a swat element at my disposal. a couple of my investigators were sent over the FBI Fusion Center, and their job was to coordinate intelligence information that we gathered and homicide gathered.

So every day we'd meet in the homicide office, we'd work through old information and things we'd come up with, and we'd go through new information, new intelligence. And the idea is we all planned together what we thought were the best next steps. We'd, decide these things, what we need to accomplish who we're gonna interview, who we're gonna surveil who need to be hit with search warrants, as we progressed, what arrest and what order.

And with such an organized, intense approach, it wasn't long before we formed a strategy on the best way to roll them up cuz we the key was to build tension within that group.

So they were like rats jumping off a ship, everybody scrambled to save themselves. And I'd say if you had good leadership that, and we can keep clear goals. This is the best system for these big cases. The downside is it's very labor intensive and, the investigative paste, the aggressive pace can't be maintained forever.

I guess in my experiences relates to this case is, it's surprising to me with how high Weaver three s level in the chain of key suspects must have been that they weren't in his house searching it, search warrant. Within the first few weeks. You set up a hierarchy; you hit the highest scoring targets and you work from there.

And I can't believe that, just based on what was known at the time. You can see things in retrospect. Oh boy, he's a big one, but he I think he had to be a big one, pretty early on. And I can't believe within a few weeks that, that they said there were up to 60 FBI agents attached to this.

That's a huge number, even for a large geographical area. That's a huge number. And I can't believe they weren't in there before. Before they were.

Marcy: Before we move on to the missing girl specifics. Weaver two got off really lightly. He as much has confessed to two dozen murders, but the prosecutors wouldn't make the deal with him because they didn't want him to escape the death penalty.

But we found out later because of some technicality, he was actually let off death row. So he avoided the death penalty, and he never had to disclose anything about those other murders.

Mark: Yeah, it's really disturbing. I can't remember what the technicality was. It was something about his age or the limit on time limit on death row.

So he's still in for life. But he's able now to. He's off death row and he's able to live in the general population, which allows him to participate in services and stuff and have a much better life than on death row. There's a lot of. Lavoys relatives really screamed about how unjust is that they, he was convicted and put on death row, and now he's just a gen Popper. The really horrible thing is if the prosecutors had made a deal with him, he would've ended up in the same status as he is now. But two dozen families or so would've known the facts about the deaths and disappearance of their loved ones who he killed, and they don't have that now.

Marcy: The rape allegation with Ashley Pond? We have a middle school teacher who saw them open mouth kissing, in the drop off line? And they talked to her, and she says, yeah, Weaver three's been raping her when she stayed at his house, and yet they don't file any charges. How is this possible?

Mark: I don't know the answer to this. I can tell you in my department this would've been what's called P priority one. Case P one a father molesting a child's friends. This is all uncommon, but as far as allegations of this kind go, that's not all that uncommon. And it's also very concerning. There are numerous avenues to, to corroborate Ashley Pond's disclosure.

I won't go into here and I don't know what length the police went to get there, whether they pulled out all the stops or not, but that should have been what happened., I would say the risk in the investigation, the downside to that case is the environment in which it occurred.

It's the environment in which hampered the missing person's investigation. It's a world of victimization, suspects everywhere, drug and alcohol abuse. You can't depend on some of the people that you're taking interviews from, especially at this age young kids, to keep things quiet. So, for example, you're, if you're gonna run a wire, do something like that. You really run the risk of being compromised, so I don't know what they did.

Maybe they did get screwed and compromised. I don't know. So I can't say whether this case worked to its end or just fell through the cracks. I do have my suspicions that it's the latter based on how the missing persons case really started off sluggish. What we do know is , no charges ever resulted from the Ashley pond rape disclosure.

Marcy: In 2002, the Governor of Oregon announced that there would be an audit of the actions of the police agencies involved in the pond and Gaddis investigations, and in particular, why no action was taken in the Ashley Pond rape allegation. Do you know anything about what happened?

Mark: I looked, and I saw nothing. The governor of Oregon got caught up in a scandal, which caused him to resign several years later. I could not find any finding on the audit he called for. My guess is that the auditors had nothing to sink their teeth into. My hope and expectation is, like I said, the investigators went to the mat and just couldn't cover, couldn't get over the resistance.

But on the other hand, Even a crappy investigation can end by saying they had nowhere to go. They had no further leads. People they talked to were uncooperative. And second guessing an investigation is difficult unless you have obvious negligence on things that went undone. On any given day, a great investigator can take, get shut down or break the case, and based on factors that are largely beyond his or her control. Luck skill can maximize results, but they're not a guarantee.

Marcy: So the criticism that law enforcement took about the missing girl investigation, do you think that was legitimate?

Mark: It's hard to say without knowing what they had. And when they had it. In retrospect, things seemed very clear, like I said about, especially about Weaver three being the guy.

But what I did see in this is everybody there's all these private investigators involved and there's people from the outside who all had their own prime suspect. And it's like the ones who picked Weaver either hit the right number or maybe they just knew enough what to look at for profiling that they got it right.

For me, if I was looking at this from the outside and I knew all their prime suspects and could read a little folder on the facts, Weaver's familiarity with, the girls and her rape allegation would've put him at the top of my list.

Marcy: Do you think they could have or should have gotten a search warrant sooner for that house?

Mark: Could have. Yes. I think there was enough to put together a complete search earlier than they did. Just based on what I knew, they knew. And they were slow. They waited 10 days even after the Randi Oneida rape to go into the house. And some of the stuff that they put in their affidavit even 10 days later, was stuff that they knew before Randi Oneida rape.

They used the news video, the concrete pad, and some of his statements for the media is justification. Statements he made well before the rape. I don't know if they could have done that before Gaddis went missing. The most problematic thing about the investigation was there was no sign or witnesses of where the girls may have been last seen or where they disappeared to.

But we know they were both headed to school, and they both disappeared and he lived right near the bus stop. So that's a little tick against him or pro getting a search warrant for his place. There were other, his history. For example, 15- and 16-year-old girls picked him up, he knocked one of out and raped him.

Those are things that go into a search warrant to add to the probable cause of you getting into his place to look at where he may have taken and hit the girl. I think that they could have should have put it together before., some of the things that were embarrassing, the task force is pawns stepmother goes over and puts a sign on right beside the jacuzzi tub slab, and the sign says, dig me up.

There's some embarrassment here for the task force that people knew. And when he was arrested, they went, ah, see yeah, we told you. And that's a bad, that's a bad look for the cops. , the idea that everyone knew, and the cops didn't do anything, whether that's legit or not.

I think based on some of the things I said, it might have been legit in some respects.

Marcy: You said Randy Onida running down the street wrapped in her blue tarp is great evidence. What did you mean by that?

Mark: Yeah, let me qualify this by when I say good, useful to achieve justice.

No facts in a sexual assault case are good in the usual sense. So what you have to overcome as a sexual assault investigator who's trying to put a case together that will weather the beyond a reasonable doubt burden, when those facts like that, when I read that detail, I thought,

Boy, that's great. Circumstantial evidence. In sex assault consent is always the issue. So if you imagine they went to Weaver and Weaver says, yeah, we had sex, but it was consensual. She just freaked out because she thought my son was coming home and was gonna find out about it. Something in that kind of, that realm of excuses is actually pretty common, and that's why we have to overcome that consent issue.

When you look at what actually happened here, that common excuse is unbelievable in the light of her extreme response. Proving that beyond reasonable doubt can be tough. But this situation is really good at evidence. Here you'd probably be able to prove sexual contact through trace, and her reaction is a powerful statement that what happened is not consensual.

Marcy: Talk about how search warrants are investigative and not conclusive. That's something that you've mentioned before.

Mark: Yeah. That's a common mistake for young investigators or new investigators, new cops. You feel like, boy, you absolutely have to prove a case before you get a search warrant.

That's not correct. Search warrants are an investigative tool. They don't have the same beyond reasonable doubt standard as required for court. The burden is much lower. It's probable cause. Having said that, you don't wanna risk too much.

It can't be just a fishing expedition. You have to be pretty sure that this is what you put in the affidavit is what has happened and where evidence is likely to be. And if you don't do your job, if you don't take into account why, you could be wrong. It could be painful.

I remember once somebody put up a copy of a search warrant affidavit up on our police bulletin board as a cautionary tale. It was a beautiful long affidavit. All the drug information supporting a marijuana grow, how they wanted to go into this place, and when they went in and it was a grow beautiful zucchini!

Yeah. This is a big problem, right? You gotta be able to investigate and tell the difference between a marijuana grow. Why do you think it's marijuana and not just somebody growing something perfectly legal? And so that's search warrants are not a final investigation, but search warrants are serious when you put your stuff down. This is why I believe it happened. And you gotta get a judge to buy off on it.

Marcy: Oh, that's horrible. I can't, I bet they never lived it down. So have you ever done applications where you did find nothing in a search?

Mark: Yes. And you don't like to do that, but it does happen. The case that comes to mind, I was looking for a huge stash of stolen property, like $150,000 worth of equipment that was taken from an auto shop.

I had pretty good information, and what I thought was a reliable informant. He turned out to be a reliable informant. But he just didn't have the most current information. So I wrote a search warrant for the suspect's house, and it was like three hours south of Anchorage.

Long way. And I knew it was a risk, but I had to try to get this stuff back. We hit the house, and the stuff wasn't there. It was disheartening. But there is a silver lining to some of this. First of all, the guy that we searched, his wife divorced him because now she believed that it happened. It put the Yeah; it was bad for him. You know what he did when we showed up? He said, oh, I'm going fishing and left. Very suspicious. Unusual thing for a guy to do when you're searching his house is a split like that.

And his wife was left behind to deal with us and she was unhappy and later divorced him because she realized he was a thief. But anyway, the search put the pressure on people who gave us additional information, the case. So it wasn't a total waste. But anytime you search and don't find anything, you have to return that search affidavit to the court. And I never wanted to send back to a judge why he shouldn't believe or have confidence in my investigation. I always like to update judges when I went in to any successes.

You take a swing sometimes you miss.

Marcy: It seems like there were a lot of indications that Weaver three might be the problem. Can you go into some of those?

Mark: sure. Like I said before, bludgeoning of 15- and 16-year-old girls earlier is an indicator of potentially future of conduct. It also sets him apart, definitely as a sadistic rapist, but also potentially a preferential pedophile.

He might like the young girls, which you could put in affidavit for the pond and gaddis. The other thing is both pond and gaddis are potential witnesses to other collateral crimes, the dope or contributing delinquency of minors. Pond made an allegation of sexual assault against him, so retribution is a possibility.

So they're. At risk from him, right? So if you're looking at assessing the victim's potential criminal relationship, this is a very good thing to put in your search warrant. So the other thing is Christie Sloan, I didn't really talk about her in the investigation part, but she was 18 years old when she gets outta high school and he basically takes her under his wing, marries her, and is trying to control her, but she ultimately gives divorces him.

But she knew things when they talked to her. He bought cement right after pond went missing and poured the slab just a couple days later. The fact that Weaver three's dad, Weaver two. did the same thing, burying a woman under a slab.

, I didn't talk about this either. Weaver two had his stepson, 10 years old at the time, help him dig that slab down in Orville, California. So they both father and son commit a crime, bury a woman using labor from their sons.

A little eerie. You couldn't use that in a search warrant, but it is very compelling, and the other thing about Christie Sloan is she gave background. He was abusive, controlling. She hated him. She feared him, and she knew he was capable of the abductions. That's that kind of thing: talk to his wives, find out what he is like, they say, oh yeah, he's capable of this.

Some of that could be put in a search warrant. The other thing is you have his very unusual demeanor. Most people that are suspects in a major crime like this don't stand in front of news media and say, Hey, I'm the FBI's Prime suspect. That is a very unusual behavior. He wanted attention.

Marcy: right after Miranda's disappearance, Weaver consented to a search of his yard. And what did investigators notice?

Mark: one of the investigators in his notes noted the newly port concrete, and I wanted to talk about consent a little bit. So consent is great and most police searches are done under consent circumstances, but that's generally not the way things happen in murders or other serious crimes.

In those, you cover your bases; you avoid losing evidence because you've applied for a search warrant. The whole idea is the judge is a third party who takes a look at your affidavit and can objectively determine if your case is good enough to overcome a citizen's fourth Amendment right against search. A warrant basically, it goes a long way to ensuring the search warrant will not be overruled in a later evidence hearing. But consent on the other hand, can be much less certain. A defendant who gives you consent can say things like, he didn't allow a search on his own free will, that he was intimidated into allowing it.

He can say I have a cop thing, and anytime a cop talks to me, I feel intimidated. And if you get the right judge is gonna shoot down that, that search, and you're gonna lose whatever you found in there. When we were granted a search of parts of his property early in the missing girl's case, basically he limited them to where he knew the girls weren't. Obviously he knew they weren't gonna find him based on where he told them they could look.

Marcy: I do think it's weird that Weaver Three kept the bodies at his house. His father buried a woman under a concrete slab and was on death row for it. Why didn't he get rid of them? Why didn't, why?

Mark: I don't know. Lack of imagination. I have thought about this and most people that do this dump bodies in the middle of nowhere or bury them out somewhere, and it's where they can't be, immediately, directly linked to a suspect.

I think it might be that he's just such a control freak, and he was so confident in his ability to move them, hide them whenever he wanted. He thought he could control the narrative by going on the offensive like he did with the media. He felt confident the police didn't have the ability or the desire to take him on or get a search warrant.

Clearly, what he didn't take into account is that he was his own worst enemy.

Marcy: With four generations of murdering men in this one family. I think it's important to end with saying that those intergenerational cycles of violence do not have to continue. However, it takes a community to help break that cycle. Every missed opportunity where someone looked the other way or decided not to intervene was a tragic failure.

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