Under Lock and Key

Yesterday I added a brief sentence at the end of my post about Annie’s high school being on lockdown.

At 6:30 yesterday morning in a nice house on a leafy lane not far from the high school, not far from Annie’s dad’s house; a man broke into that house, stabbed the man of the house and fled. The victim’s wife called 911. My sister lives on the main street of this suburb and heard police cars, with sirens wailing, race up the street past her house around that time so they must have arrived within minutes of the 911 call.

The victim, a 57-year-old man who retired a couple of months ago, died of his injuries. His wife was unharmed but I think of how her life has been shattered. Once the police and county sheriff departments realized they had a murderer on the loose, three schools in Lake Oswego, Brigid’s school in Portland and a couple of parochial schools were put on lock-down. The response was swift and without drama.

The search spread throughout the neighborhood. My sister saw police on Mitch’s (my ex’s) street going house to house and yard to yard. Search dogs and helicopters were used trying to track the killer. The search moved into Tryon Creek State Park, a 670-acre forest, with many trail heads, and areas of which back onto my road.

Yesterday, I left my back door open — as I always do — so the dog can come and go as he pleases. Yesterday, I had my sister pick up Annie from school and I met Brigid at home after telling her not to go in the house until I got there. Brigid waited a minute in the driveway for me and then watched skeptically as I grabbed an ax out of the breezeway and went through the house making sure no psycho, meth-head killer was hiding anywhere. I’ve watched “Law and Order” plenty so I know to yell “Clear!” when I finish “clearing” a room. There was no killer in the house but I slept with the ax in my room. Hell, he had already broken into one house and killed a guy for no reason.

Today my house is all locked up. They haven’t found the guy who did this. They have released this sketch of him:

And that’s it. This guy broke into the home, stabbed and killed a man and disappeared. Now neighbors and neighboring communities are locked in their houses, hoping he doesn’t decide to break into their house next.

Boston, 1989

I lived in Brookline, Massachusetts in 1989. In October of that year, a man named Charles Stuart and his pregnant wife, Carol, were carjacked while driving through Roxbury outside of Boston. Mr. and Mrs. Stuart were shot. Carol died of a gunshot wound to the head. Christopher, the baby delivered by C-section, died 17 days later. All of Boston was in a panic. I remember being scared alone in my boyfriend’s car one night while he was in the store because a young, African American man was walking by and a young African American male had shot the Stuarts. The mystery gripped Boston for months, the tragic and senseless killing of a beautiful, young, first-time mother and her baby. No clues, nothing to go on  but people were locking their doors and staying vigilant.

In January 1990, Charles Stuart jumped off the Tobin Bridge into the Mystic River after his brother told police that Charles had indeed shot himself in the stomach and killed his wife and baby.

A community all up in arms, horrified at such random violence, for nothing.

I don’t know what’s happened in Lake Oswego and my heart is breaking for the wife and three children of the victim. I hate to also be hoping that it was indeed, a horrible and random act but I am.

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37 thoughts on “Under Lock and Key

  1. Margarita says:

    I’m glad your family is safe, Maggie. I don’t know of a systemic fix to these kinds of situations. All I can do is to remember that there is no such thing as winners and losers. At the end of the day, we are all one: just people who want to be loved, understood, validated. So every day, I go about my life, love my family and friends, express compassion for those in pain, and hope that the small seed of kindness I plant takes root…I grieve with the family who has now lost a father/husband/son/brother, and with the family whose father/husband/son/brother perpetrated such a heinous act. xoM

  2. The Waiting says:

    Thinking of you and glad you and your family are safe.

  3. Okay, so judging from the police sketch one of the wise men is on the loose? haha! Seriously, that is so frightening. I don’t blame you for keeping the axe by your side. I sleep with a big old stick, aka a baseball bat, in my room, a flashlight in my drawer and a dead bolt on my closet in case I have to hide. You can’t be too careful. It’s good that you have a Law and Order education of sorts. Phew, now I won’t worry about you so much, Mags.
    Sorry, I don’t mean to be making this into a joke. I guess it just makes me nervous.
    Stay safe.

  4. Oh my gosh!!! How scary!!!

  5. I read about this story earlier today. What a bizarre and scary occurrence, especially given Lake Oswego’s reputation.

  6. unfetteredbs says:

    (clicking like for support)

  7. I dislike this intensely even though I clicked “Like.” Please be careful and stay safe, lady.

  8. wish I had not read this before bed – am glad you are safe

  9. Always scary when you have kids. Wishing you well.

  10. This is very disturbing. Was it a random act of violence or is there more to it? Meanwhile, I hope that you, your kids and your friends remain safe — and you don’t ever need to wield that ax.

  11. And I agree with Weebs about giving this post a “like”. Obviously, I like you, but I don’t like what’s going on out by you at all.

  12. acflory says:

    -hugs- Maggie that’s one of the most horrible things I’ve read in a long time because it’s real and it’s happening to you and your family. I hope they catch this maniac quickly before he can cause any more tragedies. I know you’re taking good care of yourself and your family so I’ll just send you my thoughts and wishes that it’s all over soon. Please, please keep us up to date on what’s happening.

  13. Brigitte says:

    Scary stuff, Mags. I hope you, your family and your community stays safe and that the police can find the person who did it. Be careful!

  14. Oh my word! Are you guys OK? Have they caught anybody?

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