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January 11 , 2009

The Boy Who Fired the First Shot


A boy with a rifle walks into a middle school, intent on carrying out Western-style vigilante justice. A wife and mother of four kisses her twelve-year-old student and forever changes our definition of student-teacher conferences. The world’s most famous serial killers put Washington on the map. A bathtub, a handgun, a meat grinder, and a burn barrel play a role in the murder of the captain of a freighter.

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Victim Six

The bodies are found in towns and cities around Puget Sound. The young women who are the victims had nothing in common-except the agony of their final moments. But somebody carefully chose them to stalk, capture, and torture...a depraved killer whose cunning is matched only by the depth of his bloodlust. But the dying has only just begun. And next…

New York Times bestselling author Gregg Olsen (“If Loving You Is Wrong,” “Starvation Heights”) and veteran journalist Rebecca Morris (“Ted and Ann – The Mystery of a Missing Child and Her Neighbor Ted Bundy”), take a new look at Washington’s most notorious crimes. Many of them made history. Two – Ted Bundy’s killings and Mary Kay Letourneau’s teacher sex scandal – made Time magazine’s list of the top crimes of the 20th century. Some are lesser known or have taken on new importance, including one of the country’s first school shootings, in Moses Lake.  With a bonus essay by Washington native Gregg Olsen on growing up in the shadow of serial killers Ted Bundy, Gary Ridgway, and Robert Lee Yates, Jr.

Cases include:

Barry Loukaitis – Before Sandy Hook and Columbine, there was Frontier Middle School in Moses Lake, Washington.

Rosalina Misina Mendoza Dugeno Manthie Edmondson – She had many last names as she married and killed one husband after another.

Ruth Neslund – Her husband thought captaining a huge freighter right into the West Seattle Bridge was the worst that could happen to him. It wasn’t.  

Mary Kay LeTourneau – She said they were “soul mates.” He made a bet with another student that he would sleep with her.

Ted Bundy – He’s the one and only “Ted,” and remains a part of our lives. Now we’ve learned more about his. 

Kenneth Bianchi – Los Angeles’ most terrifying murders were finally solved 1,200 miles north in Bellingham, Washington. 

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