r2s received this heart wrenching personal story in our comments section. we wanted to post on the main page of the blog so that it won’t be missed by readers.
we have done foot patrols twice, so far. ronald tarwater was recognized by a large number of people living on the streets. there were also reports of him offering a young woman $10 for sex on se belmont st. , and he was reportedly seen on se 82nd st.
we are planning on doing more flyering and foot patrols this coming week. please contact us if you would like to participate. firstname.lastname@example.org
thank you craig, for sharing your story.
My name Is Craig , my nightmare gets deeper.
I just learned from my daughter that Ronald Tarwater is walking free, without his bracelet on his ankle,. Imagine a man like that being asked to honor a bracelet
Ronald Tarwater is a predatory serial rapist. He does not learn and there is no redemption for him.
When I heard he was released on parole. I wrote My Story about him and what he’s done to my family. On July 14 of this year I mailed copies of my story to; the Oregon Governor’s Office, the Attorney General, the Multnomah county District Attorney’s Office and Christine Jensen, Ronald Tarwater’s parole officer. Christine and I had a nice chat on the phone before Ronald Tarwater escaped. I did gave her verbal warning that he would escape and re-offend.
My daughter and grandchildren tonight are sleeping in fear . All women and children should lock their windows and bolt the doors. however he did brake through a locked basement window at my house, 41 years ago. None of this should be happening!
Now he’s out there among us, free to do his evil, of which I have great fear that he will do. How did this happen? Now he needs to be caught and quickly. Shame shame shame!
This guy Is a never-ending nightmare, and I do blame the Justice System. Some people would say that because I beat and shot him, that it should have relieved some of my anger. He failed to die, and a lot of people have suffered for my actions not being more thorough. Leaving me, feeling guilty.
FORTY ONE YEARS Of RONALD TARWATER
An Armed Predatory Serial Rapist
I’m trying to mentally, sort out an outline, so that I can broach this subject to you, the reader, in an orderly manner. I will do my best at being forthright about my thoughts and feelings on what has actually happened, and transpired, during Tarwaters crimes upon my family, and what the results the crimes of Ronald Tarwater have had. My goal is to allow you the reader to feel and think the experience. Just as Tarwaters other, known and unknown, victims have experienced the terror and pain which he suddenly brought into their lives. And also what he stole. My heart truly goes out to them.
Here is our story,
Christy, my wife, had put, Michelle, our months-old, baby daughter in her crib, in her separate bedroom, until her next feeding. We had both gone to bed at a reasonable hour, around ten. Having just moved into a rental, one of those grand looking two story Victorian Portland homes on SE 11th Ave. on the ladds edition side. Richard, a friend and chess partner, was a roommate off and on, but he was not at home on this particular evening.
I had been sleeping when I was awoken, Chris was coming back from what I thought was feeding Michelle or using the bathroom. We had been sleeping on the floor because the bed wasn’t setup as yet. We had only just moved into the home. So I lay there looking up at Chris and she had her hands between her legs. Her knees were locked together and she was hysterical. Then I saw some blood. She was horrified, and I was horrified for her. I got Michelle and Chris together and as Chris calmed down enough to speak, she told me that a man had come into our bedroom and taken her off, while I was sleeping.
Christi told me that a man had a gun and pointed it at my head as I was sleeping and took her off, raping her in a car parked on the street. She told me the man smelled of alcohol and toyed with her using a gun, sexually. Chris also told me that the blood was from her own menstruation. She asked me, “how could he rape me while I was having my period ?“ She didn’t know up from down or in from out. She had just been brutalized, humiliated and left In fear for her life. Because that bad man got away.
A tremendous amount of guilt and anguish began to overwhelm me. A complete feeling of inadequate helplessness. I, of course called the police, and that went badly. We were pretty much somehow treated as suspects. I remember a policewoman being present, I suppose she was there because this was a rape. The authorities present did not seem very concerned about Chris’s welfare and physical state. They came, did what they do and were gone leaving us with little or no information. Entry was made by breaking out a basement window and crawling through.
This all had to be paramount to torture for Christi to endure, after being taken from the sanctity of our bed at gun point, frightened out of her wits, toyed with and raped. My wife did not call out to me. Apparently to protect me, she remained quiet and complied with the rapist. She and I, at that time, of course, had never heard the name, Tarwater. All we knew was that somewhere out there was a very bad man.
Chris and I were terrified and with good reason as it turned out. During the next week I borrowed a rifle from a high school friend, Bob. I knew nothing about guns and had certainly never tried to shoot this antique, octagon barrel, single shot, 22 rifle. I put a bullet in the chamber and kept it near the headboard of the bed for security.
I think at this point, I’d like to add a little perspective on just what Chris and I had going on for ourselves. When it met Chris,20, I was 17. Christi had just completed beauty school, working at her first cosmetics and hair salon shop. For whatever reason she saw in me, she took me for better or worse. This all being before the pill was available, we soon conceived a child, and we both decided that the right thing to do would be to raise and love Michelle in traditional marriage form. I do think I was a child, maybe Chris and I were both children, having children.
I, myself was accepted as an apprentice carpenter with the union in Portland and was working at that time. When Swan Nelson, carpenters union president read the front page news, Burglar shot with own gun, he offered me the full support of the union. Swan was a very popular carpenter. I am sure I still retain his support. Carpenters are a great group of fellows.
So, Chris and I were young, we had the right intentions, and certainly had a positive direction with which to set forth in life. And Then,! Pop Goes the Weasel! A second time, thirty days later, evil revisited us. Felt like the “Bambi meets Godzilla” cartoon and I’m the bambi. (Google it)
Our bedroom is on the second floor towards the front of the house. The house itself has two stories with a full basement. It’s still there. Walking through the front door on the left is a stair landing leading up to three bedrooms and a bathroom. Walking straight ahead, from the front door on the right side will lead you into the dining and living rooms. Going straight ahead immediately towards the left was a door leading to the basement and midway on the landing, a door leading towards the outside yard. Heading straight, down the hallway from the front door, past the landing going up stairs, is the kitchen.
“Craig, wake up, I heard someone at the door“. I got right up, grabbing the rifle at the same time. Chris and I were both stark naked. The lights were not on, it was very dark. I think it was around 3:30 or 4am, when I approached the bedroom door from inside the bedroom. I went through the door.
In seconds I was on the top of the stairs, gun in hand , taking a bead towards the downstairs, waiting for someone to pop a head around the corner. Then a mans voice came to me from behind. The man was already upstairs. Chris would later tell me she meant someone had tried to open our bedroom door. I for some reason thought of the front door of the house. How wrong I was.
“Turn around with that gun and you’re a dead man”.
Quickly, I turned around, pointed my rifle at a mans head covered in a ski mask and pulled the trigger. It made a very sickening click. Now I am looking inside the barrel of a 38. (Thanks’ for the rifle, Bob) Chris is in the bedroom and this man is between us. Our baby is in the crib in her bedroom across the hall. The man orders me to give him the rifle, which I promptly did. I fully expected to be shot and it didn’t seem to matter. The man shoved me into the bedroom with Chris. Chris and I were both naked and this apparently heightened whatever was getting this man off. He turned the lights on and began to speak. Here I will not be as graphic as events could lend.
He told me, he wanted to screw Chris while I watched , then me screw Chris while he watched. I don’t know what else this man wanted, but it wasn’t good. The man tried to get Chris on the bed. He was between us, with his back to the bedroom door. Blocking our exit. By this time my nakedness and the dire straight I suddenly found my family in, slowed time down quite a bit. This all caused enough sound to wake up my daughter, Michelle. She was crying very loudly. Had this man been at her? Evil in a ski mask, not a real face as yet. Just Evil.
I began to yell for Chris to go get Michelle, then my eyes locked on a framing hammer on top of the dresser. The man saw what I was about to do and quickly turned the gun from Chris, who had taken a step towards the door, to point his revolver at me a few feet away. The man threatened to kill our daughter if we didn’t do as he asked.
By this time I was in action and screaming for Chris to go get Michelle, several times, very rapidly. Chris would take a step towards the door, the man would turn the gun towards her, leaving me to advance forward. In the confusion of the mans back and forth motion with the gun, Chris made it out the door and to Michelle, down the hall.
I am in the bedroom, naked, not knowing what the man would do next. I screamed for Chris to take Michelle and run out of the house, she made it out just in time. I caught a glimpse of her as she flew down the stairs with our daughter.
It is amazing how strongly instinct can drive us, when needed. How organized our thoughts can become. Chris, I thank God, had control of her wits. She was operating at her very best.
The man began to freak out. I got slammed a good couple of blows to my head with his gun and manhandled to the top of the stair landing. He threw me down the stairs. I was a little groggy from getting whacked in the head by his pistol. I ended up on the floor at the foot of the stairs. So, here, I was finally between the man and my family. I took a risk. He had not shot me upstairs, when I turned and pulled my trigger and misfired. (Thanks again, Bob)
At the foot of the stair, on one side is a solid wall, the banister post and rail on the other. I turned my back to the man, facing away, and put my arms straight out from my sides. I didn’t want him to get past me, the man had the gun. He began to pistol whip me on the head, repeatedly. I waited for a next impact and turning, slapped the gun so hard it flew from his hand, it flew down the hall to the kitchen. Then I was on the man.
I elevated the man by grabbing his pecks, I slammed him as best I could, bringing his back down on the banister post. I was primed on adrenalin. I pinned the man down on the floor while screaming to Chris, “I got him, get the gun, it’s in the kitchen.” The mans face was no longer hidden. My brave wife reentered the house to retrieve the gun from the kitchen. I am on top of the man, my memory is blurry about what was yet to transpire. Rapid, successive action, are good descriptive words.
Chris was taking forever to bring the gun. Chris did come, with the revolver held in both hands, finger on the trigger. She squatted down pointed it in the mans face and began screaming, “It’s him, it’s him, that‘s the man.” I knew she was about to shoot him in the head.
Chris was raised in a family of loggers and hunters. The Wieseman’s and DeHart clans hunting abilities date back to early Hudson’s Bay,1930’s in Parkdale, under Mt. Hood were the hunting and trapping areas. So, Chris was very capable with weapons. I took the gun from her, asking where the baby was. She answered that Michelle was stashed in some bushes, Chris then ran outside the house. Now I have the mans gun. And, I am alone with him.
The man is on the floor in front of the stair. He is quite frantic. He came towards me, up from the floor, so I started to shoot him. I have no idea how many times I hit him, he was moving all around standing on his feet, being uncooperative and threatening. Then he bolts out toward where Chris and Michelle were outside. The man exit’s the house and makes a run collapsing within 10 feet of the outside door. Now the man is outside the house. I want him inside the house.
I knelt down to the man, saying. “Get back in the house or I will shoot you again.”
The man replied, “ You have already killed me”
My reply to him was, “You are not dead yet” Those are the last words I spoke to him.
I knew that there were no live shells left in the gun. So I grabbed the man by the seat of his pants and back of the neck and dragged him back into the house. Knocking his head into the risers of the stairs. My rage was building. I got the man back into the hall leading to the kitchen, I had the man down on the floor in front of the doorway going to the kitchen and entry. Both the man and myself were clearly visible in the doorway from outside the house. This is where an angle shows up.
I am kneeling over the man with a 38 pistol in my, fist raised as if to strike. I was debating with myself as what to do next. I heard a voice telling me to put the gun down. The officers voice was calm and controlled. Now, I could put the gun down safely. Which I did.
I explained that the man on the floor was the bad guy. I think it may have been obvious considering the lack of clothing on me. Chris was somewhere in the yard behind the officer with Michelle. It would be later that I realized how many times that night my family members lives had been threatened with death.
If not for the true professionalism exhibited by the uniformed, first on the scene guy, things could have had a very different outcome for me. This uniformed Portland Police patrolman, coming on to a shooting, peeks his head around a corner and sees a man on the floor, on top the man laying down, is a man with a gun in hand, being held in a most threatening manor. I would very much like to thank that officer.
The police arrested me for a joint of marijuana and locked me up. I made a recording for the Grand Jury. They seemed to feel nothing was amiss as no indictment returned for the shoot. I was told that I could not press charges on Tarwater because he was an escaped convict and ward of the court. Charges were pressed on me for a joint. I feel that my family have paid a very unfair price. Emotionally and monetarily. And the beat goes’ on. (Sonny & Cher)
My mother showed up immediately to bail me out. She had George Desbrisa with her, an attorney, expensive guy.
Where she dug him up, I don’t want to know. I have sometimes wondered if, who George was, had an influence on how I was treated by the authorities. George was a very notorious Longshoreman with a degree to practice law.
Michael Shrunks’ dad, Terry, was Mayor. Frank Ivancie was commissioner of parks and a man of considerable power in the city.
George came to a bad end. He was a good attorney, I guess. Worked out for me. He knew the how things got done in 1969. It’s not the same, forty one years later. Is it?
In 1976 or around then, I read in the Oregonian that Ronald Tarwater had been arrested for the knifepoint rapes of two young girls, about fifteen years of age. My thought were, “How can this be?”
I called Christi. By this date in time, the marriage we both looked forward to had disintegrated, mostly from affectation caused by events. Leaving us, loving, caring and sharing our daughter, Michelle.
On the phone. Chris said she didn’t want to know anything more about it. Indicating, Tarwater was in the past and to just leave it alone. Chris was very angry with me, she took that call out on me for a long, long time. Chris did not want to remember. Chris passed away in 1996 of breast cancer. Christi was a career cosmetologist, owning a shop for years in Lake Oswego. I don’t think she would object and get angry with me now. Tarwater received a sentence of 60 years for raping the innocence out of two of the communities children . Problem solved? I let Tarwater go from my mind for a while knowing that he would be locked up for life.
One day while visiting the Portland Public Library for research on my father. Ray, a retired Army Major worked with Oregon DOL. ( My older brother is in DC DOL he is 1 of the #2s. The apple, truly, doesn’t fall very far from the tree) My father , out of his own pocket, was responsible for developing several, of his own, public educational projects .He had a method that enabled people to self inventory their personal job skills. My family has contributed greatly to this society and nation. My Father and younger brother are resting in Willamette National Cemetery from war related injuries. Readers Digest had featured ‘Creative Job Search Techniques’ in a 1963 article. I was after a copy. I was told to look in the Dewy Decimal System by the librarian. My last name begins with a Z.
The card catalogue is a very heavy oak and brass piece of furniture. Rubbed by the oil from palms over at least a 100yrs. It’s stunningly out of place next to a computer. It has a lot of small drawers for the cards. I was checking the Z box. For some reason I opened the T box.
And, yes, Ronald Tarwater has a spot in Dewy Decimal System at the Portland library. I had my good and loving father on my mind and was feeling pretty good until the T box. Doe’s Evil have an odor? So this mans very existence appears to suffer me with an intrusion.
Ronald Tarwater should not be that close to my family, even if it’s on a card in a box. Next time you are in the library, or better yet , Take a field trip. See the Card. My Granddaughter is right up Tarwaters ally in the way of treats. She and all other young girls are at risk. This is not right. I am asking DOC or whoever else who may wish to be involved, to lock this evil man up until he has served every day of his sixty years he can be made to. If DOC wants to save money, he should be placed in General Population. Smile. Otherwise, a Super Max for him would make me feel a whole lot better.
Michelle has since given me two wonderful grand children. Their father has passed away.
Tarwater threatened Michelle with death because of why? This is my family and I am bound to protect them. Please lock Ronald Tarwater up for the remaining 60yrs. It is the Right thing To Do. He owes Chris, Michelle and myself something. So far we have been treated poorly. Where is our Justice?
Lock this man up!