Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Fetish Killer

Missing Woman

Linda Slawson
Linda Slawson

In 1968, Linda Slawson worked for a book company, going door to door to persuade families to purchase sets of encyclopedias. Ann Rule imaginatively envisions the drudgery of this as Slawson makes her final call, in the hope of paying her rent and getting some money for college. She was only nineteen years old. It was January 26, and her route had taken her to a neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. Some authors say she was looking for another house when she went there, but no one knows what actually took place, aside from the story told by the person she encountered.

And no one ever saw or heard from Linda Slawson again. The book company had no record of where she had been that day, so the frantic requests to police from Slawson's family came to nothing. They did manage to locate her car, abandoned, but it offered no clues of what had become of her. There was no sign of struggle, nothing apparently missing. She was just gone. She remained on the list, but as each day passed, her case grew cold. Other more pressing incidents took over the officers' time. If she'd been abducted, the person responsible had been careful. He'd left no sign of his presence, his intentions, or what he had done with her.

Yet the mystery would be revived the following year when other young women turned up missing.
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