Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Ward Weaver: Like Father, Like Son

A Quiet Community

Map with Oregon City, Oregon Locator
Map with Oregon City, Oregon Locator

Oregon City, Oregon, is located about 20 miles south of Portland, the state's largest city, and has generally been considered a quiet, peaceful community, nicely tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the larger metropolitan area that is home to more than one million people. The town began as a lumber mill in 1829, located on the Willamette River, and was founded by Dr. John McLoughlin. The city bears the distinction of being the first city incorporated west of the Mississippi River, and McLoughlin, along with other early settlers, welcomed new arrivals who, like themselves, had dared to embark on the often perilous journey along the Oregon Trail. It is recognized as the last stop on the Oregon Trail and soon adopted the motto, Urbs civitatis nostrae prima et mater — first and mother-town of our state. A large portion of the city is situated along a bluff that overlooks the river, while other parts of the community are spread out along the banks of the Willamette. Although it was eventually designated as the capital of Oregon territory, nowadays it is the county seat of Clackamas County and is home to about 30,000 residents. Unfortunately, no one knew that they had a monster living in their midst — evil incarnate — until it was too late.


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