Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Ward Weaver: Like Father, Like Son

Weaver III's Background

Ward Weaver III
Ward Weaver III

Ward Weaver III's father, who had nicknamed his son "Little Pete," abandoned his family in 1967, and a few years later his mother married an abusive alcoholic. Weaver only saw his father occasionally after he left, in part because his dad had remarried and had started a new family. However, according to those who know him, he idolized his father even after he was convicted of murder. He had attended his father's murder trial, and had paid him regular visits in prison.

Ward Weaver Jr.
Ward Weaver Jr.

According to his sister, Weaver III first began showing signs of antisocial behavior when he was about 12. By that age, he had physically and sexually abused at least one family member and, in 1981, a female relative who was in her teens at the time reported to police that he had repeatedly raped her and that she had sustained beatings at his hands. That case lay inactive and nothing was ever done. Even after he had left home and was married, relatives said the abuse continued. Family members said that they were terrified of him.

That same year, 1981, Weaver enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserve and was stationed in the Philippines following training, but was discharged less than a year later for infractions related to heavy drinking and charges of dereliction of duty because he repeatedly failed to report for his assigned job.

While in the Navy, however, Weaver met the woman who would become his first wife, and they moved in with his mother and her husband. When his wife was five months pregnant, he purportedly attacked her in an incident that required her hospitalization while they were living in Bakersfield, California. According to reports of the attack, Weaver had allegedly slapped her, pulled her hair, and slammed her head against the bed's headboard. Four months later, at about the same time that his father was convicted of murder and sentenced to death, his first son was born. Within five years she bore him a second son and, in the late 1980s, she bore him a daughter.

Later, Weaver, along with his wife and child, relocated to Fairfield, California where they moved in with another family that had befriended them. They weren't there long, however, because Weaver, while heavily intoxicated one night, asked the couple's daughters to drive him to the store so that he could buy more liquor. While there, he attacked the couple's 15-year-old daughter outside the store with a concrete block. The girls escaped and reported Weaver to the police. He was subsequently arrested, convicted, and sentenced to three years in prison for assault.

Although Weaver's wife waited for him to get out of prison, she found that she couldn't live with him because of his abusive ways. She eventually left him, and filed a restraining order against him in 1993. Soon afterward they divorced.

Weaver, however, quickly found himself a new girlfriend, but he was violent and abusive with her, too. Shortly after their relationship began, he was arrested for beating her with a cast-iron skillet. She refused to testify against him, and they resumed their relationship. They married in 1996, but their marriage only lasted four years. Apparently, the breakup of his second marriage was caused by an affair that he had begun in 1997 with a woman that he had met at work. Despite the affair, his wife had remained with him for nearly three years, until she'd had enough of her husband's unfaithful, violent ways and decided to leave him. With his second wife now out of the way, Weaver eventually moved his sons and daughter, along with the new girlfriend, into the rental house on South Beavercreek Road in Oregon City.


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