Investigators believe Forrest may have killed as many as seven women and teen girls in the 1970s
VANCOUVER — More than four decades after he was sentenced to life in prison for the 1974 murder of Krista Blake, Warren Forrest was back in Clark County Superior Court on Monday morning facing a second murder charge.
If convicted, it would be the second murder charge to stick for a man police believe killed at least seven women and teen girls during the 1970s on both sides of the Columbia River.
Investigators believe Forrest, now 70, committed his first murder in 1971 with the abduction and killing of 16-year-old Jamie Grissim. Though Grissim’s body was never found, her school ID was recovered along Doe Road in a remote area of Clark County. Two other victims, Martha Morrison and Carol Valenzuela, were found nearby.
In 2017, new DNA evidence recovered from a gun Forrest admitted using in an attack on a woman who survived, was linked to Morrison, who lived in Portland, leading Clark County investigators to file the new murder charge.
On Monday, Judge Daniel Stahnke ordered Forrest held on $5 million bail. If he is unable to make bail, he would spend his time before trial in the Clark County Jail, where conditions are more cramped and unpleasant than the Washington State Penitentiary, where he had been serving out his life sentence for the murder of Blake.
Forrest tried and failed to gain parole in 2017, telling the board he had given into a “moment of fantasy” and no longer struggled with such compulsions. Forrest has never admitted to any of the other killings of which he is suspected.
Forrest is also suspected in the murders of Gloria Knutson, Barbara Ann Derry, Diane Gilchrist, and Jamie Grissim. Norma Countryman has said Forrest abducted her when she was 15, but she survived. Countryman was in the courtroom during Monday’s appearance.
Forrest is due back in court on Jan. 10 to enter a plea.
KOIN-6 TV reporter and anchor Dan Tilkin has dubbed Forrest the “forgotten serial killer” and has been closely following the case. You can read more of his reporting on the story here.