(UnitedVoice.com) – The popularity of true crime television shows, books, and podcasts has turned some people into social media sleuths. It has also created problems for law enforcement departments because they are occasionally forced to shoot down rumors of serial killers. That’s what recently happened in Portland, Oregon.
On Sunday, June 11, Portland Police Bureau publicly condemned speculation about a serial killer running loose in the city. The agency said news articles and social media posts are responsible for spreading “anxiety and fear” in the community even though there’s no evidence to support theories of a mass killer in the area.
The rumors began as the result of six women under 40 dying over the last three months around Portland. On February 19, law enforcement found the remains of Kristin Smith, 22, in Multnomah County. She’d been reported missing on December 22, 2022, and no cause has been determined for her death. On April 8, police in Clark County discovered the remains of Joanna Speaks. The 32-year-old was killed by blunt force trauma to her neck and head, and declared her death a homicide.
On April 24, Multnomah County deputies found two more bodies. One was of an unidentified woman who they discovered in a tent; authorities think she was between the ages of 25 and 40. Police don’t believe her death is the result of foul play. The other victim was identified as 24-year-old Charity Lynn Perry. Authorities found her in a culvert.
Police in Polk County found the remains of Bridget Leann (Ramsey) Webster, 31, on April 30. Then about a week later, on May 7, the body of Ashley Real, 22, was discovered in Clackamas County. Detectives are investigating Real’s death as suspicious.
The Portland Police Bureau explained that they were in contact with other departments in the area about the deaths, but that doesn’t mean “a connection has been made.” The agency promised to let the public know if there were any changes. For now, though, they said there’s no “articulable danger.”
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