PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Warren Forrest, the forgotten serial killer, was denied parole as he awaits trial for the murder of Portland teenager Martha Morrison in 1974.
Forrest, who turns 73 on June 29, has spent 4 decades in prison for killing Krista Blake. At his most recent parole hearing in May, Forrest tried to convince the parole board he was rehabilitated.
“All I had in mind was a distraction and the distraction was, you know, deviant fantasies and the deviant fantasies distracted me from my everyday life,” he told the parole board. “But then it led me to my crimes.”
He told the parole board he felt worthless and hopeless when he kidnapped, hogtied and killed 19-year-old Krista Blake, then buried her body near Battle Ground in July 1974. He was convicted in 1979 of her murder, after spending 5 years in the state mental hospital after pleading guilty by reason of insanity to brutally raping a woman at Lacamas Lake in October of 1974.
His “violent thoughts have diminished to next-to-nothing,” he told them.
“I’m sorry for all the pain that I’ve created, that there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t regret the selfish act, selfish actions of my youth.”
But the parole board didn’t believe he was sincere or forthcoming. The parole board wrote, “He does not appear to have good insight into the reason why he committed the murder.”
They also asked Forrest about other crimes. Detectives believe he killed 7 young women and teens in the early 1970s. Two others survived his attacks, which were gruesome and horrific.
But when asked about them, Forrest said, “I’ve been instructed by my attorney, Mr. Downs, not to comment on any unadjudicated crimes.”
Two of his victims — Diane Gilchrist, 14, and Jamie Grissim, 16 — have never been found, investigators said.
Jamie’s sister, Starr Lara, has consistently urged the parole board to never let Forrest go free. On March 14, she told the parole board “there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of her and it’s been a half-century. But I think about her everyday.”
The parole board noted even though Forrest completed a sex offender treatment program in 2014, he still scores as “high concern” when it comes to “sexual assault.” He admits continuing to have “fleeting thoughts of deviant fantasies.”
For those reasons and the suspicion he’s killed others, the parole board tacked on 10 years to his earliest release date.
The upcoming trial
The ruling means Warren Forrest will stay locked up while he awaits trial for the murder of Martha Morrison.
After decades of frustration, detectives finally got a breakthrough in 2015 when a blood stain on a dart gun was proven through DNA to be Martha’s blood. It was the same gun Forrest admitted using when he brutally raped the woman at Lacamas Lake.
“He has a lot to explain and he has not told the truth in all these years,” Lara told the parole board in March. “He likes to say ‘I’m a changed person, I just killed Krista Blake, that was it.’ It was a lot more than that.”
After many delays, Forrest is now scheduled to stand trial in the Martha Morrison case in October. His lawyer told the court Forrest may plead insanity.
Had he been granted parole, Forrest told the board he wanted to live with his daughter and her 3 children in Rainier, Washington. He is still married to his second wife. They met 40 years ago when she was his prison nurse.
Warren Forrest’s suspected victims:
- Jamie Grissim: Dec 7, 1971, last seen in Vancouver, still missing. ID found on Dole Valley Road, Clark County.
- Barbara Ann Derry: Feb 11, 1972, last seen hitchhiking on SR-14. Body found March 29, 1972 at Grist Mill.
- Diane Gilchrist: May 29, 1974, last seen in downtown Vancouver. Still missing.
- Gloria Knutson: May 31, 1974, last seen in downtown Vancouver.
- Krista Blake: July 11, 1974, last seen downtown near 29th and K getting into a blue van. Warren Forrest drove a blue van. Body found Tukes Mountain in Battle Ground.
- Norma Country: July 17, 1974, abducted while hitch hiking in Ridgefield. Escaped from Tukes Mountain.
- Carol Valenzuela: Aug. 2, 1974, last seen in downtown Vancouver. Body found next to Martha Morrison off Dole Valley Road.
- 21-year-old woman: Oct. 1, 1974, abducted in downtown. Survived attack at Lacamas Lake.
- Martha Morrison: Disappeared sometime in 1974. Possibly Portland. Oct. 12, 1974, bones found next to Carol Valenzuela off Dole Valley Road. Remains weren’t identified until 2015