PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s been 50 years since Warren Forrest began killing women. He’s only been brought to justice for one murder, though he is suspected of killing 7. Now, the 72-year-old is trying to convince the Washington State Parole Board to set him free at the same time he is awaiting trial for the murder of a teenager in 1974.

On May 18, Forrest sat in a Washington state prison during a parole hearing as the parole board tried to pull information from him about the young women and teens he is suspected of killing.

Two young women survived his brutal attacks that all happened in the 1970s.

At that same time, he was married and had 2 young daughters.

“All I had in mind was a distraction and the distraction was, you know, deviant fantasies,” Forrest told the parole board. “And the deviant fantasies distracted me from my everyday life. But then it led me to my crimes.”

He also told the parole board he was distracting himself from feeling worthless and hopeless, but he has never explained more.

The history

Warren Forrest was convicted of abducting and killing Krista Blake and burying her body near Battle Ground on Tukes Mountain. He’s been in prison since 1974.

For decades Clark County detectives tried unsuccessfully to link him to other murders. In 2015 they had a breakthrough and tied Forrest to the murder of Portland teenager Martha Morrison.

A blood stain on a dart gun was proven through DNA to be Martha’s blood. It’s the same dart gun Forrest admitted using when he brutally raped another woman at Lacamas Lake 30 miles from where Martha’s remains were found.

  • warren forrest c 07182017_491278
  • martha-morrison-a-1974
  • jamie grissim 1971_182177
  • diane gilchrist combo 02142018_1518654329775.jpg.jpg

Just before the pandemic, Forrest was brought back to Clark County to stand trial. But he was sent back to prison as the court system ground to a halt.

Two of his suspected victims have never been found, 14-year-old Diane Gilchrist and 16-year-old Jamie Grissim.

Jamie’s school ID was found near Martha Morrison’s body and the body of Carol Valenzuela. Jamie’s sister, Starr Lara, urged the parole board to never let Warren Forrest go free.

“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of her and it’s been a half-century,” Lara said. “But I think about her everyday.”

Washington State Parole Board member Lori Ramsdell-Gilkey told Lara she admires how she has “hung in there for your sister” through the years and decades.

“Oh, thank you,” Lara said. “She was special and I know she would have done that much for me, too.”

Forrest told the parole board his fantasies of hurting women have diminished to next-to-nothing.

“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,” he said.

But when the parole board asked him several times about the other women he’s accused of killing, Warren Forrest did what he’s done for 50 years.

“I’ve been instructed by my attorney, Mr. Downs, not to comment on any unadjudicated crimes.”

The last time he was up for parole, the parole board added 7 years to his earliest possible release. He told the parole board if he was released he would live with his daughter and her 3 children in Rainier, Washington. He’s also still married to his second wife, who he met 40 years ago in prison as his prison nurse.

As for his Clark County trial in the Martha Morrison case, it is on the docket for October. Forrest’s lawyer told the court he may plead insanity — which he also did in his first trial after the woman survived the brutal attack at Lacamas Lake.

Even if Forrest was granted parole, he might not be released. At the parole hearing it was revealed Forrest will be evaluated to determine if he fits Washington’s criteria to be deemed a Sexually Violent Predator who can be committed to a special prison unit on McNeil Island and held indefinitely.

“It’s kind of a difficult situation in that if the board decides to release him, then he’s just looking at civil commitment anyway,” Forrest’s lawyer, Don Miller told the parole board. “And also this other charge, it makes it very difficult to try and argue for any kind of a release situation under the circumstances.”