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Son of a Circus Clown-Fiction by Kip Hanson
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Run, Robby, Run, Part 1_Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
707-1900-Fiction by Sean Daly
Bloodbath in a Vegas Firestorm-Fiction by J. Brooke
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The Opposite of Dreams-Fiction by Beau Johnson
An Editor's Rejection Mistake-Flash Fiction by Paul Beckman
Dig-Flash Fiction by Doug Hawley
Alibi, Inc.-Flash Fiction by Roy Dorman
A Slave to My Passion-Flash Fiction by Rick McQuiston
The Beckoning-Poem by Michael Keshigian
and so, naked us-Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
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last journal entry-Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
the story to here-Poem by Meg Baird
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mon amie/my friend-Poem by Meg Baird
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Tunnels and the Man-Poem by John Grey
His Body Dug Up from Your Garden-Poem by John Grey
Deuce-Poem by Sanjeev Sethi
Maxilla-Poem by Sanjeev Sethi
Resume-Poem by Sanjeev Sethi
Desperate for Entertainment-Poem by Michael Marrotti
Poetry in Need-Poem by Michael Marrotti
One Man Can Only Take So Much-Poem by Michael Marrotti
Hail, Tiger!
Angel of Manslaughter
The Gazing Ball
Strange Gardens
Gutter Balls
Calpurnia's Window
No Place Like Home
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Art by Ann Marie Rhiel 2017



by Doug Hawley



I’m a volunteer at Ryon State Park, named after an early settler, Aristotle Ryon.  I’m a two-way guy in that I edit the Ryon Newsletter and do physical work in the park, getting rid of invasive species, improving the trails, and doing some planting.  I’m retired now and love spending time in Ryon’s natural beauty. There’s always a chance that I might see a coyote, an owl, or maybe a salamander. It is no surprise that this place is so popular.

Recently, our executive director asked me to write a column in the newsletter about the most notorious episodes in our history—two brutal murders about a year apart.  Each homicide stayed in the papers for weeks and caused visitors to avoid the park at night and to only visit while accompanied.

After a bit of research through old newspapers, and interviews with police investigators, I came up with this:


There were a couple of things in common about the murders. Both occurred on an obscure dead end trail, Illana, where hardly anyone goes, and even though it is not polite to speak ill of the dead, neither of them were upstanding citizens.

Victim One was Charlie Talbot. The police concluded that he was on the trail after dark because he had been excluded from the park after repeatedly and illegally bringing his vicious dog, Caesar, off leash to the park. Caesar was known to attack wildlife, people, and other dogs, with impunity. Mr. Talbot was found with his head bashed in, after Caesar showed up the next morning at park headquarters and led a ranger to the body where it had been dragged, twenty feet off trail.

Victim Two was Chris Massey. She, too, had been excluded from the park because she had been caught digging up plants in the park to take home. Her murder was even grislier. She was killed a year after the first, in a similar location to where Mr. Talbot was found, but with her head cut off by some sort of curved blade. She was easy to find because she had told her daughter where she was going.

The park is in an urban area with many entrances and no way to register those that enter the park. Despite a plea to anyone in the metro area who had seen either of the victims in the park on the day that they were killed, or anything suspicious, there were no leads in either case. In both cases, there was no forensic evidence— identifiable footprints or DNA. The two victims had nothing in common except for being excluded from the park, so the police assumed that there was no connection between the two crimes.

Neither murder has been solved.



I didn’t mention in the article that no one checked the shovel that I use. It wouldn’t have been a problem, anyway. I got a new shovel.

Nobody messes with my park.



The author is a retired volunteer who works in Tryon State Park (which is totally unrelated to Ryon Park) and at the bookstore, Booktique. Then there is the snowshoeing, where he took up Sasquatch Whispering, and hiking. He lives with editor Sharon and cat Kitzhaber in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

His hobby writing has led to about ninety publications, as indicated by https://sites.google.com/site/aberrantword/. These scribblings include memoir, crime, speculation, drama and the Vernonia Trilogy in AWS.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2017