Warren Leslie Forrest
was described as 25 years old, 5’9” tall, 155 lbs, with light brown
shoulder length hair, blue eyes and a bushy mustache. At the time of
his arrest he lived on 18th Ave. in Battleground WA. He was married,
the father of two children.
Forrest was born
in Vancouver WA., and attended Vancouver schools. He was in the US
Army, serving as a Spec. 5, missile crew service gunner, in Vietnam.
In 1970, he attended the North American School of Conservation in
Newport Beach, CA. At some point he also lived in Texas.
From January 1,
1971 to October 2 1974, Forrest worked for the Clark County Parks and
Recreation Dept. He owned a 1973 blue Ford van bearing Washington
When arrested for
the Wightman murder, he plead not guilty to this charge by reason of
insanity and was sentenced to commitment at Western States Mental
Hospital, Steillacum, WA, based on the examination by three local
physiatrists. On the dates of the abductions, Forrest was either off,
or took the day off early, from work.
In 1979, Forrest
stood trial for murder in the one case prosecutors had the most
physical evidence, which they could bring to trial quickly to keep him
off the streets after his release from the mental hospital, which was
imminent. The other cases are still open, active cases. Forrest was
found guilty of murder and sent to Washington State Penitentiary with
a life sentence. But, Forrest was convicted before mandatory
sentencing laws, so he will be eligible for parole in 2014.
1. Found March 29,
1972, a reported homicide, Barbara Ann Derry, age 18, 5’1” tall, 115
lbs., living on “W” St., Vancouver WA, a Clark College student.
Derry was last
seen hitchhiking along State Hwy. 14 East from Vancouver on February
11, 1972. Her body was found on March 29, at the bottom of the silo at
the Grist Mill, in Northern Clark County, a county park. It was
covered with boards and debris, partially disrobed, missing a bra. The
cause of death was discovered to have been caused by one stab wound to
the heart, with a narrow bladed instrument. Identification was
established through dentals. She had many male friends and was known
to hitchhike frequently.
2. July 11, 1974,
a reported homicide, Krista Kay Blake, age 19, living on NE 119th St.,
Blake was last
seen on July 11, 1974, getting into a blue van driven by a white male,
in the area of 29th and “K” St. in Vancouver. She was a known
hitchhiker. Later two other witnesses observed the victim, suspect and
blue van together in the area of Lewisville Park sometime before the
date of her disappearance. Blake’s body was found in a shallow grave
on Clark County Parks property, at “Tukes Mountain”. The victim was
partially disrobed, missing a bra. Witnesses related they had seen a
blue van, at the Tukes Mountain site on or about the date Blake was
last seen. Her hands and feet were “hogtied” behind her with baling
3. July 17th,
1974, a reported kidnap/assault, a 15 year old girl, living in
She was also a
regular hitchhiker. She was picked up by the suspect in a blue van in
the area of State Hwy 502 East of Ridgefield WA, one week after the
disappearance of Krista Blake. Inside the vehicle, she was held at
knife point and driven 13 miles to the Tukes Mountain area. During
that time, the suspect mentioned he would like to take her to Texas
and also he was to get some money for delivering her to several other
At the Tukes
Mountain area, the van was parked at the gate to the park. She was
beaten while still in the van, then taken into the woods and hogtied
to a tree, with the same type baling twine, just 100 ft. from Blake’s
grave. The victim’s bra was cut off and used as a gag. The suspect
left her tied at this location, saying he would return later. She was
successful in chewing through her bonds and escaped. She hid in a
nearby field until daybreak, when she was found by a Parks employee.
returned during the night, and picked up the materials he had used to
bind her, and the bra he had used as a gag. Two witnesses confirmed
the van was at the site during that period. From this case a positive
suspect was developed, which the victim identified in a line up as
being the one responsible for her kidnap and assault.
4. October 1,
1974, a kidnap/assault, a 20 year old, living on NE 6th Ave. Camas WA.
She was standing
on a street corner in downtown Portland when the suspect stopped his
blue van and talked to her. He said he was working on a thesis for
class work at Seattle University. He offered her money to pose for him.
She accompanied him into the Washington Park area of Portland, where
he threatened her with a knife and bound her with tape. He then
transported her about 25 miles to Lacamas Park, a heavily wooded
sparsely populated area of Clark County. There she was sexually
assaulted and shot in the chest with hand honed darts from a .177 ca.
dart pistol. She was then led by a rope around her neck approximately
100 ft. down a path, sat on a log, then choked unconscientious. He
then stabbed her 5 times in the chest area. Her naked body was laid
beside a log and covered with brush and debris, apparently left for
dead. All clothing was taken from the scene. The victim, however was
not mortally wounded, and after about two hours was able to make her
way to a public road, where she found assistance.
The gun, tape,
baling twine similar to what was used on other victims and other items
used on the victim were taken from a foot locker in the suspect’s van.
Articles belonging to the victim were found in the suspect’s home. He
had taken leave from work to keep a doctor’s appointment in Portland
on the day of the kidnap/assault.
The victim readily
identified the suspect in a lineup.
5. & 6. Found
October 12, 1974, a reported double homicide, one victim as yet
unidentified, one being identified as Carol Valenzuela, age 18 years.
(Later determined to be a victim of Ted Bundy.)
victims were found in shallow graves in the Dole Valley Area of Clark
County, an area the suspect was known to have frequented. The bodies
were found about 100 ft. from each other. The unidentified female was
estimated to have been died two to six weeks prior to Valenzuela’s
disappearance August 2, 1974, approximately 2-3 weeks after the 15
year old's kidnap/assault and the Blake homicide. The gravesites were
near large logs.
victim was determined to be a white female, 17-23 yrs, 5’5 -5’7 tall
and approximately 125 lbs, with long dark brown hair. These remains
were believed to have been placed there approximately one month prior
Valenzuela was a
white female, 18 yrs., from the Camas WA area. She was believed to
have been hitchhiking from the Camas area on the date of her
disappearance, to have died possibly from suffocation.
7. Found May 9,
1978, Gloria Nadine Knutson, age unkown, last seen in downtown
Vancouver May 31, 1974. Victim was located near Lacamas Lake,
This makes six
victims of suspect Warren Forrest and one of Ted Bundy's. If Jamie was
indeed a victim she would be no. 7 for Forrest and no. 8 in Clark
Family pleads to keep suspected killer in prison
April 12, 2011
VANCOUVER, Wash. – Nearly forty years ago Jamie
Grissim of Vancouver disappeared without a trace. Detectives suspected
she was murdered, but they’ve never found her body.
After all these years, the evidence points to one man: Warren Forrest.
Investigators think Forrest killed Grissim and other teenage girls;
however, prosecutors could only make one case stick. In the 1970s
Forrest was convicted of murdering 19-year-old Krista Blake in the
woods of Tukes Mountain just east of Battle Ground.
Now Forrest is up for parole. He went before the parole board on
Tuesday in a closed-door meeting at the Stafford Creek Corrections
Center in Aberdeen, Wash.
It’s a day that Grissim’s little sister Starr Lara of Hillsboro, didn’t
think she’d have to deal with for three more years. Forrest isn’t
eligible for parole until 2014, but the board is going to make their
decision in the next few weeks.
Lara said she was stunned to learn the decision was going to be made
three years in advance.
Lara was 14 years old, when her then 16-year-old sister went missing
on December 7, 1971.
“When I got home I noticed she wasn’t home and I said ‘where’s Jamie?’”,
Lara told the four member parole board at its offices near Olympia, WA
on Monday afternoon.
The last time Lara saw her sister, she had left their foster home for
Fort Vancouver High School. Jamie attended classes but never came
back. At the time, Starr was told that her sister had simply run away.
Then five months later Grissim’s student ID and other belongings were
found near Sunset Falls Campground in remote Clark County.
The bodies of two other women were later found nearby.
“I think of my sister every day, especially when I get up and when I
go to bed,” Lara told the parole board.
Three years went by before Forrest was arrested for kidnapping, raping,
stabbing and leaving for dead a different 20-year-old woman at Lacamas
Lake Park near Camas.
Forrest was working for the Clark County Parks department at the
time. In high school he was captain of the track team. He then served
in Vietnam with the Army. He was married and the father of two young
He pleaded guilty by way of insanity and was sent to the state mental
hospital near Tacoma for five years.
The same year as the Lacamas Lake kidnapping, detectives say Forrest
lured a 15-year-old Ridgefield girl into his blue van and drove her to
the same stand of trees that he took Krista Blake to near Battle
According to a Columbian article at the time, the girl testified in
court he “tied her head to one tree and her legs to another. Later,
she chewed through the twine and struggled out of a loop holding her
legs. With hands and ankles still tied, she hopped away.”
It was just 169 feet away from where hikers found Blake’s body. She
had been hogtied and killed.
Near the end of his treatment at the mental hospital, Forrest was
convicted for Blake’s murder and sent to prison in 1979.
“He tortured her, shot her with a dart gun and cut her throat and then
he buried her in a very shallow grave,” said Blake’s sister Zela, who
did not want her full name used in this article.
Zela and Blake’s other sister Valerie both lobbied the parole board to
keep Forrest behind bars.
“Warren Forrest is a monster and no amount of time in prison will
change that,” said Valerie, who also didn’t want her last name
Trying to solve Jamie’s murder
A Clark County Sheriff’s Office document from 1978 formally links
Forrest to Grissim’s disappearance, as well as murders or attacks on
six other women.
In a 2006 email, a Clark County detective wrote, “it’s suspected that
Jamie Grissim is the first victim of Warren Leslie Forrest, who is
suspected of killing eight women Clark County.”
“The story of Warren Forrest is a horrible story,” said Denny Hunter,
a retired Clark County deputy prosecutor, when it was his turn to
speak to the parole board.
Hunter was the prosecutor who put Forrest in prison.
“What he did to them was probably the most cruel behavior I’ve
probably ever experienced,” he said.
Grissim’s sister Starr Lara still hopes there is some humanity left
inside of Forrest. Now that he’s 61 years old and up for parole, she
hopes he’ll reveal the location of her sister’s body, though doing so
could open him up to being prosecuted for Jamie’s murder.
“What happened to her, the not knowing is the hardest part,” she said.
“Where is she? And he knows, I know he knows.”
Family members didn’t get to talk face-to-face with Forrest during the
parole hearing, but he will get copies of statements from them.
The parole board will take four to six weeks to make their decision.
If he is granted parole, Forrest will spend the next three years
before his release learning how to live on the outside – things like
how to use a cell phone.
It’s hard to say how the board will rule, but board member Dennis
Thaut said, “this is a very, very serious history to overcome.”
Clark County Sheriff’s Detectives hope they will still get a tip that
will lead them to Jamie Grissim’s body.
Warren Leslie Forrest
High School photo.
Warren Leslie Forrest