A native Oregonian, from Portland, Marquette logged his first arrest in June 1956, on a charge of attempted rape. His victim failed to press the charge, and so her 21-year-old assailant was released. A few months later, he was held a second time, for disorderly conduct.
In August 1957, Marquette tried to rob a Portland service station, clubbing the attendant with a sack full of wrenches. His guilty plea earned Richard eighteen months in jail, but he was turned out after twelve - for good behavior - and returned at once to Portland.
On June 5, 1961, a Portland housewife, Joan Rae Caudle, was reported missing by her husband when she failed to come home after shopping.
Three days later, parts of a dismembered woman's body were discovered, scattered over several vacant lots around the southeast side of Portland. Fingerprints identified Joan Caudle as the victim on June 14. Eyewitnesses had seen the murdered woman in a tavern on the night she disappeared; she had been killing time with Dick Marquette, a regular, and they had left the bar together.
A murder charge was filed against Marquette on June 19, and one day later he was named a federal fugitive, on charges of unlawful flight. His name was added to the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted" list June 29 - the first time that the list had been expanded to include eleven names.
The extraordinary step was warranted, the FBI decided, based on Marquette's demonstrated tendency toward violence and the threat he posed to women. On June 30, one day after the release of Marquette's WANTED flyers, the manager of an employment agency in Santa Maria, California, recognized his newest client in the mug shots.
Agents of the FBI were notified, and they surprised Marquette at work, repairing furniture for resale in a thrift shop. Seemingly relieved, the killer offered no resistance. "I knew the FBI would get me sooner or later," he told his captors.
According to Marquette, his victim had been picked up in a bar, and they had argued after having sex. He strangled her and then, impulsively, cut up her body to facilitate disposal.
On July 2, Marquette led authorities to the missing remains. Convicted of first-degree murder in December, sentenced to a term of life imprisonment, his parting words to the court were a heartfelt "Thank God."
Paroled after only twelve years, Marquette slaughtered another female victim soon after his release, but escaped detection in that case.
In April 1975, he dissected Betty Wilson in Salem, Oregon, and was arrested once again. In the absence of capital punishment, Marquette's second murder conviction earned him another sentence of life imprisonment, with theoretical eligibility for parole.
Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia
of Modern Serial Killers - Hunting Humans
Richard Laurence Marquette
(also known as Dick Marquette; born December 12, 1934) is an American
convicted murderer. Marquette was a serial killer who killed three
women, drained their blood, mutilated and dismembered their bodies and
scattered their remains.
He was the first person ever to be added as an
eleventh name on the FBI Ten Most Wanted List, in connection with the
1961 murder of Joan Caudle in Salem, Oregon. He has been incarcerated at
the Oregon State Penitentiary since June 1975.
Richard Laurence (Lawrence) Marquette was born on
December 12, 1934 in Portland, Oregon. He was first arrested in June
1956 on a charge of attempted rape, but his alleged victim dropped the
charge. He was arrested for disorderly conduct a few months later. He
attempted to rob a Portland service station in August 1957 using a sack
full of wrenches as a weapon, and was sentenced to eighteen months in
jail. He was released in twelve months for good behavior.
On June 8, 1961, Portland Police received a phone
call from a local housewife whose dog had brought home a human foot in a
paper bag. While detectives were at the woman's house investigating the
dog returned again, this time with a hand. The area was then subject to
a thorough search which uncovered several more body parts, all fresh and
bled dry, with no attempt to bury them.
After cross referencing with missing persons reports
investigators determined the remains were that of Joan Caudle, a 23-year
old housewife and mother of two who had been reported missing by her
husband. He said that she was out shopping for Father's Day gifts when
A witness was found who reported seeing Caudle
leaving a local bar with a man. Although her husband said she was not a
habitual drinker, she had been depressed as of late because her mother
was gravely ill and so it was entirely plausible she might have stopped
in a bar.
Further investigation led detectives to the home of
Dick Marquette. Marquette had fled the area, but further remains of Joan
Caudle were found in his refrigerator, butchered and wrapped in the
manner of any normal meat. Also found inside were bloodstained lingerie.
The only missing piece was her head, which later turned up near the edge
of a river. An arrest warrant was issued and a manhunt began.
Oregon Governor Mark Hatfield appealed to the FBI for
help and the agency took the unusual step of expanding their most wanted
list to eleven names, the first time it had ever done so. The tactic
worked, Marquette was arrested in California the day after being added
to the list.
Marquette claimed that he had met Caudle in the bar
and the two recognized each other from elementary school. He said they
went back to his house where she agreed to sex. Marquette claimed that
he got drunk and strangled her afterwards. Since he had no vehicle to
dispose of her remains, he panicked and dragged the corpse into the
shower where he dismembered it.
The prosecution found his story questionable and
asked for him to be charged with rape as well since they did not believe
he and Caudle had consensual sex. Marquette was found guilty of first
degree murder but the jury recommended leniency. Marquette was sentenced
to life in prison. After an 11 year sentence during which time he was
described as "a model prisoner", he received parole in 1973.
In April 1975 a fisherman discovered mutilated human
remains floating in a shallow slough in Marion County, Oregon. Once
again, the corpse had been bled dry, savagely mutilated, and dismembered
before being dumped with only a minimal effort at concealment.
Detectives determined the remains were those of 37
year old Betty Wilson, a North Carolina native who'd led a hard life of
poverty and had 11 children since marrying at the age of 16. They lived
for a time in an abandoned school bus at the edge of the city dump with
no electricity or running water and she claimed that her husband was
With all of her children in foster care, Wilson
stowed away in the trunk of her sister's car one day to begin a new life
far away from North Carolina and had been living with her in Salem. She
had last been seen alive at a crowded nightclub.
Wilson's husband was the initial and obvious suspect,
but it was quickly verified that he'd been working in North Carolina at
the time and could not possibly be responsible for a murder that
happened on the other side of the country. Marquette thus became the
Detectives began a stakeout of his home and obtained
a search warrant. They searched both inside and outside the mobile home
where Marquette was living and uncovered several small but damning
pieces of physical evidence that tied Marquette to the murder of Betty
Wilson. 55 hours after the first remains were found, Marquette was once
again arrested for murder.
Given the overwhelming physical evidence and the
close similarity to the Caudle murder, Marquette pleaded guilty to the
Wilson murder. His story was similar to the one he'd used earlier; that
he brought Wilson back to her house and she agreed to sex, but then
refused, after which he strangled and dismembered her.
He was sentenced in May to life imprisonment with no
possibility of parole. Criminal psychiatrists working with Marquette
came to the conclusion that he was a perfectly normal, socially adjusted
individual unless women turned him down. The sting of rejection, they
concluded, set off a murderous rage. He has been incarcerated at the
Oregon State Penitentiary since June 1975.
While confessing to the murder of Betty Wilson,
Marquette also confessed to another murder in the same style in 1974. He
picked up a woman at a bar, convinced her to come to his home, and
proceeded to choke her to death and mutilate and dismember her corpse.
Marquette led detectives to two shallow graves where he had disposed of
the bulk of the remains, but the head was never located and there was no
evidence that could aid investigators in determining who the victim was.
Marquette said that he didn't know her name and since he never heard
anything more about it, he figured that nobody missed her. Her identity
Marquette, Richard Lawrence
M RACE: W TYPE: N MOTIVE: Sex./Sad.
Dismembered adult female victims
DISPOSITION: Life sentence on
first count (paroled 1975); life term on second count, 1975.