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Ep. 121/122 The Molalla Forest Killer

Updated: Apr 24

Part 1: "Steve the Gambler"

Oregon has seen its fair share of serial rapists and killers, but few have gained the term prolific. One, in particular, earned that title in the late 1980s. In today’s case, we discuss the origin story of a man who was known on the streets as “Steve the Gambler”, a man who had a wife and child at home, who owned a successful business, and who cruised the streets at night looking for a vulnerable female to be his victim. This is the story of the Molalla Forest Killer Part 1.

For photos and sources for today’s episode, check out the Murder in the Rain Episode Blog.

Episode Host: Emily Rowney

Part 2: "Screwdriver"

In last week’s episode, I introduced you to a man named Dayton Leroy Rogers, who was known by local sex workers as a creepy character they called “Steve the Gambler”; a man who enjoyed bondage had a foot fetish and enjoyed inflicting pain on women. Rogers was arrested for the murder of Jennifer Lisa Smith in the summer of 1987. Shortly after his arrest, while they prepared for his upcoming murder trial, authorities made the gruesome discovery of several bodies hidden in the Molalla Forest in Oregon. The similarities between the Molalla Forest discovery and Jennifer Smith were undeniable, and soon detectives would unveil a prolific serial killer who would go on to have the longest-running court case in Oregon history.

Episode Host: Emily Rowney

Dayton Leroy Rogers photos from Canby Current, Clackamas County, KGW

Dayton Leroy Roger's 1985 light blue Nissan truck, images from Oregon Live

Left: Dayton Leroy Roger's mug shot, Roger's shop, the rear of the light blue Nissan truck (1985)

Right: The Denny's parking lot, shoelace, and Jenny Smith's clothing

Images from Gary C. King's Blood Lust: Portrait of a Serial Sex Killer

The Regency Sheffield 5" kitchen knife

Image from Gary C. King's Blood Lust: Portrait of a Serial Sex Killer

Jennifer Lisa Smith photos from

Top Left to Right: Lisa Marie Mock (Jane Doe #2), Maureen Ann Hodges (Jane Doe #7), Christine Lotus Adams (Jane Doe #5)

Bottom Left to Right: Nondace "Noni" Kae Cervantes (Jane Doe #3), Reatha Marie Gyles (Jane Doe #1), Cynthia Diane DeVore (Jane Doe #4)

Jane Doe #6 was eventually identified using DNA in 2013 as Tawnia Jarie Johnson

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