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Ep. 149 Crossed Paths

In 1978 Oregon saw an uptick of crimes against children and panic swelled to an all-time high when two girls went missing within weeks of each other. Our first case today revolves around the disappearance of 12-year-old Ann Marie Ellinwood who went missing during a March of Dimes Walk-a-thon in Corvallis. The second involves 11-year-old Stephanie Ann Newsom, who vanished while delivering newspaper advertisements near her home in Salem. Both girls were last seen walking on local paths and, in both cases, witnesses claimed to have seen them with a similar man.

Episode Host: Emily Rowney

A portion of the March of Dimes Walk-a-thon route from Corvallis, OR 1978

Ann's friends left her on the portion of the path where the Willamette River (north to south) meets the Mary's river (east to west).

Photos: 1. Ann Elllinwood 2. The confluence where her friends last saw her 3. The last sighting of Ann was on the path where it went through Pioneer Park 4. The white trailer witnesses saw next to Ann and the male suspect she was speaking to

Stephanie disappeared along a path she walked on between her home and Walker Junior High School.

Photos: 1. Stephanie Ann Newsom 2. The wooded area near her home she disappeared from 3. Chevrolet Bel Air witnesses spotted her in

Stephanies body was discovered in the Ankeny National Wildlife Preserve, roughly 10 miles south of Salem, OR.

Witness testimony and tattling friends (our favorite kind) lead police to consider Earl Frederick "Woody" Chambers as their prime suspect.

In images 1-3, you can see him with his signature sandy blond hair and mustache. Unfortunately, witnesses were shown the image on the right, where he had died his hair and shaved after the abduction, leading one witness to believe it was not the same person who tried to abduct her.

Sgt. JR Miller, photo courtesy of The Statesman Journal

Karen's case is still unsolved

Previous Murder in the Rain Episodes Mentioned

Episode 3 "Minnesota Plates" the abduction of Brooke Wilberger

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Read our Blog

Episode 25 "Junkyard Shoes" the story of the Oregon serial killer Jerry Brudos

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Read our Blog

Episode 30 "Nightmare Year" the story of Richard Kitchel

Listen on YouTube

Read our Blog

Episode 38 "Number 5" the story of serial killer Randall Woodfield

Listen on YouTube

Read our Blog

Episode 40 "Complicit" the story of Karly Sheehan

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Read our Blog


Statesman Journal - Police Solve 36 Year Old Case | DoeNetwork - Ann Marie Ellinwood | The Charley Project - Ann Marie Ellinwood | KVAL - Retired Cop Solves 1978 Case | Brians Prediction - Ann Marie Ellinwood | Gazette Times - 04.17.1978 Girl Disappears during walk-a-thon | Statesman Journal - After 36 years, a murder is solved | Gazette Times - New Facts Point to Kidnapper | Corvallis Gazette-Times - 04.17.1978 | Gazette Times - 06.08.1978 Police Press Search | Gazette Times - 12.28.1978 News Reflected Through The Year | Gazette Times - 04.25.1978 ‘You Get Numb’ | Gazette Times - Ellinwood Family | Gazette Times - 04.20.1978 - Second Mid Valley Girl Disappears | Statesman Journal - 04.28.1978 Body found south of Salem | Statesman Journal - 04.28.1978 | The Capital Journal - 04.28.1978 Girl was strangled | The Capital Journal - 06.27.1978 No new leads | Albany Democrat-Herald - 06.12.1978 Earl Chambers | Albany Democrat-Herald - 06.07.1978 | Statesman Journal - 06.22. 1978 Mystery still surrounds Ellinwood case | The Capital Journal - 06.20.1978 Abduction girl's death 'not linked' | Corvallis Gazette-Times - 04.28.1978 Body in field identified as Salem girl | Longview Daily News - Abducted school girl | Eugene - Cold Cases | KVAL - He saw something | KTVL - Cold case investigators | The Capital Journal 04.20.1978 Salem girl's abduction is feared | The Statesman Journal 0 04,20,1978 11-year-old Salem girl disappears in W. Salem | Statesman Journal - 04.28.1978 Caution Not Overreaction |

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