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Episode 23: Point Defiance

Updated: Jun 28, 2020

Two young girls disappeared a few months apart in Tacoma, Washington in 1986. Both girls were found deceased in local parks with signs of sexual trauma. For more than 30 years, no one was arrested. Listen in while Emily and Alisha discuss the magical world of DNA today and how it helped solve these crimes and unleash a massive twist in the cold case that rocked this small city.

Left: Michella Welch, Right: Jennifer Bastian, photo credit:

Puget Park, photo credit:

Jennifer Bastian's bike, photo credit:
Laura Burbank, went missing in 1970, photo credit:
David Harry Fisher, photo credit:
David Harry Fisher after capture,
Guy Rasmussen, photo credit:
Michella Welch's Killer, Parabon-NanoLabs
Jennifer Bastian's killer, Parabon-NanoLabs

Captured! Michella Welch's killer: Gary Hartman

Captured! Jennifer Bastian's killer: Robert Washburn

Those noses are spot on!

Carla Wright, 12, asked her mother for a ride to school January 7th, 1980. Mom had a doctor appointment and told her no, so Carla had to go it alone. At 8am that morning, Carla left for school on foot and took a shortcut to Gray Junior high. She never showed up to school and never came home. Her mother reported her missing that afternoon. 12 days later, her body was found near the trail she had walked, hidden under a piece of plastic. She had been raped and strangled. 

Angela Meeker, 13, went missing on July 7, 1979 on her way to the Tacoma mall to pick up a birthday card for a friend.The last person to see her was a male acquaintance who claimed to have given her a ride to the Payless shoe store. No sightings of her have been recorded since.  

Chalisa Lewis, 14,  stepped off the bus on her way home from school on February 2nd, 1996. Her body washed ashore 3 weeks later at Seattle’s Discovery Park. there are no signs of struggle. Her death was ruled a homicide by drowning and her final words left in her diary were “Dear God, I know you have a reason for everything and it all works out in the long run but I just don’t get it.

Adre’Anna Jackson, 10,  went missing on the morning of December 2nd, 2005 while she walked from her apartment to Tillicum Elementary. She didn’t know it, but school had been cancelled that day due to weather. The following spring, two boys found her body in the brush less than two miles from her home.

Patty Bastian and Detective Lindsey Wade
Jennifer Bastian and mom Patty Bastian

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Dateline Mystery - Evil Was Watching | Journal Start - Robert Washburn who is Accused of Killing a Teen 30 years ago | KING 5 - Man Pleads Guilty  | KING 5 - Tacoma Police Charge Suspect in 1986 Cold Case | KING 5 -   Family of Murdered Tacoma Girl faces Alleged Killer in Court | KING 5 - Murdered Tacoma Girl's Mother Testified in Olympia | KING 5 - Jennifer and Michella's Law Signed | You Tube - How the Brutal Killing of a Teen Girl in Tacoma Devastated Friends, Families | KING 5 - Suspect Charged in 1986 Murder of Tacoma Girl | Snapshot Parabon Nanolabs- Michella Welch Murder | The News Tribune - The man who killed Jennifer Bastian | The News Tribune - Justice for Child | Murderpedia - David Lee Fisher | Unsolved Mysteries Fandom- Laura Burbank | Seattle Times - Killer's Family Knew Nothing | Monsters and Critics - Murder of Cynthia Allinger | The News Tribune - The Doubled Edged Sword of DNA | Kitsap Sun - Unsolved Murders

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