Classification: Serial killer?
Characteristics: Abduction – Torture – Rape
Number of victims: 1 – 6 +
Date of murder: July 11, 1974
Date of arrest: October 2, 1974
Date of birth: 1949
Victim profile: Krista Kay Blake, 19
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: Clark County, Washington, USA
Status: Sentenced to life in prison on April 26, 1979
Clark County Sheriff’s Office
Timeline of Forrest’s crimes from prosecutors
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 license plate.
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., Vancouver WA.
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 twine.
3. July 17th, 1974, a reported kidnap/assault, a 15 year old girl, living in Ridgefield, WA.
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 males.
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.
The suspect 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.)
Both female 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.
The unidentified 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 to Valenzuela.
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, postively identified.
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 County.
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 children.
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 Ground.
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 published.
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.