Who Is Hiding in the Woods?

Date Published 07.17.06
The last time anyone saw the two teachers alive was last Tuesday, July 11, about 10 a.m. at a trailhead in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington. They had left Seattle and driven a couple of hours northeast for a day hike on the Pinnacle Lake trail. A few hours later hikers on the trail passed what they assumed at first glance was two people going to the bathroom. But the two people weren't moving. The hikers looked closer. The two people were dead, victims of gunshot wounds so brutal that the hikers who found the bodies couldn't even discern their gender, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer . Later the hikers would learn that the two dead people on the trail were women, identified by police as Mary Cooper, 56, and Susanna Stodden, 27. Cooper and Stodden were teachers - Cooper was a librarian of late and Stodden taught environmental education to grade-school students. They were mother and daughter.

  Pinnacle Lake

Very little information has been released about the women's murders. They were found in the open, not far from the trail, and no one tried to conceal them, according to Snohomish County Sheriff spokesman Rich Niebusch. Sheriff's investigators continue to work the crime scene; the U.S. Forest Service road leading to the trailhead remains closed indefinitely.

True Crime Diary hopes sheriff's investigators are looking into one promising but eerie lead: almost a year ago two teachers, along with their dog, were shot to death while camping in the Willamette National Forest near Oakridge, Oregon. On July 1, 2005, the bodies of Stevan Haugen, 54, and Jeanette Bauman, 56, were found; like the recent murders, Haugen and Bauman were found just off a forest service road. Investigators have released very little information about the Oregon murders, withholding the type of weapon used or any promising leads. The case remains unsolved.

A hiker from Eugene wrote recently on a northwest hiking website that he heard that the dog, a rottweiler, charged the killer and had its head blown off. That suggests a powerful weapon, like a rifle or a shotgun - the kind of brutal, disfiguring weapon that might make it hard for someone to discern if a body is a man or woman.

  Four murders, one year apart, all by gun...is someone dangerous hiding in the north woods?

Coming Soon: Are these murders connected to the Lindsay Cutshall and Jason Allen murders?

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RT @emilynussbaum: The artful @hodgman's straightforward case for Hillary: https://t.co/ijA8xHJ8Tm
@Twaikuer @pattonoswalt @daveanthony Know what he does believe in? PAC $. Took 10K from HRC pac 2006. That means he's in her pocket.#BSLogic
@Twaikuer @pattonoswalt @daveanthony Good one. Unfortunately Bernie on record as not believing in charity.
@johnlevenstein Thanks for asking, btw. That's the kind of elevated discourse missing lately. A lot of mud slinging. #I'mNotAboveItEither
@johnlevenstein Can't convey it all thru Twitter but yes, she has flaws. Too poll-driven, burned needed bridges, trouble owning mistakes.