Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Contract Murder of Kathryn Ann Martini-Lissy

Eugene, Oregon

Eugene, Ore., the seat of Lane County, lies along the banks of the Willamette River, just off Interstate 5 in the western part of the Beaver State. Named for its first settler, Eugene Skinner, who arrived in the 1840s, the city has grown steadily since the arrival of the railroad in 1870 to become the state's second-largest city, behind Portland, with a population in excess of 100,000. The area is pleasant and tranquil, a spread of lowland accentuated by forest hills leading into the Cascade Mountains to the east and the Coast Range to the west.

Map of Oregon with Lane County and Eugene locators
Map of Oregon with Lane County and Eugene locators

During late summer and early autumn, farmers in the area go through the exercise known as field-burning which, toward the end of the day, sometimes eerily fills the nearby hills and countryside with a purple haze that an unsuspecting visitor might not understand. Midway between the state's northern and southern borders, approximately 110 miles south of Portland, Eugene is known as a center for timber and wood products industries, food processing plants, and the University of Oregon and the Oregon Ducks. Eugene is also known as the setting for one of Oregon's most diabolical and fantastic contract murders ever.

 

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