Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Contract Murder of Kathryn Ann Martini-Lissy


Kathryn Ann Martini-Lissy had the lineaments of a successful, up-and-coming young businesswoman in the highly competitive banking profession. She was young, 26, attractive, ambitious and highly motivated. Raised in the suburbs of New York City, Kathy graduated from Yale University with a major in economics, where she also did well as a diver on the women's swim team. After Yale, she entered the Bank of Boston's loan officer training program and, after successful completion of the bank's curriculum, was transferred to Portland, Ore., where she became one of the Bank of Boston's first female commercial loan officers specializing in transactions in excess of half a million dollars. There was little doubt in the mind of anyone who knew her that the good-looking brunette was intelligent, ambitious, and highly motivated to succeed. Her mentors knew right away that she possessed the ingredients to succeed in the business.

Shortly after her arrival in Portland, Kathy joined the network of Business and Professional Women of Portland. She gave generously of her time, as was her trait. Two years later, she was elected president of the organization.

"I looked at her and said, 'Wow! This is an example of what women can do today,'" said an associate of Kathy's in the organization. "She's what you would visualize if you had to pick a representative of a successful, young business person today. Everything in her life seemed to be golden."

Indeed. Kathy enjoyed a good salary at her job, traveled with all expenses paid, drove a nice sports car, and lived in a luxurious condominium that she shared with her husband in the affluent Portland suburb of Lake Oswego overlooking the town's eponymous lake. She was married to man who ran his own scuba and wind-surfing equipment centers, and who was known as a graduate of Harvard and Oxford universities and held diving contracts with the Department of Defense. It all seemed too good to be true, and perhaps it was. But her golden dream didn't end until her life was unexpectedly cut short by a sinister plot of greed and deceit.

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