Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Contract Murder of Kathryn Ann Martini-Lissy

Room 305

The next day, Friday, July 6, 1984, as the afternoon summer sun beat down on the Willamette Valley, raising the mercury to the mid-nineties, a tired maid pushed her utility cart down the carpeted hallway toward Room 305, one of the last rooms on her list of units to be cleaned that shift. She knew that she would have to hurry if she was going to finish without putting in any overtime, and she hoped that the room, Kathryn Ann Martini-Lissy's room, would be an easy one to clean so that she could finish with it quickly and move on to her last rooms. The room was listed as a checkout, which meant that she would have to strip the room and replace the linen with fresh sheets and towels.

Although the room's occupant was supposed to have checked out by noon that day, the maid, following routine, nonetheless knocked on the door and called out "maid" two or three times before entering with her passkey. As she cautiously opened the door, she could see luggage on the floor near the door and could hear that the television was on. Slightly embarrassed, thinking that she had nearly walked into a room that was still occupied, the maid hastily closed the door and went to the other rooms on her list. She also stopped for her lunch break and, by 3:00 p.m., decided to return to Room 305, reasoning that the guest should have departed by that time.

She had barely taken two steps into the room when she realized that nothing had changed. The luggage was still there, and the television was still on. She wondered if the guest had become a stay-overif so, someone at the front desk should have let her know.

"Do you need any maid service?" she called out as she pushed the door open.

As she gazed across the room she suddenly understood why there had been no response. Across the room, lay a woman's body sprawled face down on the bed, motionless. Fearing that the woman might be dead, the maid backed out of the room, closed the door, and went to the manager's office on the first floor as quickly as she could.

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