Did Oregon Suspect Commit Slayings Here?
Did Scotty William Cox, a 28-year-old Oregon truck driver, abduct, rape and kill someone while passing through Tacoma and Seattle in August and December of last year?
Or did he murder anyone in April or May of this year when he stopped in Blaine?
Did he pick up and knife any women a few months ago as he delivered produce to Longview, Castle Rock, Chehalis, Olympia, Bremerton, Yakima, Cle Elum, Spokane and nearby Greenacres?
Cox, charged in Oregon with killing two Portland women reputed to be prostitutes, also is a suspect in the assault of a Seattle prostitute last May.
Authorities throughout Washington are gathering details of various unsolved slayings to compare with Cox's travels as a trucker. Officials in Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona, Minnesota, Illinois and North Carolina are doing the same.
Cox's travels took him from British Columbia to California and Mexico, said Newberg, Ore., Police Chief David Bishop. Newberg police are heading the investigation of Cox, who also used the names Seth Scott Cutter, Thomas Wood and Thomas Perkins.
He is accused of stabbing one Portland women to death in November 1990, and strangling the other in February this year. In the Seattle assault, the woman was severely beaten and left in a parking lot on Fifth Avenue.
It was Seattle police Detective Dan Fordice of the special-assault unit who seemed to spark the intense look at Cox. While investigating a local assault, he contacted Newberg police.
A map compiled by Newberg detectives indicates Cox frequently drove through towns and cities in Washington state. His credit-card slips, long-distance telephone calls and travel log show he was in Washington more than 50 times the past two years.
Although law-enforcement agencies in Washington are examining cases in light of Cox's background, the state attorney general's office has been asked to take the lead in providing agencies nationwide with dates of Cox's travels.
Newberg police gave the office the dates and documents that detail Cox's activities. The information is being fed into the state's computerized Homicide Investigation and Tracking System (HITS) to instantly search out any possible homicide matches in the nation.
Cox's travels have taken him to more than 3,000 locations. In addition to looking for matches for other states, HITS will sift through computerized data on numerous unsolved murders that have occurred in Washington since 1981, said Bob Keppel, the chief criminal investigator for the attorney general's office.
Law-enforcement agencies in the Puget Sound area are particularly interested in Cox because of the rash of homicides in the past few years. Many of the victims have involved prostitutes or teenagers who hitchhike.
There have been at least 40 unsolved outdoor murders in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties in the past eight years. All but two of the victims were women. In King County alone, the bodies of 18 murder victims have been found since 1984, six of them this year.
Law officials in King County specifically are interested in Cox's movements in 1982 to 1984, the years the so-called Green River killer was active.
Washington and Oregon officials have said Cox probably was too young in the early 1980s to kill in a way that he could go undetected. But he still is being evaluated in the Green River case, in which 49 young women were slain.
Copyright (c) 1991 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.