Friday, August 10, 2012

Gary Godleske

Remote Trailer Home
It was at approximately 9 a.m. on Friday, January 7, 1983 that an Estacada, Oregon area resident heard what sounded like several gun­shots coming from the vicinity of a mo­bile home situated near the entrance to McIver State Park. However, because the incident was not unusual in this rural area of northeast Clackamas County, due to the fact that many residents owned firearms and regularly discharged them taking practice shots, the incident was not reported to authorities.
It was an hour and a half later that authorities were tipped off by a con­cerned relative of Marleen Godleske, 32, resident of the mobile home, who told the Clackamas County sheriff’s department’s emergency dispatch center in Oregon City that Marleen may have been the victim of a homicide earlier that morning. The homicide division was notified and deputies were dispatched to the Estacada area location to investigate, to determine whether a homicide had in fact been committed. It was the first stage of an exciting investigation that would ultimately find one woman dead, and leave two deputies wounded, one seriously, in the line of duty.
When the first deputies arrived at the rural location of the mobile home they cautiously observed their surroundings to make certain that the scene was safe. There were many places for a gunman to hide, and the last thing these deputies wanted to do was walk into the line of any gunfire. However, after several mi­nutes, the deputies decided there was no one besides themselves at the site and they proceeded cautiously onto the prop­erty.
When the deputies approached the front entrance to the mobile home they found, much to their surprise, a dead German shepherd dog lying on the small porch. The animal had been shot in the head.
Once inside the mobile home, it didn’t take the deputies long to find the body of a woman whom they believed to be the resident, Marleen Godleske. She was quite dead and, judging from the wounds, had been the victim of multiple gunshots inflicted about the head and chest. The deputies radioed their grim findings back to headquarters.
A short time later, emergency vehi­cles from Clackamas County and the state crime labs converged on the scene. Among the officials who arrived were Clackamas County Chief Criminal De­puty J. Ross Cravens, Detective Dale Frazell, Sgt. Jack Lowery, Deputy Doug Shackelford, Clackamas County Deputy Medical Examiner George Coleman, Clackamas County Deputy District Attorney John Mahr, and Tom Kusturin, an investigator from the Clackamas County District Attorney’s Office.
The investigators immediately deter­mined the dimensions of the crime scene and sealed it off, keeping anxious members of the local press outside the bound­aries. Only those investigators and de­puties immediately involved in the case were allowed inside the police lines, a precaution taken at the scene of every crime to avoid contaminating the site, and they quickly, but carefully, began their search for evidence, working from the outer perimeters of the crime site in toward the body.
As the investigators made their way toward the bedroom of the mobile home, where the victim’s body was found, they noted evidence and sealed it in appropri­ate containers, refusing to disclose at this point, just what that evidence was. It would later be revealed that detectives were looking for a bloody rock or some other instrument they believed had play­ed a part in the slaying of Marleen God­leske. It was not revealed, however, if such evidence was found. Additional evi­dence, according to a source, would indicate that someone, most likely the per­petrator of the shooting, had made pre­parations to burn the mobile home. De­tectives would not elaborate on that point.
The bedroom of the mobile home was a mess. There were blood spatters every­where, some caused by a being the vic­tim sustained prior to being shot, and some from the shots themselves.
Blood samples and trace evidence were collected from the victim’s body as well as areas adjacent to the body and other rooms of the home. Photos were taken of the victim’s body from several angles, making sure not a single detail was missed. Photos were also taken of every room of the home, as well as out­side. As a matter of routine, latent prints were obtained from various objects in­side the mobile home, just in case they could later be useful.
Clackamas County Deputy Medical Examiner George Coleman examined the victim’s body and noted that it appeared the victim sustained a beating, and that she had been shot twice in the head, once in the chin and once in the torso or chest area of the body. The corp­se was then prepared for transport to the Multnomah County Morgue, where a thorough autopsy would be conducted as soon as possible by Deputy Chief Medic­al Examiner Dr. Larry Lewman.
Meanwhile, investigators found, while searching outside the trailer, another dog that had been shot to death. This one, a mixed breed, was found lying inside a doghouse at the rear of the mobile home, and its discovery only served to confuse the already baffled investigators more as to why the woman and dogs had been killed. A motive for the woman’s death had not yet been established, and authorities had not yet begun to form theories regarding the case.
It was at approximately 12:30 p.m. when Sheriff’s Deputy Shackelford noticed a bright red Volkswagen Rabbit approaching the Godleske mobile home. When he noticed that the driver of the car was brandishing a firearm, Shackelford called out to warn his fellow officers of the impending danger.
At that point the driver of the car wild­ly opened fire with his weapon, firing at anything and everything in his view, in­cluding the police officers. As Sgt. Jack Lowery turned to see what the shooting was about, he took a shot in the stomach and went down. In those same seconds, Detective Dale Frazell, alongside Low­ery, was hit in the leg. The gunfire con­tinued as the driver of the Volkswagen fled the scene, turning left from South Jubb Road onto South Springwater Road. Deputy Shackelford, by this time, had climbed into his car and was in hot pursuit of the suspect.
Into the midst of all this dangerous activity came another car carrying a news reporter and a photographer for the Oregonian, heading towards the fleeing suspect. The suspect held his weapon out the window of his moving car and opened fire on the reporter as he passed, striking their car with at least one of his bullets. Narrowly escaping injury, the reporter and photographer eventually followed the action.
By this time several police units were in hot pursuit of the fleeing suspect in a chase that involved speeds upward of 85 miles per hour on South Springwater Road. A police helicopter had been cal­led in, and would soon be aiding the road units in the chase.
As the chase continued, several motorists had been forced off the road by the suspect’s swerving car, and within minutes police units had lost sight of the red vehicle. However, the approaching helicopter enabled the pilots to see that the suspect had lost control of his car, subsequently running it off the road and flipping it over in a nearby field. The helicopter pilot directed deputies to the scene of the crash, informing them that no one was seen fleeing the area and that there were no signs of movement in or near the crashed vehicle. Just the same, deputies approached the car with ex­treme caution, their weapons drawn and aimed at the suspect’s car.
As the deputies approached the car they could see that the driver had sus­tained head injuries as a result of the crash. Even though the driver had been disabled, the deputies took no chances and held shotguns on the suspect in case he made a move for one of his weapons. Eventually, several men turned the car right side up, and the suspect was re­moved from the wreck. He was identified as 34-year-old Gary Ray Godleske, hus­band of the homicide victim.
Several loaded weapons were seized from Godleske’s crashed vehicle, and sheriff’s deputies immediately removed the ammunition and took that and the weapons as evidence. Paramedics quick­ly arrived on the scene and began treating Godleske’s head wounds, after which he was loaded into a heavily guarded ambu­lance and guarded, after which he was loaded into a heavily guarded ambulance and taken to Willamette Falls Community Hospital in Oregon City for addition­al treatment.
While Godleske was being attended to by paramedics, additional medical per­sonnel concentrated on the wounds sus­tained by Sgt. Lowery and Detective Frazell. Frazell, struck in the leg, was taken to Willamette Falls Community Hospital, while the more seriously in­jured Lowery was flown by Life Flight helicopter to Emanuel Hospital’s inten­sive care unit. Lowery, father of six chil­dren, underwent emergency surgery im­mediately upon his arrival at the hos­pital.
Meanwhile, additional sheriff’s de­partment personnel remained at the rural Estacada mobile home where Marleen Godleske had been killed, and continued in their search for additional evidence. Still other deputies went door-to-door throughout the area probing for informa­tion about the Godleske family which, as it turned out, proved quite interesting.
Gary Godleske, a former U.S. Postal Service employee, had been out of work for quite some time and relied on his wife for support. He purportedly left the Post­al Service “because he couldn’t get along with people,” and many area residents painted a picture of Godleske as a gun enthusiast who “was not to be fooled with,” and was known to fire his guns at random any time of the day or night. Neighbors told the cops that Godleske was not a sociable person and that he sometimes, quite often in fact, acted un­predictably.
“We were warned that the people who lived here before us couldn’t get along with him (Godleske),” said one neigh­bor, who also told the deputies that God­leske had trained his German Shepherd into “a real attack dog. You couldn’t get near their yard.”
Another neighbor told the deputies that Godleske and his wife Marleen had noisy fights quite often, and could be heard screaming at each other. “We’d just look at each other and say, ‘There they go screaming again.’ “Still yet another neighbor referred to Godleske as a Vietnam veteran and said, “I often wondered about Vietnam stress syn­drome or something like that.”
“People knew to stay away from him,” said the same neighbor. “I don’t think anyone really befriended him.” The neighbor confirmed earlier reports that Godleske was a gun buff, and said that he’d been asked by Godleske on several occasions to go hunting with him. “But I didn’t go because I was working and just didn’t have the time. I never really had a problem with him. He never seemed crazy to me, but I never felt easy around him.”
“I was concerned about how freely he shot his guns around here,” said one of the neighbors. “On New Year’s Eve he came out and shot it up just crazy, at least ten rounds.” The neighbor said that Godleske compelled his 11-year-old son to participate in sports games with him. “He would drill him (the boy) and scream at him if he didn’t run fast enough or catch the ball,” the neighbor said, adding that the 11-year-old never went out of his yard. “He had no friends and never went any place or had anyone over.” Police learned that on the day of the shootings, the young boy had been taken out of school by his father and left with close relatives. The boy hadn’t wit­nessed the crime.
According to the area resident who said he’d heard what sounded like sever­al gunshots coming from the Godleske mobile home around 9:00 that morning, he didn’t report it because it didn’t seem at all unusual for the sounds of gunfire to be coming from the Godleske property. “I didn’t think it too strange,” .said the neighbor. “It could have been anything. You just don’t get up and run out every time he shoots his gun,” said another neighbor.
In the meantime, Dr. Larry Lewman performed the autopsy on Marleen God­leske and concluded that she died from four gunshot wounds from a weapon “of approximately .38-caliber.” She had been shot three times in the head and once in the chest. “Any of the three were fatal,” said Dr. Lewman, referring to two bullets in her head which had pene­trated the victim’s brain and one bullet to the chest which “passed through both lungs and severed the aorta.” The fourth bullet wound was “superficial to the chin.”
Meanwhile, according to police, Gary Godleske made a daring escape attempt from Willamette Falls Community Hos­pital. According to reports, Godleske struggled with a deputy who had been guarding him and fled through a hospital emergency door. But the escape was short-lived because, when he exited through the emergency door, Godleske ran straight into a moving pickup truck. Fortunately for him, the impact only caused cuts and bruises. He was taken back into custody without a struggle, and added security precautions were taken just in case he tried another escape.
According to Lt. Lonnie Ryan, public information officer for the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Department, Godleske was charged the next day with one count of murder and five counts of attempted murder. Additional charges were being considered, and could be filed at a later time. Although detectives had begun to zero in on Godleske as their chief suspect while investigating at the mobile home, they hadn’t formed any real opinions un­til Godleske returned and opened fire on them. Police were reluctant to release many details surrounding the case, but did state that Godleske had told a close relative that his wife was dead, which prompted the cops to center their sights on him as the likely perpetrator.
Out of intensive care following surgery for the bullet wound to the sto­mach, Sgt. Jack Lowery was listed as having improved to fair condition. He was allowed interviews with reporters, and told his side of the story of the shoot­ing incident at the mobile home. It should be noted that Lowery has been a police officer since 1959 and has been with the Clackamas County sheriff’s office since 1967 and, according to him, the last time a Clackamas County deputy was shot in the line of duty was in 1906.
“I remember an officer yelling and then turning and seeing the suspect (Godleske),” said Lowery as he recalled the shooting spree. “I don’t remember whether I saw any flash from the gunfire, but I felt like I was getting hit in the stomach, I supposed like a horse would kick you. Then I went down. I saw De­tective Frazell go down, and I asked if he got hit. He asked me where I got hit, and I said, ‘Right in the stomach.’ “
“I tried to move my legs and toes,” continued Lowery, “just to make sure everything was still working, and then I waited for help to get there.” Lowery said Deputy Shackelford saved his life, by warning of the approaching gunman. “If he hadn’t yelled, I wouldn’t have turned, and I probably would have got it right through the side.” Lowery also said that the experience had not discouraged him about his work. “I’m a street cop, and I have been for twenty three years. This is an isolated case. I’ve gone through twenty three years without it ever happening. If I go another twenty three, I probably will have retired first. This hap­pens to officers all over the United States every day. A lot of them aren’t so lucky.”
During the emergency surgery, doc­tors removed much of his lower intestine. “They said I could do without that,” he said jokingly.
The investigation into the murder of Marleen Godleske continued when De­tective Terry Schaffer, with the sheriff’s department, went to Willamette Falls Community Hospital to interrogate Gary Godleske. According to Schaffer, the last thing Godleske told him he remembered before the automobile accident was that he’d been bowling the night before.
“He said that he had been told that his wife was in a different hospital,” said Schaffer. “He said why wouldn’t any­body tell him what was going on. In the next breath, he switched to another topic. He said he was having bad dreams about being in Korea.
“He referred to his wife in the past tense and never used her name,” con­tinued Schaffer. “He said he loved her and she loved him and he would never hurt her.” The detective said that God­leske then began “thrashing around, be­came very tense.” Schaffer said God­leske told him that his wife, Marleen, was planning to leave him, and that she had so told their 11-year-old boy. “He told her he didn’t want her to go,” said Schaffer. “Then he said again, ‘I’d never hurt her.’ Then, quote, ‘I’d never kill her.’ end quote,” said Schaffer.
According to detectives, a note was later found inside Godleske’s crashed car. Apparently it was a suicide note which read: “I know this is dumb, but Marleen and I are at peace now.” The note would be used as evidence.
All in all, Godleske was charged with the murder of his wife Marleen, also with five counts of attempted murder stemming from the gunshots he alleged­ly fired that injured Sgt. Lowery and Detective Frazell, and the shots fired at Deputy Shackelford, and the Oregonian reporter and photographer. An addition­al charge of second-degree escape was filed due to his alleged attempt to flee police custody at Willamette Falls Com­munity Hospital. Godleske pleaded in­nocent to all the charges, and requested that the court appoint him an attorney. Mike Bailey and Marc Sussman of the Metropolitan Public Defender’s Office were named as defense counsel.
Before Godleske’s trial could get under way, however, it was pointed out by Clackamas County District Attorney James O’Leary that his office his could not prosecute the case due to a conflict of interest and, as a result, the prosecution would be handled by- Paul Silver and Helen Smith of the Multnomah County district attorney’s office. O’Leary ex­plained that the conflict of interest arose because Chief Criminal Deputy J. Ross Cravens, Deputy District Attorney John Mahr and Investigator Tom Kusturin, all of whom were associated with the Clack­amas County district attorney’s office, were present when Sgt. Lowery and De­tective Frazell were shot and would like­ly be witnesses for the prosecution at Godleske’s trial.
“This sort of thing is not out of the ordinary,” said O’Leary. “Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties and, to some degree, Marion County, have historically assisted each other when conflict cases arise.”
Meanwhile, motions submitted by Godleske’s attorneys which indicated they would present a defense of “mental defect or disease,” Oregon’s equivalent to an insanity defense, and “extreme mental or emotional disturbance.” By filing the motions, Bailey and Sussman made it known that their defense of God­leske would be relying “on mental dis­ease or defect which excludes (the defen­dant’s) responsibility for criminal con­duct” regarding his wife’s death and the wounding of the sheriff’s deputies.
On Monday, July 18, Gary Ray God­leske went on trial in the packed cour­troom of Clackamas County Circuit Court Judge Howard Blanding. God­leske waived his right to a jury trial, preferring to let the judge decide the case against him.
It was a marriage gone bad,” said Helen Smith, Multnomah County depu­ty district attorney, in her opening state­ments. “He is a man who refused to deal with the breakdown of his marriage. He planned to kill his wife.” Smith con­tended that Godleske shot his wife at their mobile home near Estacada, drove to his son’s school and took the boy out of classes and then went to the home of a close relative. Smith said that Godleske told his relative that he had “shot Mar­leen, “and was heading for the hills,” leaving his son with his relatives “fore­ver.” Smith told the judge that Godleske “made a conscious decision to kill his wife” after she informed him of her in­tent to leave him.
Smith told the judge that Godleske’s relative called the sheriff’s office and reported that a possible homicide had been committed at the Godleske mobile home. When the authorities arrived, they found Marleen Godleske dead in the couple’s blood-spattered bedroom “with two gunshot wounds in the head, one in the chin and another in her torso,” said Smith. Smith recounted the rest of the events of that fateful day for the judge, stating that Godleske returned home at 12:30 p.m. and opened fire upon the officers investigating the homicide, “then took off down the road” with de­puties in pursuit. After running several cars off the road, said Smith, and firing shots at a newspaper reporter and photo­grapher, he ran his car off the road and was captured. At the time of his arrest five weapons were found inside his car — two rifles, one shotgun, an automatic pistol and a revolver. “The issue is the defendant’s intent,” said Prosecutor Smith.
“Rather than send him to the Oregon State Penitentiary,” said defense attor­ney Bailey, “it’s our position he should be sent to the Oregon State Hospital and be treated there until he is no longer a danger to himself or to others.”
The defense attorney said that psychiatric testimony would be presented, and that he would defer his opening statement until after the prosecution completed its case against his client.Sgt. Lowery, Detective Frazell and Deputy Shackelford testified for the pro­secution, using charts and diagrams to describe the events that occurred at the Godleske mobile home on January 7, 1983.
“I was still taking that whole picture in when I felt the impact,” said Sgt. Lowery, who also described finding Marleen Godleske’s bullet-riddled body in the bedroom of the mobile home. “I don’t recall the sound of the weapon,” he said as he described how he, Frazell and Shackelford were shot at from the moving vehicle Godleske was driving. “I knew I’d been hit good. My body was instantly numb on the right side,” said Lowery. Lowery also testified that a rela­tive of Godleske arrived at the scene while officials were investigating the homicide. “Did he do what he said he did?” Lowery said the relative asked him. “I said, ‘Yes. It appears he did.’ “
Deputy Shackelford testified that he fired two shots at the red Volkswagen Rabbit that was fleeing the scene after the shooting of Sgt. Lowery and Detective Frazell, and that he pursued it at speeds up to 85 mph until it flipped on its side in the open field near the Logan area. Frazell, who had been wounded in one of his legs, accompanied Shackelford in the chase, and both deputies identified Godleske as the person they found injured in the over­turned Volkswagen.
Clackamas County Sheriff’s Deputy Edward J. Claridge took the stand and testified that he accompanied Godleske in the ambulance that took the suspect to the Oregon City hospital. Claridge said he was ready to take a “dying declara­tion” in the event that it appeared that Godleske would die from the injuries he had sustained when he wrecked his car.
“He stated, ‘Let me die, let me die,’ and then he would groan some more,” Claridge testified. ” ‘Where am I? Why did I wreck my car? Where is my son? Where is my wife?’ ” Claridge quoted Godleske as having said repeatedly dur­ing the trip to the hospital.
The defense brought out the fact that Godleske’s blood alcohol level was .14 when he was taken into custody and treated at the hospital for his wounds, which made the defendant legally intoxicated due to a new Oregon law that sets .08 as the level at which a person is considered too intoxicated to be operating a motor vehicle. As a foreshadow to their psychiatric defense, attorneys for the de­fendant brought out the fact that God­leske had placed suicide notes in his car.
One of Godleske’s relatives testified that he had advised Godleske for at least 10 years to leave his wife Marleen be­cause she “was runnin’ around” and pur­portedly had a drinking problem. The relative also stated that Godleske had brought his son to their house the day of the slaying, and told his relatives that he was going to leave his son with them forever.
“I’m going to leave the boy here,’ ” the relative quoted Godleske as having said. “And I said, ‘How come?’ He said, ‘Because Marleen drives me crazy and I shot her.’ I said, ‘You ought to turn yourself in to the law.’ He said, ‘I’m going into the hills. I’m not going to jail,’ ” the relative testified.
Another relative testified that “just about everybody in Estacada” knew ab­out the extramarital affair Marleen was having, except for Gary Godleske. The relative also told about the defendant’s possessiveness towards his wife, that “the only person Gary confided in was Marleen that I know of. Sometimes we even thought Marleen was a possession because he was so protective of her.”
According to Lt. Lonnie Ryan, public information officer for the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Department, Godleske was charged the next day with one count of murder and five counts of attempted murder. Additional charges were being considered, and could be filed at a later time. Although detectives had begun to zero in on Godleske as their chief suspect while investigating at the mobile home, they hadn’t formed any real opinions un­til Godleske returned and opened fire on them. Police were reluctant to release many details surrounding the case, but did state that Godleske had told a close relative that his wife was dead, which prompted the cops to center their sights on him as the likely perpetrator.
Out of intensive care following surgery for the bullet wound to the sto­mach, Sgt. Jack Lowery was listed as having improved to fair condition. He was allowed interviews with reporters, and told his side of the story of the shoot­ing incident at the mobile home. It should be noted that Lowery has been a police officer since 1959 and has been with the Clackamas County sheriff’s office since 1967 and, according to him, the last time a Clackamas County deputy was shot in the line of duty was in 1906.
“I remember an officer yelling and then turning and seeing the suspect (Godleske),” said Lowery as he recalled the shooting spree. “I don’t remember whether I saw any flash from the gunfire, but I felt like I was getting hit in the stomach, I supposed like a horse would kick you. Then I went down. I saw De­tective Frazell go down, and I asked if he got hit. He asked me where I got hit, and I said, ‘Right in the stomach.’ “
“I tried to move my legs and toes,” continued Lowery, “just to make sure everything was still working, and then I waited for help to get there.” Lowery said Deputy Shackelford saved his life, by warning of the approaching gunman. “If he hadn’t yelled, I wouldn’t have turned, and I probably would have got it right through the side.” Lowery also said that the experience had not discouraged him about his work. “I’m a street cop, and I have been for twenty three years. This is an isolated case. I’ve gone through twenty three years without it ever happening. If I go another twenty three, I probably will have retired first. This hap­pens to officers all over the United States every day. A lot of them aren’t so lucky.”
During the emergency surgery, doc­tors removed much of his lower intestine. “They said I could do without that,” he said jokingly.
The investigation into the murder of Marleen Godleske continued when De­tective Terry Schaffer, with the sheriff’s department, went to Willamette Falls Community Hospital to interrogate Gary Godleske. According to Schaffer, the last thing Godleske told him he remembered before the automobile accident was that he’d been bowling the night before.
“He said that he had been told that his wife was in a different hospital,” said Schaffer. “He said why wouldn’t any­body tell him what was going on. In the next breath, he switched to another topic. He said he was having bad dreams about being in Korea.
“He referred to his wife in the past tense and never used her name,” con­tinued Schaffer. “He said he loved her and she loved him and he would never hurt her.” The detective said that God­leske then began “thrashing around, be­came very tense.” Schaffer said God­leske told him that his wife, Marleen, was planning to leave him, and that she had so told their 11-year-old boy. “He told her he didn’t want her to go,” said Schaffer. “Then he said again, ‘I’d never hurt her.’ Then, quote, ‘I’d never kill her.’ end quote,” said Schaffer.
According to detectives, a note was later found inside Godleske’s crashed car. Apparently it was a suicide note which read: “I know this is dumb, but Marleen and I are at peace now.” The note would be used as evidence.
All in all, Godleske was charged with the murder of his wife Marleen, also with five counts of attempted murder stemming from the gunshots he alleged­ly fired that injured Sgt. Lowery and Detective Frazell, and the shots fired at Deputy Shackelford, and the Oregonian reporter and photographer. An addition­al charge of second-degree escape was filed due to his alleged attempt to flee police custody at Willamette Falls Com­munity Hospital. Godleske pleaded in­nocent to all the charges, and requested that the court appoint him an attorney. Mike Bailey and Marc Sussman of the Metropolitan Public Defender’s Office were named as defense counsel.
Before Godleske’s trial could get under way, however, it was pointed out by Clackamas County District Attorney James O’Leary that his office his could not prosecute the case due to a conflict of interest and, as a result, the prosecution would be handled by- Paul Silver and Helen Smith of the Multnomah County district attorney’s office. O’Leary ex­plained that the conflict of interest arose because Chief Criminal Deputy J. Ross Cravens, Deputy District Attorney John Mahr and Investigator Tom Kusturin, all of whom were associated with the Clack­amas County district attorney’s office, were present when Sgt. Lowery and De­tective Frazell were shot and would like­ly be witnesses for the prosecution at Godleske’s trial.
“This sort of thing is not out of the ordinary,” said O’Leary. “Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties and, to some degree, Marion County, have historically assisted each other when conflict cases arise.”
Meanwhile, motions submitted by Godleske’s attorneys which indicated they would present a defense of “mental defect or disease,” Oregon’s equivalent to an insanity defense, and “extreme mental or emotional disturbance.” By filing the motions, Bailey and Sussman made it known that their defense of God­leske would be relying “on mental dis­ease or defect which excludes (the defen­dant’s) responsibility for criminal con­duct” regarding his wife’s death and the wounding of the sheriff’s deputies.
On Monday, July 18, Gary Ray God­leske went on trial in the packed cour­troom of Clackamas County Circuit Court Judge Howard Blanding. God­leske waived his right to a jury trial, preferring to let the judge decide the case against him.
It was a marriage gone bad,” said Helen Smith, Multnomah County depu­ty district attorney, in her opening state­ments. “He is a man who refused to deal with the breakdown of his marriage. He planned to kill his wife.” Smith con­tended that Godleske shot his wife at their mobile home near Estacada, drove to his son’s school and took the boy out of classes and then went to the home of a close relative. Smith said that Godleske told his relative that he had “shot Mar­leen, “and was heading for the hills,” leaving his son with his relatives “fore­ver.” Smith told the judge that Godleske “made a conscious decision to kill his wife” after she informed him of her in­tent to leave him.
Smith told the judge that Godleske’s relative called the sheriff’s office and reported that a possible homicide had been committed at the Godleske mobile home. When the authorities arrived, they found Marleen Godleske dead in the couple’s blood-spattered bedroom “with two gunshot wounds in the head, one in the chin and another in her torso,” said Smith. Smith recounted the rest of the events of that fateful day for the judge, stating that Godleske returned home at 12:30 p.m. and opened fire upon the officers investigating the homicide, “then took off down the road” with de­puties in pursuit. After running several cars off the road, said Smith, and firing shots at a newspaper reporter and photo­grapher, he ran his car off the road and was captured. At the time of his arrest five weapons were found inside his car — two rifles, one shotgun, an automatic pistol and a revolver. “The issue is the defendant’s intent,” said Prosecutor Smith.
“Rather than send him to the Oregon State Penitentiary,” said defense attor­ney Bailey, “it’s our position he should be sent to the Oregon State Hospital and be treated there until he is no longer a danger to himself or to others.” The defense attorney said that psychiatric testimony would be presented, and that he would defer his opening statement until after the prosecution completed its case against his client.
Sgt. Lowery, Detective Frazell and Deputy Shackelford testified for the pro­secution, using charts and diagrams to describe the events that occurred at the Godleske mobile home on January 7, 1983.
“I was still taking that whole picture in when I felt the impact,” said Sgt. Lowery, who also described finding Marleen Godleske’s bullet-riddled body in the bedroom of the mobile home. “I don’t recall the sound of the weapon,” he said as he described how he, Frazell and Shackelford were shot at from the moving vehicle Godleske was driving. “I knew I’d been hit good. My body was instantly numb on the right side,” said Lowery. Lowery also testified that a rela­tive of Godleske arrived at the scene while officials were investigating the homicide. “Did he do what he said he did?” Lowery said the relative asked him. “I said, ‘Yes. It appears he did.’ “
Deputy Shackelford testified that he fired two shots at the red Volkswagen Rabbit that was fleeing the scene after the shooting of Sgt. Lowery and Detective Frazell, and that he pursued it at speeds up to 85 mph until it flipped on its side in the open field near the Logan area. Frazell, who had been wounded in one of his legs, accompanied Shackelford in the chase, and both deputies identified Godleske as the person they found injured in the over­turned Volkswagen.
Clackamas County Sheriff’s Deputy Edward J. Claridge took the stand and testified that he accompanied Godleske in the ambulance that took the suspect to the Oregon City hospital. Claridge said he was ready to take a “dying declara­tion” in the event that it appeared that Godleske would die from the injuries he had sustained when he wrecked his car.
“He stated, ‘Let me die, let me die,’ and then he would groan some more,” Claridge testified. ” ‘Where am I? Why did I wreck my car? Where is my son? Where is my wife?’ ” Claridge quoted Godleske as having said repeatedly dur­ing the trip to the hospital.
The defense brought out the fact that Godleske’s blood alcohol level was .14 when he was taken into custody and treated at the hospital for his wounds, which made the defendant legally intoxicated due to a new Oregon law that sets .08 as the level at which a person is considered too intoxicated to be operating a motor vehicle. As a foreshadow to their psychiatric defense, attorneys for the de­fendant brought out the fact that God­leske had placed suicide notes in his car.
One of Godleske’s relatives testified that he had advised Godleske for at least 10 years to leave his wife Marleen be­cause she “was runnin’ around” and pur­portedly had a drinking problem. The relative also stated that Godleske had brought his son to their house the day of the slaying, and told his relatives that he was going to leave his son with them forever.
“I’m going to leave the boy here,’ ” the relative quoted Godleske as having said. “And I said, ‘How come?’ He said, ‘Because Marleen drives me crazy and I shot her.’ I said, ‘You ought to turn yourself in to the law.’ He said, ‘I’m going into the hills. I’m not going to jail,’ ” the relative testified.
Another relative testified that “just about everybody in Estacada” knew ab­out the extramarital affair Marleen was having, except for Gary Godleske. The relative also told about the defendant’s possessiveness towards his wife, that “the only person Gary confided in was Marleen that I know of. Sometimes we even thought Marleen was a possession because he was so protective of her.”
At the time of his wife’s death God­leske was suffering “from a borderline personality that made it impossible for him to conform to the law,” said defense attorney Mike Bailey to Judge Blanding during his opening statements. Bailey also stated that during most of their mar­riage Godleske’s wife had engaged in extramarital affairs. According to Bailey’s statements, Godleske had not accepted the affairs and had denied that they occurred until his wife purportedly told him, “I don’t love you. I don’t want to be married to you,” said Bailey. “To the defendant, Marleen Godleske was a virginal angel on a pedestal,” added Bailey.
Bailey told how Godleske allegedly struck his wife with a rock but, after noticing the blood, he shot her. Bailey told the judge that Godleske had often -put wounded animals out of their mis­ery.” Bailey told how Godleske had turned on the gas inside the mobile home after the shooting, that Godleske then went into the woods with the intent to commit suicide but, fearing that animals would eat his body, Godleske returned to the mobile home and discovered the police there. “His whole life was over. Marleen Godleske was his whole life,” said Bailey, who also told the judge that Godleske’s alleged escape attempt from the hospital after being captured was in fact an attempt at suicide by running in front of a moving truck.
Godleske had time to fantasize about the things that would happen in his life if his wife left him. Videotapes were played for the judge of interviews between Godleske and the psychiatrist, and sobs from the suspect could be heard as he spoke.
“I just started hitting her (with a rock),” Godleske stated on the videotape. “I hit her as hard as I could. She woke up screaming. I thought she would die. I tried to get as close as I could (with the gun), so she wouldn’t suffer. I didn’t think about killing her. I just did it. I didn’t want her out of my way. I wanted her with me.” Godleske also said on the tapes that he shot their two dogs, made plans to burn down the mobile home and to kill himself. He also spoke of returning to his mobile home and finding the police there, of how he began shooting at the sheriff’s deputies.
“I was shooting at cars because they were there,” Godleske said on a videotape. “They shouldn’t have been there. I wanted to get back to my wife. I didn’t know how much time had gone by. I didn’t know why the cars were there.” Godleske was asked by the psychiatrist on the tape why he had re­turned and Godleske replied, “So I could be with her when I died.”
The next day Godleske’s defense attorneys presented videotaped inter­views between Godleske and psychiat­rists made after his arrest. A Portland psychiatrist, testified for the defense that Godleske was “not capable of forming the intent to actually execute his wife.” He testified that statements made by Godleske during interviews displayed a child-like view of himself, illustrating that Godleske was not only financially dependent on his wife, but was emo­tionally dependent as well. The psychiatrist told the court that it was like­ly Godleske felt rage when his wife told him she planned to leave him and, when the victim passed out from drinking the morning she was killed,
The psychiatrist told the court that Godleske’s statements were an ”ex­pression of gross breakdown in reality testing. He was so involved with this woman and so dependent upon her that it meant total psychological annihilation” for the defendant. Under cross- examination by Prosecutor Silver, the doctor testified that Godleske could not “be classified as suffering from a bor­derline personality disorder,” conflict­ing with defense attorney Mike Bailey’s claim that “once in a while people who are borderline go south of the border and are psychotic. This wound (caused by the blow from the rock) bleeds like the dickens. This guy is whacked out. He thinks he’s killed her so he shoots her. The guy’s crazy,” said Bailey.
A psychiatrist who testified for the state near the close of the trial testified that Godleske wasn’t suffering from a mental disease or defect at the time he shot his wife. “I have no doubt this man has never been psychotic. His behavior was goal directed. He took the time to think, deduct what his next step would be,” said the psychiatrist.
During closing arguments, Prosecutor Silver stated that if the court found God­leske insane, “the court condones di­vorce by murder. Is the end of a marriage sufficient reason to excuse an otherwise intentional killing? Is divorce sufficient provocation for one spouse to kill another?” he asked.
Following a half hour recess, Judge Blanding ruled that Gary Ray Godleske was guilty of the murder of his wife Mar­leen. He was also found guilty of attemp­ting to murder Sgt. Lowery, Deputy Shackelford and the newspaper reporter and photographer. He was found guilty of second-degree escape charges, and guilty of fourth-degree assault charges stemming from the wounding of Detec­tive Frazell. Godleske was, found not guilty of attempting to murder Frazell and not guilty of first-degree assault against Sgt. Lowery.
On Monday, November 21st, Gary Godleske was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his wife Marleen. In addition to the life sentence, Judge Blanding sentenced Godleske to max­imum terms of 20 years on each of the three convictions of attempted murder against Sgt. Lowery and Deputy Douglas and the reporter and photographer — the charges involving Godleske’s attempts to murder the reporter and photographer were merged into one.
Judge Blanding also sentenced God­leske to serve up to five years in prison for his escape from Willamette Falls Community Hospital, and one year in the Clackamas County Jail on the assault conviction involving the wounding of Detective Frazell. Blanding did not order the sentences to be served consecutively or concurrently, leaving that decision with the State Parole Board. “The length of incarceration should be determined by the parole board,” he said.

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