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CLOSE TO HOME: Sexual Abusers and Serial Killers, Memoir and Murder with author Janine O’Neill

March 25 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Monday March 25th 7 to 8 pm

 On February 5, 1981, a young couple passed by Ashland as they drove from Edmonds, Washington to Nellis Air Force Base, near Las Vegas, for the man’s first military assignment. Late that night, they were murdered by a long-haul trucker and self-proclaimed serial killer named Ward Weaver Jr. after their car broke down in California’s Tehachapi Mountains.
      Twenty-one years later, Weaver’s eponymously named son, Ward Weaver III, murdered two girls in Clackamas County, Oregon. Then he buried one of the girl’s bodies under concrete in his own backyard, just as his father had done with the young woman he’d kidnapped near Tehachapi.
      In 2016, while Ward Weaver Jr. was on death row in California and Ward III was serving life sentences in Oregon, their son/grandson, Francis Weaver, was also convicted of murder in Clackamas County.

My book uses the Weaver family’s unique history as a hook from which to hang a broader story about why some people are more likely than others to become victims of violent crime, perpetrators of violent crime or both.


As an attorney, I prosecuted crimes committed against children in Clackamas County for seven years. Had I not left the district attorney’s office there, I would have expected to be one of the deputy DAs assigned to Ward Weaver III’s case. As it was, I covered the story in my second career as a reporter for the Portland Tribune. I also am the former executive director of the Oregon Crime Victims Law Center and the mother of a child who—like Weaver III’s victims—was sexually assaulted by a known, trusted adult. (My family’s experience is part of the memoir aspect of my book, which I published under my unmarried name, O’Neill, to protect my family’s privacy.)

What one reviewer said about the book

Best book, local and true crime edition: Janine O’Neill’s Close to Home, in which the Portland journalist and attorney who covered the 2002 Oregon City disappearances of Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis takes a look at those murders (and others) through a multi-faceted lens: historical, biological, legal, personal and intensely analytical. O’Neill tells several extremely difficult yet well-organized stories through her excellent and tight writing and top-notch investigative chops, along with a dash of, somehow, self-effacing wit.” From the Portland Business Journal‘s “The PBJ’s best of 2023 in arts and culture.”


March 25
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Bloomsbury Books Ashland
290 East Main Street
Ashland, OR 97520 United States
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