How Portland Property Crime Officer Became Ace Cold Case Sleuth


Portland, Or., Police Det. Jeanne Stevenson, a 23-year veteran and the first woman officer shot in the line of duty, says she always hoped to take up a challenge to wrap up her career. When a position opened up in the Cold Case Unit in 2006, Stevenson — eligible for retirement in 2012 — jumped at the chance, reports The Oregonian. Her latest challenge, the 30-year-old case of a sailor found strangled in the Willamette River, climaxed when Patrick Royster, 49, was arraigned yesterday.

It was the latest step in a good run for Stevenson this year. In June, a man was sentenced to two decades in prison for a 1987 rape-murder, and, in July, police arrested another man in a horrific 1984 stabbing. Stevenson led both investigations; she usually has four or five cases at a time. Stevenson formerly worked property-crime cases, but she “just really got tired of the revolving door; three years later, there’s that same guy, and he’s committing a burglary again. What kind of also got me interested in homicide, was, towards the end, when DNA started becoming a bigger factor. These guys were leaving cigarette butts, or they'd cut themselves on the window breaking in.”

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