This is what I was dealing with yesterday instead of posting.

Ex-con sought in woman’s murder

A suspect being sought by Linn County officials was released from prison earlier this year after serving 12 years for attempted murder.

Kenneth Charles McPhail, 39, of Lebanon is wanted for the murder of Melissa Dawn Bauer, 20, also of Lebanon, whose body was found Tuesday at Larwood County Park.

We thought we had him when he carjacked the pickup, but no such luck. What I was doing during the time we were searching for the pickup and combing the area points up the need for interoperability between different agencies and dispatch centers. Since there was more than on agency involved I spent a couple of hours listening to the radio with one ear and the other with an open telephone line to another dispatch center. Our officers were both out there, but I couldn’t hear their radio. My other dispatcher (there were only two of us at the time)had to handle all the phone calls as well as the fire and medical. As always, while we’re scrambling to cover everything, someone has to call on 911 to complain that their neighbor’s dog barked all night long. You want to reach through the telephone and rip their lips off, but you can’t. You have to be nice and treat them like their silly-assed complaint really matters to you. One of the side benefits of being funded by serial levies. We can’t afford to be jackbooted thugs.

The rest of the days we were getting calls from people with tips. I know we put out requests for any information, but the fact that you saw him in Fred Meyers a month ago doesn’t really help much.

One of the people that called was one of those that make you wonder how they survive at all. She was so terrified that she sobbed the whole time, she had gone to school with the suspect thirty years ago and had not seen him since, but she was scared that he was going to get her anyhow. You have to wonder what kind of life they live when something that remote sends them into such a state. At least we finally ID’d the victim so we quit getting calls from everyone who hadn’t seen a friend or relative for the last three days.

I wonder if we’re going to start getting grief from the perpetually aggrieved community. He is described as a White male, but judging from his tattoos, he considers himself to be Indian…er Native American. From his history it is pretty plain that he is a waste of human skin, but when he is caught, I’m sure there will be supporters coming out of the woodwork.

If you should happen to run across Mr. McPhail, he is armed and he has no compunctions at all about killing. Without giving away any information, the murder was very brutal. Call the cops immediately. You can always complain about them later.

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