Two white supremacists arrested after a West Coast “vicious, wild reign of terror” were heading to California to “kill more Jews” after allegedly committing four murders, newly filed court documents say.
David “Joey” Pedersen, a 31-year-old white supremacist recently released from an Oregon prison, and his 24-year-old girlfriend, Holly Ann Grigsby, are each charged with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder in the documents filed in Snohomish County. The charges are related to the Sept. 26 murders of Pedersen’s father, David “Red” Pedersen, 56, and his wife, Leslie “DeeDee” Pedersen, 69, the suspect’s stepmother, in Everett, Wash.
“In the flight that followed these two murders, the defendants committed a series of crimes that spanned three states and included two additional murders,” Snohomish County Deputy Prosecutor Craig S. Matheson said in the charging documents.
Two other victims linked to the suspects are 19-year-old Cody Myers, of Lafayette, Ore., allegedly killed because the suspects thought he was Jewish, and 53-year-old African-American, Reginald Alan Clark, found shot to death in his truck in Eureka, Calif.
Both suspects have given statements to detectives and a California newspaper, confessing to the racially motivated crime spree.
The elder Pedersen was fatally shot in the head as he took the two suspects to a bus station in Everett. Joey Pedersen told the Marysville, Calif., Appeal Democrat newspaper that he developed the plan to kill his father because the elder Pedersen had sexually abused his daughter – the suspect’s sister – when the two were children. That claim has not been verified, authorities say.
The suspects then returned to the Pedersen home where Leslie Pedersen’s throat was slashed and she bled to death after she was bound with duct tape. A sword was found near the body.
After those killings, Joey Pedersen and Grigsby drove south 250 miles to Newport, on the Oregon Coast where they encountered 19-year-old Cody Myers, a 19-year-old college student who had talked of becoming a minister. The teen’s body – shot in the head and chest – was discovered on Oct. 4 in the Marys Peak area of Benton County, Ore., west of Corvallis, Ore. Authorities say they now believe he was murdered in Lincoln County after driving to Newport to attend a weekend jazz festival.
After Pedersen and Grigsby were arrested Oct. 5 driving Myers’ stolen car in Marysville, Calif., Grigsby gave detectives a statement saying the Oregon teenager was “killed because his last name made them think he was Jewish.”
Grigsby also told authorities that she and Pedersen “were on their way to Sacramento to kill more Jews,” the Washington state arrest affidavit alleges.
Grigsby allegedly said that the 2010 Jeep, containing the elder Pedersen’s body, had been driven from Everett and pushed off a logging road, over a steep embankment, north of the Yellowbottom Campground, about 30 miles east of Corvallis in Linn County, Ore. The vehicle and his body were recovered on Oct. 7.
The following day, Pedersen reinitiated contact with police in Yuba City, Calif., where he had been in jail for three days. “In the interview that followed, Pedersen admitted to yet a fourth murder,” the shooting death of Clark in Eureka, on either Oct. 3 or 4, the arrest affidavit says.
On Oct. 9, Pedersen granted an interview to Appeal Democrat reporter Ashley Gebb “and further confessed to the crimes,” the court document says.
“He told the reporter that Grigsby wasn’t complicit, which is contrary to her earlier statements,” the document says. “The day the couple were booked into jail a note was found written by Pedersen, sent to Grigsby. In it he appears to lay out a plan whereby he will take all the blame for everything.”
The prosecutor said in the charging documents that the suspects “appear to have committed four first-degree murders, with at least one aggravating circumstance, on three of the four, and spread out over three states and two weeks.”
The document says Pedersen has four prior felony convictions – two for second-degree robbery, one for second-degree assault and one for threatening to murder a federal judge who handled the “Ruby Ridge” case of white separatist Randy Weaver. Weaver’s wife and son were killed on an Idaho mountaintop on that name, along with a federal marshal, in a 1992 standoff that became a cause célèbre on the radical right.
Grigsby has five prior felony convictions in Oregon, three for identity theft and two for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
The couple remain in jail in Yuba County, Calif., and it’s not known when they were be extradited to Washington state.