A recent, bizarre murder case out of the Los Angeles area involved a southern Deschutes County man who police say traveled hours to fatally stab a family friend he dated over 15 years ago -- then died of a heart attack and crashed his car as he fled the scene, leaving his distraught wife back home with many unanswered questions
The killing took place May 31 in Simi Valley, but it was only this week that police publicly identified the man they believe committed the crime.
Simi Valley police Sgt. Randy Foushee told reporters, "We believe the man, Paul Porter, who murdered Janice Somple, will never victimize another person."
Porter, 66, left his Deschutes River Recreation Homesites home south of Sunriver in late May to attend his grandson's graduation in Southern California.
Afterwards, he was supposed to stay with friends. But for some reason, he went to the Simi Valley home of Somple, his wife's best friend, and his long ago ex-girlfriend, and beat and stabbed her to death.
"Detectives were able to positively identify Mr. Porter's truck as the vehicle leaving Janice Somple's residence," Foushee said.
Somple's current boyfriend found the 65-year-old woman dead. The retired high school teacher and Porter dated 15 years ago, but police say it ended amicably -- and she even introduced Paul Porter to his now-wife, Lesli, and the three remained friends when the porters moved to Central Oregon.
I talked with a very distraught Lesli Porter by phone Thursday. She said she was shocked to hear of the crime, and she didn't think the two of them had talked, but now she wasn't sure.
Foushee said, "We know Paul killed Janice, and how he did it, but we are still seeking answers as to why he did it."
But those answers may be hard to come by. Police say as Paul Porter was fleeing the crime scene, he had a deadly heart attack that caused his truck to violently crash into a rock wall a mile from the house.
Neighbors said they were only relieved it wasn't a random crime. One said, "That's amazing -- I'm just glad he's not out running around or something." Another, told of the sequence of events, said: "That's karma. He got what was coming to him.:
Simi Valley police are still investigating the motive for the killing and are asking anyone with information call them at 1-805-583-696.
Meanwhile, back in Oregon, Lesli Porter says she's planning a memorial service for her late husband in California in the coming weeks.