The Mendelson-Devonshire case was legendary. It was also political dynamite. In 1980, the disappearance of Jessie Devonshire and Randy Mendelson had been Portlandís biggest news story of the year. It remained the regionís most notorious unsolved case.
It couldn't even be properly called an unsolved crime because it had never been proven that a crime had been committed. All that was known was that fifteen-year-old Jessie Devonshire had vanished without a trace and that Randy Mendelson, a twenty-year-old landscaper, had disappeared at the same time.
Everyone had a theory, but facts were in short supply. The one fact that everyone knew was that Jessie Devonshire was the stepdaughter of Wilson Landis Devonshire, top aide to then Portland mayor, former Oregon governor, and now US Senator Alan Blalock. Blalock was the most powerful man in Oregon politics, and in 1980, Devonshire was his protege, a rising star in the Oregon Democratic Party. In the mid-1980s, Devonshire was elected to the Oregon Supreme Court with heavy support from the governor and had served there ever since.
The Mendelson-Devonshire case had been the biggest hot potato in Clackamas County law enforcement for at least ten years following the disappearances. At least three careers had ended because detectives had been unable to provide the answers that the politically connected principals in the case demanded.