By Whitney Clark/KTVL.com
ASHLAND, Ore. – There is a
new bench and light near the bike path in Hunter Park. Both are permanent memorials of David Grubbs.
The bench sits just steps
away from where Grubbs was killed a year ago. Grubbs was a popular, loved
Ashland man whose murder remains a mystery.
“David was very nice guy, who
was extremely well liked by everybody,” said Ashland Police Chief Terry
Holderness. “What's really changed in the investigation over time is we've been
spending more and more of our time and resources looking into the possibility
that this might have been a completely random act.”
investigation began with a 9-1-1 call on Nov. 19, 2011. Since then, Ashland Police have recieved
more than 800 tips and interviewed more than 1,700 people.
Local investigators are even
getting help from the FBI.
“We're a year into this
case and we're still getting a tremendous amount of help from everybody else,”
Holderness said. “The FBI normally doesn't get involved in local things, and they've
been extremely generous with their time.”
Detectives from Ashland
have worked with those special agents to develop a possible suspect profile.
Holderness says the final report isn’t available yet, as they are still
Experts say unknown suspect profiles are detailed, and take a lot of time to put
together. Dr. Mary Ellen O’Toole spent 28 years as an FBI agent. O’Toole
investigated and profiled thousands of cases, including the Unabomber and
While the former agent can't
specifically talk about the Grubbs case, she says random homicides are rare.
“Stranger violence, in
other words the offender does not know the victim whatsoever, occurs much
less frequently,” Dr. O’Toole said.
According to the Bureau of
Justice Statistics, between 1976 and 2005, 14% murders were between strangers.
Zeroing in on a possible suspect
in a random crime, O’Toole says, starts at the crime scene. Agents begin by reviewing
the thousands upon thousands of details from the original reports which could take
days, weeks, or even months.
Those details, O’Toole
says, include everything from photos of the crime scene, where the murder
happened and evidence left behind.
O’Toole says if the offender doesn't leave physical
evidence or a weapon, the killer may have experience.
“That means they maybe
know about forensics,” O’Toole said. “That means they could have committed the
crime before, which means they may have been prosecuted in a court of law so
now they're smarter.”
All of that information is
then put into a formal report, O’Toole says, that could be anywhere from seven
to 50 pages long. It provides a blueprint of who the suspect may be, whether
they've killed before, possible motives and even personality traits.
One thing the report won't
include, O’Toole said, is physical description or name.
“To come up with a person’s
name is really a myth,” O’Toole said.
O’Toole said the unknown
killer profile is more like an investigative tool which may or may not help
police build a case.
“Often times cases can go unsolved for years, decades, if not longer,” O’Toole
said. “So we don't know. The profile could be right on the money accurate, but
the suspect may not identified until years later, or sometimes never.”
O'Toole says no two profiles are the same.
"You won't find a profiler that says this s the profile of a murder," O'Toole said. "I can tell you from my experience I've seen people who have murdered and they're from all different backgrounds and types of personalities."
One year later Ashland
Police hope that's not the case here. Holderness says they have not stopped
investigating the Grubbs murder since it happened.
Last week, officers served
3 search warrants at properties in Talent, Ashland and a car. For now, police
cannot disclose what if any evidence was found.
However, Holderness wanted
to stress that the homeowners are not suspects.
The FBI could not comment on the Grubbs case.