Most sociopaths come from a broken home and Michele Gates was no exception, but the early age at which this Oregon native started killing was exceptio...

Most sociopaths come from a broken home and Michele Gates was no exception, but the early age at which this Oregon native started killing was exceptional. Her mother Diane was 15 when she gave birth to her in December 1966. Michele was mostly raised by her grandmother DeLetta Reese and stepgrandfather Norman Reese. She lost her mother in the 5th grade, murdered by her own stepgrandfather--one evening Norman found Diane with a gentleman caller and shot her dead, thinking she had been engaging in prostitution. Norman Reese was convicted of second degree manslaughter and sentenced to 5 years in prison. Michele herself killed for the first time when she was 11 by pushing her 3 year old cousin Natyah Ottino into the duck pond in the Washington Park Zoo. The little boy's death was ruled accidental with no foul play suspected and DeLetta Reese attempted to get her granddaughter therapy after the sudden inexplicable loss of her mother and cousin in the span of a few months.

Not longer afterwards, Michele began babysitting for a neighbor girl, a charming blonde-haired preschooler named Ruth O'Neil who lived with her mother Gail and an older sister Beth. Gail O'Neil considered Michele a very dependable babysitter and a wonderful, neat, and polite girl. So the events of January 4, 1980 came as a surprise to nearly everyone when 4 year old Ruth went missing and a frantic Gail called police. Ruth's body was found in a backyard a few blocks from home, clad in denim pants and a sweater, with no underwear. She was barefoot, her shoes and socks placed neatly next to the body. Ruth's boots were found in a garbage can behind a nearby Herfy's Restaurant. Her panties and a dollar bill were in a toolshed near where the body was found.

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  1. 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    A forensic examination ruled the cause of death as freshwater drowning. Ruth had no injuries on her body, she had not been raped, and a toxicology test came up negative for any poisonous substances. Michele Gates was an early suspect as Ruth's babysitter and because Gail had given her some money to take Ruth down the street to Herfy's for ice cream. After giving police some evasive statements, including the theories that a child molester had abducted her and that Gail had accidentally killed her, the 13 year old finally confessed to murdering Ruth. The two of them had gone and gotten ice cream at the restaurant. It was a mild day for early January and Michele had suggested the two could go wading in her above-ground pool, which still had 10" of water in it. At this point, Michele said, she grabbed Ruth and held her face under the water until she drowned. Then she took the little girl inside, removed her swimsuit, re-dressed her in the denim pants and sweater, and deposited the body where it was found. Michele also confessed to murdering her own cousin two years earlier.

  2. 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    Michele was placed in the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Facility in Portland. She would be charged as a juvenile in Ruth O'Neil's death, but no charges in her cousin's as she had only been 11 at the time. The legal gymnastics of Oregon law meant that it took forever to actually try and convict Michele of anything. Multnomah County Judge Mercedes Deiz initially threw the case out since Michele had confessed to police without an attorney present or being informed of her Miranda Rights. Judge Deiz also ruled that the proceedings were not open to the media. The Oregonian newspaper filed suit in protest and the state supreme court ruled that Deiz had overstepped her authority--ever since then, Oregon juvenile court proceedings have been open to members of the media. Meanwhile, Michele was sent all the way across the country to Maine and put in a school for disturbed children, where she was diagnosed with schizophrenia and narcissistic personality disorder.

    In September, Portland prosecutors reopened the case using statements Michele had made to other inmates as evidence. Another judge, Circuit Judge George Van Hoomissen, threw the charges out again on the grounds that the state's 30 day statutory limit to try juvenile offenders had expired.

    Michele would be turning 18 at the end of 1984 and it was a matter of debate whether she could still be tried as a juvenile. Judge William Riggs ordered her sent to the Oregon State Hospital for psychiatric evaluation. On October 10, he ruled that Michele was mentally fit to stand trial. In the meantime, she had returned home from Maine and gotten a job as a swimming instructor at a Portland YMCA. She was fired in a few weeks after the YMCA found out her background. Judge Kristena LaMar ruled that under Oregon law, Michele could be tried in juvenile court until the age of 21. Gail O'Neil was frustrated at it taking almost 5 years to finally bring her daughter's killer to trial.

  3. 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    Clearly, Michele's sociopathic tendencies had come from her mother and stepgrandfather who had impressed on her the lesson that it was ok to take from or even kill others for your own selfish needs. Michele never gave any specific reason for either murder, but Beth O'Neil remembered a off-putting conversation she'd had with her one time. Michele had remarked "Wouldn't it be neat if someone grabbed and killed Ruth? You could have all the toys and attention to yourself and not have to share them with a little sister." But there was more. A few days before Christmas 1979, the O'Neils' house had been burglarized and several Christmas presents stolen. However, the missing items were all Ruth's presents and ones that Michele had helped pick out for her. The murder of Natyah Ottino was believed to be jealousy at the attention her stepgrandfather was lavishing on him.

    Michele received four years in prison for the murder of Ruth O'Neil and was paroled in 1989. After getting out and now going by the name Michele Shorthouse, she managed to get her juvenile record expunged (a later change to Oregon laws prevented this from happening in the future).

    As if by clockwork, Michele was back in a courtroom again in the spring of 1992 when she faced charges of arson and attempting to hire a hitman to kill her fiance's ex-wife and set fire to her house. This hitman, Joe Johnson of Bellingham, Washington, was another ex-boyfriend of hers. The plot was to help her fiance Joe Shorthouse gain sole custody of his 5 year old son, whom Michele would adopt after they were married. She also had a grudge against her fiance's ex for blabbling about her past history and preventing her from getting jobs.

    • 5 months ago
      Anonymous

      Michele is a dangerous lady and always will be. She shouldn't of gotten out of federal prison. That's why she hides she can't face her past head on

    • 5 months ago
      Anonymous

      Anonymous, u know ur just repeating what the papers says , so please tell me something I don't know . Unless ur michele or do u actually know , yes I Been reporting what I hear too but I can admit it u think ur talking straight about it.

  4. 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    Not necessarily. The sociopath politicians and the ones on wall street don't come from broken homes.

    • 2 years ago
      Anonymous

      This. Ditto with the Einsatzgruppen members who killed millions of people.

  5. 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    FBI agents tapped Michele and Johnson's phone lines and caught them discussing how to kill Lisa Mackie. Michele had planned to be in Texas for a job interview on February 20-21, 1992 during which time Johnson would go ahead with the hit and she would have a solid alibi. Convicted of hiring someone to cross state lines for the purpose of committing murder, Michele received 15 years in Federal prison. She was released in 2005 and spent three more years on parole. After release, she moved to Glendora, California, married a man named Mark Leland, and they had two children together.

    In December 2018, Mark Leland was murdered by Michele's father, 72 year old James Gates, in an apparent domestic dispute gone wrong. Gates shot his son-in-law in the abdomen with a .357 Magnum. Mark was taken to a hospital but died from his wound. Gates was charged with manslaughter and received 7 years in prison. A GoFundMe was set up for Michele and her kids for the death of her husband, nothing about the manner of his death was mentioned in the description, only that it was untimely, and no mention was made of Michele's past history.

    • 2 years ago
      Anonymous

      A forensic examination ruled the cause of death as freshwater drowning. Ruth had no injuries on her body, she had not been raped, and a toxicology test came up negative for any poisonous substances. Michele Gates was an early suspect as Ruth's babysitter and because Gail had given her some money to take Ruth down the street to Herfy's for ice cream. After giving police some evasive statements, including the theories that a child molester had abducted her and that Gail had accidentally killed her, the 13 year old finally confessed to murdering Ruth. The two of them had gone and gotten ice cream at the restaurant. It was a mild day for early January and Michele had suggested the two could go wading in her above-ground pool, which still had 10" of water in it. At this point, Michele said, she grabbed Ruth and held her face under the water until she drowned. Then she took the little girl inside, removed her swimsuit, re-dressed her in the denim pants and sweater, and deposited the body where it was found. Michele also confessed to murdering her own cousin two years earlier.

      https://i.imgur.com/dPugafr.jpg

      Most sociopaths come from a broken home and Michele Gates was no exception, but the early age at which this Oregon native started killing was exceptional. Her mother Diane was 15 when she gave birth to her in December 1966. Michele was mostly raised by her grandmother DeLetta Reese and stepgrandfather Norman Reese. She lost her mother in the 5th grade, murdered by her own stepgrandfather--one evening Norman found Diane with a gentleman caller and shot her dead, thinking she had been engaging in prostitution. Norman Reese was convicted of second degree manslaughter and sentenced to 5 years in prison. Michele herself killed for the first time when she was 11 by pushing her 3 year old cousin Natyah Ottino into the duck pond in the Washington Park Zoo. The little boy's death was ruled accidental with no foul play suspected and DeLetta Reese attempted to get her granddaughter therapy after the sudden inexplicable loss of her mother and cousin in the span of a few months.

      Not longer afterwards, Michele began babysitting for a neighbor girl, a charming blonde-haired preschooler named Ruth O'Neil who lived with her mother Gail and an older sister Beth. Gail O'Neil considered Michele a very dependable babysitter and a wonderful, neat, and polite girl. So the events of January 4, 1980 came as a surprise to nearly everyone when 4 year old Ruth went missing and a frantic Gail called police. Ruth's body was found in a backyard a few blocks from home, clad in denim pants and a sweater, with no underwear. She was barefoot, her shoes and socks placed neatly next to the body. Ruth's boots were found in a garbage can behind a nearby Herfy's Restaurant. Her panties and a dollar bill were in a toolshed near where the body was found.

      this whole story physically disgusts me

      >this fricking sociopathic b***h who was literally murdering people in middle school
      >just drowns a child with no remorse or conscience
      >does all of four (!) years for it
      >gets out of jail and tries to hire a hitman to kill other woman in a romantic spat
      >goes to jail again
      >after she's out, and after she's almost 40 years old STILL finds her knight in shining armor/cuck to come and ride off into the sunset with her and give her two (actually quite adorable) daughters
      >ok so he dies, that's karma?
      >no she still gets gofundme pity handouts and is a free woman who got to pass on her genes
      >meanwhile Ruth O'Neil never to have kids of her own, she didn't really even get a chance at life at all

      • 2 years ago
        Anonymous

        it proves that no matter how badly women screw up they can still always find a cuck to rescue them

        • 5 months ago
          Anonymous

          Cus my suspicion is it was a set up with both gates and her father protecting her by doing time. Mark was a sitting duck

      • 2 years ago
        Anonymous

        Wait until I tell you that one of the b***hes who tortured Shanda Sharer to death has a son.

  6. 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    >She lost her mother in the 5th grade, murdered by her own stepgrandfather--one evening Norman found Diane with a gentleman caller and shot her dead
    Based grandpa. She would've been fine if everyone in her family was as righteous as him

    • 2 years ago
      Anonymous

      except he also contributed to her being a looney

  7. 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    >swimming in January
    can you do that? I know Portland has pretty mild winters but...

    • 2 years ago
      Anonymous

      https://www.wunderground.com/history/monthly/us/or/portland/KPDX/date/1980-1

      It wasn't that warm, only in the low 40s that day. Actually January '80 was much colder than normal across the region. The average temperature that month was 34F and the normal average for Portland in January is 41F. Check out the temperatures, there were several days of freezing weather especially at the end of the month.

      Anyway, I get the impression they weren't really swimming just kinda wading around in the water maybe not getting more than their feet and calves wet. If it's only in the low 40s outside you definitely don't want to get your torso soaked; you'll get hypothermia and be in a lot of trouble. Water should be a minimum of 74F before you can safely soak your body in it and not risk hypothermia.

      • 2 years ago
        Anonymous

        in my town it was 29F that day. temperatures for the month were close to normal.

  8. 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    i think i heard about this on the news years ago, or at least something similar. it was alot of child rapes with their shoes neat next to the body and defiled underware.

  9. 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    also my town has absolutely no notable crime stories outside generic street crime nobody cares about while OP has made idk how many threads about stuff that happened in Portland

    • 2 years ago
      Anonymous

      the PNW is a region that inherently creates psychopathy for some reason

      • 2 years ago
        Anonymous

        Few different regions seem to do that. The Gulf Coast does it too.

      • 2 years ago
        Anonymous

        Few different regions seem to do that. The Gulf Coast does it too.

        Let's not forget the deserts

  10. 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    I guess Gary "The Oil Driller" Heidick was the most notable serial killer in Pennsylvania as well as the last person executed here. but this state isn't much of a serial killer place.

    >keeps a couple of black girls captive in his Philly sex dungeon for 3 weeks (they escaped alive)
    >cops find a huge stash of black women-centered porno mags in his place

    • 2 years ago
      Anonymous

      weirdos and mal-adjusted people gravitate to areas with mild winters since you can be homeless outdoors all year. so the Snow Belt states don't really have many serial killers compared to Florida or California.

      • 2 years ago
        Anonymous

        You'd be surprised but the rustbelt states has had a lot serial killers specifically from that area. Wonder if the failing industry led to troubled and poor upbringings that'd result in the kind of sociopathic behavior to turn into one.

    • 2 years ago
      Anonymous

      Nah the culture in PA is more in line with sudden outbursts of rage and crimes of passion more than anything

      • 2 years ago
        Anonymous

        https://deathpenaltyusa.org/usa1/state/pennsylvania4.htm

        here's some oldskool stuff from the 50s. i know at least 3 of these (Ed Gibbs, George Capps, and Elmo Smith) were such impulse/crimes of passion cases. there was also a lunatic black (well ok actually mixed race) militant/cultist who had a compound out in the western part of the state in the early 80s where he was trying to breed an army of children with white women concubines.

  11. 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    yeah i'm a bit appalled too at just how little this b***h suffered in the end

  12. 11 months ago
    Anonymous Anonymous

    This must be Jonas All most looks like you are writing comments back and forth to your self.. it is almost funny if it wasn’t so sad. All this stuff comes from articles from 40 years ago. It’s so sad you have wasted so much of you life. On a nothing burger

  13. 11 months ago
    Anonymous Anonymous

    This must be Jonas All most looks like you are writing comments back and forth to your self.. it is almost funny if it wasn’t so sad. All this stuff comes from articles from 40 years ago. It’s so sad you have wasted so much of you life. On a nothing burger

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      Your reporting about Michelle Gates is Factually incorrect, they came to Spokane to visit Susan and her husband Jerry. Jerry was Terminally ill and he passed away shortly after .They thought it was the last time they were going able to see Jerry. Yes there was a fight three years prior to that in California where James told everyone that Mark had punched him, But at this point that could or couldn’t not have happened. Mark told James to get out of his house and he was not allowed there ever again. Christmas 2018 they went up to Sue and Jerry’s. Mark was gracious enough to let her dad come up to see his grandchildren. and yes, he only lived 60 miles away but he insisted that he stay that night. Mark was heading back to California with some things that they had left there prior to moving. He had brought the company truck and was going to load it up to take there things back to California. He had headed out to the garage to load them up and her dad followed him out. Everybody else was in the house . It seemed like they were tolerating each other.. Sue was in the kitchen and she heard something she looked out and saw Mark laying on the floor of the garage. One of the girls were sleeping already and one of the girls was watching a movie, neither one of them knew what happened. They had no idea what was going on until the next day. As far as were concerned, James should’ve gotten life but he didn’t. There should’ve been justice for Mark but the police focused on Michelle instead of her dad almost insisting that she had something to do with it which was absolutely not true.. There are A lot of other things that are not true in your story, but people continue on not knowing the truth. That is why they believe that Michelle did it because of these podcasts and articles and things being aired.

  14. 11 months ago
    Anonymous Anonymous

    This must be Jonas All most looks like you are writing comments back and forth to your self.. it is almost funny if it wasn’t so sad. All this stuff comes from articles from 40 years ago. It’s so sad you have wasted so much of you life. On a nothing burger

    • 5 months ago
      Jason

      It's funny u go by anonymous, I will post my name idiot cus unlike you I'm not a coward , michele is a beep and a coward the fact u are even around a child killer regardless how old this nut case was. But u and other coward go by other names wonder if u shame of her just pathetic dumb. I'm guessing anything michele says she is correct about her past. Any other dumb asses what to stand up from a pathetic child killer

  15. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    This must be Jonas All most looks like you are writing comments back and forth to your self.. it is almost funny if it wasn’t so sad. All this stuff comes from articles from 40 years ago. It’s so sad you have wasted so much of you life. On a nothing burger

  16. 5 months ago
    Anonymous

    U don't no jack shit what ur talking about idiot

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