Confession and the White Power Connection
Once in custody, Grigsby and Pedersen began to talk to the police and to the press. Grigsby, over the course of a five-hour videotaped interrogation, told Oregon State Police that she and Pedersen had hatched a plan to kill his father. She admitted that they wanted to trick him into driving them to the bus station, and would shoot him in the back of the head and Grigsby would take the wheel. She also admitted to duct taping Leslie and slashing her throat with two different knives.
According to the affidavit, Grigsby commented that she and Pedersen had killed Cody Myers because his “name made them think he was Jewish.” She also told police, they were on their way to Sacramento to “kill more Jews.”
According to the Oregonian, Grigsby’s Facebook postings also illuminated her racist views. One post boasted that her son was her “little aryan warrior”; another post featured a common racist quotation: “Every Jewish lie and every Jewish slander is a scar of honor on the chest of a warrior.”
Meanwhile, while Pedersen had pleaded the fifth and refused to talk to police, he gave an interview to a reporter at the Appeal-Democrat. He told the paper: “Everything that’s been reported I take full responsibility for.”
He told the paper he thought he’d be charged with the murder of a “dead Negro” (Clark), since “the bullet from my gun was in his head.”
Though he didn’t say anything about Myers, he did elaborate on his initial motive for the first killing—that of his father and his stepmother. He alleged that he learned from his mother when he was in prison that his father had molested his sister and adopted cousin.
“I think it was made clear to me when I was a youngster,” he said. “(At the time) it was something I didn’t understand.”
He made the decision to kill his father and his stepmother, he said, because she had “continued to support him.”
“Once the decision was made, it was just a matter of doing it,” he told the paper.
“I’m not glad he’s dead. I don’t get joy from it. But I do get satisfaction,” he said. “He didn’t deserve to be walking around anymore.”
He was confessing because he didn’t want people to think he was an “irrational psychopath” and he wanted people to know the truth about his father, which has since been substantiated.
In his interview, Pedersen attempted to clear his girlfriend’s name: “It’s something I did and Ms. Grigsby had nothing to do with,” he said. “She’s been misportrayed.” He said of Grigsby: “She’s a sweet-hearted girl who has a heart of gold,” Pedersen said. “I think she deserves a bit more than she’s got in life.”
She did—and at one point it looked like she might have turned her life around.
Holly Ann Grigsby, now 25, grew up in a fractured household in Portland. Her mother divorced her father by the time she was one; by the age of eight, her mother had remarried twice. The last man, Kelly Onofrichuck, it was alleged by the family, had sexually abused her, according to the Oregonian, citing court testimony from a family member.
By the time Grigsby was 13 years old, she was dabbling with drugs.
In 2005, at age 18, she had managed to stay clean for three years and graduate from high school after taking night classes. The next year she moved into her first apartment and worked two jobs as a gas station attendant. But her straight arrow lifestyle didn’t hold.
She became addicted to meth, and was arrested and jailed just before her 19th birthday for ID theft and unauthorized use of a car.
At 19, while doing time in the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, she met a skinhead named Shontae Wright. It was there that some of her early thoughts around white power began to solidify.
Released in June 2007, she met Dannel Larson, who became her boyfriend. But, this time while out of jail, she developed a new addiction: to heroin.
A year and a half later, they both went to treatment for drugs, but she remained unable to shake her addiction. Still, there was a glimmer of hope. She married Larson, and went back to Coffee Creek—this time for forgery, ID theft, and theft—pregnant with his child. In March 2009, she gave birth to her son. A year and half later she was released, and went into inpatient drug treatment.
In April of 2011, she moved in with Larson and was attending an outpatient center.
Perhaps, she was turning a corner and finally heeding the words of a judge who had scolded her in 2005, when she was just 18, and sentenced her to 18 months probation for attempted theft of a trailer. According to the Oregonian: “I worry for you Miss Grigsby,” said Multnomah County Judge Kathleen Dailey. “If you don’t get a handle on this, your life will just go in the toilet,” Dailey said. “And you’re so young.” But just a few months after she moved in with Larson, everything in her life would change, when she met David Pedersen.