Originally published May 29, 2012
The comparisons of Holly Ann Grigsby and David “Joey” Pedersen to Bonnie and Clyde will be inevitable, but unfortunate. The infamous criminal couple were far too cunning to be compared to Grigsby and Pedersen, whose crime spree lasted only 14 days and ended in a trail of four dead. Each killing was more senseless than the next, with nothing cunning or clever about any of them.
In the days after the murders of Cody Myers, Leslie and David Pedersen, and Reginald Alan Clark, the news reports were a jangle of information. The horrors perpetrated by the Swastika-tattoo wearing Pedersen were described as hate crimes, but their victim, the 19-year-old victim Cody Myers was not Jewish. In fact, he was a devout Christian.
Perhaps his father’s sexual abuse of his sister and cousin was a catalyst for Pedersen’s rage.
No matter the cause, one thing is certain: Grigsby and Pedersen were angry, violent people.
As Oregon State Police Lt. Gregg Hastings told the press: “It all started with a reason, but after that, the killings had no logic.”
The lovers-turned-criminals had sordid pasts; their criminal records included both petty and violent crimes. When they met, there was a chance they could change themselves for the better. Instead, everything was torn asunder.
The Missing Teenager
On Sunday October 2, Cody Myers, 19, of Lafayette, Oregon, was reported missing by his family. His disappearance was particularly unusual, as he was not the type to be late, or not call. A practicing Christian, Myers was an avid guitar player and had been on his way to a jazz festival the night before, nearly 80 miles away in Newport, Oregon. When calls to his cell phone went straight to voicemail, and he didn’t return on Sunday, his family became concerned.
Myer’s brother-in-law told King 5 News: “He’s a straight arrow, that kid’s sharp as a tack. Goes to college, loves jazz. He’s never been involved in anything bad. Very involved in his church, very involved in his family. Everyone’s worried, everyone wants him home.”
Their concerns grew to fear when, later in the day, according to the Oregonian, the car, a 1999 Plymouth Breeze was spotted, first careening on I-5 at 1 a.m. and later that morning, at a gas station and minimart.
It was then that police linked Pedersen and Grigsby to Myers’s disappearance. They were captured on camera using credit cards stolen from their first victims, Pedersen’s stepmother, Leslie, and his father, David “Red” Pedersen of Everett, Washington.
Myers was found dead two days later, his body discarded in the woods at Marys Peak in Benton County, Oregon, with gunshot wounds to the head and chest.
By the time the search for Myers was underway, nearly a dozen different agencies were looking for the criminal couple, including the U.S. Marshal Service, the Oregon State Police, and the Salem and Everett Police Departments.