By Steven Dubois Associated Press
PORTLAND — A man who confessed to killing women decades ago was sentenced Friday to life in an Oregon prison with no chance for parole.
Jeffrey Cutlip, 64, pleaded guilty last fall to the murders of Marlene Claire Carlson, Julie Marie Bennett and Nielen Loribell Doll. Carlson and Bennett were killed in the 1970s, and Doll was killed in 1993.
Cutlip did not make a statement before he was sentenced in Portland. He has a long criminal history and was required to register as a sex offender in Oregon after he was charged in 1982 with burglary and sodomy in attacks on two other women.
But he avoided murder charges until 2012, when he contacted police while living in Brownsville, Texas, and admitted killing four women in Oregon. Police have so far been able to confirm only three killings, but the investigation isn’t over.
Relatives of the murdered women addressed Cutlip in court Friday, describing the pain he caused and calling him a sick and evil person. The balding, 125-pound Cutlip did not look them in the eye and his facial expression rarely changed.
Carlson was strangled and her corpse sexually assaulted in a Portland apartment in 1975. She was 44 years old, a divorced mother of three children. Cutlip was a tenant in the same building, but he was not identified as a suspect at the time.
“Here I am, in the same room with the man who helped himself to mother’s life, my mother’s body, my mother’s future,” said Julie Robinson, the youngest of Carlson’s children. “Here I am in the same room with the man who robbed my siblings and me of a chance to know our mother into adulthood. The man who has had his freedom all these years, the freedom he took from my mother.”
Robinson said she’s not sure why Cutlip confessed, but she’s glad to finally know the truth.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to close this chapter and end the searching and wondering of the last 38 years,” she said.
The next victim was 15-year-old Bennett. She was found face-down in a Portland-area creek in April 1977, a couple of days after she vanished. Her death had been classified as a drowning until Cutlip came forward, but relatives said they long suspected foul play.
“I honestly believe this child molester is the poster child for the death penalty,” said Bennett’s brother, Bruce.
Doll, 33, of Spokane, was killed by Cutlip after meeting him in a bar during a visit to Portland. Cutlip had only recently been out of prison on the sodomy and burglary convictions.
A letter from Doll’s daughter, read to the court by a Portland police detective, ended: “May you rot in hell you bastard.”