Stanwood robbery victim, accused of robbery, ordering man to shave head of female roommate

STANWOOD — A Stanwood area man who was the victim of a home-invasion robbery in June now is accused of committing a robbery of his own and ordering others to shave the heads of two women.

A judge on Thursday set bail at

$500,000 for Larry E. Mulanax, 68.

Two of his roommates also have been jailed.

“We are continuing with our investigation. Other charges are possible,” Snohomish County sheriff’s spokeswoman Rebecca Hover said. “It is a convoluted story, and it’s going to take time to sort through all the details.”

Court papers describe a tangled web of deceit and retribution among roommates.

Detectives suspect Mulanax on July 30 ordered two people to shave the head of a woman who had been staying at his home. He accused her of lying, stealing a credit card and returning a car late, according to court records.

The woman told detectives that another man took her into a bedroom and forced her by threats of violence to take off her clothes. He cut off her pony tail with a butcher knife and bound her hands behind her back with her own clothing, she said.

Detectives arrested the suspect, Richard Ace Brown, 56, for investigation of assault, rape, unlawful imprisonment and intimidating a witness. A judge on Friday set bail at $500,000.

Mulanax allegedly told the woman she had a choice of being beaten or having the rest of her hair chopped off.

She chose to be shorn.

She said a woman, 24, finished the job with a razor.

The victim told detectives that Mulanax came back into the room and snapped nude photos of her and took her welfare card.

She also said she faced death threats if she went to the police.

Jennifer Bertalan, the woman accused of helping shave the victim’s head, was arrested for investigation of burglary and robbery. Detectives believe she helped arrange for a June 8 break-in at Mulanax’s home in the 31100 block of 33rd Drive NW and pretended to be a victim.

In that case, two masked men bound Mulanax with duct tape and tortured him into giving them the combination to a safe. He told investigators that the men used metal spoons and a filet knife that had been heated over a stove. Mulanax had a large burn in the center of his back, according to court papers.

Mulanax told a sheriff’s deputy that the robbers stole $5,000 in cash, more than $200,000 in gem stones, 38 silver dollars plus several expensive watches along with a handgun and rifle.

Bertalan is accused of helping set up the home invasion. She told detectives that Mulanax ordered people to assault her at an Everett motel May 1, including shaving her head, according to court records. She said the May assault gave her motivation for planning the June home invasion, according to court records.

“She went on to explain that Mulanax has control over several women because he has drugs and they have addictions,” a detective wrote in a probable cause affidavit.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446,

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