By AP/NR staff • AP/NR staff • 

Oregon trucker who killed women now free in McMinnville

Scott William Cox, 5-foot-7, 203 pounds, 49 years old.
Scott William Cox, 5-foot-7, 203 pounds, 49 years old.

UPDATEd, Saturday, Feb. 23:

Friday afternoon, Scott William Cox was released to the Yamhill County Jail; Saturday morning he woke up as a free man for the first time in 20 years. Since he has no home, no job and no family in the area, he remains at the county jail from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. each night. During the day he is free, but monitored.

Cox wears a GPS device allowing law enforcement to monitor his whereabouts. Saturday, he walked throughout downtown McMinnville and north along Baker Street, twice walking along the edges of areas he cannot enter such as City Park.

Cox was released to Yamhill County because he lived in Newberg when convicted. He is out of prison five years early, must remain on probation for life, and still is considered dangerous by some law enforcement officials.

Previous Story:

[News-Register subscribers click here to read local story with reactions from Yamhill County officials.]

Of Associated Press

PORTLAND — An Oregon man who was convicted of two murders in the 1990s and is a person of interest in other killings is set to be released from prison in two weeks.

Scott William Cox, 49, will return to Yamhill County for post-prison supervision after his Feb. 22 release, the Department of Corrections said Thursday afternoon.

The long-haul truck driver pleaded no contest in 1993 to two counts of murder. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison but is leaving early because of good behavior and credit for time served in a county jail before his conviction, agency spokeswoman Liz Craig said.

Cox was convicted before the state passed tougher sentencing laws.

He was charged with fatally stabbing 34-year-old Reena Ann Brunson outside a northeast Portland grocery store in November 1990 and strangling 32-year-old Victoria Rhone at a Portland rail yard in February 1991. Both women were prostitutes.

Reena Brunson's mother told KPTV she he had not been told of Cox's impending release and declined further comment. There was no answer at her phone number Thursday afternoon.

At the time of his arrest, police agencies in cities along his routes examined the unsolved deaths of young women who frequented truck stops. The trucker had been in cities where 20 similar crimes occurred.

“There's a lot more than just that 20, but those look like the ones that we can do something with,” Newberg, Ore., police Detective Ken Summers told The Associated Press in 1992.

Police in Mountlake Terrace, Wash., told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 2003 that they considered Cox the only suspect in the 1990 slaying of a young woman.

Cox was never charged with any additional crimes.

Yamhill County sheriff's Capt. Tim Svenson said advances in DNA testing might help investigators connect Cox to unsolved cold cases. He said local detectives have already been in contact with law enforcement agencies in California, alerting them that Cox is getting out.

Before his arrest, Cox was living in a Newberg motel when not on the road. He will be returned to that county for his post-prison supervision.

Because Cox has no job or place to go, he will initially be housed in a barracks-type setting at the jail. Cox will be able to leave in the morning but must return at a certain time each night, and he's forbidden from crossing the county line.

“He will be a free man,” Svenson said. “But not as free as a regular citizen.”



Can we get a current photo?

Ossie Bladine

That is the current photo provided by the Oregon Department of Justice.

Dances with Redwoods

The best way to keep an eye on him would be for the county to offer him employment. I would suggest he be offered a slot working at the county jail.

Does he know how to type?


With his killing record I don't understand why he is even out of incarceration ????

Bob I

I agree with Caalie; we've got people getting life sentences for crimes less than murder and this man is out after conviction of two murders?


Yes, and suspected of committing 20 more.

Steve Bagwell, Managing Editor

troy prouty

It was also 20 years ago.. Most sentencing ranges increased with measures in most states since that time. That is basically 10 years per. I mean Dan White got a lighter sentence of only a few years for killing a mayor and council member in San Fransico.

What does worry me is the fact they think he did more, if he did, there is a problem, because he obviously kept it quiet for 20 years, and I doubt he workerd on "himself" why there, making him still a danger. I think if I was DOC I would attempt to keep him busy all day and have someone watch closely at night.

I'm just afraid this won't be the last we hear from this guy.


troy prouty

Long-haul trucker, Newberg, Oregon

Crimes in Washington:

Stabbed one prostitute and strangled another in Portland. Suspected in more than 20 others murders, including the 1988 homicide of Snohomish County transient Hazel Gelnett and the 1990 murder of Tia Hicks, a Seattle woman whose body was found in Montlake Terrace. Also suspected of raping and trying to kill a Seattle prostitute in May 1991."


Undoubtedly he can kill better than he can type. There is no justice.

Dances with Redwoods

"There is no justice." --Lulu

Why do you think that is? And at who's feet would you lay the blame for that, Lulu?

Liberal/Progressive leaning Judges, perhaps?

Dances with Redwoods

In my opinion, I believe that people convicted of committing crimes such as Mr Cox has, should be hanged by the neck until dead, with the sentence to be carried out within one year of sentencing.

Should that person at some later point in time be found or discovered to actually have been innocent, then in my opinion there should be some automatic pre-determined recompense forthcoming to that persons family and/or heirs.

40 nontaxable acres forever & a mule, would make for a good start. Any thoughts?

troy prouty

Some of the blame must be on other police departments as well. In the Seattle area for example, although they feel he may have killed people, the type of people he killed had a direct impact on how well they investigated it and how they even handled evidence or didn't. In fact they came out years later and adknowledged had the victims been a professional, many things would have happened that never, then they apologized to the victims family for not doing their job.



Apparently, Dances, you have a definite opinion on why there is no justice. I'm not so sure.
Justice is a concept translated by humans who are flawed by definition. While justice is depicted as blind, I suspect on occasion the mask slips and she notices the denomination of the currency changing hands. And I believe Troy's point is valid; investigations are not uniformly robust when victims are considered throwaway people by society.

Dances with Redwoods

I agree with Troy and you as well, Lulu.

troy prouty

Personally I would like to ask him about Mary Ann Turner Spokane 1986. Dead and dumped on Pittsburgh Ave strangled to death.

After all it might be fate that we arrive in the same county at the same time. wink..



You're all arguing the justice system right now when you should be discussing ways to safeguard your families against the abortion of his prison sentence. The fact is, he's how a free man. We've moved on from the failures of 20 years ago's justice. Just know that a dog that bites doesn't stop biting after a time out. Just know that there is a proven dangerous predator out there and be very vigil!


You've heard of Rambling Man? Now we have our own Strangling Man. I wonder if he wears slip-on shoes...


I've seen him in a black carhardt style coat, jeans and running style shoes.


This guy has dead eyes. He will never pay for his crimes. Running shoes have laces.

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