By Ken Baysinger
The Mendelson-Devonshire case was legendary. It was also political dynamite. In 1980, the disappearance of Jessie Devonshire and Randy Mendelson had been Portland’s biggest news story of the year. It remained the region’s most notorious unsolved case.
It couldn’t even be properly called an unsolved crime because it had never been proven that a crime had been committed. All that was known was that fifteen-year-old Jessie Devonshire had vanished without a trace and that Randy Mendelson, a twentyyear-old landscaper, had disappeared at the same time.
There were many theories regarding what happened, but facts were in short supply. The one fact that everyone knew was that Jessie Devonshire was the stepdaughter of Wilson Landis Devonshire, a well-connected political figure in Portland.
In the apparent absence of any evidence, the case was set aside as a probable runaway by young lovers. And there it lay for thirty-two years, until a Chevrolet El Camino is pulled from the Willamette River. What is found inside turns the old case red hot. How many people will die before the truth is revealed?