After 26 Years Justice Prevailed in a Christmas Massacre

After 26 Years Justice Prevailed in a Christmas Massacre

Two brothers decided to rob a couple, but instead of just stealing their money, they took their lives. Leaving a family devastated in the wake.

Image for postPhoto by Kieran White on Unsplash

December 19, 1985

Ed and Minnie Maurin?s family arrived at their home to find no one there. Everyone was immediately worried because Ed and Minnie had invited them over for a planned Christmas party.

Family members called the police and reported Ed 83, and his wife Minnie 81, missing.

The next day would prove just how serious the situation was. A witness reported seeing the Maurin?s car abandoned with the keys inside. When police arrived, they also found large amounts of bloodstains throughout the vehicle.

Image for postEd and Minnie Maurin | The Chronicle

Investigation

More witnesses would come forward saying that the day the couple went missing, they had seen their car at the Sterling Savings and Loan Bank.

Searching the bank records, it showed that Ed had withdrawn $8,500 in cash that day, which was an unusual transaction for the couple.

Christmas Day 1985

The bodies of Ed and Minnie were found in the woods off of a dead-end road.

An autopsy showed both had died the day they went missing from a shotgun blast to their backs. The couple had been sitting in the front seats, and the killers used a sawed-off shotgun to kill them.

After killing the couple, the killers drug their bodies into the woods.

Image for postJohn (left) and Rick (right) Riffe mugshots via State of Washington

Prime Suspects

Back in 1985, police believed that a pair of brothers, Rick and John Riffe, were their prime suspects.

This speculation came after a deputy had picked the brother?s photos out of a police array. He had seen the two driving the Maurin?s car in town.

They speculated that the brothers had kidnapped the couple and forced them to withdraw the money from the bank. Then, they shot them.

At the time, locals in Chehalis, Washington, were afraid of the brothers. And even though police believed someone knew what happened, no one would come forward with information.

At his parent?s funeral Dennis Hadaller, placed his hand on their casket and made a promise. ?I will found out who did this.?

Image for postRick Riffe in court | The Chronicle

July 8, 2012

Investigators from the Chehalis Police Force left for Alaska. They had an arrest warrant in hand.

The Riffe brothers had left Washington and moved to Alaska in 1987.

They located Rick Riffe then 53 in King Salmon, Alaska. Unfortunately for justice?s sake, John had passed away the week before and will never stand trial for his crimes.

The police were finally able to move on the brothers that they believed had carried out these horrible crimes after a witness came forward in 2012.

Conviction

Rick Riffe was found guilty for his part in the kidnapping, robbery, and murder plot of Ed and Minnie Maurin in 1985. He was sentenced to 103 years in prison.

At sentencing, Riffe refused to speak, but his lawyer had a message to convey. He said that his client felt no remorse and would not make apologies for something he didn?t commit.

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