Grand Jury to Hear Testimony on Portland Murders – Joanna Speaks’ Case Highlighted

Portland, Oregon – A grand jury is set to convene next week to hear testimony regarding the murder of Joanna Speaks, one of five women found dead in the Portland area last year. Detectives have linked Speaks’ death to blunt head and neck injuries, despite her body being discovered in Ridgefield, Washington. No arrests have been made in connection to her murder.

Law enforcement sources previously identified Jesse Calhoun as a person of interest in the deaths of multiple women whose bodies were discovered in wooded or secluded areas around Portland between February and May. However, Calhoun has not been charged in any of these cases. Calhoun, who was released from prison in 2021 under commutations by then-Governor Kate Brown, was arrested in June 2023 for parole violations and subsequently returned to prison.

Calhoun is currently serving time at Snake River Correctional Institution in eastern Oregon on unrelated charges. Despite maintaining his innocence in messages sent from prison, he remains under scrutiny in connection to the deaths of Kristin Smith, Charity Perry, Bridget Webster, and Ashley Real. The Multnomah County District Attorney’s office has not disclosed a specific person of interest in these cases.

Speaks’ sister declined to comment on the ongoing investigation. Authorities have not publicly disclosed how the cases of the deceased women may be related, only stating that at least one person of interest is connected to multiple victims. The grand jury testimony next week may shed more light on the investigation and bring about potential developments in the case.

As the community awaits further information from the grand jury proceedings, the families of the victims seek closure and justice for their loved ones. The investigation into these tragic deaths continues, with law enforcement officials working diligently to piece together the circumstances surrounding the murders in the Portland area.