Documentation that proves Liysa was telling the truth
This page contains many of the court documents that Rick Swart provided to the Seattle Weekly, backing up the truthfulness of his story. The editors of the newspaper conducted an exhaustive review of the documentation Rick provided and wrote a follow-up article on Page 9 of their July 27, 2011 edition recapping their conclusions. Briefly, this is what they had to say: " ... in double-checking Swart's story, we've been able to confirm the accuracy of the facts supporting his main argument: (Ann) Rule wrote a one-sided account of Liysa's relationship and ignored evidence she'd been abused."
That is independent verification of what Liysa has said all along -- she was a battered woman and, as such, was justified in defending herself. Yet, former prosecutor Dan Ousley said there was no evidence Liysa was abused. He is just flat wrong and so is Ann Rule. Liysa has paid a horrible price for their deceptions.
- Photos of Liysa's Injuries
Photos of Liysa with blackeyes and other injuries she suffered at the hands of her abusive husband.
- Liysa's booking injury report
This is Liysa's booking injury report, taken at the Union County Jail
- A few specific instances of the abuse
This is a list of some of the instances of abuse. There are many others.
- Liysa improperly charged from the get-go by 3 good ol' boys
ORS 135.070 requires the judge to inform a defendant they have the right to speak up and answer an information hearing. Liysa has said all along it was self-defense; and had she been present in the courtroom to answer the charging information the judge would have seen her extensive injuries. The judge completely failed to follow this mandate, and this is an example of the corrupt old boy system that violated Liysa’s rights from the get-go. In this 10-minute audio recording you can hear for yourself that Judge Mendiguren failed to adhere to this mandate whatsoever.
- Respected businessman saw signs of abuse in 1996
- Respected international businessman George Gaines testifies under oath that he saw evidence Liysa was being abused as far back as 1996, the year Liysa and Chris were married, when she sought refuge at his Mendocino California ranch.
- Liysa's oldest son told police he saw mom abused
- This is an excerpt from interview conducted by Oregon State Police Detective Jim Van Atta's. He is interviewing Liysa’s oldest son right after the killing. The boy was 9 at the time and gives detailed and graphic examples of the horrific abuse he witnessed with his own eyes. He said he personally saw Chris Northon ram Liysa’s head against a table, throw chairs, books, and bottles at her, pull out her hair, and threaten to kill her and burn their house down. Despite this powerful testimony, District Attorney Dan Ousley said he could find no evidence of significant abuse???
- Liysa's initial attempts to end the abuse
- People ask why I "didn't just leave." I made many attempts to escape, all of them unsuccessful, because, in many cases, to do so would have endangered my children's lives.
- Chris Northon's Assault 4 arrest report
- This is the arrest report from Feb. 2, 1999 charging Chris Northon with Assault 4.
- How Chris Northon kept Liysa from testifying against him
- This is a copy of the envelope with the subpoena from Deschutes County District Attorney Michael Dugan to Liysa Northon, summoning her to Chris Northon's Assault 4 trial. She never got the summons because Chris intercepted and refused delivery of the certified envelope containing the subpoena. This file also contains the charges against Chris, the subpoena notifiying Liysa of the trial, and the dismissal based on insufficient evidence. The reason the evidence was insufficient is because Liysa wasn't there to testify because she never received notification of the trial -- Chris made sure of that.
- Private investigator notes show Chris Northon beat another woman
- Notes from defense attorney Pat Birmingham’s file that indicate Chris Northon was abusive to a previous girlfriend, Maka, and that flight attendants black-balled him because they considered him abusive.
- Family therapist notes following Bend assult
- Family therapist Ilana Fernandez’s notes following Liysa’s horrific beating in Bend. They talk about Chris’s pending assault trial, his violent behavior, her fears for herself and her children, a safety plan and other options that might help her and her children escape an abusive situation.
- Counselor said Liysa feared for her life
- Private Investigator Harold C. Nash’s notes from an interview with Northon family therapist Ilana Fernandez, who confirmed Liysa sought counseling for herself and her kids after Chris assaulted her in Bend in 1999. She verifies Liysa’s fears Chris was going to kill her if she tried to leave him. Fernandez tells Nash Liysa’s son was not coached about seeing Chris Northon repeatedly beat Liysa.
- Judge says Chris abused drugs/alcohol, and Liysa was abused
- Judge Stephen Tiktin’s ruling from Sept. 20, 2002 when he concludes Chris Northon abused drugs and alcohol and that Liysa was a victim of domestic violence.
- Court-appointed evaluator says Liysa was abused, Chris used drugs
- Here are excerpts from Billie Bell's report. Bell was the independent evaluator appointed by Deschutes County Circuit Court Judge Stephen Tiktin to look into the backgrounds of the people involved in the custody battle between Liysa and Chris Northon’s family. The report establishes that Liysa was indeed a victim of domestic abuse, and that Chris Northon had a substance abuse problem. By leaving this out of her book, Ann Rule consciously painted Chris Northon as a saint and made Liysa Northon out to be a conniving sociopath who fabricated a story about being abused, when the evidence says otherwise. How come the "Queen of True Crime" missed this? A deliberate lie or just more sloppy storytelling?
- Flight attendant tells investigator Chris acted out rape scenarios with old girlfriend
- Flight attendant Tori Ferni tells private investigator Harold Nash that Chris had a girlfriend in Fiji that he acted out rape scenes with. It is well known that men who have these kinds of fantasies are the most prone to killing their spouses.
- Birmingham says he'll refute claim Chris was shot 'execution style'
- Statement of Pat Birmingham, Liysa’s lawyer, saying he would be able to refute prosecution’s claim that Liysa shot Chris execution style.
- Verification District Attorney Ousley tampered with 'giggling pilots' tape
- Letter from defense attorney to custody trial attorney Valerie Wright outlining how Wallowa County District Attorney Dan Ousley tampered with evidence, i.e., erasing an audio tape of Chris Northon and a buddy figuring out how to beat drug tests at Hawaiian Airlines. Ousley claimed there was no evidence Chris Northon abused drugs. He made sure of it by erasing the tape.
- A list of defense witnesses and their expected testimony
- This is a list of defense witnesses and what they would have been expected to say had the trial gone forward and they were called. Note the absence of a Battered Women’s Syndrome expert, one of the reasons Liysa felt she’d been coerced by her attorney; she was expecting the BWS expert to explain to the jury that an email she’d written but never sent to her father would be normal for a woman who’d had the hell beat out of her for years.
- Polygraph report: Liysa truthful
- Here is a polygraph report in which Liysa lays out her account of what happened at the campground, and refutes Rule's accusation she used a stun gun to subdue Chris. Note the conclusion of the polygraph operator: “truthful”
- Private investigator finds sheriff destroyed evidence
- This is an affidavit filed by Sandra Gillman, the private investigator that Liysa's appeals attorney Laurie Bender hired to investigate Liysa's claims her attorney/client conversations were monitored (illegally) and that evidence of this was destroyed illegally tby he Union County Sheriff’s Office, after the police were served with subpoenas by Liysa’s defense team.)
- Deputy says sheriff illegally eavesdropped on Liysa/attorney
- Union County Deputy’s sworn testimony saying he witnessed staff at the Union County Sheriff’s Office illegally opening and reading privileged attorney/client mail.
- Deputy says sheriff's staff told to eavesdrop on Liysa/attorney
- Union County Deputy’s sworn testimony saying Union County Sheriff’s Office staff was directly to illegally eavesdrop on attorney/client conversations and mail.
- DA tampering with evidence that showed Chris abused drugs
- In this letter, Defense Attorney Pat Birmingham tells fellow attorney Valerie Wright that the "giggling pilots" audio tape was erased or tampered with while it was checked out to District Attorney Dan Ousley. This is tampering with evidence that would have confirmed what Liysa said all along -- that Chris abused drugs.
- Bystander says she heard Liysa being coerced
- Statement of witness at Wallowa County Courthouse who said she heard Liysa’s lawyer yell at her and threaten to walk off the case if she didn’t accept a plea bargain (coercion).
Appeals attorney says Birmingham lied in affidavit to Ann Rule
- Liysa’s appeals lawyer states that her trial lawyer, Pat Birmingham, filed an affidavit that contained falsehoods, misrepresentations of facts and statements of a speculative nature. Birmingham’s affidavit was given to Ann Rule, despite the fact it was sealed, and became the basis of her book.
- Oregon Supreme Court sealed defense attorney's sabotage, to no avail
The Oregon Supreme Court concurred that the perjured affidavit Liysa's attorney Pat Birmingham filed to cover his own butt after she accused him of ineffective counsel during her appeal should not see the light of day. So the court ordered the document sealed. It also sealed Judge Price’s opinion, which adopted verbatim Birmingham’s materially false affidavit as facts of the case during her appeal. Despite this Supreme Court mandate, that the document not to be turned over "to any other persons or offices, including law enforcement agencies, prosecutorial agencies or other interested persons" it mysteriously fell into the hands of Ann Rule and The Bend Bulletin, who maliciously cited it as the facts of the case (notably, without any rebuttal from Liysa!!). Rule initially said she got the sealed affidavit from Mr. Birmingham, but after he complained, changed her tune and said she got it from an undisclosed anonymous source. This breach not only sabotaged Liysa's reputation and due process rights, it undermined the authority of the State Supreme Court.
- District attorney's letter opposing clemency
- Wallowa County District Attorney Dan Ousley’s letter opposing Liysa’s clemency application, saying he saw no evidence of significant domestic abuse. He saw plenty of evidence – Aukai Kin’g’s eyewitness testimony, Liysa’s booking injury report, photos of her beaten, bruised and black-eyed. Still, he claims he saw nothing?
- Rule contradicts self on source of Birmingham affidavit
- Ann Rule says she didn’t receive an affidavit from Pat Birmingham, that it was sent to her “anonymously” in her own words, but her attorney says she did. Did she or didn’t she, inquiring minds want to know. It’s hard to know what the truth is when she is talking out both sides of her mouth in this way.
- Psychologist says Liysa not a sociopath
- Prison psychologist Gabe Gitness says in an email to a colleague that Liysa is the farthest thing from a sociopath that she has ever seen. That’s not what Ann Rule said. Still more proof Rule is unacquainted with the truth.
- Psychologist says beatings gave Liysa PTSD
- Prison psychologist Dr. Jolie Krechman says Liysa has Posttraumatic Stress Disorder caused by severe domestic violence in her marriage.
- Notes from Liysa's prison counseling sessions
- Notes from Liysa's prison counseling sessions. Her chief complaint to the counselor – that people don't believe her story and she feels abandoned by people close to her.
- Verification of Liysa's college degree proves Ann Rule falsehood
- Here is the independent verification of Liysa's college degree from the National Student Clearinghouse (an on-line degree verification service). Liysa attended college at the University of Hawaii under the name Liysa Ehlen (her name was Ehlen after her first marriage, to Mark Ehlen - and Ann Rule knew her by that name). The point is, Rule could have/should have verified this, didn't, and then beat Liysa up for embellishing her academic record by claiming she'd graduated from college. Truth is -- Liysa graduated from college. Truth is -- Rule said she didn't. Rule is flat wrong but never admitted it or corrected it, leading the reader to wonder what else did she lie about?
- Liysa demands Ann Rule retract false statements of fact
- In official retraction demands served upon Ann Rule by certified mail, Liysa demands that the author apologize for six false and defamatory statements she made on her web log ... or face legal action. These statements further demonstrate an ongoing pattern of hatred and malice directed at Liysa by the discredited author from Seattle.
- Booze and dope on sheriff's evidence sheet
- Evidence sheets for the bottle of Knob Creek whiskey, Kahlua, and marijuana that Rick Swart picked up the evidence at the Wallowa County Sheriff's Office on May 20, 2011. Despite the marijuana on the Sheriff’s own evidence sheet, District Attorney Dan Ousley said their was no evidence Chris Northon abused illegal drugs.
- Receipt for pilot home drug test kits
- This is a receipt for 50 drug test kits that Chris Northon purchased from Roche Diagnostic Systems in 1996. He and his pilot buddies used these kits to test themselves so they would not get busted by the airlines for using illegal drugs. When they tested positive they just called in sick or traded their scheduled flight with a buddy who could pass the drug test.
- Threatening letters at Liysa's custody trial
- This file contains two anonymous threatening letters introduced at the custody trial following Liysa’s conviction when Chris’s parents tried to take her son away. One of the letters is to Billie Bell, the court-appointed evaluator who concluded Liysa had been abused and that Chris abused drugs and alcohol. The other is to Don King (actually to his wife, Julianne), who ended up getting custody of the child since Liysa was incarcerated. To get to the bottom of all the allegations flying around about these letters, Judge Stephen Tikten took Liysa's suggestion that everybody take a polygraph test. They did. The polygraph test results are part of this file. Liysa passed hers as "truthful." Don King (her former husband, partner and the guy who ended up with the kid) passed his as "truthful." However, Chris's parents, Dick and Jeanne Northon, were both found to be "deceptive." At a minimum. this shows Liysa once again to be a truthful person. It also shows the kind of dirty dealings she’s had to face.
- Independent evaluator explains threatening letters
- This is another excerpt from independent evaluator Billie Bell's report in the custody trial. In these three pages she basically says the same person(s) wrote both threatening letters, that Billie Bell asked for and got court-ordered polygraphs for all the players in the custody case, and that only Dick and Jeanne Northon failed the polygraph. Liysa, Don King and the others passed.
- Letter clearing up insurance issue
- Here is the letter Liysa wrote to Pat Birmingham telling him about the insurance policies. She points out that Chris’s policy was small and hers was large because she thought he was going to kill her and wanted her boys to be OK financially after her death.
- Prenuptial agreement eliminates insurance, custody as motivein homocide
- This is Chris and Liysa's prenuptial agreement, which mandates that each of them was to purchase life insurance for the benefit of their child and that Liysa would get custody of their children in the event of a divorce.
- Judge who forgot he promised Liysa early out now has Alzheimers
- In compliance with 1997 Senate Bill 936, codified at ORS 137.750 (1), Judge Philip Mendiguren was required to state in open court whether or not Liysa is eligible for any sentence reduction. In this transcript from her sentencing hearing it is clear Judge Mendiguren said Liysa was eligible. If she wasn't, he was required by law to say so during the sentencing hearing. However, in violation of ORS 137.750 when it was time for the court to actually write up the Judgement Order the clerk failed to reference her promised eligibility. Without that written proof, when she got to prison the Department of Corrections would not admit her to the programs that would have resulted in her release in May 2011. This eligibility for programs was promised to Liysa in her plea bargain negotiations but not delivered. This is a clerical error that effectively has added 17 months to her sentence. It is an egregious breach of due process. In the spring of 2011 when Liysa asked Judge Mendiguren to fix this mistake, he refused. Since then he has resigned from the bench for medical reasons (Alzheimers disease).
- Shocking violations of the law by state of Oregon employees
- Liysa's right to due process was violated by a district attorney who tampered with evidence, a sheriff who shredded important documents, judges who failed to recuse themselves after reading Ann Rule's diatribe, and violations of the Violence Against Women's Act at many levels.
This site is will continue to be updated as time is available. Many more pages of supporting material remain to be included soon. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
The purpose of this site
For Liysa's personal statement about why she didn't leave Chris
Liysa's biographical Statement
Why I didn't leave Chris
Frequently Asked Questions about Liysa and her case
Liysa's rebuttal to Ann Rule's lies:
Liysa_ source.pdf - 496K Download
My Children's First
Simple Questions Children Ask
Yoga on the Inside
Strangulation is a Misdemeanor?
Prison Reform Network
DivorceNet - What is Battered Woman's Syndrome?
Battered women who kill in non-beating situation have self-defense right
National Clearing-house for the Defense of Battered Women
Worldwide Women's Criminal Justice Network
with Getty Images:
SEATTLE WEEKLY ARTICLE DISCREDITING ANN RULE'S BOOK ABOUT LIYSA
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY THE WALLOWA COUNTY CHIEFTAIN REFUSED TO PRINT
THE SUNDAY OREGONIAN'S FRONT PAGE FEATURE