Confessions of a killer are released

Troubled by society, threatened by law enforcers and looking for a way to "go out with an action-packed bang" are ways authorities say slain gunman Shawn Matthew Roe described himself in the pages of his journal, which was released last week.

Conversely, the hand-scribbled notes that drifted from print to cursive also describe a man trying to reach an inner peace through seclusion in the Olympic National Forest.

"It's a beautiful day. Blue sky, fresh air and green treetops as far as you can see ... Nothing goes to waste out here! There is something for everything," Roe writes in the early pages of his notebook.

But later he pens, "This will definitely end in gunplay. I'm all for the rush, but don't want to hurt an innocent person ... My mind is in a bad place ... I'll go Bonnie and Clyde for sure."

Roe shot and killed two people from Clallam County on Sept. 20 at separate locations in a rural area southwest of Sequim. One victim was Kristine Fairbanks, a 51-year-old U.S. Forest Service officer, and the other was Richard Ziegler, 59, a newcomer retiree to Sequim.

Two Clallam County Sheriff's deputies shot and killed Roe that evening after he reportedly drew a pistol and pointed it in their direction after exiting the Longhouse Deli and Market in Blyn.

"I think the journal really explains a lot regarding his character that didn't come out in early investigation releases," Clallam County Sheriff Bill Benedict said, indicating he believed Roe's writings went up to within a few days of the shootings.

"Page by page you can see his writings spiraling from serenity to homicidal rage and to a peaceful state again before becoming even more violent."

Testimony from Roe's immediate and estranged families, released along with his journal in a Washington State Patrol investigation report, match Benedict's analysis.

Several people in his family, whose full names had been redacted from the report, said they believed he had been looking for a "suicide by cop" for some time, even dating back to his most recent unlawful imprisonment and malicious mischief felony convictions relating to a domestic dispute with his ex-wife.

Roe was under Washington Department of Corrections supervision for the crimes at the time of his death. However, he indicated to several people, including his corrections officer, he would no longer report for probation.

A warrant for his arrest was winding its way through the court system. It had not been issued by the time Fairbanks first contacted Roe in the forest for his failure to have license plates on his van. Roe shot her in the head sometime after 2:30 p.m.

"People do drop off the radar that are in (Department of Corrections) probation and unfortunately, he may have believed Kris Fairbanks was contacting him about that, but she couldn't have known," Benedict said. "This is a hard case. I am glad to say he did not get away."

After shooting Fairbanks, Roe fled the scene, which was near the Dungeness Forks Campground, in his van. He ditched the van a few miles away and proceeded through the woods along Palo Alto Road and Louella Road on foot until he came across Ziegler, who was working on his home.

Roe shot him and stole his truck. Roe went unseen and undetected for hours until he stopped at the Blyn deli, where officers had distributed his photo earlier in the evening.

The store clerk called 9-1-1 and deputies Matthew Murphy and Andrew Wagner responded to the store within minutes, ordered Roe to the ground as he exited the store with a bottle and shot him when he drew

a firearm.

"Given his criminal history and what we've read in his journal, he had much bigger plans than the two shootings here," Benedict said. "Every indication is that he would have taken that bottle of whiskey with him to Shelton and extended his killing spree."

"It does tempt me to go rain destruction on Shelton," Roe wrote in his notebook.

Shelton is where he believed his estranged wife, daughter and mother-in-law lived and where he once had lived as well, although his last known address was with family in Everett.

Roe had three guns on his person and "plenty" of additional ammunition when stopped by deputies, including Fairbank's issued firearm and her two replacement magazines.

The state report said a bullet casing from a gun in Roe's possession was discovered by his body and that several witnesses heard deputies give warnings to Roe before firing. The report stated the deputies had justifiably used deadly force.

Wagner and Murphy both received commendations for their actions from Benedict and his office.

Benedict said the state's report on Roe's death is finished. His own report on Ziegler's death is nearly complete and is waiting for a ballistics report to determine which gun Roe used. The FBI is in charge of the investigation of Fairbanks' murder and a report has not yet been released.

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