NakashimaIt was a murder that threw Tere Ryder for a loop in

NakashimaIt was a murder that threw Tere Ryder for a loop in 1976 and, almost 35 years later, for a couple more. In 2010, she had just moved to Edmonds where the decomposed body of her 15-year-old half sister Allison Nakashima was found dumped in a woodsy area in April, 1976 – a case that Ryder years ago had been told was solved. Then she found out it wasn’t, and was.Ryder and her partner Gayle Ketzel were at a local market waiting for a deli order when they noticed a uniformed Edmonds police officer standing nearby. Aware that Ryder had recently been wondering aloud about her half-sister’s long-ago homicide, Ketzel asked the cop how they could find out more about an old murder case.”He seemed surprised when I piped in with the name ‘Allison Nakashima,'” Ryder recalls, “and he said they had just been going through her case boxes at the police station! I was shocked to find out that the case was still open.”As we report in this week’s cover story, what Ryder later learned is that the murder of Allison Nakashima – one of just two unsolved homicides on Edmonds police books – is a shut and open case. It is solved, authorities feel, but not officially closed.

The killer has been identified, although he is not the man Ryder had thought was the murderer. And while police now confirm her long belief that the slaying was indeed solved, she’s even less convinced today. “How can it be solved when it’s open?” she asks of what has become a stubborn riddle in her life.As an added twist, the man police say did the killing will never be convicted of it – or of any other slaying and numerous rapes from here to California that investigators suspect he committed.

“He’s the genuine real deal,” says Edmonds police detective Dave Honnen, “a serial rapist and killer, a Ted Bundy type. You probably never heard of him. The whole story’s never been told.” Until now.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

More in News & Comment

This screenshot from Auburn Police Department bodycam footage shows an officer about to fire his weapon and kill dog on May 13, 2022.
Auburn police shoot dog, and owner claims it wasn’t justified

See videos of attack as well as bodycam footage of officer firing at dog.

File photo.
King County Council approves creation of Cannabis Safety Taskforce amid rash of dispensary robberies

The multi-agency task force will cooperate to find ways to improve safety in the cash-only industry.

Screenshot from ORCA website
New ORCA system launches for regional transit across the Puget Sound

Overhaul includes new website, mobile application and digital business account manager.

Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
JUDGED BY XII (Episode 4): Foster mom wants accountability in Auburn cop’s upcoming murder trial

Special podcast series explores Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.

Diane Renee Erdmann and Bernard Ross Hansen. Photos courtesy of FBI
FBI arrests Auburn couple after 11-day manhunt

The couple was previously convicted for fraud and skipped sentencing on April 29.

Screenshot from Barnes and Noble website
Cover art of books that KSD Librarian Gavin Downing says have been under fire: “Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts),” by Lev A.C. Rosen, “If I Was Your Girl,” by Meredith Russo, and “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” by George Matthew Johnson.
Kent middle school librarian wins intellectual freedom award

Gavin Downing refused to keep ‘silence in the library’ amid attempted book banning and censorship.

Kent elementary school teacher accused of using racist language toward student

River Ridge Elementary instructor placed on administrative leave by Kent School District.

FILE PHOTO: King County Sheriff’s Office deputies.
Dozens of King County Sheriff’s Office employees left jobs instead of getting vaccinated

This added on to the existing number of vacancies in the department.

Joann and Allan Thomas are flanked in court by their attorneys Terrence Kellogg (fourth from the right) and John Henry Browne (far right) on May 10, 2022. Judge Richard Jones is presiding over the case. Sketch by Seattle-based artist Lois Silver
At drainage district corruption trial, it’s a tale of dueling conspiracies

Allan and Joann Thomas are in trial in Seattle on fraud charges.

Most Read