West Seattle Crime Watch: ‘Flasher’ suspect Duane Atwood charged, re-jailed, under investigation in other cases

July 30, 2014 at 4:46 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 79 Comments

(ADDED THURSDAY MORNING: 2002 mug shot from state Department of Corrections, at right) 37-year-old Duane Atwood, arrested in connection with a “flasher” incident on Beach Drive last week, is back in jail, charged with two felonies – indecent exposure and failure to register as a sex offender – and court papers say he is expected to be charged in another case soon. We first reported on his arrest last Saturday; his bail was set at $100,000 and, after posting bond, he was released that night, with a court date set for this afternoon. At today’s appearance, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office tells us, Atwood’s bail was increased to $250,000 and he was re-arrested. Court documents include more information on this case and on the conviction that led to his status as a Level 2 Registered Sex Offender, and they say he is under investigation for the two recent, similar incidents – both also reported here (July 15th report here, July 18th report here) – as well as an unrelated crime last year.

As noted in previous reports, Atwood’s arson/burglary conviction was from 2000, and aside from a docket notation that it was a conviction for arson and burglary with sexual motivation, no other details were available online. In the charging papers, however, we find:

… the defendant set a fire on the deck of a residence of two adult females and using paint, wrote the word “Rape” on the sliding glass door. The defendant also left pornographic pictures on the door to the residence. The defendant entered the residence through a broken window and burglarized the residence, taking a purse and other personal items. When the females woke up the next morning, they discovered a fire smoldering on the deck, as well as the “rape” on the window and the nude photos of females attached to their front door. Shortly after, the phone rang and it was the defendant, telling them that he was the one they were looking for. He stated, “I wanted to f— you but you wouldn’t let me, but now I’m coming back for you.” The females called 911. The defendant was identified by his fingerprints and admitted what he had done.

He went to prison until 2002 but did not get sex-offender treatment, though he has been classified as a “dangerous mentally ill sex offender.” The court papers say he moved out of state and then moved back here in late 2010 but has not registered. They also say that while investigating this case, detectives discovered an allegation that he made telephond death threats against a female acquaintance last year – starting with sexual insinuation, then telling her he would rape and murder her – and that charges are expected in that case soon. And, the documents say, he has threatened to kill his ex-wife and is the subject of a restraining order because of that.

We’re still reading the documents for anything more to add. Atwood is scheduled for arraignment in two weeks. His arrest followed information given to police by the woman who told them she saw him exposing himself in a silver SUV the evening of Tuesday, July 22nd, at Beach Drive/Orleans (near Cormorant Cove Park); as she commented here, she got a license plate number, and that led police to a car owned by the defendant’s father.

79 Comments

  1. what a massive piece of human garbage. I can only imagine what else he has done since 2002 when he was considered a dangerous mentally ill sex offender. lock him up forever, no amount of “sex offender treatment” will fix this swine.

    Comment by flimflam — 5:18 pm July 30, 2014 #

  2. mentally ill….and therein lies a big problem in this country. We need to take care of our mentally ill better as a whole. Jail won’t do anything for him…and then he’ll get out…and repeat…

    Comment by JanS — 5:29 pm July 30, 2014 #

  3. @JanS, so are you saying he’s not responsible for his behavior, but rather he has an illness which he can’t help? Just trying to understand where you’re coming from.

    Comment by CE — 5:51 pm July 30, 2014 #

  4. Most mentally ill people aren’t sex offenders. And I agree Jan, our country is woefully behind the rest of the developed world in regards to mental health.
    -
    Certainly rapists/flashers/perverts are mentally ill. There’s no treatment for *this* brand of mental illness. Not even castration is a foolproof cure. Indefinite incarceration is the only way to safely deal with people like Duane Atwood and his ilk.

    Comment by ScubaFrog — 5:53 pm July 30, 2014 #

  5. I will be the first to publicly stand up for Duane as he is one of my best friends. I have known him for over 20 years. Life has not been kind to him but to call him human garbage is down right rude and overly mean. Duane may have issues but who the hell are you or any of us to judge another person who has been in pain for years. I lived with the guy for a while and we have talked many times. I’d put my life and my son’s life in his hands. Duane has issues yes but we all have issues in some form or another. Get off your high horse of being judgemental of him and get the facts.

    Comment by yaten24 — 5:57 pm July 30, 2014 #

  6. A big “thank you” to the Beach Drive witness who was able to get the license # and put this guy in jail.

    Comment by anonyme — 6:35 pm July 30, 2014 #

  7. oh come on. so now its mean to speak ill of a repeat sex offender that won’t register and continues to offend? oh this poor poor man. it must have been so difficult to paint “rape” on the window of (just one of) his victim(s). I wish him all the best. phhht.

    Comment by flimflam — 6:49 pm July 30, 2014 #

  8. @Yaten24- Heres the facts. Your “friend” has terrorized our community for way too long and doesn’t belong wondering our streets and committing nasty acts against our women and children. We have a right to protect ourselves and if that means long term jail time or being committed, so be it. If my “friend” was a predator, I would no longer be their friend no matter what their issues are. Would you have been his friend still, had he raped or killed someone? I have no empathy for Duane, he is a grown man and if he has issues then he should’ve been seeking help for them, not taking it out on our community who prides itself with protecting one another in situations like these. If your “friend” ever violated my child, you’d be able to pick Duane up in a box.

    Comment by alki Resident — 6:56 pm July 30, 2014 #

  9. Could this be the same person who flashed children several times in the area of Westside School?

    Comment by Alki Bee — 6:59 pm July 30, 2014 #

  10. Yaten24-Are you sure he hasn’t exposed himself to your child (whose life would put in Duane’s hands)?

    Comment by Marianne — 7:24 pm July 30, 2014 #

  11. You’re welcome. I’m glad I could help put him away.

    Comment by Caughthim? — 7:58 pm July 30, 2014 #

  12. Is there a picture/mugshot of this creep anywhere? Want to stay far away

    Comment by AG — 8:03 pm July 30, 2014 #

  13. Yay to the lady that had the courage and strength to get the license plate number! You have saved many in the community from this beast. Lock him up for good.

    Comment by WsBoB — 8:10 pm July 30, 2014 #

  14. If duane ever harmed a child I would be first in line to help him in that box but the point is he hasn’t. My point to my statement is you don’t know his story and yet are quick to judge someone you don’t even know and to say he’s terrorized folks is a bit extreme. I could see that word being used if it had been happening for weeks but seriously 2 times in 3 days. He may be sick and need help yes. Will I be there for him to get the help yes. It just makes me sick to think he did this but what sickens me more is this lovely forum and hatred towards him when I bet 10$ none of you know him or let alone grew up with him.

    Comment by yaten24 — 8:13 pm July 30, 2014 #

  15. Like others in the community, I was also around him in my teen years. It sickens me to think that I was in his presence on numerous occasions. I’m sorry for those victimized by his actions and I hope that he the punishment he deserves and the help that he needs, for the sake of our community.

    Comment by Appalled — 9:00 pm July 30, 2014 #

  16. I doubt it was just 2 times. It has happening all over West Seattle for about a year now.

    Comment by Gina — 9:09 pm July 30, 2014 #

  17. @yaten24 You choose to be friends with a violent misogynist whose presence and actions make women feel unsafe and threatened – that says more about you than us. You don’t need to be on a first-name basis with a guy to have the right to judge him for his terrifying behavior towards women.

    Comment by Sarisah — 9:19 pm July 30, 2014 #

  18. @WSBOB- Yes, you are so right, this woman may have saved someone for sure. My daughters friend was flashed this last school year near Madison school and she’s only 13. He was also doing his business besides that which no 13 year old girl should have to see. So many people have been on edge all school year because of these men and the more we hear about it, the more angry we become as parents. These predators are very lucky the cops got them before us parents did.
    @Yaten24- I refuse to believe that Duane has only done this two times, its clear he has a record and if he’s not locked up he will reoffend. Men don’t get cured from this kind of behavior. Not to mention the fact that he has set fire, threatened rape and murder which is so flippin scary.
    The woman who reported him recently is our HERO.

    Comment by alki Resident — 9:33 pm July 30, 2014 #

  19. @ Yaten24 – I’m sure the victims in those 2 incidents did feel terrorized. I certainly would have. As his friend, you’re in an unique position to support him as he faces the consequences of his actions.

    Comment by M — 9:36 pm July 30, 2014 #

  20. I think standing up for a friend, especially in a situation like this, is a very hard thing to do.
    I also just read that this person threatened two woman, not just threatened them but lite their house on fire because they would not have sex with him.
    So…it’s not ok to commit horrible crimes to children. (Even the friend admits he put him in a box), but it is ok to burn people alive? I’m assuming this was his intention?
    I’m sorry for this mental illness. I’m sorry that the friend is put in this situation. I’m really sorry for the victims of the crimes.
    I hope that the appropriate measures will be taken to assure non of this continues to happen.

    Comment by Muffaluffagus — 9:47 pm July 30, 2014 #

  21. If this is the Duane Atwood I’m thinking of, he’s old school West Seattle and there will likely be more posts defending him and this could get very ugly. I think we can all agree that based on this story he looks 100% completely worthy of these comments and people are just reacting to that and you can’t blame them.

    Comment by UhOh — 10:01 pm July 30, 2014 #

  22. well, glad at least that he has some friends and support even tho his actions sicken me. Its the true loners that are so problematic.

    Comment by CeCeM — 10:44 pm July 30, 2014 #

  23. @Sarisah I chose to be friends with a person whom I have known for nearly 20 years and is in pain and needs help. I don’t judge him for what he’s been through or what he’s going through now. You assume that his issue was with women. you and others that have posted on here must be perfect. That’s exactly what’s wrong with West Seattle. To many people acting like they are perfect and passing judgement on others whom have had a hard difficult life and only need someone who’s compassionate to help them get out of the situation they are in and not condem them. I know his motivations were not directed at women. He’s struggling with things I am sure you have never considered in your life. So how about everyone stop with the judgements and saying he deserves what he gets and maybe show a little compassion for someone who has been screwed by the system and socieity. or just continue to act perfect and judge and continue to be exactly what’s wrong with socieity. I am not condoning what he did but I am his friend and will not sit by and watch you all degrade him or defame his character. He created a non profit orginization to help those in need. Bet none of you knew that or bothered to look into the man he really is. No you just sit behind your keyboards and pass judgement on him.
    “Let he who has no sin throw the first stone.”

    Comment by yaten24 — 11:04 pm July 30, 2014 #

  24. @UhOh I cannot blame them for reacting. what I can blame them for is that lack of tact on the matter.

    Comment by yaten24 — 11:06 pm July 30, 2014 #

  25. @alki Resident as I am sure you are going to believe what you want but i lived with the guy grew up with him and I have no reason to not be his friend or on his side when he’s being percicuted publicly like this. 14 years ago he made a mistake which still haunts him. He’s been through more than one person ever should.

    Comment by yaten24 — 11:11 pm July 30, 2014 #

  26. @Marianne My son is at an age where he would tell me if something happened no matter what. I have instilled that in him for anyone who does something to him that’s not appropriate. Bite run kick scream do what ever it takes to get away from crap like that. I am not stupid or a bad parent. Like I said earlier I would be the first in line to put him in the ground if Duane hurt or did anything to a child. My post are to defend Duane not have to explain myself or my own actions as his friend.

    Comment by yaten24 — 11:15 pm July 30, 2014 #

  27. @yaten24: Jerry Sandusky also created a non profit organization to help those in need. You are an adult and if you choose to be an enabler, that’s your business. I hope your son is in a position to protect himself if you are wrong, and also that he doesn’t take this man as a role model.

    Comment by Alphonse — 11:42 pm July 30, 2014 #

  28. Yaten, I do hope your son would confide in you. However, it can be a very daunting task for a child to tell a parent that a friend or family member has abused them. From personal experience, I caution you not to underestimate what your child may be capable of doing in order to protect you, including hiding from you what another adult you trust is doing to him.

    Comment by Scooterista — 1:38 am July 31, 2014 #

  29. Yaten24, would you happen to know if the family’s silver Pathfinder has a Mariners sticker on the back of it?

    Comment by CandrewB — 5:41 am July 31, 2014 #

  30. @yaten24: Your friend refuses to live in integrity and accept that he is a sexual offender by registering. It’s been over a decade. He’s unwilling to start the process of helping himself normalize in society. He’s still actively an offender.

    No amount of back story or hardship in his life makes this right.

    Comment by JK — 5:50 am July 31, 2014 #

  31. @Alphonse, do you have training to determine when someone is an enabler?

    @ScubaFrog, do you know much about treatment for mentally ill individuals? Obviously you don’t know that there is a big majority of mentally ill individuals who are sex offenders. Yes, not all are but most sex offenders have some type of mental illness that allows some type of lack of impulse control among other things that can lead to sexual deviation. However, you are wrong in believing there is no treatment, the fact is that not the same treatment works on everyone, therefore it takes a lot of money to work with someone through their issues therefore costing a lot of money, money that the state and/or government doesn’t want to spend so they would rather lock people up and have them sit in jail rather than actually be treated and receive help for their mental illness.

    I’m not taking anything away from his victims and I hope that they are able to receive the correct treatment to help them overcome being exposed to this because as a victim of two sexual crimes when I was younger and as someone who now works in the mental health field, treating a variety of clients with addictions including ones of sexual variation I understand both sides of this, something that those who are throwing stones are not able to. Locking him up won’t do anything if he doesn’t receive the help he needs. Right now everyone involved, including Duane need the support of their family and friends as they deal with the repercussions and search for answers so that they can move on and hopefully recover.

    Comment by librarabbit — 6:06 am July 31, 2014 #

  32. To all of Duane’s defenders – just think of the “acts” he has done. These are based on a deep-seated hatred toward women. There is no other basis – unlike a drug addict who commits crimes to support their habit. This is compulsion that can lead to rape and murder. Feel sorry for the guy all you want. My sympathy is with the victims and future victims. Everytime I see or here”don’t be judgemental” it always seems to relate to somthing that hurts others – its okay to mess up the lives of others? Do you not have daughters, wives, girlfriends? Have you ever been attacked yourself?

    Comment by WestofJunction — 7:09 am July 31, 2014 #

  33. @yaten24 : This creep broke the law, so he deserves what he gets. Especially with violence against women, which is all too prevalent in our society. If you thought so highly of this low life, where were you when he needed “help”? Maybe with all your energy your wasting defending this unregistered sex offender, you can bail him out and get him the help you so strongly think he needs. Good Luck on that one.

    Comment by earth first ed — 7:36 am July 31, 2014 #

  34. yaten — your friend’s “right” not to be judged ended when he threatened, stalked, harassed, and yes, terrorized children and adults. Not to mention trespassed, and vandalized others’ property.

    Plenty of people have hard childhoods and bad luck — but don’t take it out on others.

    Comment by LivesInWS — 8:28 am July 31, 2014 #

  35. I am still reeling from the fact that this guy’s buddy allows his son to be around this creep. What in the hell are you thinking?

    You say he made a mistake along time ago so what excuse do you give him now? Bad life? Bad childhood? I don’t care if he grew up on a rock somewhere, there is NO EXCUSE for this type of behavior. He has more than just mental issues. He has the ability to become a sexual predator.

    Comment by T Rex — 8:41 am July 31, 2014 #

  36. There was a question about a photo. If you’ve missed this explanation before – local authorities don’t make them available, to media or anyone else, except for the occasional active manhunt. So the only way to get one is a request from the state Department of Corrections, if the person has served prison time. We sent that request yesterday and just received the most recent one they have, which is from 2002, and that photo is now added to the start of this story. The King County sex-offender registry added him the other day, mentioned in our previous report, but the listing continues to say “no photo available.” http://www.icrimewatch.net/offenderdetails.php?OfndrID=824276&AgencyID=54473

    Comment by WSB — 8:52 am July 31, 2014 #

  37. Someone just texted that the photo is not the right person. So we’ll pull it temporarily while re-verifying with the Department of Corrections.

    Comment by WSB — 9:10 am July 31, 2014 #

  38. …and they acknowledged their error. Have just added what they say is the correct photo.

    Comment by WSB — 9:15 am July 31, 2014 #

  39. That is indeed the person that many of us knew from West Seattle – going to school with, growing up with, and having a few laughs with. Back then, we didn’t know what he would become – and certainly wouldn’t have wished for any of this, for either him or our community. Defending his actions and saying that he’s had a rough life doesn’t serve any of us, I believe, in the long run. Pray for him, and all of us who are/were in his orbit, and that the punishment will assist Duane and the West Seattle community in it’s healing process.

    Comment by frmrwestsdr — 9:29 am July 31, 2014 #

  40. @yaten24 – No amount of quarreling/sticking up for this guy is going to change how most of the rest of us are going to feel about him. He is scum and will always be scum in the eyes of most of West Seattle. What he has done to his victims and the community of West Seattle has no excuse no matter what has happened in his past. Also think about what he has done to his parents who have to live here and deal with what their son has don’t too there community.

    Comment by S — 9:34 am July 31, 2014 #

  41. @librarabbit: Yes.

    Comment by Alphonse — 10:41 am July 31, 2014 #

  42. @CE…not making excuses for him..just a statement about the neglect of the mentally ill in this country. I do suppose that if he’s truly mentally ill, that plays a part in his behavior….but we don’t treat, we incarcerate, and prisons don’t do anything different for mentally ill people who need to be treated.

    Comment by JanS — 10:46 am July 31, 2014 #

  43. @Yaten24 – raise your personal bar and meet some better people to hang out with and bring around your son. This guy is damaged goods beyond repair and a threat to society.
    .
    @ all the bleeding hearts on this forum – Please stop pretending we can fix everyone with hugs and denial. There are evil people in this world that like to harm others. It’s simple. As a society we have to remove them.

    Comment by Cut to the Chase Jason — 11:02 am July 31, 2014 #

  44. Friendship and loyalty are wonderful traits. It is a good thing when offenders retain friends who remember the offender’s fundamental identity as a human being.
    .
    It’s good for all of us to realize that crimes such as these can be done by, well, everyday people, not just monsters. Community safety is compromised when we think that only the friendless (or “scum”) can be offenders, because when we think that way, we start setting aside common sense safety mechanisms. If we believe that only “scum” commit crimes, then we teach our children “don’t talk to strangers” and leave them ill-equiped to be safe ALL the time.
    .
    yaten24, being a loyal friend is laudable, but I really don’t see how denying the gravity of the crime is the right thing for a friend to do. Imagine you had a friend with cancer; how would you express your friendship? Would you deny that the cancer exists, or would you support your friend by promising to go to appointments with him, visit him in the hospital, etc? Don’t deny gravity of the crime. That doesn’t support your friend. Instead, be there for your friend by showing up at his court dates, writing to him in prison, and visiting him in prison. You can be there for him as someone who recognizes and values his humanity, without denying his crime.
    .

    Comment by Community Member — 11:19 am July 31, 2014 #

  45. He has refused treatment since 2001 and continues to victimize. Those standing up for him are enabling a predator.

    Comment by Petunia — 11:21 am July 31, 2014 #

  46. @Yaten24 – Generally sticking by a friend during a rough patch or tough times is what a friend should do – BUT – sticking by a “friend” who you KNOW has committed these DISGUSTING and SICK crimes doesn’t speak well on your part. I know you and Duane (not by any means friends with him) and i’ll be honest – This just sickens me to my core! You keep making excuses for him! Yes, everyone does have struggles in life but we have choices to do right or wrong. Duane actively chose to commit these crimes. Duane should be put away for good. The terror he created for these women and the community is unspeakable. My advice to you is choose your friends better especially when you have a child!!

    Comment by ugh! — 11:21 am July 31, 2014 #

  47. THANK YOU for the photo; even if it is 12 yrs old, VERY helpful; since I live in Admiral, and travel throughout my neighborhood alone, as a single woman; and I try to be open/patient/tolerant whenever in the same space with people who are clearly homeless, or otherwise questionable (you honestly cannot tell who the “bad guys” are just by appearance); having this photo is really appreciated so I can be on alert if I see a male who looks like this photo
    ~
    does the sex offender list not require photos? Is there any chance a current photo may be provided soon?

    Comment by Diane — 12:49 pm July 31, 2014 #

  48. It’s also incredibly important to remember that listening to people defending an admitted violent offender is INCREDIBLY triggering for survivors. Please think about that before defending someone just because you know them (or think that you know them.)

    Comment by UhOh — 12:53 pm July 31, 2014 #

  49. Diane – almost always, that site includes photos. When I get further down today’s list a bit, I’m going to ask the Sheriff’s Office how that works – because, for example, I would imagine that Duane Atwood was photographed while in custody the first time – just because they don’t provide mugshots to media here doesn’t mean they’re not taken. For example, remember the kerfuffle over Michael Stanley, the American rapist who escaped Canadian surveillance and was arrested in an Admiral alley? A new photo of him turned up on the registry relatively quickly. http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/new-photo-of-michael-s-stanley-out-of-jail-sex-offender … TR

    Comment by WSB — 1:02 pm July 31, 2014 #

  50. I hope law enforcement is reaching out to the sex crime units of the out of state cities/city this man was living in from 2002-2010 just in case they have unsolved cases that he might be connected to. Sadly, based on his behavior I’m sure there are more victims and probably even worse crimes he hasn’t admitted to yet.

    Comment by WS Neighbor — 1:18 pm July 31, 2014 #

  51. thank you TR

    Comment by Diane — 2:43 pm July 31, 2014 #

  52. I hope this guy gets the help he clearly needs if found guilty and that all involved are able to move on with their lives.

    Comment by Phil Yerbeer — 5:46 pm July 31, 2014 #

  53. @librarabbit – nice post. I would never defend a sex offender, in fact I find it to be pretty much the one thing I just have zero tolerance for. But I can admit that I know nothing about what is curable and what is not, and that we have a problem generally with dealing with mental health issues.
    .
    I’m not sure if standing up for someone is considered enabling, it seems fair enough a long-time friend would want to at least make a statement that this person is not human garbage. He doesn’t have to approve of his crime to feel compassion toward him.
    .
    Seems like there is this weird new trend forming where people are very comfortable stating their emotion-based beliefs as facts, and do so with quite a lot of confidence. It’s not a good look folks.

    Comment by Jason — 5:54 pm July 31, 2014 #

  54. I’ve recently met and talked to Duane on a few occasions. He seemed like a really nice person. I had no idea about his past. I usually look at the photos of sex offenders when they notify the neighborhood that they will be moving in. If I had seen his photo I may have acted differently when I met him. I feel cheated or something like that. I hope he gets better.

    Comment by Guy Olson — 6:16 pm July 31, 2014 #

  55. guy olson, he won’t “get better”. he’ll probably get better at his awful schemes and tactics though. no reason this person should ever be out of jail.

    Comment by flimflem — 6:38 pm July 31, 2014 #

  56. Real cute “call names” or “blog names” on here people. That really helps the problem. Way to West Seattle.

    Comment by Guy Olson — 7:11 pm July 31, 2014 #

  57. @Guy – I like them. They sometimes help lighten the load on difficult topics.

    Comment by Stan Downman — 7:46 pm July 31, 2014 #

  58. Some people tend to spam aggressiveness on these WSB comments. Maybe it would be better to limit post on stories to one per poster?

    Comment by cj — 9:23 pm July 31, 2014 #

  59. Community mem…
    Perfectly said.

    Comment by Muffaluffagus — 9:26 pm July 31, 2014 #

  60. Does it matter if he’s crazy? My mother worked at Marcy State Mental hospital for the criminally insane for 30 years in upstate NY. In all that time I have never heard a compelling argument as to why it matters if someone is mentally ill when they commit terrible acts. If a rabid animal attacks my family do you think I care if the animal is motivated by some mental state within it’s ability to control or it’s just a poor critter driven mad with disease? No, I don’t care because either way the threat has to be mitigated.If you have a cure, fix it, if not, isolate it.

    Comment by thistle stairs — 9:51 pm July 31, 2014 #

  61. In my job, I’ve worked with countless mentally ill. One thing I’ve noticed is that perpetrators always have a sob story and refuse to take responsibility for their own actions, often have a very friendly and lost puppydog type of demeanor that stirs sympathy in others (manipulation), and usually are surrounded by a few gullible souls who enable them. Evil truly does not recognize its own face — this guy will look in a mirror and perceive only a victim in that reflection, and enablers will reinforce this belief. Someone who offends repeatedly to the point of traumatizing children and starting fires is lacking empathy for other human beings.

    Comment by evergreen — 11:11 pm July 31, 2014 #

  62. Evergreen, thank you for bringing up the “E” word – there are actions that are truly evil. Duane refused treatment. He commits acts that are incomprehendsible to us. This is not a gambling addiction or drug addiction. He is unpredictable and dangerous.

    Comment by WestofJunction — 6:54 am August 1, 2014 #

  63. My best friend from high school was shot in the face by her ex-husband, who knew their teenage daughter would find her mother’s body. In the newspaper account, neighbors described him as friendly and always smiling. He made threats before the murder but she felt she had no financial choice but to continue going to work and living her life.
    I have no sympathy for predators. They menace others in an attempt to gain power/gratification. And often follow through on threats. Just because you are not their targeted victim, don’t underestimate the terror they inflict on others.

    Comment by FionaEnzo — 7:34 am August 1, 2014 #

  64. I thought I knew Duane for twenty years… It just goes to show you that you never TRULY know ANYONE. I am sick to my stomach over what he did. His crimes were a choice, whether or not he could control his feelings. We always have a choice. He chose to do this to women and underage girls! He chose not to register as a sex offender and he also chose not to seek treatment. He did not consider the feelings of the women and young girls that he violated. They are the ones we should be defending. What Duane did is INEXCUSABLE and DESPICABLE. NO ONE should EVER defend a sexual predator. The ONLY thing you are saying when you excuse his actions is that you can relate to them.

    Comment by WestSeaFoLia — 9:37 am August 1, 2014 #

  65. Big thank you to the woman who reported this guy to the police. You have made our community a safer place. I feel like anyone who would knowingly leave their kids with this guy honestly deserves a CPS visit. That is not responsible parenting.

    Comment by Beachdrivegirl — 1:33 pm August 1, 2014 #

  66. I agree that when crimes are as violent as the ones that he committed, it shouldn’t really matter what his mental state was. The state of mental health care in this country is absolutely pathetic – but that doesn’t mean that we need to have empathy for a person who would do these things. There’s a reason that it’s not a logical reaction to empathize – because this person is a threat and at a certain point you have to realize he’s better off away from other people whether he’s receiving treatment or not.

    Comment by UhOh — 5:16 pm August 1, 2014 #

  67. UhOh, instead of saying “no empathy,” why couldn’t we have a different kind of empathy that insists on, say, humane prison conditions? With decent medical care, mental health treatment, and humane conditions during incarceration? I want a safe community, and of course that often
    necessitates incarceration of criminals, especially repeat criminals. It is better for everyone involved when criminals are caught and prosecuted, and some times people do need to go away for a very long time, for the safety of the community, so it’s a good thing that the witness was able to report the license plate and the police could identify and arrest the accused. But horrible as the crimes are, sad as it all is, is it really made better by figuratively burning someone in effigy in blog comments? Let the prosecutors and police do their work. Be glad when the incarcerated have friends on the outside.

    WestSeaFoLia – but the accused WILL be defended – by a lawyer at least. It’s in the constitution.

    Guy – I’ve chosen to use a pseudonym on many discussions because they aren’t topics that I necessarily would want to come up on a Google Search of my real name.

    Comment by Community Member — 10:25 pm August 1, 2014 #

  68. To everyone on this blog who is so quick to bash Duane and myself for being someone and probably the only one in this area who will stick up for him. The only thing that has been proven about Duane is the issue he had 14 years ago. I am not defending that action. I am defending the man who he has become. He’s not someone who would consciously hurt women or children. I am sick about what is being said about him on here as well as the report. I can’t believe this and yet I almost have to. I’m struggling too. Let me go outside and piss on a bush then get arrested and get labeled a sex offended for relieving myself in a simi private yet still public location. Come on people. I understand being upset by this action because I’m a parent. I am also someone who grew up with the man. I have never seen any actions by him that cause me to believe that he was capable of this. This Salem Witch Hunt needs to stop. I for one am done posting on this subject and you all will have your opinions of me and of Duane and that’s fine. MY true friends know me and are being exactly what I need… Friends. not bashing jerks who don’t know the whole story.

    @Guy THank you for saying something man.

    Comment by yaten24 — 11:53 am August 2, 2014 #

  69. Really yaten? Why in the world would someone make this up? He was seen masterbating in public. It wasn’t known at that time he was a sex offender. Speaking of which he is guilty of that too. I’d love for you it disassociate from this situation and reread this with an open mind and then come back and say we are over reacting.

    Comment by Beachdrivegirl — 5:56 pm August 2, 2014 #

  70. yaten24 how can you say there is nothing wrong with Duane?

    He was convicted as a sexual predator whether it was a one time error he made or???he is still a convicted sexual predator and he was just caught masterbating in public!
    You need to really open your eyes!!!

    Comment by unknown — 7:24 pm August 2, 2014 #

  71. Denial is normal but he failed to register as a level 2 sex offender – that’s what people are reacting to and it’s a fact. And it’s a fact that concerns public safety, and obviously did end up effecting it. I’m sorry but your friend has issues that people don’t want to hear you defend, that’s just the way it is. It must be hard, but this isn’t the venue for any one of us to discuss his character outside the facts of this article which is public information and confirmed by police – that includes defending him. Because we don’t know him and it sounds like no one here including yaten really does when it comes to his current state.

    Comment by UhOh — 11:39 pm August 2, 2014 #

  72. I, too, have the privilege of knowing both Yaten and Duane, though Duane and I only met twice.

    On the surface, he seemed nice, like someone I would like, but on the inside, there was also a very harsh, abrasive side to him.

    That said, I would not have his good name terrorized with comments about “rape culture,” and misogyny. Some of these claims come across as emotionally disturbed, and sexist themselves…

    Duane, himself, seemed a friendly guy with a lot of turbulent emotional violence to work out, and as someone with mental health issues, also, I find myself in the position to state there is little to no help in society for the deranged and mentally ill.

    It is a “fend-for-yourself,” type of system, where no one is cured, and everyone is blamed, then sensationalized in the mass media.

    I would rather see Duane institutionalized than in jail, and though I am sorry for all those losses here, I feel even sorrier for those who judge others without even knowing them.

    I will vouch for both Yaten and Duane being good people, though I could tell a lot was going on mentally with the latter, and, knowing Yaten personally, I would stand up for him with my life, and his son, if need be…

    I cannot say what Duane has or hasn’t done, but knowing him briefly on a personal basis, the fellow seemed to need more mental health care than jailtime. However, my observations were that his loyalties were clear-cut when it came to his sincerity, his friends, and his commitments to others. Not the type to act out without a tragic reason.

    As we all know, putting a violence person in a violent situation does not end tragedy, it perpetuates it… As in jail, prison, or worse. Jail creates more criminals than it condemns.

    In fact, I think the cruelest and most unusual punishment may be to put a man in a cage, without remorse, for years, or to life.

    Duane seemed very sincere, and a do-gooder, though with a lot of deep-seated emotional scarring.

    I do not support his actions, but I do stand against those who speak without knowing, and cannot find it in my heart to support their “hate-speech” here on this forum, as they were not involved in the circumstances surrounding this affair, nor did any of them know Duane personally–even I cannot testify on his behalf. I can only state that it would do better to help the poor in judgment, than to put them in prison, thereby allowing the blind to lead the blind, and criminals to create more criminals.

    I can relate to this, having come from an abusive home, and watching years flicker by with barely any help from the state for the emotional scars this wound left me with… and still no end in sight.

    It is tragic we treat men as criminals, and would rather lock them up; judge them by their character without meeting them; and annotate their behavior behind closed doors; then hype it up in the mainstream media without actually meeting or helping them, showing someone who was treated heartlessly with an act of compassion, rather than adding trauma to those who, like Duane, are already post-traumatized. I am not here to judge the situation, but the amount of hate speech against a person on the basis of his actions, without actually meeting him, is intolerable, and inconsiderate of both the deed and whatever motivated him.

    No amount of judgment is going to fix the mentally ill.

    Only doctors can do that.

    And in America, we have low-to-no access to medical care for the deranged, nor do we have help sometimes even from those in a clinical setting.

    A magic pill cannot fix someone who has spent an entire lifetime being abused.

    Nor can ten+ years of adulthood straighten out 20+ of a missing childhood.

    Please note, this is only on two meetings, but I do not think our culture needs more judgmental people, as in those who go to wars over misdeed, but a more tolerant, gentler race of human beings who are kinder to those in need, and with or without mental issues, provide others with a helping hand.

    After all, those who will not face their darkness will never find their light… :(

    Comment by Prometheus — 12:31 am August 4, 2014 #

  73. Many of the points you make in general regarding society and those dealing with mental illness, Mr./Ms. Prometheus, are true. We have written here before about that.
    .
    Regarding this case and this defendant – please keep in mind that you also are making a judgment/assessment without all the facts.
    .
    I don’t think anyone can have all the facts, even those of us whose business is uncovering and presenting facts. But having researched further in the days since these charges were filed, I have obtained the court documents in the 2000 case, documents and details of which were not available online. I filed a request for the case documents and for a total of $75, including an extra fee for expedited copying and delivery, got the paperwork in the mail from King County on Saturday.
    .
    After reading the paper copies of various documents from the case file, I now know the summary of that case included in these new charging documents barely gets past the surface of what he pleaded guilty to doing – and was tied to via fingerprint evidence. (Fingerprint evidence also tied him to the harassing, threatening, obscene phone call afterward.)
    .
    Aside from the aspects of the case that gave him the designation of sex offender – very graphic and elaborate, what he did before the fire – the key point, beyond that, is that he set a fire at the home of two people while they were asleep. According to the court documents, what he told investigators was “the fire was starting to get big, so he left.” LEFT. Did not, by any account, call 911 to report it. The documents point out that the fire could easily have become fatal. The residence was filled with smoke, the documents say. That can kill you even if flames never get close to you.
    .
    Something else I wasn’t able to confirm until obtaining these documents: The 2000 crime happened in West Seattle, in the Admiral area, not far from where he lived and worked at the time. I have not yet found any archived evidence that media (citywide or neighborhood) covered it, which, as a veteran journalist, surprises me.
    .
    And the documents confirm something we learned after our first report – there were two other cases pending against him preceding this in which prosecutors agreed not to file charges as part of the plea bargain preceding his guilty plea in this. I don’t have the specifics of those cases yet – they were mentioned only briefly on two pages of the dozens of pages we obtained, but those mentions included the SPD incident numbers, so the police reports should be available. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 1:02 am August 4, 2014 #

  74. Prometheus, certain “men” are treated as criminals because they are. Because of “men” like this, women have to live their lives constantly looking over their shoulders, wondering if it is safe to walk down that street at that time of day, is the man walking behind her a potential threat? It does not just happen to the young and atttractive – look at the local news and there are plenty of elderly women who are victimized.

    Throughout the world there are elements in all cultures that tacitly make women responsible for their own vicitimization while absolving men for responsibility over their own sexuality.

    I am sorry this person was abused. I am, however not responsible for it. Neither were the victims. There are plently of people who have been abused, yet they do not take it out on innocent people. I hope that whoever abused him gets what they deserve, and I’d cheer – the way I and some others toasted Ted Bundy’s execution with a round of electric ice teas.

    Comment by WestofJunction — 10:47 am August 4, 2014 #

  75. I’m sure I have seen this freak before in my area. Anyone know if he worked around westwood/white center?

    Comment by churchlady — 11:01 am August 4, 2014 #

  76. Thank you WSB for the follow up and interjecting some facts into this very emotionally charged discussion.

    I think Yaten and Prometheus are not seeing that some of these comments are in reaction to what Duane did in 2000; people are judging based on his ADMITTED past actions – which are horrifying. He has proven he is capable of heinous, potentially life ending, crimes.

    Unless you’re saying Duane was “set-up” in 2000 and coerced into his plea deal, you lose credibility when you’re trying to sell him now as “a good person.”

    Comment by Ms. Sparkles — 12:40 pm August 4, 2014 #

  77. I wonder if this is the same guy who was masturbating in front of those 11 & 10 year olds just last April or that dude who was only wearing a T-Shirt, naked from the waist down at Holy Rosary, Westside School and Hope Lutheran in September of last year. Some of the descriptions fit both his appearance and the vehicle. I hope the police are looking into it. I’d be curious to know if the incidents stop with Atwood in jail.

    Comment by WS Neighbor — 1:10 pm August 4, 2014 #

  78. @Yaten and @Promethius,
    .
    I will not deride you for your loyalty to your friend. I will only request that you understand why there those in the community that are so upset by Mr. Atwood’s actions.
    .
    To you, it may appear like simple flashing (like a silly frat boy running naked onto the field) but to many of us, his actions follow the highly predictable trajectory of a serial sexual criminal; it starts small and grows increasingly violent. Though you can’t imagine your friend becoming increasingly violent, there is documented proof that authorities think otherwise.
    .
    I hope you both find a way to reconcile yourselves with the fact that a friend can and IS capable of such acts. You can still care for someone while concurrently acknowledging the disgusting nature of their actions.
    .
    By the way, “terrorizing” might seem harsh to you but what Mr. Atwood did does strike terror in the minds of his victims.

    Comment by Michelle — 9:56 am August 5, 2014 #

  79. @Yaten – I applaud your loyalty to your friend, the nobility there is admirable. However, I have a strong suspicion that Duane gave you a different account of the 2000 incident.

    He did not get a sex offender designation by ‘peeing outside’. The excerpt in the center of this article is directly from the courthouse. Those are SOME of the things he was charged with.
    Some.

    You don’t believe it? Go down to the courthouse yourself and look. Read. KNOW.
    Who was most likely to lie to you?
    The guy writing this article?
    Or Duane?

    Manipulation & lies. Yaten. That’s what these guys do. Mind games… sudden drama. Control issues… Always someone else’ fault… Sound familiar? These are symptoms of personality disorders, bad ones.

    Stay with him and support him, if you choose. God knows that he is going to need somebody.

    But if you do… Please make sure you are fully aware of what he has done, don’t just take his word on faith. Come to that conclusion fully armed with knowledge – not just feelings.

    And finally, even if you are willing to support your friend, at this point you can’t defend him. Not these actions. Not these.

    Comment by Aaron1084 — 8:45 pm August 5, 2014 #

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