FOLLOWUP: Suitcase-bodies suspect charged with murder; second disposal site revealed

(WSB photo, June 19)

62-year-old Michael L. Dudley of Burien is now charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the June shooting deaths of 35-year-old Jessica Lewis and 27-year-old Austin Wenner, whose bodies were found in suitcases. The originally reported discovery near Luna/Anchor Park was not the only disposal site, prosecutors say. As reported here last week, police arrested Dudley Wednesday; probable-cause documents said he had been renting a room to the victims and arguing with them over payment of the $1500/month rent. The newly filed charging documents say:

While the precise motive for this crime is not yet fully known, the evidence to date shows that the defendant was angry with the victims for not paying rent and for bringing potential criminal activity to the Ambaum home. The defendant, likely with the aid of others, dismembered the two victims after he killed them, separated their bodies into multiple bags and suitcases and tried to hide them in different bodies of water. This process would have taken a lot of time and effort and his willingness to take these extreme steps demonstrates the threat he poses to the community.

The other “body of water” in which more of the victims’ remains were found is explained later as “near 10000 West Marginal Pl, near the Seattle City Light power substation on the Duwamish River,” a discovery reported to the King County Sheriff’s Office, which subsequently contacted SPD. The Medical Examiner said both victims had been beaten as well as shot.

10 days after the discovery in West Seattle, the charging documents say, family members of the victims told police they had been staying with Dudley since last December. Investigators talked to a variety of other people in piecing together circumstances leading to the murder allegation. Regarding the aforementioned “potential criminal activity,” the court documents say Wenner had been attacked at the Burien house by men with whom he had been having some kind of dispute.

The court document notes that Dudley’s criminal history includes a felony drug conviction from Thurston County in 1996 and convictions in California for Carrying a Concealed Weapon in a Vehicle (1994), Taking a Vehicle for Temporary Use (1995), and Vehicle Theft (1996), plus an Oregon conviction for DUI (1977). As we reported last week, he was charged more recently with misdemeanor domestic-violence assault for allegedly attacking a woman he had been dating. He remains jailed in lieu of $5 million bail. (added) He’s scheduled for arraignment September 8th.

15 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Suitcase-bodies suspect charged with murder; second disposal site revealed"

  • disgusted in alki August 24, 2020 (5:21 pm)

    Wow. I just read the entire probable cause report and am even more disturbed than before. Hope the victims’ families have some sense of closure for now…No one deserves what happened to these two. 

    • KG August 25, 2020 (1:39 pm)

      Is it possible to find those reports online? 

    • Jess September 3, 2020 (4:15 pm)

      How can I read that?

  • flimflam August 24, 2020 (5:28 pm)

    not sure if this has been addressed, but any more info on the “boater in distress” in the general area the suitcase was found?

    • WSB August 24, 2020 (5:31 pm)

      Not mentioned anywhere in these documents, which otherwise rather exhaustively go through the detective work.

  • John August 24, 2020 (5:32 pm)

    And he was not in jail because?

    With that rap sheet?

    • WSB August 24, 2020 (7:41 pm)

      Note the dates. None of those are crimes that would put you in prison for a quarter-century.

  • trickycoolj August 24, 2020 (5:45 pm)

    Wow that 2nd location is across the river from a pretty major Boeing site.

  • WTF August 24, 2020 (6:32 pm)

    That dude is some kind of sick.

  • 1994 August 24, 2020 (9:03 pm)

    He is lucky he made it to age 62 with a history like that. His life of being a terror and a creeper is over. Wonder if he left DNA at other past offenses….

  • Roddy August 24, 2020 (9:05 pm)

    Why wasn’t he charged with first-degree murder? Sounds like it was planned….

  • Norm Macdonald August 25, 2020 (12:07 am)

    I mean this guy was a real jerk

    • John August 25, 2020 (3:49 am)

      No kidding! Not only a psychopath murderer but charging people $1,500 a month for A room

    • Really August 26, 2020 (8:54 am)

      One of the witnesses who knew him said he was gray, in both appearances and demeanor

  • Ttt August 30, 2020 (10:50 am)


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