Seattle Mayor Ed Murray Sexually Abused foster son, Child Welfare investigator found in 1984
An Oregon Child Welfare investigator concluded that Ed Murray sexually abused his foster son in the early 1980s, leading state officials to assert that “under no circumstances should Mr. Murray be certified” as a foster parent in the future, according to public records obtained by The Seattle Times.
Simpson gave a second interview a day later with Butler and Portland police Detective Dave Foesch. Simpson told the detective that Murray sometimes warned him that if he told anyone, he’d be removed from Murray’s home and sent to an institution.
When the detective asked if Simpson was willing to help prosecute Murray, Simpson responded, “No, he is my father,” Foesch, who has since died, wrote in a police report.
“It was then explained to Jeffrey that Mr. Murray is not his father and that a father would not do these things to his son,” Foesch wrote. “Jeffrey then thought about it for a while and agreed that he may possibly be able to save some other child from suffering the same indignations.”
The next day, Simpson, Butler and Foesch testified before a grand jury, Butler’s report states. Meantime, Murray, unaware of the allegations, called Simpson’s group home several times, demanding to speak with him and threatening to sue when he was denied contact, Butler’s report states.
After testifying to the grand jury, Foesch called Murray to inform him of Simpson’s allegations and set up an interview. A lawyer for Murray later told Foesch his client was “too emotionally upset at this time to be interviewed,” the detective’s report states.
Murray changed lawyers several times before settling on Hoffman, who soon provided statements to investigators from people who knew Simpson and Murray, and did not believe the allegations.
Murray also reportedly took a private polygraph, but “since the exact results were not released to the D.A. my assumption is that it was inconclusive,” Butler wrote in the assessment. She noted Hoffman described Murray as “coming out ‘Real good’” in the test.
Murray and Hoffman said last week they didn’t have records of the polygraph results.
Simpson, who state foster reports show was prone to lying, stealing, using drugs and running away, presented problems for the district attorney in proving the case. About a month after the allegations emerged, the prosecutor’s office withdrew the case against Murray and the other accused foster parent from the grand jury.
But in her CPS assessment, Butler found Simpson believable. She noted he’d expressed concern that his claims would ruin Murray’s career, and had “no motive to make something like this up” because Simpson knew he’d likely be placed in an institution and never allowed to live with Murray again.
“It is unfortunate that the criminal justice system chose not to act in this case simply because a conviction of … Mr. Murray would probably be the only way of mandating (him) in to treatment for … sexual deviancy,” Butler added.
A few months after the investigation ended, Murray left Portland and moved to Seattle.
“Those records exist”
Simpson said Friday he didn’t remember accusing the other foster parent of abuse when he spoke with reporters earlier this year, saying that was probably because it didn’t compare to what Murray allegedly did to him.
“It upsets me that I didn’t remember,” he said. “I’m not trying to be deceitful or anything like that. It hurts my validity.”
The other man was Simpson’s foster provider for about a month, the records show.
Simpson is one of four men who have publicly accused Murray of sexual abuse decades ago when they were teenagers. Heckard claimed Murray started paying him for sex in 1986, when Heckard was a drug-addicted 15-year-old. Lloyd Anderson and Lavon Jones also separately allege Murray paid them for sex as teenagers.
In May, Murray’s personal spokesman, Jeff Reading, provided The Times with copies of several statements from people who supported Murray when Simpson first made his allegations in 1984.
Reading said he was providing the information because “there is an existing body of evidence that rebuts and contradicts what Jeff has said.”
The statements were given by people who had counseled or taken in Simpson and described him as emotionally unstable and Murray as having tried hard to help.
One couple, who took Simpson on weekend outings, told a Murray defense investigator Simpson didn’t respond well to discipline and in his early teens “seemed to be very obsessed with the fear of being a homosexual.”
The couple believed the boy’s sex-abuse allegation “was nothing more (than) Jeff acting up” and “striking back” for “some form of rejection.”
Another statement, from a counselor who had worked with Simpson at Murray’s request, said the teenager previously had claimed sexual abuse.
The counselor said “he recalled a telephone call in which Jeff alleged that Ed had forced him into sex and paid for it,” he told Murray’s defense investigators.
The counselor dismissed Simpson’s claim, saying “he did not believe that allegation at the time, and found it to be completely irrational.”
Some of the same statements were included in the state foster records released to The Times this month. The CPS investigator considered them before making her finding.
Murray said the CPS report doesn’t accurately reflect what happened, noting other important records from Simpson’s foster file and the D.A. inquiry that no longer exist would illustrate Simpson’s destructive behavior.
“He got angry at every foster parent that he’d ever been involved with,” Murray said.
In interviews, Simpson has acknowledged his troubled youth, drug problems and lengthy criminal record, including a 10-year prison term.
He also has signed several waivers to allow authorities to release his private counseling and other records.
In June, after Heckard withdrew his lawsuit, Murray held a news conference at City Hall to declare he’d been vindicated. The mayor also told reporters the media hadn’t gone far enough in seeking information that would demonstrate his innocence in the Simpson case.
“All those records exist,” Murray said. “Also, that a prosecutor and grand jury investigated it and didn’t pursue it, all those facts exist.”
When reminded Thursday of his statements criticizing the press for not pursuing more records, Murray responded: “But you cherry-pick records. You cherry-pick records.”
In the Saturday night letter, Murray’s attorney Heekin also said, “The Seattle Times … seeks to reinvestigate the case, to take the place of law enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office, act as judge and jury without a full vetting and disclosure of the facts that were available to law enforcement in 1984, rewrite history, and mislead the public.”