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Police Bureau

Sworn to protect. Dedicated to serve.

Phone: 503-823-0000

Fax: 503-823-0342

Non-Emergency: 503-823-3333

1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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Case #s 83-44992 & 83-44993

In the early morning hours of June 5, 1983, a friend of Harold Penland’s, who was known  to everyone as Willy Nelson, came to Willy’s residence .  This friend found the screen door shut, but the interior door open.  After knocking repeatedly, honking his car horn and trying to contact Willy on the phone, this friend entered the home  He found Willy and his wife, Laura Penland, shot to death.

Willy’s neighbors told police that he would have many visitors throughout the day and night that would stay for a short period of time.  Willy’s house was fortified; it had bars on the windows and doors.  There was no sign of forced entry into the house.  Given that Willy was security conscious, it is possible that he allowed entry to his residence to someone that he knew.  Robbery may have been a motive for the perpetrator.

Investigators believe that numerous people have information about these homicides that could result in a break in the case. 

The Cold Case Unit would like anyone with information regarding this case to contact them. Witnesses may contact Cold Case Homicide Unit investigators directly at (503) 823-0400. To remain anonymous, witnesses may provide information through Crime Stoppers of Oregon.

Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information, reported to Crime Stoppers, that leads to an arrest in this case, or any unsolved felony, and tipsters can remain anonymous.

Information learned from social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter or YouTube should be shared with investigators as these tips may lead to the identification of a suspect or suspects. Links can be shared directly with investigators or anonymously through Crime Stoppers.

Leave a Crime Stoppers tip online at text CRIMES (274637) and in the subject line put 823HELP, followed by the tip, or call (503) 823-HELP (4357) and leave the tip information. Tips can be left in English or Spanish.

Visit to download the Crime Stoppers App for the iPhone or Droid.