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The City of Portland, Oregon

Police Bureau

Sworn to protect. Dedicated to serve.

Phone: 503-823-0000

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. 

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 of Oregon offers cash rewards for information, reported to Crime Stoppers, that leads to an arrest in any unsolved felony crime and tipsters can remain anonymous.

Information about this case or any unsolved felony crime may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,500.

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

Submit an anonymous tip:

Visit the App Store and download P3 Tips to submit secure and anonymous tips.

Online at

Call 503-823-HELP (4357).