KHQ Investigates: Spokane serial killer in the making? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

KHQ Investigates: Spokane serial killer in the making?

Posted: Updated:
SPOKANE, Wash. -

One woman is missing, another was found dismembered, and a third was sexually assaulted and left for dead. New documents reveal detectives believe the same man was connected to each case. So why has he only been charged with hurting one of them? KHQ poured over documents in this special investigation in search of answers for grieving families.

"There is a part of your spirit so injured, that you never feel the same," said Jackie Forney, "There's no real happiness anymore."

Jackie's daughter Heather Higgins vanished in September of 2010.

"The sparkle in life goes away, and everything is just dull," she said.

Heather's body has never been found, but loved ones have long suspected she was murdered.

"I'm in hell, pure hell," she said. "This took my life away."

Jackie devoted everything to finding out what happened to her daughter.

A name quickly surfaced from witnesses. They said Heather got a ride from him the day she disappeared.

Police records obtained by KHQ's Hayley Guenthner show the man's name came up repeatedly as detectives investigated Heather's case. Police records show a passerby found a large knife and an ID of Heather's just a few blocks from where the man was living. Records also show a witness told detectives the man told her he "did something really bad." The witness said the man also said he didn't kill Heather, but "disposed of (her) body by putting her in a sleeping bag." He allegedly dumped her body near a ski resort "up north," according to the witness.

Because the man has yet to be charged, we are not naming him.

KHQ showed Jackie the documents containing those details. She said they were shocking to read.

"This person should have been stopped," Jackie said. "It's not like nobody knew he was. I feel really bad that someone else had to die."

That someone else may have been Kala Williams.

"It just breaks my heart," said Williams' aunt, Jo Cameron.

Kala's dismembered body was found stuffed in trash bags and a sleeping bag shortly after she disappeared in 2012. Police records show the same man they believe was involved in Heather's case, was detective's top suspect in Kala's.

"A monster is right," said family members of the suspect.

Documents show a detective pushed to the get the man charged for Kala's death. He wrote a charging request complete with an affidavit of facts for prosecutors to review, claiming DNA tied the man to items found with her remains. The case still had a huge hurdle.

"She was murdered," family said of Kala. "Brutally murdered."

At least one expert doesn't appear to agree. One of Spokane County's Medical Examiner's, Dr. John Howard, lists Kala's death as undetermined.

"That means he doesn't want to spend the time to determine what happened to my niece," Julie Beauchanie said.

Records show Spokane Police did hire an outside expert to review the case. He found Kala died of "homicidal violence," but still, no charges were filed. Months later, records show the same man went on to sexually assault and strangle another woman. She survived and he was arrested. He's currently in jail for that attack, but could be out as early as next year.

Both families are left hopeful prosecutor's will charge him before that happens.

"Nobody should get away with the heinous evil things that this person has done to our children," Jackie said. "I know if it was their child, they would want whoever to be doing their job."

KHQ reached out to SPD and the prosecutor's office. Both refused to comment as this is a very active case. Prosecutors said they continue to review the file.

Calls to Dr. Howard were not returned.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Grant Co. Sheriff's Office: At least 3 dead, 8 injured in mass casualty crash south of George

    Thursday, May 25 2017 6:20 PM EDT2017-05-25 22:20:15 GMT

    GEORGE, Wash. - At least three people are dead in a mass casualty crash in Grant County and at least 8 other people are injured, some seriously. The crash happened around 5am Thursday morning at Adams Rd. South and Frenchman Hills Rd. which is just S. of Quincy and W. of Vantage, WA. Adams Road South will be closed at that intersection for most of the day.

    >>

    GEORGE, Wash. - At least three people are dead in a mass casualty crash in Grant County and at least 8 other people are injured, some seriously. The crash happened around 5am Thursday morning at Adams Rd. South and Frenchman Hills Rd. which is just S. of Quincy and W. of Vantage, WA. Adams Road South will be closed at that intersection for most of the day.

    >>
  • PHOTOS: 4.5 mile beer pipeline to deliver 400,000 liters of beer

    PHOTOS: 4.5 mile beer pipeline to deliver 400,000 liters of beer

    Thursday, May 25 2017 2:27 PM EDT2017-05-25 18:27:48 GMT

    KHQ.COM - We've heard of oil pipelines... but beer pipelines? Some metal music fans preparing for the "Wacken Open Air Festival," which happens to be the largest metal music festival in the world, are giving us an insiders look at just exactly what a beer pipeline looks like, how it's made and how it works. Festival organizers are installing an underground, 4.3 mile long pipeline to deliver approximately 400,000 liters of beer.

    >>

    KHQ.COM - We've heard of oil pipelines... but beer pipelines? Some metal music fans preparing for the "Wacken Open Air Festival," which happens to be the largest metal music festival in the world, are giving us an insiders look at just exactly what a beer pipeline looks like, how it's made and how it works. Festival organizers are installing an underground, 4.3 mile long pipeline to deliver approximately 400,000 liters of beer.

    >>
  • Wet spring brings black flies out in force in the Inland Northwest

    Wet spring brings black flies out in force in the Inland Northwest

    Thursday, May 25 2017 2:20 AM EDT2017-05-25 06:20:21 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Nothing beats being outside in this great weather right now, but this wet spring has brought a lot of pests. We’ve been talking about wasps and ticks, but black flies are coming out in force too. Jenny Zhang says she’s noticed black flies a lot more in her neighborhood. Her 2-year-old son Liam was bitten.  “Actually, when he got bit he thought it was a bumblebee and then he was afraid of them,” she says. The bites 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Nothing beats being outside in this great weather right now, but this wet spring has brought a lot of pests. We’ve been talking about wasps and ticks, but black flies are coming out in force too. Jenny Zhang says she’s noticed black flies a lot more in her neighborhood. Her 2-year-old son Liam was bitten.  “Actually, when he got bit he thought it was a bumblebee and then he was afraid of them,” she says. The bites 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • The Latest: Polls closing in Montana

    The Latest: Polls closing in Montana

    Thursday, May 25 2017 11:45 PM EDT2017-05-26 03:45:59 GMT

    BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - The Latest on the misdemeanor assault case against Greg Gianforte, a Republican candidate for a Montana congressional seat in a special election Thursday. (all times local): 8:03 p.m. Montana polls are closing, a day after Republican candidate Greg Gianforte was charged with assaulting a reporter. Witnesses say Gianforte, a wealthy technology executive, grabbed Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian, by the neck on We...

    >>

    BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - The Latest on the misdemeanor assault case against Greg Gianforte, a Republican candidate for a Montana congressional seat in a special election Thursday. (all times local): 8:03 p.m. Montana polls are closing, a day after Republican candidate Greg Gianforte was charged with assaulting a reporter. Witnesses say Gianforte, a wealthy technology executive, grabbed Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian, by the neck on We...

    >>
  • President Trump to take travel ban to Supreme Court

    President Trump to take travel ban to Supreme Court

    Thursday, May 25 2017 11:38 PM EDT2017-05-26 03:38:02 GMT

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - The Latest on an appeals court ruling against the Trump administration's travel ban (all times local):   5:40 p.m.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the Justice Department will ask the Supreme Court to review an appeals court ruling that blocked President Donald Trump's travel ban.  The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday ruled 10-3 against the travel ban. The decision bars the administration from suspending n...

    >>

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - The Latest on an appeals court ruling against the Trump administration's travel ban (all times local):   5:40 p.m.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the Justice Department will ask the Supreme Court to review an appeals court ruling that blocked President Donald Trump's travel ban.  The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday ruled 10-3 against the travel ban. The decision bars the administration from suspending n...

    >>
  • U-Haul found after thieves nab trailer with $8,000 in belongings inside

    U-Haul found after thieves nab trailer with $8,000 in belongings inside

    Thursday, May 25 2017 11:29 PM EDT2017-05-26 03:29:34 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane woman and her fiancé in the military moved all of their belongings to Spokane only to find their U-Haul stolen. Sophie Graydon says after spending hours traveling from Minnesota to Spokane with her fiancé, she parked the U-Haul outside her apartment and she was too tired to unpack. "I came out and the trailer was gone. We had our new bed, coffee tables, three chairs, all of my stuff. We've got social 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane woman and her fiancé in the military moved all of their belongings to Spokane only to find their U-Haul stolen. Sophie Graydon says after spending hours traveling from Minnesota to Spokane with her fiancé, she parked the U-Haul outside her apartment and she was too tired to unpack. "I came out and the trailer was gone. We had our new bed, coffee tables, three chairs, all of my stuff. We've got social 

    >>