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Michael Anthony MULLEN





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Revenge
Number of victims: 2
Date of murder: August 26, 2005
Date of arrest: September 5, 2005 (surrenders)
Date of birth: 1970
Victims profile: Victor Vazquez, 68, and Hank Eisses, 49 (sex offenders)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Bellingham, Washington, USA
Status: Died in prison on April 15, 2007

Sketchy details released on inmate death

By Callie White - The Daily World

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Michael Mullen, a Stafford Creek Corrections Center inmate who died in April, was determined to have died of pneumonia, but the manner of death is undetermined because “acute mild drug toxicity” is a contributing factor, according to Grays Harbor County Coroner Ed Fleming. Initially, the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department indicated they believed Mullen had committed suicide.

Mullen, from Bellingham, had an extensive law enforcement history, mostly involving minor crimes. But he was at Stafford Creek for the high-profile murder of two Level Three sex offenders, whom he found on a local sex offender registry Web site. He killed the two men after showing up at their home posing as an FBI agent, a ruse he said he used to confirm that the men were indeed sex offenders and to determine if they were sincerely repentant.

Fleming said Mullen had ingested prescription drugs, but the coroner would not say which drugs. “It’s a medical privacy issue,” he said. And he would not say whether the doses were therapeutic or not.

“There was enough medication, but not enough to cause the death directly,” Fleming said.

Instead, Fleming said, the immediate cause of death was lobar pneumonia, an illness in which an infection of the lungs causes them to fill with fluid, interfering with the body’s ability to absorb oxygen.

An official at the State Patrol, which handles the toxicology tests, said they were unable to discuss test results.

The Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office preliminarily believed Mullen, 37, had taken his own life, basing that on a lack of blunt force trauma and because of writings recovered from the dead man’s cell. Mullen was in the intensive management unit, where he did not have contact with other inmates.

Chad Lewis, a spokesman for the Department of Corrections, said the department was still putting the pieces together to figure out what led to Mullen’s death. An investigation is still under way, and the corrections department does not comment on open investigations, Lewis said.

Mullen died on the night of April 15, two hours after being found unresponsive in his cell. The prison’s Health Care Unit gave him first aid until emergency crews arrived.


Letter tells killer's reasoning for slaying 2 pedophiles

December 01, 2005

The man who confessed to the execution-style slayings of two Bellingham sex offenders says he didn't kill a third man that day because he expressed remorse for his crimes.

Besides, Michael A. Mullen wrote in a letter to The Seattle Times, "... I wanted one alive to spread the message that 'we' will not tolerate 'our' children being used and abused."

Whatcom County prosecutor Mac Setter said Mullen's references to his victims' lack of remorse as a reason for killing them was just self-serving justification. He said Mullen planned to kill the men all along.

Mullen writes he killed Victor Vazquez, 68, and Hank Eisses, 49, because they "blammed [sic] their victims -- they showed NO remorse."

Mullen, 35, a longtime petty criminal with a history of drug and alcohol abuse, reiterated his plan to seek execution as soon as possible so that he can wait in the afterlife to wreak vengeance on the man whose crimes he said drove him to kill: Joseph Edward Duncan III.

"My goal is to beat J. Duncan to death, so I can be there when he arrives," he wrote in the four-page letter in neat longhand sent from Whatcom County Jail.

Duncan is a Level 3 sex offender -- considered to have a high risk of reoffending -- who faces possible execution in Idaho for allegedly slaying three members of a Coeur d'Alene family so that he could kidnap two children for sex.

The body of one of those children, Dylan Groene, 9, was found in a Montana campground. His 8-year-old sister, Shasta, was rescued July 2 while she and Duncan were having breakfast at a Coeur d'Alene restaurant.

The awful details of those crimes, Mullen wrote, drove him to commit the crimes he's accused of.

"It made me sick to think of the abuse Dylan suffered before he died. To be discarded like garbage," Mullen wrote.

Mullen has confessed to the slayings to police and in letters sent to the media before his arrest. He also indicated his desire to plead guilty during his first court appearance.

But his letter, sent in response to written questions from a Times reporter, offers more details of his state of mind when he targeted Eisses, who had been living quietly with two roommates in Bellingham.

Mullen allegedly used a county sheriff's Sex Offender Notification Web site to create a hit list of Level 3 offenders in Whatcom County. According to prosecutors' charging papers, Mullen -- posing as an off-duty FBI agent -- went to a Bellingham home shared by the three convicted sex offenders on the evening of Aug. 26.

In the letter, Mullen wrote he had gone to "interview" Eisses, the owner of the home. "I wanted to know 'why' he did what he did," Mullen wrote.

Eisses had served 5-½ years in prison for raping a 13-year-old boy. He was freed in 2003. Vazquez was convicted in 1991 of molesting several children.

Law-enforcement officials have said Mullen used the ruse that he was there on FBI business to warn the occupants of the house they might be in danger from someone who was targeting sex offenders.

In his letter, Mullen said he checked the identities of the three men in the house -- Vazquez, Eisses and 42-year-old James Russell. He questioned them about their background and confirmed they were all Level 3 offenders.

"I then interviewed all three occupants, and out of the three only one showed remorse or guilt. He is the one I let go," he wrote.

According to the charging papers, Russell then left for work. He found the bodies of his roommates later.

Michael Mullen has told his brother, Larry, it seemed Vazquez and Eisses were bragging about their crimes. To Larry Mullen, the explanation lacked a certain logic. Why would offenders brag to an FBI officer?

Maybe, Larry Mullen speculated yesterday, Vazquez and Eisses were merely describing their crimes -- at Michael Mullen's request -- but it sounded like bragging to Michael Mullen's ears.

Efforts to locate Russell, whom Mullen had let go, yesterday were unsuccessful.

Setter, chief criminal deputy prosecutor for Whatcom County, said yesterday the version of events Mullen outlines in his letter is consistent with statements he has made to investigators.

Setter has charged Mullen with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder, which could result in the death penalty if he is convicted. Arraignment is scheduled for next week.

Mullen has written several letters and given statements to police and others about the crimes. During the past several weeks, Setter believes, the statements have become more self-serving.

"He is trying to justify these killings, to make it sound like these men had some choice in their deaths, that he interviewed them and they failed his test by not being remorseful. They did not," Setter said yesterday. "He intended to kill them from the outset."

Mullen has refused to have the court appoint a lawyer for him. The public defender who has been appointed as standby counsel, Richard Fasy, said he was "not surprised" Mullen had written the letter and again confessed to the crimes.

"All I can say is that he is not that bad of a guy in some respects," Fasy said.

Mullen is believed to have also authored several postings on a Web log confessing to the crimes and saying he was molested as a child. While he did not address those issues specifically in his letter to The Times, he does say his past was partly what drove him to take the law into his own hands.

"Don't get me wrong. 'I' am no saint," he wrote. "I've been haunted since childhood. I just don't want other children to grow up confused, sad, scared.

"I am not proud of taking two lives, I would have gladly just gave my own," Mullen added. "But my death alone would have meant nothing."

In another section, Mullen talks about how he believes child victims of sexual abuse continue to be abused by the justice system and society.

"Some of these children will grow up to be drunks, addicts, theifs [sic] or act out sexually, sometimes becoming pedophiles themselfs," he wrote.

In an interview last week, Larry Mullen described many of those traits in his troubled brother, although there is no history of committing sex crimes.

Mullen has a long history of drug and alcohol abuse and criminal convictions for forgery and theft.


Bellingham suspect could face the death penalty

By Mike Carter - The Seattle Times

Thursday, September 8, 2005

The man who claims he killed two convicted sex offenders in Bellingham last month was charged today with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder.

The charges filed against Michael A. Mullen carry a possible penalty of either death or life in prison without parole. Mac Setter, Whatcom County chief criminal deputy prosector, said the prosecutor's office would decide by Mullen's Sept. 16 arraignment date whether to seek the death penalty.

Mullen, 35, is being held on $1 million bail in the Whatcom County Jail after turning himself in Monday.

Mullen has written that he was molested as a child, according to police.

The claim is contained in letters believed to be written by Mullen, said Bellingham police Lt. Craige Ambrose. The lieutenant did not provide additional details.

He did say, however, that Mullen also is believed to have written a number of Internet postings, including a confession to the slayings under the pseudonym "Agent Life," the same moniker used in letters sent to police and various media outlets since the Aug. 27 shooting deaths of Victor Vazquez, 68, and Hank Eisses, 49.

Mullen has told police he was motivated by the case of Joseph Edward Duncan III, a sex offender charged with killing a family in Idaho and kidnapping two children as sex slaves, Ambrose said. His most recent letters, Ambrose said, now also refer to his own alleged abuse.

The Internet confession apparently was erased shortly after it was posted. However, a copy was posted on a Web log called The Dark Side:

"I am Agent Life! And I alone and [sic] respnsible [sic] for the deaths of the two level three pedophiles in Bellingham Washington, and they are not the last to be executed unless things change for the better," it said. (Level 3 sex offenders are those determined to be at highest risk of reoffending.)

That confession, Ambrose confirmed, was posted on an AmericaOnline (AOL) journal apparently belonging to Mullen. Detectives are also reviewing other postings, including one signed by Mullen in which he claims his hobbies are "hunting pedophiles" and in which he demands "harsh action" against child molesters. Those writings were signed "Michael A. Mullen" and were posted in an AOL journal Aug. 23, four days before the killings.

In the personal section of the journal — apparently posted just before the slayings — the author says he's "never been good talking about myself," but adds: "Well lets [sic] wait and hear what the media/public has to say."

"We're aware of those writings," Ambrose said yesterday. "Everything we've seen leads us to believe it is him. It sounds like him."

Mullen's purported Aug. 23 comments were interspersed throughout an editorial written by John Walsh, creator of television's "America's Most Wanted." Walsh was asking for support for a federal measure that would help states comply with sex-offender registry and notification laws.

Walsh, whose son was abducted and killed in 1981, calls for sex offenders to be held accountable, but the writer says that's not enough and that child molesters should be locked away for life or sent to death row.

"In my opinion, just simply keeping them locked up is not good enough or fair for the victims," the posting says. "Unless you spent time in one of our plush penal institutions in the first place then you have no clue how easy most convicted criminals have it."

Vazquez was convicted in 1991 of molesting several people. Eisses was convicted in 1997 of raping a 13-year-old boy at his home. Both were killed with a single gunshot to the head.

Court records show Mullen has been a petty criminal most of his life and has served prison time in Washington and California.

Elsewhere in the writings, the author derides the idea of so-called "strike bills," where sex offenders are given one or two chances before a mandatory life sentence is imposed. "In my bill, pedophiles do not get a second or third try. One strike, you're out!"


Man turns self in after 2 child molesters killed

He reportedly confessed in 911 call after murders in Washington state

Sept. 6, 2005

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - A man turned himself in to authorities in the killing of two convicted child rapists, saying he picked the victims from a sheriff’s Web site, police said.

Michael Anthony Mullen, 36, called 911 on Monday to claim responsibility for the killings, and officers who talked to him said he gave information that only the killer would know, according to a police news release. He was jailed for investigation of two counts of first-degree murder.

Hank Eisses, 49, and Victor Vasquez, 68, were found shot to death at their apartment Aug. 27. They were both classified as Level III sex offenders, considered the type most likely to reoffend. Sex offenders in Washington are required to register with local authorities, and the information is provided on the Web.

Mullen told authorities he targeted at least one of the two men after checking the county sheriff’s Web site July 13, according to the police statement.

The bodies of Eisses and Vasquez were found by a roommate, also a sex offender. He said a man wearing a blue jumpsuit and a cap that said FBI on it came to their home, told them he was an FBI agent and said one of them was on a “hit list” on an Internet site, police said.

The roommate said he left while the “FBI” visitor was still there and found the bodies when he returned about four hours later.

Days after the killings, The Bellingham Herald received an unsigned letter claiming responsibility for the killings. Police notified convicted Level 3 sex offenders in the area as a precaution, but said the letter was vague and could be a hoax.

Vasquez was convicted in 1991 of molesting several relatives who suffered regular abuse, sexual and otherwise, according to court documents. He was released from prison about two years and remained under Department of Corrections supervision.

Eisses was sentenced to 5½ years in prison in 1997 for raping a 13-year-old boy at his home in Sumas. He was released from supervision about two years ago, said Kit Bail, Corrections Department field supervisor for Whatcom County.


The victims


Hank Eisses                 Victor Vazquez


The murderer

Michael Anthony Mullen, left, is led by authorities to his initial appearance at the Whatcom County Jail courtroom, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2005, in Bellingham, Wash.  (AP)



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