Sometimes regular people get too involved in incidents or crimes that have nothing to do with them.
They become so passionate about a cause that they are determined to do anything and everything to make it right again. This was the case for one Washington man who wound up taking things just too far…
Who was Michael Mullen?
Michael was a regular 36-year-old guy living in Bellingham, Washington. He kept to himself and minded his business, until one day, something aggravated him like nothing ever had before.
When Michael learned about a child abuse case in Idaho by a repeat sex offender, he was furious! The offender’s name was Joseph E. Duncan III, and he was accused of fatally beating three people with a hammer in a house and then proceeding to abduct two children…
One of the children, 8-year-old Shasta, was with the offender when he was arrested. The body of her 9-year-old brother was found two days later. Michael became so infuriated by this heinous crime and couldn’t understand why a man like this wouldn’t still be locked up in prison.
Michael wondered what more it would take to put him away for good. He began brainstorming plans and read up on other sex offender’s crimes online…
Michael decided to go on the sheriff’s sex offender website and look to see just how many sex offenders were out of prison. The results he found were alarming! He knew he had to do something to stop these vicious attacks.
On the website, the addresses of the convicted offenders were included, but the number of the street address’ were partly withheld. One of the sex offenders was named Hank Eisses, 49, and he had served a five-year prison sentence for raping a 13-year-old boy. Another man, Victor Vazquez, 68, was convicted in 1991 for molesting several young children. The crimes were heartbreaking…
Posing As An FBI Agent
Michael decided to go to both Hank Eisses and Victor Vazquez’s homes to have a word with them. While these men didn’t assault or anyone in Michael’s family directly, these attacks still deeply hurt him. Michael arrived at Eisses’ home on August 26 and posed as a federal agent.
He wore a black cap with the FBI insignia on it and a dark blue jumpsuit. It was clear he had done his research because he looked like a real FBI agent. Michael knocked at the door and was greeted by Eisses’ roommate, James A. Russell, who was also a registered sex offender…
Moments after walking through the front door, Michael shot Eisses in the head, and Russell scrambled to get out of the house. But instead of fleeing the site of the crime, Michael decided to do something else instead.
He Admitted It
He called 911 and confessed to the killing. Then he told the operator he had killed another man, sex offender Victor Vazquez. Michael then continued to share with her how he got into the homes of the sex offenders—by posing as an FBI agent. He wasn’t holding anything back…
His Prison Sentence
After calling police, Michael proceeded to turn himself in to authorities. He was then arraigned by Whatcom County Superior Court just hours after the police charged him with two counts of first-degree murder.
What Was His Motive?
Lt. Craige Ambrose said these murders were unlike anything she has ever seen before. “I can’t think of another set of circumstances out there where such a killing has occurred.” Michael must have been planning these murders for some time, she believed…
The Idaho Incident
Lt. Ambrose had an interview with Michael and during it she noticed a common theme. Michael kept referring to the incident in Idaho saying it upset him. “He was upset that a sex offender killed a family and abducted the kids. He said that a couple of times. That was one of the things that may have triggered this.”
Was It All Michael?
After Lt. Ambrose probed for more answers, Michael admitted that he used the Whatcom County sheriff’s sex offender website to search for and ultimately find his victims. But, authorities wondered if Michael acted alone…
Since the murders, police received clues that Michael wasn’t the only one involved. Following the murders, a newspaper and television station received alarming letters warning that more sex offenders would soon die.
All Sex Offenders Must Be Warned
The letter claimed there was a conspiracy, threatened the lives of other sex offenders and suggested that there was a vigilante out there, seeking other targets. As a precautionary, police contacted other sex offenders in Whatcom County and advised them to screen visitors and request identification.
The Hit List?
“We are letting them know about the potential threats and giving them some perspective on what can make them safe.” While authorities alerted numerous sex offenders that may be on the hit list, Michael was serving his 44-year prison term at Stafford Creek Corrections Center.
His case was known as one of the nation’s worst cases of vigilantism against sex offenders ever. Shortly after his incarceration, Michael sent an alarming letter to The Seattle Times saying, “facts are, I just want to die.”
Just a few months later, Michael was found unresponsive in his cell and declared dead at Grays Harbor Community Hospital. He apparently committed suicide by taking an overdose of prescription drugs. As far as how he got these drugs, Michael must have saved up drugs legally prescribed for himself or others at the jail.
Ending His Life
Authorities also found writing in Michael’s cell which further proved that it was a suicide attempt. “I’ve been moved from prison to prison since my incarceration,” he wrote. “I can not adjust.” It was clear Michael had demons he just could not handle and they wound up taking the lives of others (even though they may have deserved it) and also his own. Officials are waiting for toxicology tests to close this investigation.