Major breakthrough in Walter Ackerson case

As one of the blog readers alerted me, there has been a HUGE breakthrough in the 1990 disappearance of Walter Ackerson, a case I had known little about until today. Three men have confessed to his murder. One beat the crap out of him and, together with the other two, threw him off a bridge, probably still alive. The two accomplices have immunity to testify against the primary killer, who is facing a whopping ten years. All four of them were enrolled in the Job Corps at the time of the murder.

This Bellingham Herald article is the best I can find on the subject. Though long, it’s well worth the read, telling the whole story behind Walter’s life, disappearance and death. This article sets my teeth on edge. Walter and his family were totally screwed over by the police (who never really bothered to investigate what happened) and by the Job Corps (who were negligent and dishonest, lying repeatedly and deliberately to everyone from Walter’s mom to members of Congress.) If either of those two institutions had done their damn jobs, Walter’s murder would probably have been solved quickly and his body recovered.

Too little, too late. Were it not for the murderer, Troy Culver, voluntarily confessing after all this time (not because the police were after him but because he was in a drug program that required him to make amends for his past bad acts), then there would be no case at all.

Poor Walter. I hope his mother and grandmother can get some solace after all this time, but right now they’re hurt and they’re angry, justifiably so, because they’ve been screwed over to an order of magnitude.

4 thoughts on “Major breakthrough in Walter Ackerson case

  1. Denise July 7, 2010 / 5:49 pm

    It’s appalling that Culver will only get a maximum of ten years for such a horrific murder! And, Walter’s mom and grandmom certainly deserved better from law enforcement as well as the Job Corps. The apathy of these people is stomach turning.

  2. Katja July 9, 2010 / 8:25 pm

    Just a little technicality, but you have in the update that Culver confessed in August 2010. 🙂 (Unless you’re getting so good at this that you can see in the future – which I wouldn’t doubt!)

  3. shiconthecheap November 8, 2018 / 5:33 am

    What exactly did Job Corp do? You mentioned they lied and dropped the ball. Just curious..I just watched this story on Shattered. Very sad. Don’t understand how the other two could live like they knew nothing. They deserved prison as well.

    • Meaghan November 8, 2018 / 7:39 pm

      “The Job Corps wrote Walter off as a runaway, although there were rumors that had met with foul play. They didn’t tell his mother about his disappearance until April 5, which was a violation of their own policies; they were supposed to notify parents of missing students within 24 hours. Hull asked them to file a missing persons report, but they didn’t.

      Walter wasn’t officially reported missing until April 16. A Job Corps staff member told Hull that Walter had taken all his belongings with him, but Hull and Owens were given all his things two days later when she went to the Angell Job Corps facility. Only his baseball card collection was missing.

      The Job Corps claimed they had left a message on Owens’s answering machine and sent a letter to Hull notifying her of Walter’s disappearance, then called her and spoke to her on March 29. Neither of those things were true; Hull never received a letter, she doesn’t remember being called on March 29, and Owens didn’t even have an answering machine.”

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