Guilty plea in Walter Ackerson case

The News Tribune says Troy Culver has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of 16-year-old Walter Ackerson, who disappeared from Nye Beach, Oregon in 1990. I’ve written about this case before. Walter and Troy were in the Job Corps and they left the campus with two other guys, Geoff Calligan and Eric Forsgren, without permission. The other three boys returned without Walter and said he had run away. It took close to twenty years to determine the truth: that Troy killed Walter in an argument and, with the help of the other two, tossed his body off a bridge.

Troy has been sentenced to ten years in prison. Unfortunately, the two accomplices can’t face any charges. In a way, I have more respect for Troy, the actual killer. He broke the case himself by voluntarily coming to the police and confessing to his crime. The others, who would have faced far smaller consequences, kept their cowardly mouths shut.

It’s disgusting. If the police and the Job Corps had done their job correctly at the onset of the investigation, this would have been solved long ago and Walter’s body would possibly have been found. The Job Corps in particular didn’t so much drop the ball has hurl it away with great force.