rss feed | youtube | links | the burning log
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Frank and Ruth
Forest Park is rife with tales of crime, tragedy and other assorted weirdness. There's at least three variations on the legend surrounding the "witch house" alone and, over the years, the park has played host to murderers, transients, drug addicts, pervs and even a large marijuana growing operation.
Perhaps the oddest and most memorable story to come out of there occurred back in 2004 when off-trail runners discovered Frank and Ruth, a father and daughter living in a makeshift Forest Park homestead stocked with encyclopedias. They'd been residing there for four years and Ruth seemed well cared-for, educated and relatively normal, despite everything. After attempts were made to usher the family back into society, the two vanished, leaving behind a $6,5000 relief fund comprised of donations from around the country. No one, in Portland media at least, has heard from them since.
Local author and educator Peter Rock recently published a fictionalized take on their years in Forest Park titled My Abandonment. It's currently on my must-read list. You can learn more about it here.