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  1. #1
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    OR - Nancy Bergeson, 57, Portland, 24 Nov 2009

    "An assistant federal public defender was found dead in her Southwest Portland home, the apparent victim of a homicide, Portland police said late Wednesday.

    Nancy S. Bergeson, 57, a well-liked attorney, vigorously defended bank robbers, con men and drug dealers during about 18 years with the Federal Public Defenderís Office in Portland. She was found dead Tuesday, a day after she represented a man in a tax evasion conspiracy case in U.S. District Court here."

    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/i...efender_f.html

    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/i...blic_defe.html

    http://www.koinlocal6.com/news/local...56Tq6OuDg.cspx

    Our family has a strong interest in the way this case plays out. Ms. Bergeson has a close friend, Lisa Maxfield, also a Portland attorney. Ms. Maxfield is quoted in numerous articles talking about her friend. According to the quotes, they obviously traveled together and spent a lot of time together. They planned to spend Thanksgiving together.

    Ms. Maxfield, is the attorney who defended the young man who raped our eight youngest children.

    This is a tragic loss and very frightening.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Missizzy View Post
    "An assistant federal public defender was found dead in her Southwest Portland home, the apparent victim of a homicide, Portland police said late Wednesday.

    Nancy S. Bergeson, 57, a well-liked attorney, vigorously defended bank robbers, con men and drug dealers during about 18 years with the Federal Public Defenderís Office in Portland. She was found dead Tuesday, a day after she represented a man in a tax evasion conspiracy case in U.S. District Court here."

    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/i...efender_f.html

    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/i...blic_defe.html

    http://www.koinlocal6.com/news/local...56Tq6OuDg.cspx

    Our family has a strong interest in the way this case plays out. Ms. Bergeson has a close friend, Lisa Maxfield, also a Portland attorney. Ms. Maxfield is quoted in numerous articles talking about her friend. According to the quotes, they obviously traveled together and spent a lot of time together. They planned to spend Thanksgiving together.

    Ms. Maxfield, is the attorney who defended the young man who raped our eight youngest children.

    This is a tragic loss and very frightening.

    Just seconds ago I was reading about this on msnbc.com.....this is very tragic & yes very frightening!!

    I hope they catch whoever did this very soon!!
    What we are doing is just a drop in the ocean.
    But if that drop was not in the ocean,
    I think the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
    ~~ Mother Theresa ~~



    Where is Rachel Cooke? Missing since 10-Jan-2002
    Rachel's thread - WS
    RachelCookeSearch.org

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Missizzy View Post
    "An assistant federal public defender was found dead in her Southwest Portland home, the apparent victim of a homicide, Portland police said late Wednesday.

    Nancy S. Bergeson, 57, a well-liked attorney, vigorously defended bank robbers, con men and drug dealers during about 18 years with the Federal Public Defenderís Office in Portland. She was found dead Tuesday, a day after she represented a man in a tax evasion conspiracy case in U.S. District Court here."

    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/i...efender_f.html

    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/i...blic_defe.html

    http://www.koinlocal6.com/news/local...56Tq6OuDg.cspx

    Our family has a strong interest in the way this case plays out. Ms. Bergeson has a close friend, Lisa Maxfield, also a Portland attorney. Ms. Maxfield is quoted in numerous articles talking about her friend. According to the quotes, they obviously traveled together and spent a lot of time together. They planned to spend Thanksgiving together.

    Ms. Maxfield, is the attorney who defended the young man who raped our eight youngest children.

    This is a tragic loss and very frightening.
    Hi Missizzy, Thank you for bringing this to our attention. It is such a sad case, that someone so serious about her job and dedicated to making sure those who can't afford an attorney still are due a fair trial, is now tragically taken away.

    I am so sorry to hear about what happened to your children and do hope they received justice. I know that is not a cure all for what they had to go thru. But it is a start. xox

  4. #4
    This is so terrible! I hope they catch the perp TODAY!

  5. #5
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    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2...speak-of-fear/

    "Family members say public defender Nancy Bergeson never expressed fears about retribution from her clients. And, they say, she was strong and fit, so it's hard for them to believe she was overpowered. Bergeson was found dead at 57 on Tuesday, strangled in her Portland home. Authorities say they don't have a suspect. They say the house wasn't ransacked."

    Just to be on the safe side, I emailed our DA and local LE to make sure they knew about this crime. Portland is 300 miles away from here but too close for comfort with a crime like this. The DA who handled our case has had many scares over the years. She and I have remained close. I respect her greatly and attribute her hard work to the fact that our children's rapist did 10 years.

    I've done some research on Ms. Bergeson today and she truly was an amazing person. Her entire family is involved in politics, education, or law (mostly in California). Nancy is known for her work with needy kids and animal rescue.

    I always cringe when I hear posters being disrespectful of defense attorneys. I happen to really respect their work. Without them, our system wouldn't work. Nancy's friend, Ms. Maxfield, gave me the work-over of my life on that witness stand. I think I was up there for seven hours. Without her hard work, though, the case might have fallen apart on appeal. I credit her (even though I "despised" her at the time) for a job very well done. Even though she tried her best to discredit and trip up our kids, she was always respectful of them.

  6. #6
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    Grieving daughter, Jamie Bergeson, wants to know who killed her Mom.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index..._bergeson.html

    Still no leads, guys. This one worries me.

  7. #7
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    Either google is broken tonite, or it's rare that a public defender is murdered...maybe this isn't related to her work life at all.

    Can anyone else recall or find a case where a public defender was murdered?

    I'm wondering if this was someone else who knew her & was angry about something really petty....the strangling seems so personal -- maybe even unplanned -- like it could have happened during an argument.
    What we are doing is just a drop in the ocean.
    But if that drop was not in the ocean,
    I think the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
    ~~ Mother Theresa ~~



    Where is Rachel Cooke? Missing since 10-Jan-2002
    Rachel's thread - WS
    RachelCookeSearch.org

  8. #8
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    This is so sad. TexasMist, I can't recall another case where a public defender was murdered..and I tried searching too, with no luck.

  9. #9
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    The man whom she had just defended, was found guilty of federal tax evasion. He, however, said she was his greatest advocate and that she gave it her all. I think he knew he'd be found guilty. I don't think he's a suspect.

    I, too, wonder about something personal. From what I've read, she died right at her laptop. What was she working on? A little neighbor girl, who walked her dog everyday, found the body. It was really thought to be a natural death as there seemed to be no struggle. This sounds so trite but it sounds like an Agatha Christie play. I don't want to trivialize her passing though, not at all.

    I wonder if it wasn't a love affair gone bad or a case of mistaken identity. The area she lived is very bucolic and neighbors knew each other. She was a very well liked and respected woman. Why did the dog not attempt to protect her? Why was she still at the laptop? It sounds as if she looked up and recognized someone and kept typing away. And then she was dead. Why?

  10. #10
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    Just a thought. What happened to the dog? Ms. Bergeson was known for her animals. I've seen numerous comments describing her as always have a "dog in tow". She was working at her laptop on the day of her death. The reports state a young girl who walked Ms. Bergeson's dog everyday, found the body.

    I've got a few questions about this. First, Ms. Bergeson was an extremely fit athlete. She was an active member of a Dragon Boat crew, she ran, she worked out. Why would she have a child walk her dog? I guess it's entirely possible that she allowed the girl to walk the dog because the girl enjoyed it. That sounds like her.

    However, is the dog OK? Did the dog try to defend her mistress? Did the murderer hurt the dog? Just wondering. Has anyone seen this addressed?


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Missizzy View Post
    The man whom she had just defended, was found guilty of federal tax evasion. He, however, said she was his greatest advocate and that she gave it her all. I think he knew he'd be found guilty. I don't think he's a suspect.

    I, too, wonder about something personal. From what I've read, she died right at her laptop. What was she working on? A little neighbor girl, who walked her dog everyday, found the body. It was really thought to be a natural death as there seemed to be no struggle. This sounds so trite but it sounds like an Agatha Christie play. I don't want to trivialize her passing though, not at all.

    I wonder if it wasn't a love affair gone bad or a case of mistaken identity. The area she lived is very bucolic and neighbors knew each other. She was a very well liked and respected woman. Why did the dog not attempt to protect her? Why was she still at the laptop? It sounds as if she looked up and recognized someone and kept typing away. And then she was dead. Why?
    First comment is very interesting.

    http://www.truecrimereport.com/2009/...ral_public.php

    There is much talk around about Nancy being murdered for what she knew about jury tampering in the following case:

    "Unfortunately, one of the co-defendant lawyers made too much noise
    along those lines before she left the Portland courthouse on Monday.
    The next day she was found dead in her home by strangulation. Folks,
    while there is a slim chance that her murder was not related to the
    case, we have it on good authority from a retired law enforcement
    officer (LEO) with over 10 years homicide experience, that there
    is a very high probability that her murder WAS not just related to
    her employment, but specifically related to this case.

    ...snip

  12. #12
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    Four years before we moved to Oregon, Michael Franke was murdered at the Salem capitol. If you ever want to read a murder mystery that is stranger than fiction, check out these links. This crime came to our attention during our trial in 1999. Even at that time there was talk about corruption at a very high level.

    [ame]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Francke[/ame]

    http://wweek.com/story.php?story=5772

    http://wweek.com/story.php?story=5748

    Two years ago, there was another huge shake up in the Oregon Youth Authority (where our children's rapist was held for 10 years). Because we're in the far southern part of the state (300 miles from Salem and Portland), these issues aren't in our face everyday. It sure is curious, though, given the murder of Nancy Bergeson.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/o...870.xml&coll=7

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Missizzy View Post
    Just a thought. What happened to the dog? Ms. Bergeson was known for her animals. I've seen numerous comments describing her as always have a "dog in tow". She was working at her laptop on the day of her death. The reports state a young girl who walked Ms. Bergeson's dog everyday, found the body.

    I've got a few questions about this. First, Ms. Bergeson was an extremely fit athlete. She was an active member of a Dragon Boat crew, she ran, she worked out. Why would she have a child walk her dog? I guess it's entirely possible that she allowed the girl to walk the dog because the girl enjoyed it. That sounds like her.

    However, is the dog OK? Did the dog try to defend her mistress? Did the murderer hurt the dog? Just wondering. Has anyone seen this addressed?
    BBM...I don't know, but when I read it I assumed that it was due to her work hours. Maybe the girl came over after school to walk the dog so it wouldn't be alone in the house for such long hours.

    Also, if Ms. Bergeson often got home very late/after dark, she might not have been comfortable walking in her neighborhood for a long way. She might have just wanted the dog to get a good exercise walk but was at work when it was light out.

    That didn't strike me as weird at all. Especially since I assume the girl had a key, so she must have walked the dog at least sometimes when Ms. B wasn't at home.

  14. #14
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    MissIzzy & Chicagofa -- I got goosebumps reading those articles & the comment at truecrimereport.

    They caused me to rethink this -- maybe it was an assassination....I'm wondering if maybe she wasn't actually strangled ( as in manual or some kind of ligature) but killed by a deadly chokehold from behind while she was sitting at her laptop.

    That would explain why they initially thought she could have died from natural causes - no bruising or marks from hands or a ligature...and if it *was* a chokehold from someone sneaking up behind her, that sounds much more like someone who had experience at this -- and not just someone who she may have argued with who just lost it, IYKWIM.

    I wish we were hearing more about progress on this case & that The Powers That Be are not working to sweep it under the rug.
    What we are doing is just a drop in the ocean.
    But if that drop was not in the ocean,
    I think the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
    ~~ Mother Theresa ~~



    Where is Rachel Cooke? Missing since 10-Jan-2002
    Rachel's thread - WS
    RachelCookeSearch.org

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Missizzy View Post
    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2...speak-of-fear/

    "Family members say public defender Nancy Bergeson never expressed fears about retribution from her clients. And, they say, she was strong and fit, so it's hard for them to believe she was overpowered. Bergeson was found dead at 57 on Tuesday, strangled in her Portland home. Authorities say they don't have a suspect. They say the house wasn't ransacked."

    Just to be on the safe side, I emailed our DA and local LE to make sure they knew about this crime. Portland is 300 miles away from here but too close for comfort with a crime like this. The DA who handled our case has had many scares over the years. She and I have remained close. I respect her greatly and attribute her hard work to the fact that our children's rapist did 10 years.

    My prayers for this woman and all who loved her.

    I've done some research on Ms. Bergeson today and she truly was an amazing person. Her entire family is involved in politics, education, or law (mostly in California). Nancy is known for her work with needy kids and animal rescue.

    I always cringe when I hear posters being disrespectful of defense attorneys. I happen to really respect their work. Without them, our system wouldn't work. Nancy's friend, Ms. Maxfield, gave me the work-over of my life on that witness stand. I think I was up there for seven hours. Without her hard work, though, the case might have fallen apart on appeal. I credit her (even though I "despised" her at the time) for a job very well done. Even though she tried her best to discredit and trip up our kids, she was always respectful of them.
    I so appreciate your saying this. I feel the same way - criminal defense attorneys have my unending respect and admiration because, as you point out, our system (and even with its faults it is, bar none, the best legal system in the world) would never work. You can vigorously defend the worst among us and still be working for the side of good.

    My prayers for this woman and all who loved her.
    I do not intend to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death!

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