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WA WA - Amina Agisheff, 36, Seattle, 7 July 1982

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by Pettibon Junction, Sep 9, 2014.

  1. Pettibon Junction

    Pettibon Junction Member

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    Amina Agisheff was abducted and murdered on July 7, 1982. Due to the timing of her abduction, Amina's case has been lumped in with the Green River killings. However, Gary Ridgway has denied responsibility for her death and there are a number of circumstances to indicate he's telling the truth.

    Amina was likely picked up from a bus stop and the condition of her remains indicate that she was probably shot. Despite the lack of concrete evidence, victimology suggests that this was a crime of opportunity committed by an acquaintance.
     
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  3. Pettibon Junction

    Pettibon Junction Member

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    On second thought, it seems that this crime could have gone down two different ways:

    1.) Acquaintance murder. By all accounts, Amina was an unassuming woman, a single-mother without any known addictions or vices. It is unlikely that she would have willingly accepted a ride from a stranger. Therefore, it could well be that someone who was known to her offered her a ride and, after she rejected his advances, shot her and disposed of her body.

    2.) Stranger murder. Amina was strong-armed into a vehicle, perhaps by more than one assailant. Rape could have both been a motive though, due to decomposition, this can't be certain.

    Personally, I go with the first scenario as being most likely. If it were a stranger abduction motivated by rape or robbery, one would expect to have seem similar crimes either before or after. The only thing I can think of that fits the description was a passage Carlton Smith's book on the Green River killings describing a man arrested for assaulting a young woman in the back of a van customized for S&M-type activities. However, I believe the victim in that case was working as a prostitute at the time, a detail that does not dovetail with Amina Agisheff in the slightest.
     
  4. STANDREID

    STANDREID A slacker when slacker wasn't cool

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    A very puzzling case. I tend to think that Ridgway is telling the truth on this one. There was always some doubt even when she was on the Green River list due to her age and reported conventional lifestyle.
     
  5. kemo

    kemo Active Member

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    This case has fascinated me. If Ridgway did it, it would be a killing that was, in effect, a trigger for all that follows. It opens up new possibilities as to his motive and mindset.

    If he had nothing to do with it, as I suspect, it is still a rather curious murder of what would appear to have been a low risk victim that may not have been properly investigated.

    Amina was from the North East; possibly NYC from what I can tell middle or even upper middle class background. Her heritage has been described as Russian but many people with the family name of Agisheff have first names that suggest Islamic origins. It is possible that her family was from one of Russia's Muslim minorities. She spent some time in Europe when she was young and may have gone to school there.

    Apparently, in her youth she was a somewhat wild hippie/flower child. She ended up getting married, having 3 kids getting divorced and becoming a Montessori teacher and doing moonlighting as a waitress. Her oldest child, a daughter was considerably older than the other two children suggesting that she was from an earlier marriage/relationship. The 15 year old daughter would have been born around 1967 at the height of the hippie era. The daughter, who was baby sitting the younger children the night she died, described her mother, in a recent interview, as a free spirited "hippie mom".

    On the night she disappeared, she left he mother's apartment at either 10:30 or 11:30 (reports vary) to walk 5 blocks to a bus stop. This was near the Pikes Place Market. A nice neighborhood now, I don't know about 1982. She was on her way to her house in Ballard a middle class neighborhood with little crime. Apparently no bus driver along that route could recall her riding that night. Supposedly she was in a "stable relationship" but I could find no information about the guy. What's his story, did he have a motive, an alibi?

    It would be most unusual for a grown woman to be abducted from the streets of Seattle while walking to a bus stop. Statistically it would be far likelier that she was killed by someone she knew. She may have been going elsewhere than straight home. She wouldn't have been the first 36 year old to lie to her mother about her social life.

    Apparently her remains were found off Hwy 18 near Interstate 90 not far from a dirt access road in a forest owned by a lumber company. It is 35 miles from downtown and was, in 1982, well past any urban or suburban development; the kind of place bodies are often dumped. Her bones were scattered so cause of death couldn't be established but there were lead fragments near the body that may have been from a bullet. When women are killed with a gun, the crime is usually premeditated. Most "fit of rage" type killing involve choking or hitting with a readily available object. Some sexual predators do use guns but Ridgway never did as far as anyone knows.

    Since Amina was only a missing person until her body was found, it is not clear how much effort was put into solving her disappearance. Compared to the young prostitutes that were Green River victims, Amina live a reasonably conventional life but to a police officer investigating a disappearance, "hippie mom" may have suggested sex, drugs and general irresponsibility.

    Once her body was found, she may have been linked the other Green River victims. I suspect the investigation focused on any (apparently non-existing) connections to prostitution or anyone who she knew who may have ties to the Sea-Tac strip. Was her murder ever properly investigated as a "stand alone" murder?
     
  6. Pettibon Junction

    Pettibon Junction Member

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    As far as I know, the investigation was dead-ended almost immediately by a lack of leads. It was only when her body turned up adjacent to a Green River dump site that the police gave Amina's case any kind of attention but by that point, it was in the context of the Green River murders, where it was an outlier. I would imagine the only way to make any progress in solving Amina's murder would be to approach it with those biases removed.
     
  7. Pettibon Junction

    Pettibon Junction Member

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    I just watched a news video online. The bus stop she would have used appears to be at a rather busy intersection which makes me think that the abduction, if it indeed occurred at this location, was not a violent one. That none of the bus drivers can remember giving her a ride that night suggests that she never got on a bus. Perhaps she didn't even make it to the bus stop.

    If the killer was someone Amina know, it would have had to be someone close enough to know that she would be visiting her mother that night, where her mother lived, and the bus schedule. (I don't know what Seattle public transportation is like but where I live, a 10:30/11:30 bus would be the last one of the night.)

    The obvious suspect here would be the boyfriend. However, his candidacy is hampered by the fact that we know absolutely nothing about him.
     
  8. STANDREID

    STANDREID A slacker when slacker wasn't cool

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    I would assume that Amina's boyfriend and former partner(s) were thoroughly checked out at the time she vanished since she wasn't a good candidate for a voluntary disappearance.

    My best guess is that she accepted a ride home from a casual acquaintance, such as a regular at the restaurant where she worked, who may have just seen her walking to the bus by chance and that things went wrong from there.

    Do we know why she didn't have her own car? Back then, you could buy an old car that would get you back and forth from work for $200.
     
  9. STANDREID

    STANDREID A slacker when slacker wasn't cool

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    Until I watched that video, I didn't realize that the bus stop was a half mile away. That's a fair walk - not to mention, for an attractive woman, alone, at close to midnight, on a summer evening.
     
  10. Pettibon Junction

    Pettibon Junction Member

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    Agreed. What's more, it opens the possibility for an opportunistic stranger murder.

    Maybe the dump site could yield some clues. It was pretty remote, off a logging road outside of the city. Perhaps the killer was familiar with the area because he worked in that industry.
     
  11. kemo

    kemo Active Member

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    I don't know if the exact location her body was found was ever disclosed but the general area had been used as a dumping ground by other murderers. There is now suburban development in Snoqualmie and North Bend but in 1982 there wasn't much there and few people would be likely to be poking around the forested area. Dumping a body there suggests a certain amount of criminal sophistication but not really special knowledge of the area.

    Grown women are rarely forcibly abducted off the street because they tend to put up a fight. It does happen. Mia Zapata, the Rock singer, was abducted of the streets of the Central District, about 2 miles away in 1993. Still,odds favor it being an acquaintance.

    The only real chance of solving a case like that and taking a hard look and all of the men, (and perhaps some of the women) she had relationships with. If she was taken by a stranger, were there any similar cases in the area that were solved? Probably too late now.

    I would really like to know what is in the police file. Seattle PD is under no obligation to release the information but they could if they saw fit.
     
  12. Fede

    Fede New Member

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    Bumping. Amina was murdered 36 years ago and the murderer is still at large. Her sons are still looking for an answer.

    I wonder if in the crime scene they only found bones or did they found also some clothes?
     
  13. kemo

    kemo Active Member

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    I did a little digging and I found one blog-type internet source (ie not necessarily reliable) that claimed that she would have been Ridgway’s only known victim that was fully clothed.

    It is all a little vague about how certain the investigators were about the gun shot. From what I could tell, some lead fragments were found “near the body “ but usually gunshots result in noticeable damage to the skeleton if the bullet hits a bone with enough force to fragmentize. (Anybody know anything about this?)

    An abdomen shot with a low power load might hit an artery or a vital organ and and kill through shock or loss of blood without hitting a bone or passing through the back muscle tissue but you would expect an intact bullet.

    Most up close and person gunshot homicides are to the head and result in obvious penetration of the skull. A shot to the torso would be expected to put a noticeable hole to the clothing.
    Action of animals may have obscured any damage however.

    It would be interesting to know what determination of the autopsy was.

    Aminia’s remains were discovered by a forestry work crew near the junction of Hwy 18 and I 90. Two other known Ridgway victims (Thompson and Feeney) were later found by the task force nearby and the three were considered a cluster.

    Aminia disappeared the day before the first admitted victim was murdered and her body was found close enough to two bodies of known victims to be considered a cluster (I can’t find the actual distance). I don’t like coincidences and these are two strong coincidences. Otherwise, however, there isn’t much to link them. Ridgway was a working class guy who lived in the blue collar areas around Kent. Aminia was a cultured college graduate who was last seen and lived in the upscale, hip area north of downtown, quite a ways from where Ridgway lived.

    Ridgway was apparently quite adamant that he did not kill Amina. There were other possible victims that he denied but, if he really did kill them, he had obvious reasons to deny them. (Either they occurred out of either Pierce or King County or after he married his last wife) These situations did not apply to Aminia. In addition Ridgway did admit to other victims he had not been linked to. Either he didn’t do it or there was some reason he won’t own up to it.

    If Aminia was really his first victim, there was something very different about her death, something Ridgway is perhaps ashamed of.



    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  14. STANDREID

    STANDREID A slacker when slacker wasn't cool

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    I don't see the 1988 reality TV presentation MANHUNT: LIVE! about the Green River Killer, hosted by Patrick Duffy, mentioned in the Wiki article. Very creepy-did anyone else here see it?
     
  15. Fede

    Fede New Member

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