Rick Riffe

Monday saw Lewis County sheriff’s officers travel to Alaska to arrest the man they believe is the murderer of John and Wilhelmina Riffe. Riffe was arrested for the murders, but he and two other men were already dead when the investigation began. Edward and Wilhelmina “Minnie” Maurin were killed by the Riffe brothers. Riffe’s brother, John, was also suspected of murdering the couple. Riffe died naturally before investigators could fly to Alaska.

The murders were committed almost three decades ago. Riffe had forced the victims to withdraw $8,500 from a bank account before shooting them. To a packed courtroom, the surviving children read their statements. Hazel Oberg spoke about her mother’s upbringing and Dennis Hadaller spoke about his hard work for his family. The surviving family members were not able to testify in court, but they gave testimony about their parents.

After his conviction, Riffe was sentenced to 103 years in prison. He was convicted of seven felony offenses during his trial, including murder, kidnapping and robbery. His attorney stated that Riffe wasn’t remorseful for the actions he had taken and didn’t regret them. Many have called for Riffe’s release.

In 1986, Riffe, a truck driver and crane operator, was arrested after the bodies of Minnie and Ed Maurin were discovered near Adna. An autopsy revealed that the bodies were shotgunned to death. However, there wasn’t enough evidence to charge Riffe with the murders because there were few witnesses. But, because Riffe was a friend of the deceased Maurins, his arrest was highly probable.

John and Ed Maurin’s bodies were discovered in the woods on Christmas Eve 1985. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office believes that Rick Riffe kidnapped the Maurins and forced them to withdraw $8,500 in cash. Afterward, their bodies were discovered five days after their disappearance. The bodies were shot inside the car, and a passerby found them. The Riffe brothers have since been arrested for the murders.

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