A Newberg man who pleaded no contest to the murders of two Portland women in the early 90s has been released from prison.
Scott William Cox, 49, was looked at in as many as 20 unsolved murders in the Pacific Northwest and other areas, local investigators told Fox 12.
He served 20 years of a 25-year sentence.
A parole officer with Yamhill County picked up Cox from the Oregon State Correctional Institution in Salem around 8 a.m. Friday.
There is concern for the safety of Cox, as well as his parole officer.
"The fact that the system is allowing this to happen is scary," said McMinnville resident Brittany Harris.
"Everyone's talking about it, at work, on facebook, my friends... everyone."
Cox will be brought to the Yamhill County Jail day facility, where he will be required to report to his parole officer daily. He will also be required to keep a journal of his activities and will be monitored via GPS.
He will be allowed to come and go at will.
"It's scary, I mean he will have something on his leg monitoring him, but that's not going to stop him from getting you if you are in the car next to him," said McMinnville resident Joanne Myers.
Cox will be required to look for work, but he will stay at the jail indefinitely until he can find a secure and healthy place to live, such as with a family member.
"If he was in my neighborhood, I would certainly want to know about it because I don't want my grand kids anywhere around where he's at," said former Beaverton Police Chief Dave Bishop.
Bishop was one of the original investigators on the case, and says Cox has a disregard for human life.
"It's my suspicion that he will commit a violent crime again unless he's monitored extremely close. A serial killer is a serial killer, they don't just stop because he, or she read a book."
In late 1993, Cox pleaded no contest in Multnomah County to the 1990 stabbing death of Reena Ann Brunson, 34, of Portland, and the 1991 murder of Victoria Rhone, 32, also of Portland. Brunson's body was found in a Portland grocery store parking lot. Rhone's body was found in a Portland railway yard.
Investigators who worked on the original case told FOX 12 that Cox drew the attention of police investigators nationwide. A long-haul trucker, Cox drove the west from Canada to Mexico and as far east as Ohio. Investigators said Cox was looked at in the unsolved murders of as many as 20 women.
Fox 12 reported in 1993 that a Multnomah County assistant district attorney was believed the state's case was hurt because police investigators improperly obtained confessions from Cox. The Multnomah County judge invalidated those confessions. Prosecutors had hoped to convict Cox on aggravated murder charges, which would have carried a possible death sentence.
Cox was living in Newberg on post-prison supervision for a forgery case in 1993. Yamhill County officials said Cox has no family or community ties to the area.
He initially applied to be released to Douglas County, but that release plan was denied. State law requires he return to the county where he was living at the time of his arrest.
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