Cold case: Portland couple shot in bedroom may have known their - KPTV - FOX 12

Cold case: Portland couple shot in bedroom may have known their killer

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A North Portland couple shot in their bedroom may have known their killer, according to a Portland police detective.

Harold and Laura Penland were found dead in their home on North Vancouver Avenue on June 5, 1983. They were both shot multiple times.

A friend discovered the bodies when he went to the house to check on the Penlands after he was unable to reach them on the phone.

The Penlands were security conscious, installing bars on the windows of the house and a security screen on the front door. But there was no sign of forced entry into the home.

"Due to the fact that they took security with such steps, I believe that most likely their killer or killers probably knew them," said Detective Meredith Hopper.

While little is known about Laura Penland, Harold Penland was well-liked.

"A lot of people had a lot of good things to say about him, how friendly he was," said Hopper. "Even his neighbors said he kept the house very nice, was always friendly, always had a hello to say to his neighbors."

Hopper said Harold Penland often went by the alias "Willie Nelson."

The original investigators learned Harold Penland was potentially laundering money through an upholstery shop and a car repair business, Hopper said.

Neighbors told police they suspected drug activity was taking place at the home due to frequent visitors to the house.

Investigators are looking into potential motives for the killings and need help from the community to solve the case.

"Even if they were involved in criminal activity, no one deserves to have their life taken from them," said Hopper. And it's important to us to find out who committed these murders."

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