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A trip back to 1977 – and horrific, unsolved crime


One of Central Oregon’s most horrific crimes from 1977 remains unsolved to this day.

Then-19-year-old Terri Jentz and her college roommate, Shayna Weiss, made a cross-country bike trip and stopped at Cline Falls State Park near Redmond for the night.

What they didn’t know is that their lives would change forever.

The girls had dinner and went to bed. Jentz said the next thing she remembers is a truck driving over their tent.

“I was feeling like I was dying, I knew I was dying. And I said to myself, ‘I’m too young to die. I’m going to make a bid for my life,” Jentz said recently.

She said a man, who looked like a cowboy, then began attacking them both with an ax.

“I caught the ax in my hand and said, ‘Please go away! Take anything, but leave us alone!’ And he withdrew the hatchet, ax from my hand, walked away and got in his truck and left,” Jentz said.

A passing good Samaritan drove the women to the hospital.

Jentz suffered broken bones and Weiss was left blind.

“I was feeling my life force ebb away,” Jentz said. “It was then that I opened up my eyes and rejoined the world, if you will, and said, ‘Go away!’ If I didn’t do that, I would have died.”

A suspect was never identified.

Fast forward 15 years, and Jentz made a trip back to Central Oregon in search of answers. She knocked on hundreds of doors.

“By me telling my story and them telling me their story, both of us would put together our memories into a coherent narrative,” Jentz said.

She collected evidence and took it to the Oregon State Police, which reopened the investigation.

Former OSP detective Lynn Fredrickson was assigned to Jentz’s reopened case in the ’90s.

“I think that was one of her questions,” Fredrickson said. “She wanted to know why it happened, which would be the biggest thing — why someone would pick them arbitrarily to do all of the physical damage to them, and I think they just wanted to know why.”

The seemingly random and brutal attack was extremely unusual for the Bend area.

Native Central Oregonian Kevin Rea started his business building homes in a city of only 13,000.

“It was still pretty much a sleepy little ski town that was just beginning to be discovered,” Rea said.

NewsChannel 21 also went on the air on Nov. 6 of that year.

“I thought, ‘Wow, we are big enough we get a news station,'” Rea recalled.

Nearly 40 years later, a lot has changed, both at NewsChannel 21 and across Central Oregon.

Even though Jentz’s attacker was never brought to justice, she said she has learned to live with the outcome.

“I don’t feel fear of darkness, I don’t feel fear of camping, because it wasn’t a supernatural force that anyone can come out and get you,” Jentz said. “It was a specific person, place and time.”

Terri says through her investigation, she believes she identified a suspect.

She wrote a book on her experience titled, Strange Piece of Paradise.

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