Walter Ackerson Jr. Murder: Where are Troy Culver, Eric Forsgren, and Geoff Calligan Now? – Following the March 1990 abduction of 16-year-old Walter Ackerson, Jr. from Yachats, Oregon, is the subject of the Investigation Discovery episode “Shattered: The Pact.” Because of his mother, Karen Hull’s determination, it took almost 20 years for the crime to be solved. The episode details the lengthy investigation procedure and, in the end, the 20-year conviction process for the offenders. We have the information you need if you are curious about the culprits and want to know who they are and where they are right now. So let’s get started, shall we?
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Walter Ackerson Jr.’s Cause of Death
On July 6, 1973, Walter Thomas Ackerson Jr. was born in Kettle Falls, Stevens County, Washington. To leave an abusive relationship, he and his mother, Karen Hull, moved from the small hamlet of Kettle Falls to Puyallup, Washington. However, Walter found it challenging to adjust to the sudden change to a much larger school district since he began to be picked on and bullied at school by other students. Karen added that he was small and had a hard time with the other kids picking on him. Many bullying incidents back then were simply not addressed as they are today.
Walter detested going to school, so when Karen found an alternative — the Oregon Job Corps — he at first shared her joy. It seemed like a very fantastic opportunity, Karen recalled. He anticipated being able to complete his education and progress and use it for something. Walter relocated to Yachats, Oregon, in March 1990 to join the 200-mile-away Angell Federal Job Corps Center. Finally, under rigorous supervision, he could further his schooling and even earn his GED, choosing culinary arts as his desired career choice.
Before it abruptly ended in the last weeks of March 1990, Walter maintained consistent communication with Karen and his grandma, Delores, for the first two weeks. An administrator from Walter’s facility called Karen on April 5, 1990, to inform her that her son had been missing since March 24. She said, “They told me my son ran away to Wyoming with another boy, and I asked them to file a missing person’s report and they asked me why? I said because he is 16.” She had no idea that her son had vanished for good and that it would take over 20 years to solve the riddle.
Who Killed Walter Ackerson Jr. and Why?
After discovering that no missing person report had been made even two weeks after the call, Karen Hull drove to Yachats, Oregon. Despite being initially told that Walter had fled with all of his possessions, she discovered them in his room. The staff then revealed to her that on March 24, 1990, Walter supposedly hitched to Nye Beach in Newport, Oregon, with three boys to drink alcohol, but he never returned. Karen also met with the three boys: Troy August Culver, 20, Eric Forsgren, 19, and Geoff Calligan, 19.
The three of them all told the same tale: they had sneaked off campus to go drinking on the beach, but Walter had gotten lost, and they had never seen him again. Troy allegedly apologised to Karen and said he felt responsible, which Karen found hard to believe. I told him he didn’t have to feel bad if my son was drinking and went away, she added. She had a nagging doubt, though, and Walter’s classmate Emma Beller just served to confirm it.
Emma informed Karen that there were stories that Troy and Walter got into a fight and that the three lads then beat up her son and pushed him, barely alive, down the Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport. Ten stories above the Pacific Ocean was the purported crime scene. The case was, however, dismissed by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department as a runaway teen case because they accepted the three boys’ version of events.
Boys reportedly frequently left the Angell Federal Job Corps Center, and the police identified Walter’s case as being similar. They didn’t even follow up on Emma’s account of what happened. The investigation was passed off to a new group of detectives in 2004 after being cold for some time and briefly being reopened in 1996. Eric was being held in Multnomah County Jail at the time for some unrelated offences, so the investigators re-interviewed both Geoff and him.
Emma could not recall the incident, and both men repeated the identical version of what happened, but when the investigators spoke with Troy, they began to have doubts. He seemed to recall minute details even after 14 years, although the others’ memories of the entire incident were inherently hazy.
The investigation once more appeared to be dead, but the Prineville Police Department called the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department to let them know Troy had admitted to killing Walter in 1990 to his probation officer. According to police reports, Troy underwent counselling and alcohol and drug treatment in addition to being a registered sex offender since being found guilty of promoting child sexual abuse in 2007. On March 24, 1990, he allegedly beat Walter nearly to death and threw him down the bridge.
Where are Geoff Calligan, Eric Forsgren, and Troy Culver Now?
According to Oregon law, a confession to a crime cannot result in a conviction unless there is physical proof to support the confession. The investigators opted to question the other two accomplices because finding evidence was exceedingly unlikely, given the length of time. Eric Forsgren and Geoff Calligan were asked by the police once more, and in return for immunity, they admitted that Troy had committed the crime. Even after they had tossed Walter’s body into the water and over the bridge, Eric supposedly still believed he was still alive.
In July 2010, Troy was charged with first-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter. According to the 1990 sentencing guidelines, he was only charged with manslaughter and received a maximum 10-year prison term after entering a guilty plea. He was freed in June 2020 after completing his sentence at the Snake River Correctional Institution. He is still living in Prineville, Oregon, in his fifties, and is still under community supervision.