Landlord Michael Dudley decided the best way to get rid of two of his tenets was to murder them, dismember their bodies and stuff them into suitcases before throwing them into a lake. According to court documents Michael Dudley would fatally shoot two of his tenets, Jessica Lewis and boyfriend Austin Wenne, in 2020. After the young couple were fatally shot Michael Dudley would dismember the bodies in order to make the remains fit inside of two suitcases before throwing the luggage into a lake which would later wash up on shore.
Michael Dudley would be arrested and his cell phone data showed that he was at the same beach the day before the young couple washed up. Throw in a neighbour who heard gunshots on the night of the double murder and it was enough to convict Dudley of the double murder
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A landlord accused of killing two tenants in 2020 was found guilty of four counts of second-degree murder on Thursday.
Michael Dudley, 62, killed Jessica Lewis, 35, and Austin Wenner, 27. The remains of Lewis and Wenner were found in bags on Alki on June 19, 2020.
Court documents allege Dudley dismembered Lewis and Wenner after killing them, separated their bodies into multiple bags and tried to hide them in different bodies of water.
“This process would have taken a lot of time and effort and his willingness to take these extreme steps demonstrates the threat he poses to the community,” charging documents read.
This was done “likely with the aid of others,” according to charging documents. Dr. Kathy Taylor, Washington state forensic anthropologist, told Seattle police she believed there were possibly multiple people involved, because the cuts on Lewis and Wenner’s bodies were “disorganized” and done in different manners with different apparatuses.
Lewis and Wenner were renting a room in Dudley’s Burien home, and court documents indicate they got into a dispute over rent money.
Investigators said that 10 days before the bodies were discovered in West Seattle, neighbors heard yelling and gunshots at Dudley’s home, but Dudley did not answer the door when Burien police responded.
After the guilty conviction, the mother of Wenner said she felt justice was served and that people in Seattle are now better protected.
“The world is a safer place without Michael Dudley in it,” Charleen Kriens said. “Everybody can rest easy tonight because of that.”
Kriens added that this conviction will allow the families to find healing and that the memories of Austin and Jessica will not be forgotten.
“My son is shining down from up above and saying, ‘You got it mom,'” said Kriens.
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A Washington state jury on Thursday found a landlord guilty of killing two tenants and stuffing their dead bodies into suitcases.
The jury decision comes after Michael Dudley, 64, killed both Jessica Lewis and boyfriend Austin Wenne. The couple’s bodies washed ashore inside suitcases on Alki Beach in Seattle in 2020, according to FOX 13.
A neighbor reported gunshots in Burien, Washington on June 9, 2020 as well as a man pleading for his life, but officers didn’t find anyone in the home. When asked by police, Dudley couldn’t explain why he wouldn’t answer the door for police.
Using cell phone data, officials learned that Lewis stopped sending texts on the night of the alleged shooting. Also using cell phone data, the landlord, Dudley, was found to have been near Alki Beach just one day before officials discovered the suitcase with the bodies inside.
Prosecutors didn’t have eyewitnesses to directly link the landlord to the murders, but relied on evidence that they argued proved Dudley’s guilt, and pointed toward the neighbor.
Lewis and Wenne were both Dudley’s tenants
Prosecutors said that Wenne was shot at least one time and Lewis was shot at least twice before the couple was mutilated and put into suitcases.
Lawyers for the landlord argued that the 62-year-old wasn’t capable of pulling the crime off.
Lewis’ aunt, Gina Jaschke, said that she has trouble looking at Dudley.
“I’m just hopeful his reign of terror comes to an end,” said Jaschke. “I just look at him and I can’t imagine what he’s done to them. It’s hard, really hard.”