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Two Oregon Fugitives Located in Mississippi -- One in Custody and One Deceased
On Wednesday, July 25th, 2018, the FBI Jackson Violent Crimes Task Force arrested Victoria Michelle Cravitz, a fugitive since October 2000, in the Chatham community in Washington County, Mississippi.
Leon Henry Shaw, her common-law husband/partner, is confirmed deceased.
Victoria Cravitz, who was living under the name Jennifer Larsen, took Shaw to a hospital for medical care for an illness. Shaw died of natural causes at the hospital and questions about his true identity arose when generating a death certificate. Concerned citizens contacted the FBI.
Shaw and Cravitz were wanted for their alleged involvement in the sexual molestation of several children between the ages of six and seventeen in Klamath Falls, Oregon, beginning in approximately December of 1989 and continuing until approximately February of 1999. On January 7, 2000, a Circuit Court Judge in Klamath County, Oregon, issued arrest warrants for Shaw and Cravitz. Shaw faced two counts of sodomy, four counts of sex abuse, five counts of rape, six counts of felon in possession of a firearm, and obstructing governmental administration charges. Cravitz's charges include three counts of rape in the first degree and one count of sodomy in the first degree. On October 12, 2000, a federal judge in Medford, Oregon, issued unlawful flight to avoid prosecution (fugitive) warrants for both Shaw and Cravitz.
“This case is an excellent example of our determination to see justice done regardless of time limits,” said Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “The FBI's commitment to bringing justice to crime victims will never waver.”
"This is a great example of how the FBI coordinates between field offices across the United States to ensure that there is no escape from the law," said Christopher Freeze, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Mississippi. "We appreciate the citizens in Washington County that helped bring some finality to this horrific crime."
Klamath County District Attorney Eve Costello said "Our County intends to prosecute Ms. Cravitz to the full extent of the law. Her and her husband's abuse of multiple children have create long term negative ramifications for many individuals. The allegations involve the kidnap, rape and torture of a number of young girls since before 2000 when the case first came to light to DHS. DHS was able to intervene, but Ms. Cravitz and Mr. Shaw took off out of county. We are glad to see their whereabouts determined and plan to seek justice for the victims."
Cravitz had her initial appearance before a federal magistrate in the Southern District of Mississippi today and will be extradited back to Oregon to face Federal and State charges.
A federal charge is only an accusation of a crime, and all defendants should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.