Volume 130, Number 29

Friday, July 18th, 2003


Fowler died last month when she apparently tripped and was impaled on a pair of hedge clippers. Gates was found two weeks ago by Connelly when he came in to open the shop. She had drowned in a birdbath.

Both deaths have been ruled accidental by Coronor Susan Whipple.

While rumors and speculation have been racing through the community, no one blames owners Lyle and Daisy Pershing for their string of bad luck with employees. While neither chose to comment for this story, Connelly was passionate in his defense.

"Lyle and Daisy are the most decent people I know, and in this town, that's saying something. Anyone who knows them knows they feel a lot more responsible than they are. They're really broken up about Linda and Becky. We all are."

When asked about his former co-workers, Pershing employee Bob Halprin said merely that accidents will happen.

"We work with a lot of dangerous things. Any of us could go anytime. I just hope nothing like this happens again."

Stephanie Greene, another Pershing employee, had this to say:

"If those girls had been paying attention, this wouldn't have happened. They were careless, and more worried about their boyfriends and their fancy clothes than their jobs. I'm not saying it was all their faults, but they could have been a lot more careful. I'm just saying."

But what of Pershing Daisy's latest employee, Jalil Singh? Singh, a native of Bangalore, India, is studying computer sciences at University of Oregon, Whispering Pines. When asked if he's worried about working at the nursery, he laughed.

"Two fatal accidents in a row is unfortunate, but three is absurd. Nobody here means anyone harm. I feel perfectly safe. Lyle and Daisy are wonderful people. If they will teach me, I will be happy to work here as long as I am in Whispering Pines. In fact, I would like to work here as long as I live."

A Deadly Trend

by Claire Olney

You wouldn't know it to look at the place, but Pershing Daisies has developed a bad reputation among University of Oregon students.

"Everybody knows it's not a good place to apply for work," says History major Elizabeth Aimes. "Especially if you're from out of town."

"Let's just say I'd rather do almost anything else," says Freshman Tim Hawkes. "I want to make it to graduation."

What is the reason for this attitude? Two unexplained deaths. In both cases, the victims were University of Oregon students, both were from other communities, neither had been in town long, and both were attractive young women.

Linda Fowler

Linda Fowler, 19, was the first victim. The vivacious Theater Arts major hailed originally from Boise, Idaho, and was well liked by those who knew her. Despite a slight reputation as a party girl, she was working her way through college with two jobs. In addition to her duties tending the plants and taking the money at Pershing Daisies, she also waited tables at Waffle Wagon, a local restaurant popular with both locals and students.

"She was great," says regular Waffle Wagon customer Ed Finney. "Never once got my order wrong, always seemed to be there with the coffee pot just when I needed a refill. I'll miss her."

Pershing Daisies co-worker Brad Connelly also thought highly of Linda.

"I didn't get to know her well, but she was always nice to everyone. She'd show up on time, ready to work, and enthusiastic. In fact, the only thing about her that wasn't perfect for this place is that she hadn't done much work with plants before. The day before...well, before...she was repotting an orchid and she dropped it. I can't help wondering if that was a sign. The orchid died, and so did she. I liked her."

Becky Gates

The second victim, Becky Gates, was a twenty-two year old about to enter the graduate program in English at University of Oregon. She'd moved to Whispering Pines to be close to her boyfriend, Adam Banks, who is studying for his MBA.

"Becky was the sweetest person I've ever known," he said in a recent interview. "She was quiet, but anyone who got to know her can tell you she was smart, funny, and just about the best person you could ever meet."

Gates and Banks shared an apartment and had discussed marriage.

Connelly had this to say of Banks:

"She was really quiet. She only worked here a couple days, so I didn't get the chance to talk to her much or get to know her. She was good with the customers, though, and a hard worker. I feel a little bad, because the last thing I ever said to her was to stop overwatering the succulents. She didn't have a lot of experience, but she had enough interest in plants that she would have learned quickly, given the chance."


Breaking and Entering

A break in robbery was reported by Deb Jackson on Monday night. While Jackson and her roommate, Patty Roth, were both at work, an unknown person or persons broke into the ground floor apartment via a window facing the street. The window was broken, and a small china ornament crushed, but no other damage was reported. The intruder stole several pairs of Jackson's underpants from the bedroom, and an unopened jar of peanut butter from the kitchen. No suspect has been apprehended in connection with the crime.

Drunk Driving

Justin Moore, 27, was stopped by police Wednesday night at 8:37pm on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. Moore was seen weaving over both lanes of Apple Grove Road, traveling at a speed of 63MPH on the quiet residential street. Police discovered that Moore's license had been suspended two months ago after a similar event. Moore remains in police custody, pending bail.


Police were called to the Nightowl nightclub Friday night at 10:32pm when Freddy 'Scarface' Latimer, 35, punched Wendall Forbes, 29, in the face, then kicked him repeatedly in the groin. One witness claims that Latimer also drew a knife and threatened Forbes with it, but no one else has confirmed the allegation and no knife was found on Latimer. Witnesses all agree Latimer attacked because Forbes danced with Latimer's girlfriend, Misty Hill, 23. Latimer was released on bail. Forbes was treated at Scobie Memorial Hospital and is recovering at home.

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