Murder of Portland public defender still unsolved, 8 years after her death

PORTLAND, Ore. -- November 24 marks the 8th anniversary of the murder of Nancy Bergeson in Southwest Portland.

It remains a painful day for those who knew and loved her.

“We continue to mourn and miss our beloved colleague. As time has passed, those of us who knew Nancy best try to instill in our new office members her spirit of advocacy, her value of each individual client, and her love of life,” wrote Stephen Sady, Chief Deputy Federal Public Defender.

Bergeson was an assistant federal public offender, a lawyer who defended people accused of federal crimes who could not afford a lawyer.

Police found her dead in her home at 3 p.m. in 2009. At first it appeared she’d died from natural causes but then an autopsy revealed she’d been strangled.

Police say there was evidence she fought back against her attacker but there was no suspect and no known motive in the case.

Now, Stephen Sady says Bergeson’s friends work to keep her memory alive.

“Every summer, the legal community holds the Nancy Bergeson ardent advocacy lecture series with the special purpose of inspiring the next generation of defense lawyers with her values and spirit,” wrote Sady.

“And in our everyday practice, we still find ourselves citing to cases she litigated and to her view of what we should be doing for our clients. We encourage everyone with any information regarding her death to contact the Portland police,” he added.

Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of Bergeson’s killer. Tipsters can remain anonymous. Tips can be submitted online or by calling 503-823-HELP.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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