Escaped mental hospital patient captured

Escaped mental hospital patient captured


by Erica Heartquist, KGW Staff

Posted on September 13, 2011 at 7:48 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 21 at 12:12 PM

Should inmates have access to Facebook?

SALEM -- Matthew Ingle, the man who escaped from the Oregon State Hospital earlier this month was captured and arrested at a home in Sandy. (Warning: Story contains references to profanity.)

Ingle was sentenced to 20 years in state custody for manslaughter. He killed Pam Benson, 42, and her daughter Clarice, 11, in April 2009 after he ran a stop sign while high on anti-psychotic medication, anti-depression medication and marijuana.

Oregon State Police acting on a tip arrested him for escape around noon Tuesday.

He had escaped on September 3rd, during a supervised walk with other hospital patients.

More: Man who killed 2 in DUII crash escapes

In the weeks preceding his escape, Ingle posted messages to friends about "getting out of the place." 

The ordeal has been gut-wrenching for family of the two people Ingle killed.

"As with everything else at the state hospital at this point, [I am] completely outraged," said Jon Benson, Pam's husband and Clarice's father.

Background: Ingle talked about escape on Facebook

"It's been its own form of hell, its own form of torture," said Benson.

"I'm angry. I'm angry that the state hospital would give him full access to the Internet and, obviously, by the picture, [on Facebook] he has full access to a camera," said a family friend, who did not want to be identified.

The friend contacted one of Ingle's Facebook "friends," who showed her everything on Ingle's wall.

"He killed two people and he's living in the state hospital, and he has free access to anything he wants," she said. "He should be monitored and he should have limitations,' she added.

The friend showed the posts to Benson.

"He committed a crime and therefore should have some sort of monitoring for any kind of media that he would use," said Benson.

One of the posts from Ingle's Facebook page, written August 1 while he was still in the state hospital reads, "Chillin waiting for my hearing so I can get out of this peace a s*** place. Miss everyone will be home soon."

On August 12 Ingle wrote, "Things are so f****d in this place. I will call you guys this weekend and let you know what I know."

The state hospital does not monitor telephone calls or Facebook activity, said hospital spokeswoman Rebeka Gipson-King.

Gipson-King released this statement to KGW Tuesday afternoon:

"At OSH, our job is to ensure that patients receive life training and skills to transition into the community when they no longer need or are qualified for a hospital level of care. These skills and training are essential to their success during the time they remain under the supervision of the Psychiatric Security Review Board and after that supervision is done.

Privileges are very important to treatment and recovery from mental illness and preparation for the time when patients leave the hospital. Patients learn responsibility, work on social skills and gain self confidence. They also learn the skills they need for a successful transition to a community placement, such as a secure residential treatment facility or group home.

Internet access can be a part of that process. Not all patients have access to the Internet. Internet use, including access to social media, is a privilege that patients must earn, and their treatment team must agree as a group that a patient is ready for the privilege after considering the patient's past history, therapeutic needs and safety requirements. If the patient uses the Internet inappropriately, the privilege is revoked."