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October 5, 2018 26 mins

For years, Melissa believed her mother held much of the blame for tearing their family apart, but soon comes to understand that her father was never really a hero. 

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
M. Carl Young once said that knowing your own darkness
is the best method for dealing with the darkness of
other people. But what if that other person is your father.
This story covers two lives, a father and his daughter,
and two paths, a killer and a victim. I'm Lauren

Bright Pacheco, and this is happy Face. I got a
phone call. You guys were in bed. I got a
phone call, and this guy gets on the phone and
he says, I know where you're at. You're in the
kitchen and you're wearing this. I was petrified. Oh my god.

So I closed the door to the kid's room and
I turned off all lights because I didn't want him
to know where I was at. But whoever called me
knew exactly where I was in the house, and he
knew exactly what us wearing, so I knew he can
see me for wherever he was. So I turned the
lights off and I called nine one one, and they said, well,

if they haven't broken in everything, there's nothing we can do.
And go, Oh, you're so comforting, you know. But the
fortunate thing for me is I was babysitting my sister's
two dogs and I was sitting on the count and
I said, oh my god, lord, if you take me,
if he kills me, just don't let my kids find

me in the morning. Please don't let them find me.
And I sat with the dogs next to me. I
can see the door handle turning and the dogs went listic.
And whoever it was left do you think? Oh? He

said he did. Keith states that he hired someone. How
did you know that it was him that was trying
to put a hit on you? Because that was the
only who else knew where I lived. It's been a
long long Thanks got you stay since Darren dream left you?

Let do you go? Thanks? I'm on the road with
Melissa Moore, the daughter of a Happy Face serial killer Noel.
Our producer, is also in the car with us, and

we've just left her mother, Rose's office. Rose told us
this terrifying story about how Keith had threatened her even
from prison. He had hired somebody to possibly even murder her,
and Melissa's beginning to realize that none of her childhood
homes were truly ever safe. Let's actually go there. I wanna.

I want to go to the first place I stopped
when we came to Spokene. If are you okay with that?
If I take you there worse. I'm on Hamilton's Road,
which is the road my mom took when we got
to Spokene to head over to my grandma's house, and
everything was new to me. I have never seen so
many buildings so close to each other. There's so many cars.

This was a site that I've never seen before, and
it was thrilling to me as a young girl. It
was absolutely exciting, despite knowing my mom had just said
that her and my dad were separating, which I didn't believe.
It didn't feel real. I felt that this was a
temporary situation, that they would get back together, that this
was just going to be like a summer vacation. When

when you moved to your grandparents house, how did your
day to day change. My grandma, you know, didn't expect
to be hosting a family in her house, and so
there's no way she could have prepared. Even if she
could have prepared. So her basement was unfinished basements, all cement,
cement floors, and there was a canning seller with this

old reclaimed wood, and there's no there's one bedroom that
was finished in the basement with um like particle board,
but my area that I picked was a seller room,
and I had a room for a cot, and then
there was no room for any furnishings. We didn't have
any furniture, so I used um shoeboxes to organize my

underwear in my socks, my cardboard cardboard shoe boxes, and
that was kind of like my makeshift dresser. I thought
I was going to last just a week or two,
but it quickly turned into the whole summer, and then

summer quickly turned into I was going to fifth grade now.
My mom was registering me at Evergreen Elementary here, and
when she registered me for fifth grade here, it now
felt like, oh, this isn't changing, and especially when my
dad showed up. But when Keith came, it was a
huge disappointment for Melissa. She suddenly realized he wasn't this

superhero or this mythological figure she'd always romanticized him as
he had a trailer of all our belongings, and it
was like halfway through that he didn't even having care.
When he showed up, it was a disaster. It was
just like tossed in there like it was trash our belongings.
I actually didn't even recognize it as my own bedroom
furniture because it was so broken down and so ruined

by the transport. Rose remembers this well, and it's even
worse from her perspective, while Melissa focuses on her bed
and her possessions. Rosa's sadness comes from losing something irreplaceable.
When we had left, he had given everything away from
our house like I wanted to keep like you guys,

as baby pictures and her She had a cute little
gown at Little Rose buzz Alo that your grandma had
bought for you, and in a quilt that was made
for you, and he chucked out all up, gave it away.

Phil Stanford The Oregonian. One day about November, he says
he picked up a girl named Claudia in California on
the way out of l A. My mind went wild
with the thought of a sex slave, and when I
stopped at the rest area, I took her. I taped

her up and raped her again and again. I kept
her for four days alive. Then I killed her and
dumped her body about seven miles north of blythe On.
I was still happy to see him because I thought

that every time my dad came I could persuade him
to get back together with my mom, and like everything
would go back to normal and I could have um
my life back. I thought, if I could just manipulate
and convince my father, I would try every tactic possible.
And maybe you know other kids when they go through
a divorce, go through the same thing. That's what I

did with my dad. I wanted him back. I wanted
him to fix the situation, you know. But she registered that,
like he wasn't treating your your things with respect, that
there was sort of a coldness there. You registered that.
I registered that, but I thought it was because of
his anger situation. I didn't take it personal. I thought
it was Yeah, I blamed my mom. That's what I

regret is, I blamed her. She didn't deserve that at all.
How did you meet him again? How did you guys
start dating? You were working at a burger place and

you were doing the takeout window, and then my dad
drove through the takeout and then you didn't put the
meat in his pack on the grill on the left,
and then he circled back because he didn't have meat
in his hamburgers two buns right, and he goes up

miss I did order a hamburger and there was no
meed in it. I go, oh, okay, still sitting on
the grill. So he asked me out and I said no.
Every time he come in he'd asked me, and finally
McCartin goes, I just go out with him once. Why

didn't you want to do? I was not really attracted
to him, you know, the whole thing. I don't even
know I even married him. To be honest with you,
seemingly inappropriate laughter seems to be a trait of the
Jesperson women. It's almost gallows humor. Years later it was like,

what did you even seeing this guy that get married him?
I guess I just I rooted for the underdog so
long I married it. I don't know. He wasn't exactly

a faithful husb Oh, absolutely not from day one, from
day one, actually literally day one. Yeah, tell me about
your wedding day. Um, I got ready for the wedding,
we got married, and they were doing pictures of me
and I guess he was outside kissing the bridesmaids. My
best friend Pam. How would you find out about that?

She told me? Maybe years later, she goes, I felt
so bad. I wanted to tell you, but Dad didn't
tell you. She told you when when you were married
and we were living in Yakama. Did you ever since
said he was unfaithful? Like I knew it. I knew it.
I was getting phone calls every day. Hi is Keith here?

I said, no, who is this? She goes, oh, I
can't remember what her name was, And she goes, oh,
would you tell Keith that I called? She goes, oh,
who are you his wife? Oh? And then she'd hung up.
So they were phoning the head. They were phoning the house.
Did you ever confront Dad on these women calling? Um?

I did? He would say things like, if you only knew,
like we'd be driving down the road, because if you
only knew, And I go, if I only knew? What?
Because if only you knew. After the second murder, the
happy face, Keller says he realized he liked what he

was doing. This triggered something in me. He says, it
was getting easy, real eazy. A week or two later,
I stopped in Turlock, California, at a rest area. A
hooker became my next victim. This time I just strangled
her right there without sucks. She was in my truck

only five minutes. I dropped her body off behind the
Blueberry Hill calf a ten miles south. I placed her
body in the dirt and stepped on her throat to
make sure she was dead. M I just can't understand

why we kind of get together, Like I couldn't understand
because our car came from my dad. When we needed anything,
my mom would ask my dad, and my dad would
buy us a new car, or my dad would provide
the things that we needed. So it felt like we
just weren't competent on our own without him, Like somehow
he was competent, and I knew how to make things happen,

and he got money so fast and so effort leastly,
it looked like, you know that my dad was that
now looking back, you know, as as a mom now
looking at you have to pay anything, like all the
his resources, his full time job, didn't go to supporting
a family, went to himself and his lifestyle. Did you

at one point try to go on the road with him?
There's some story. Yes, So so you guys stay with
your grandparents. We go to Arizona, so we're near in
a semi truck. It was a blazing hot day. So
we were gonna stop at a restaurant and neat so

we he parked the vehicle, we walk and there was
um I call him pimps, but they had a huge
black limo and they were washing it. He physically picked
me up and put me in the arms of that man.
He said you can hand over and walked away. And

that was the end of our marriage. That was it.
That's when I left. I don't I don't even know why.
I got back in the truck with him and went
back home. Mentally, for you, at that moment, that was it.
I was totally done. So basically told pimps that you
can have my wife picked me up, physically picked me
up and put me in the arms of a guy

like what like I couldn't think. I was in so
much shock. I couldn't figure out. We never talked, by
the way the whole way back, never said a word
to each other. This world is full. You are dream

left fire been realized. Oh you right. How did he
feel about being a dad? Well, he he said he

really was happy, and I mean he held you and stuff,
but he was never home. So what he said when
he did was two different things. Yeah, that makes sense.
So it's always been the case. I think I spent
the first year it was like, I don't know how
to explain it. The first year she was born, I
was like, there was some dark force that was trying

to kill us. I don't know how to explain it
to you. I went the first year with Melissa, had
went through two fires, didn't I saved the family by
waking up when yeah, like I was, I was sleeping
and she was playing in a crib, like, oh, what
the hell? And I looked over, Oh, she's playing in
a crib. I heard her audible voice tell me, Rose,

it's three o'clock in the morning. Why can't you see
your child playing in the crib? I shot straight up.
The whole bathroom was on fire. I grabbed her, ran up,
I nudged Keith, ran out the door with her, and
the whole mobile home belt burned down. And it didn't
burn down, but it caught the whole real fun fire,

wasn't it? The vent? Keith? Take the vent? It got
so hot that the fan the melt, it melt, plastic melted,
and I had a little toilet cover, a shag covered,
and it caught it on fire, and the whole bathroom
was engulfed before the smoke detectors went off. I was
already out the door before the that just went off

went If you remember having the first feeling like, oh
my god, I made a mistake in terms of marrying him.
I think when I went through the second fire. It
was like three months after that. Your dad had a
contract with the Bacco to do irrigation pipes for a

huge orchard up in winning Out. So we borrowed your
grandparents brand new travel trailer and we parked it under
the hill and there was just dry grass all the
way up the hill, and then there was a beach
and then the lake. And I remember looking up and

the hill was on fire and it was all dry
grass between me and that trailer. It was tall, dry grass.
Do you know that he was an arsonist? He set fires?
I didn't think of that. He did it through chi
Do you think you set the trailer? I doubts after

after that, that's kind of coincidence to fire exactly. Do
you think he was having second thoughts of being a
dad and was trying to kill I have no idea,
but I think about it like it told you a
dark force was trying to get rid of us. So

Dad was gone. You didn't see him. And then this
fire happens on the hill and it's coming straight down
for us. And then what do you do? You have
me in the lake? Huh? And I grabbed the hose
from behind the camper and saturated the grass as much
as I could with the water from the hose. I mean,

it was gonna be our life. So and I had
a visual point that if the fire broke past that line,
I wasn't just leave the hose there and as around
the lake, and I was gonna go deeper with you
in it. And then did it ever reach that point?
I did not. I saw the fire truck come down.
When did Keith come back? Oh maybe fifteen minutes after that?

How did he know? I have no idea. It was
an incredible moment just watching them come together. It was
as if they were putting together the pieces of a
puzzle that they've been trying to solve for years. Then

you said that was the moment when you regretted marrying him? Why?
Because it was this is the second fire, like within
three months, and I felt like this dark, oppressive force
was after me and I felt that that force was
your dad. Then shortly after that, like a month after,

we go camping to you and I and we're at
a church camp, and so he decided to sleep in
the car, but you and I sleep in the cabin.
And then I heard a bear and it's going around
and around our cabin, and I just was like, oh
my god. I mean, I wanted to grab you put

in my bed, but I didn't dare stir you. And
then the bear stood up on the door and was
pushing on the door and there was only a leather
latch between that bear and us. And so I laid
there and I said, oh god, please don't let Melissa
make one. Please don't make your one sound. And then

I heard another bear going around and around. That's not
an accident. He must have planted fish or he did.
He did. He cleaned fish in front of the cabin.
You can see paws all over the place. And he
was sleeping in the car and this bear was pushing

on this door and was pushing on this door, and
I just thought, oh my god, if that latch on hooks,
we're dinner. I know that Dad knows not to clean
fish like it's one. Oh one. It's one oh one.
You don't prepare your food in your camp base or

clean fish. You're supposed to even put your trash up
a tree. Yeah, he knew, he knew that. I mean
he packed horses with his dad. They've they've went camping
since they were little. They know the bush better than anything.
It's apparent to me three incidents. He's conveniently in a
different location. This is this is definitely him trying to

make it look like an accident. I think after that
point that I really believe you and I were protected,
really spiritually protected you and I very I felt that
from the very beginning with all the kids. The happy
face Killer, if that's how he wants us to think

of him, says he left his next victim in Salem, Oregon.
My next victim was a hooker I had used weeks earlier.
I summoned her on the CB. She had a raincoat on.
We went through the normal procedure. I felt so much power.
I then told her she was going to die and

slowly strangled her and dropped her off behind g I
Joe's in Salem. I put her against the fence under
the BlackBerry vines and covered her with leaves. Do you
believe her when she says, your dad never abused her?
I do, and I believe in the physical sense because

he didn't physically abuse her. Was he abusive man, Yes,
in a different way. He was abusive. Emotionally he was abusive,
like controlling the money and controlling her. How did how
did it make you feel? Hearing kind of putting the
pieces together about the stories you Wane told you about
the fires because you obviously knew about You knew about

the fires, about one fire. I did not know about
the bears or about the other fire. I didn't put
the pieces together like this is like I've had these fragments,
these little stories that just paint a picture of one
particular thing. Now I feel like the pieces are coming
together and painting a bigger picture. I had assumed when

he had thoughts of killing us kids that it was
towards the latter years. Never what I've ever thought that
it happened as I was a toddler. You know, I
didn't go that far back. When you look at Keith's
history as a serial killer, you have to understand that
his murders that we know of took place in a
five year period. He started killing in nine, when Melissa

was ten, and he stopped in when she was fifteen,
And that history she shared with her father before he
became a serial killer is something that's very difficult for
her to process. You know, I I guess I had
put somewhat my dad in a box too, like he
he was the monster for five years. Now I'm saying

he was the monster for many years decades like this
is not Yeah, the five years is not isolated event.
It was an escalation. Were you ever afraid of him?

Was I afraid of your dad? No? Was I afraid
of the person that picked me up and put me
in the arms like another guy? Absolutely? I was afraid
of that. Do you think he was born that way?
I think he was groomed to be who he is

from less so you like his dad, It's been a
long long things. The best of you say? Since Love,

Happy Faces, A production of How Stuff Works. Executive producers
are Melissa Moore, Lauren Bright, Pacheco, mangesh A ticket Or,
and Will Pearson. Supervising producer is Noel Brown. Music by
Claire Campbell, Page Campbell and Hope for a Golden Summer.
Story editor is Matt Riddle. Audio editing by Chandler Mays
and Noel Brown. Assistant editor is Taylor Chacoin special thanks

to Phil Stanford, the publishers of the Oregonian Newspaper and
ka TU News in Portland, Oregon,

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Melissa Moore

Melissa Moore

Lauren Bright Pacheco

Lauren Bright Pacheco

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