Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Who was Lyle Stevik? Grays Harbor County, WA, hotel suicide.

I was thinking about the Lyle Stevik case again recently. My original write up of it was pretty generic really, and doesn’t do justice to how interested I actually am in the case.
If you’ve been visiting my morbid little corner of the internet for a while, you’ll notice that I constantly go back to cases and often re-write them or add to them later down the line. Today it’s time to give the suicide of Lyle Stevik another look.


In Fern Hill Cemetery, Aberdeen, Grays Harbor County, WA, USA, there is a grave containing the unidentified body of a man who hanged himself in a hotel in 2001. The following is an account of the final days of a John Doe who came to be known in death as “Lyle Stevik”.

On the 14th of September 2001 a man checked into a nearby motel in Amanda Park, Grays Harbor County, Washington. He looked around 25 years old, 6”2, with hazel eyes and straight, dark hair that was well maintained. He was clad in stone washed Levis jeans held up with a leather belt, a grey T. shirt with a blue flannel shirt on top and a pair of Timberland boots. Look closely and you’d notice the mole on the left side of his chin.


He scrawled his name and address on a piece of paper at the reception desk:
Lyle Stevik.
1019 S Progress Ave, Meridian, Idaho.



Nobody saw how he arrived, but there’s a possibility that he could have gotten there by bus, as he walked into the Lake Quinault Inn motel in correlation with the scheduled arrival time of the local buses that regularly stopped outside.

 I looked up the hotel name and address and as far as I can tell, it was the “Lake Quinault Inn” located at 8 N Shore Rd, Amanda Park, WA 98526.


There is two motels in a close vicinity of each other, each with a similar sounding name (the other being called “Quinault river inn”) but from comparing reports online, it seems that the one he stayed in was “Lake Quinault inn”. I’m confident it is too, seeing as there seems to be trailer homes near the back of the hotel (Lyle apparently complained of noise coming from there), there is a couple of bus stops just outside (probably where Lyle got off) some ATMS (he paid with crisp notes) and a grocery store.

When investigators enquired about Lyle, the person on the front desk who checked him in said she thought he had a bit of a Canadian accent, although he didn’t really speak much beyond the communication needed to book a room and make requests etc. She checked him into room 8 of the motel, then moved him over to room 5 after the noise from the nearby trailer park was disturbing him. He showered before changing rooms, although he denied this for some reason when asked.

When questioned about his character the reception worker commented that he made her feel uneasy and seemed “Spaced out”-she hasn’t seemed to elaborate on this anywhere else or indicated why exactly he was giving her “bad vibes” so that’s all we have to go on.

Now, according to a post on “Throwbacknews.com”, someone who claimed to be the daughter of the maid (who originally found Lyles body) posted on a FB group dedicated to uncovering the identity of the mysterious dead man, that on the second day of Lyles stay she said she apparently heard him arguing with someone in his room. She claims that she definitely heard two voices. 
  This was on the same day that she went to clean Stevik’s motel room, only to be turned away as he opened the door just a crack and rejected the service. Obviously I can’t attest to this being true or not, it’s just something I found while trawling through search results about the case online.
 It is true, though, that on Sunday 16th Lyle said he didn’t want his room cleaned, and that he instead asked for two more towels.


The following day (Saturday the 15th) numerous people see Lyle walking up and down the highway. They specifically say that he was “pacing” which to me suggests he may have looked like he was anticipating someone or something to arrive or pass. Other than that, the only other place people seemed to see him was on the porch outside of the room, although it doesn’t say anywhere what he was doing.

Sunday comes; he rejects the cleaning service and requests two extra towels. Monday rolls around and its checkout time- only Lyle doesn’t check out. The maid opens the door to see him kneeling in his closet. She calls the manager who contacts the police.

Scene photos can be viewed here. NSFW. 

It turns out that the man has hanged himself using his own belt with a small towel tucked under his chin. He has 8 $1 notes in his pocket and a pen. It’s estimated that he died late the night before or very early the next morning.


On the dressing table there is 8 crisp $20 bills in one of the hotel comment cards, with an accompanying note on the front that says “For the room”. In the draw there is loose change amounting to $2.40, a tube of tooth paste and an oral B toothbrush. In the wastepaper bin there is a screwed up note with “Suicide” written on it in upper case letters, along with a discarded copy of the most recent Daily World Sunday newspaper and an empty cup. 

The newspaper headline for that issue was apparently news of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. He had received nor made any calls from the phone in the room and the windows were covered over with the bed sheet from the bed. Probably for more privacy or to block the day light.


The name he provided is believed to be a pseudonym and the address is that of a hotel-Best Western Rama Inn 1019 S Progress Ave, Meridian, Idaho. Nobody there remembers ever seeing Lyle Stevik when they are shown the photograph. They check for the same name on the guest check in list, but there is no match. That’s not to say he wasn’t ever there- he may have used different names each time he checked into a hotel, or maybe there were different staff on shift / the staff simply didn’t remember him.

Analysis revealed that during the last year of his life Stevik had moved to several different places. It seems as though he was traveling a lot and had been doing so for at least a year, probably longer. He could have even come from / been to as far as Canada. Feel free to browse through this report at your leisure it’s a very interesting read and even gives you an insight to the process of the test.

He had an old scar from an appendectomy, was circumcised and had some scrapes that hadn’t healed yet on the knuckles of both hands. When tested there was no sign of illness and disease, so that rules out any ideas that he took his life due to sickness as we see in some cases.

So who was Lyle Stevik?

complete case here [X]
Copies of case notes 1 [X]
Copies of case notes 2 [X]

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