Slain Oregon convict stalked women, had ‘movable dungeon,’ police say

Kelly Swoboda recorded details about at least 17 females and is believed to have successfully kidnapped one woman, who later escaped. He was killed in a shootout with police in March.
(Clackamas County sheriff’s office)

A 49-year-old man who had been in and out of prison for two decades stalked and rated young women outside Portland schools and shopping centers, hoping to lure or to force them into a green van that he had turned into a “movable dungeon,” authorities said.

Kelly Swoboda became the target of a search earlier this year after police suspected him in a kidnapping. He was killed during a shootout with police outside a high school in March.

A more extensive picture of Swoboda’s creepy behavior and his even weirder van emerged in a 312-page transcript of a grand jury proceeding that was made public this week. The grand jury found that police were justified in shooting Swoboda, who was wounded in three places.

In answering a prosecutor’s question during the hearing, a police investigator agreed that Swoboda’s van amounted to a dungeon or torture chamber. It was outfitted with chains, padlocks and the sort of plastic handcuffs police use as a backup.


“It appeared to us that it was a way to secure people,” an investigator told grand jurors about the setup.

One portion of the van was stained with blood, the transcript said. He had a pillow and sleeping bag and was apparently living in the van. Police also said the van held a saw, 11 pornographic DVDs, illicit magazines and sexual lubricant.

Swoboda was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 1995 after committing seven bank robberies. Since his release, he had been sent back behind bars for carrying concealed weapons and driving under the influence. He recently became a suspect in Portland in connection to five bank robberies and the January kidnapping of a tanning salon clerk.

Police suspect that Swoboda pistol-whipped the woman, bound her and forced her into his van. She escaped by jumping out while the van was moving. DNA found on the victim linked Swoboda to the case.


The woman didn’t remember chains and locks being in the van, leading police to believe that Swoboda installed them after her escape to prevent a recurrence.

Investigators found notes on Swoboda’s body that listed at least 17 women he noticed while out on the prowl. He jotted down their car type and license plates if available, distinguished between blonds and brunettes, wrote whether they were alone and scored them on what looked like a 10-point scale.

Police said one notation listed a blond ballerina outside a studio in Eugene as a 9.

A brunette he spotted at a high school tennis court was an 8.


“He’s making notes on people that he finds, I don’t want to use the word ‘attractive ' -- people he’s interested in for the purposes of abducting them and doing whatever he’s going to do to them,” Portland Police Det. Erik Kammerer told grand jurors earlier this month.

When authorities examined Swoboda’s body, they found a magazine full of bullets in one pocket and two small ropes in another pocket.

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