Michiel Oakes

You know, the one thing that never seems to get into the brains of murderers is that if they want people to believe their story they must first come up with a story that is believable.  And, more often than not it is the murderers who are near or above average of intelligence that tell the most unbelievable stories. Sure as Dr. Gregory House says, "Everybody lies" and it is never more true then from the criminal element. But, most lie about the small details like where they were or who was really the mastermind of the crime.  They lie to make themselves less accountable.  It is the more intelligent criminal who not only comes up with the more elaborate stories but many of them are so narcissistic that they are convinced that everyone will believe the story.  

This is a case in which if the murderer was as smart as he thought he was he probably could have gotten away with murder, or at the very least way less time than he is now serving.  Michiel Oakes openly admits that he was present when his girlfriend's ex husband, T. Mark Stover was shot.  He also admits to dumping Stover's body in the Swinomish Channel near Seattle Washington. Investigators have all but openly admitted that if Oakes had not been trespassing on some land and was spotted he may never have been caught.  But, not only was he seen, when Mark Stover was declared missing he and his girlfriend, Linda Opdycke were questioned.

Mark Stover was well known in Seattle.  He was referred to as the "dog whisperer" and was a well known trainer in the area.  He had clients that ranged from musicians, baseball players and even CEO's.  When it came to his dog training abilities and mannerisms he was well liked.  The same could not always be true in his personal life, especially when it came to Linda, his ex-wife. Linda's family was also well known as her father was a wealthy entrepreneur.  When the couple married in 2002 they had already been together for eleven years. But, the marriage would not last and in 2007 they went through a fairly nasty divorce.  Linda would claim that throughout their separation and even after their divorce Mark had stalked, harassed and threatened her.  She moved about three hours away from him but that did not seem to stop him.  In 2008 Mark was convicted of stalking after a neighbor of Linda's called the police after spotting Mark going through Linda's trash.  It was said that he was obsessed with obtaining the couple's wedding pictures. I should be fair here and say that the reason for the obsession (i.e. wedding pictures) has been said by Linda and Michiel and I cannot say this was the core issue with them but it is apparent that Mark was after something.  

Linda had met Michiel sometime in 2008. He was a security expert.  He did a lot of different types of jobs but one of the more interesting one pertained to training police officers.  The reason I find this interesting is because Michiel's story would later be that Mark Stover had threatened not just him and Linda, but the lives of his three children and yet Michiel never reported anything to anyone or even seemingly ask for any advice from a police officer.  Friends and family of Mark would claim that they do not believe this story, especially pertaining to the children.  

So Michiel's story to authorities, or at least to the court would be that prior to October 28, 2009 Stover had threatened him, his girlfriend and his children more than once.  According Oakes, Stover insisted on meeting Oakes at Stovers home.  Now, keep in mind that "Stover insisted" and Oakes, who claims to have been threatened by this man yet never reported it, lived three hours away.  At any rate it was proven that prior to "the meeting" Oakes had bought camouflage clothing, rope, and ankle weights.  He openly admit going to "the meeting" wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying two guns.  But again, his story was that once there Stover pulled a gun on him.  One story is that Stover actually fired, hitting Oakes' vest, and then they wrestled for the gun that went off "by accident" shooting Stover. In his haste and shock Oakes had decided that no one would believe his story so he decided to take the body and dump it in the water, to which to this day the body has never been found.  So... what about the camouflage clothing and rope and weight?  Oh yeah, those were a bag that he took with him because he had decided that if he got into a bind with Stover he would change his clothes and run to a nearby water tower, using the rope and weights to pull down the elevated ladder so he could climb up.

Yes, I had difficult even typing Oakes' story.  If you did also then please make your way back to the beginning of this blog an read the first paragraph again. The only thing that Oakes was correct about was that no one believed his story. 
On October 28, 2010 Oakes was convicted of 1st degree premeditated murder. The following month he would be sentenced to 26 1/2 years in prison.  Opdycke and his children still support him supposedly believing his story of self defense.

It just utterly amazes me that Oakes believed that anyone would believe that story.  First off he has the issue of never reporting these supposed threats. Then there is the issue of driving three hours to meet someone who you say has threatened you.  But, even still lets say that all happened and lets even say that everything happened exactly the way that he said it did.  Why then dispose of the body?  If Oakes wanted to confess that he did shoot Stover he probably could have gotten away with it or as I said gotten less time than he did.  Stover had a stalking conviction against him.  Of course two things would still hinder Oakes.  Even if he had reported the supposed threats he still drove three hours to meet the man but the one thing that could have gotten him had he left the body would be ballistics.  Oakes claims that Stover was shot with his own gun. So that would be a problem for Oakes, hence why he could not let the body be found. But, even still, he could not come up with a better story than the one he gave?  It just seems incredible to me that he thought he could get away with it!

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