Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Michael Lassen

Real Name: Michael John Lassen
Aliases: No Known Aliases
Wanted For: Arson and Manslaughter
Missing Since: September 1987


Details: At around 12:30AM on January 27, 1986, an explosion occurred at Odie's Steakhouse in Elgin, Oregon. The fire that resulted from the explosion soon spread to other buildings around the restaurant. One of the buildings that also caught fire was a hardware store. Ninety-year-old Clarence Witty lived in an apartment above the hardware store. Tragically, Clarence was unable to escape from his apartment and died.

Clarence Witty

The owners of the restaurant, Michael Lassen, forty, and Kathleen Stockfleth, sixty-two, were soon arrested for arson and felony murder. Authorities determined that the fire had been deliberately set by the two owners in order to collect insurance payments on the building. Michael Lassen pleaded guilty to arson and manslaughter in September of 1987, but fled the area before he could be sentenced. He was last seen selling his car in Portland.
Extra Notes: The case was featured as a part of an FBI alert on the September 19, 1990 episode, along with Mike Cline, Raymond Scoville, and Thomas Geers.
Results: Captured. In August of 1999, FBI agents arrested Lassen in Baja California. He was living there under an assumed name. He was returned to Oregon and is now serving a twenty year sentence.