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"A Murder in Portland" and the 1000 Blind Eyes

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"A Murder in Portland" and the 1000 Blind Eyes

A reading of the article "A Murder in Portland," about the violent death of Rachael Abraham, and how her murder was allowed to happen in plain sight
Rachael Abraham, second from l., age 19, with friends, including Shay Whitaker, r.

The previous post, “The Reality Portland Does Not Want to See: Everything modern Portland did led up to the horrific, predictable murder of Rachael Abraham,” was prefaced by my directing readers to an article in this week’s Washington Examiner Magazine, “A Murder in Portland: How bail reform has enabled crime and chaos.” The subtitle insinuates that bail reform is the issue that ushered Rachael Abraham to a violent death. In fact it is but one of the many facets and policies and, as the NYT’s Michael Powell phrased it “figurative 1,000 people turning a blind eye.”

I spoke about some of these facets this week, on Mornin’!!!

Here is the opening of the article - fair warning, it’s violent - and after the break, an interview with Margaret Carter, Oregon’s first female black legislator, on the murder of her adopted granddaughter Rachael Abraham, published for the first time here.


The beatings escalated after Rachael and Mo split. He would break in after midnight, the girls sleeping through his punching Rachael, choking her, telling her she was going to die. One night, he put a gun to her head. She was still shaking when the PortlandOregon, police got there and told her she could request a no-contact order. “When I told him I was leaving him, he told me that he would kill me,” she wrote on the request, which stipulated Mo stay at least 150 feet away from her and the children.

Mo ignored the no-contact order, showing up at dinnertime on June 23. His and Rachael’s 4-year-old let him in. He was very high, whether on cocaine or meth Rachael did not know. He broke her phone and blocked her way as she tried to escape. He spent hours hitting her that night, choking her five times and saying, as he knelt on her windpipe, “I am going to put you to sleep now.” Mo went upstairs to the children’s room. He'd left his phone on the floor. Rachael grabbed it and made for the front door. She was not wearing her abaya when the police arrived. It was 6 a.m., and Rachael had a new black eye as she told officers she believed she was going to die.

Rachael’s former boyfriend was charged with five counts of felony strangulation and strapped with a GPS ankle monitor. At 1:12 a.m. on July 27, Mo was tracked to Rachael’s, where he tore off his GPS. Contacted by the monitoring service, Mo claimed someone had broken into his apartment and cut off the GPS while he slept. A bench warrant was issued for his arrest.

At 2 a.m. on Aug. 11, Mo again broke into Rachael's. A foot taller and 100 pounds heavier, he body-slammed Rachael, sat on her chest, covered her mouth. She could barely breathe but was able to scream, waking the children as Mo swung a length of prayer beads and whipped her face. Then he locked her outside. It was after 3 a.m. when police arrived and arrested Mo again. He was charged with contempt of court for violating the no-contact order.

On the morning of Aug. 27, Mo was back. Rachael was able to get to her phone to call 911. The operator only heard her yell, “I am not doing black magic!” before the call disconnected. The operator called back. There was no answer. Mo dragged Rachael to the children’s bedroom, where he pressed her face to the window screen and stabbed her repeatedly with a kitchen knife, even after she went still. He moved her from the floor to a bed. He phoned his mother in Texas to tell her what he’d done. He took a shower. At 10:41 a.m., he called 911. “She’s dead,” he told the operator, who told him to try performing CPR. Mo refused. He said what happened was not his fault, that he had been protecting the children, that he had taken the knife out of Rachael’s hand.

Officers arrived at the two-story townhouse at 3221 SE 92nd Ave. around 11 a.m. They found three children, ages 7, 4, and 2, downstairs and took them outside. Upstairs they saw holes in the walls and broken door locks. The carpet in a child’s bedroom was soaked in blood, and a sheet-covered body lay on a bed. The victim’s face had been cut vertically, with a deep wound in her nose and her upper lip sliced in half. A kitchen knife without its handle was on the floor. The coroner later determined that Rachael Angel Abraham, 36, had been beaten and stabbed both before and after being strangled to death.

Officers secured the scene. Mohamed Osman Adan, 33, was taken into custody.


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