Tragedy: Peyton-Allan Murders

Over a half-century ago, a Garden Home family was tragically involved with one of the worst murder stories in Portland history. The Ralph O. Peyton family lived at 6530 SW Griffin Drive with their two sons, Larry and Kenny and daughter Sally. Larry, a Portland State student, was in love with Beverly Allan, a student from Port Townsend, WA. (Griffin Drive branches off from Peyton Road which was previously named at the time the homes were developed in the area by Ralph Peyton and his brother.)

In November of 1960, Larry and Beverly were involved in a grisly murder scene in Forest Park. Larry was savagely killed and Beverly was missing. Her body was later recovered near Sunset Highway.

The murders were investigated at length with dozens of possible suspects. After about eight years, three men were arrested for murder. A decade after the murders, two of the men were convicted of murder and although they were sentenced to 25 years in prison, many officials felt they were not the guilty ones. One was released after three years and another after 6 years. Many persons continued as suspects, but no one was named and now most all of the people involved are elderly or dead.

Kenny and Sally Peyton went on to graduate from Beaverton High School in the 1960s and successful careers.

Phil Stanford wrote a detailed account of the investigation in The Peyton-Allan Files which was published in 2010 by PTown Books in Portland. 

Phillip Margolin, local author of many books, also wrote a fictionalized mystery of the account, Heartstone, loosely based on the Peyton-Allan murders.

By Elaine Shreve, consultation with Don Krom, Oct. 2011.

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