A Brave Man

Sometime between 3 and 4 am on Sunday there was the sound of a couple fighting. A nearby neighbor yelled for the man to stop. Allegedly Raymundo Marquez-Vella, 20, then came at the neighbor. A man stepped forward and reportedly  confronted Marquez-Vella. Police say that confrontation led to Merle Graham being stabbed to death. The neighbor who had yelled at Marquez-Vella to stop says that she did not know Norman, but he stepped up to help her just the same.

After the stabbing Marquez-Vella fled the scene. Police have described him as

Hispanic male, 5’11”, 180 pounds with black hair and brown eyes

They also say he is considered armed and dangerous. A warrant has been issued for his arrest on the charge of murder.

koin.com    (picture at link)  kgw.com         oregonlive.com

oregonlive.com      kgw.com

On of Merle Graham’s nieces spoke up about the kind of man he is and how much the family will miss him. And she also said something that really stands out for me:

“But it speaks so much about how domestic violence is a serious and real issue and that it affects everyone, each and everyone of us”

It is true. DV does affect the community. Sometimes it is direct like this, sometimes it is in the pain and grief it leaves behind. But it is indeed more than a couple’s problem, it is a community problem.

Another thing that struck me was the difference in the two men. One allegedly was beating on a woman, all police have said about it is that it was a “domestic problem” so I am presuming it was a girlfriend or relative- someone close to him. He also allegedly threatened the neighbor woman simply because she spoke out to try to stop him.

The other man stepped forward to aid a woman, a woman who was a stranger to him. Guess which one I consider to be a man?

Beating a wife or a girlfriend to make them comply with the husband or boyfriend’s wishes does not show manliness. Accosting strangers because they attempt to stop a wrong does not show manliness. All it shows is that the man is a bully. It actually shows more cowardice than a man who runs from battle. Choosing to physically assault someone just because they are weaker, is merely an attempt to make themselves appear stronger. Any bully can do it, it doesn’t take a man.

The neighbor who yelled about the abuse and the man who stepped forward to defend her shows the kind of bravery that a bully wishes they had. They risked harm to themselves to try to prevent injury to another, and did so at risk to themselves. Merle Graham died attempting to protect a woman. Now that is a brave man.

For more info about Merle Graham oregonlive.com

A big thanks to D.P. for sending me the link on this one


Police have released information that Raymundo Marquez-Vella may be associated with two vehicles. One a green Pontiac Van with the Oregon license plate number VUD-718. The other is a green 1995 Mitsubishi Montero with the license plate number UJQ-231. Police are not saying how he might be related to those vehicles, but they say they do believe he is traveling in them. A reward is being offered for information about Marquez-Vella’s whereabouts.

kgw.com            kgw.com



  1. D.P. said,

    August 17, 2007 at 7:44 am

    Well said, Sweethome. Merle Graham is a hero. A brave “anybody” who tried to right a wrong, and unfortunately paid the ultimate price. The cowardly POS that stabbed him is still at large, but he’s got the whole city looking for him. He can’t hide forever. I’ll let you know when they get him. Thanks for writing this up.

  2. Alexis said,

    August 19, 2007 at 5:16 am

    I knew Merle personally. I can tell you that he was a man possessed of a great moral compass. He never failed to tell you exactly what he thought, even if it meant he had to disagree with you. This I know as I was one of his Supervisors. Merle, you will be missed by many, we will not forget you and I for one can say I am proud to have known you and to tell others of the wonderful man who was Security to the core. You are an example to us all. We love you.

  3. Becky J said,

    August 22, 2007 at 5:47 am

    It is a dangerous situation to step into help a domestic violence victim, out of what most consider the right thing to do in a situation like that makes people instantly jump into it to save the victim unfortunatly it could mean your life, so please, please, call police to intervene, no one will think bad of you for doing that, and it could save your life and the victims life. Unfortunatly because this brave man chose to help a young woman who was being beaten he became yet another statistic of domestic violence related death. May he rest in peace and may his family be able to accept what happened to him and know that he was a hero to us all who have been in violent relationships.

  4. Milano said,

    August 29, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    Se dónde está el asesino, no está en ee uu, está en México, no puedo decir más.

  5. Milano said,

    August 29, 2007 at 6:56 pm

    I know where is the assesin, He is not in USA, he is in MÉXICO, I cant to say more…

  6. August 30, 2007 at 4:21 am

    Mexico is a big country. Any idea what part of Mexico?

  7. Milano said,

    September 11, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    No puedo decir más, mi familia y yo corremos peligro, espero que lo comprendan…Este tipo es sumamente peligroso y no quiero arriesgar la vida de mi familia. Sólo puedo decir que está en occidente.

  8. September 12, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    Now you have me worried Milano. If you are on the run because of him, wouldn’t you be safer if he was in custody? Western Mexico is still a large place for US authorities to be looking for one man. IF you were to contact authorities and give them info, they could get him into custody sooner and you could be safer. I looked up the numbers in the articles for you. Homicide detectives are Jim McCausland 503-823-0449 or Steve Ober 503-823-4033. You could call them anonymously and tell them where he is. Once he is in custody your family would be safer.

  9. Milano said,

    September 18, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    Eso no garantiza la seguridad de mi familia. Sé dónde está y con quién está, pero vuelvo a insistir, nada me garantiza la seguridad de mi familia y mía. Mis papás son mayores y yo no paso mucho tiempo con ellos. me gustaría ayudarles pero para mí es más importante mi familia.
    Quizá cuando esté seguro de que mi familia y yo no tengamos de qué preocuparnos , les ayudaré.
    P. D. No entiendo mucho el inglés, por favor si me quieren contestar, háganlo en español.

  10. September 20, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    LOL, Milano you don’t read English and I don’t write Spanish. I am using a translation service at Google and I just hope that it is translating what I want to say. I want to believe you, I really do. But from what I have read in the above articles Portland police seem to believe that Marquez-Ville is still in the Portland area. And while your info is intriguing, it is just too vague to be of any help.

    LOL, Milano no lees inglés y no escribo español. Estoy utilizando un servicio de traducción en Google y apenas espero que esté traduciendo lo que deseo decir. Deseo creerte, yo realmente. Pero qué he leído adentro de los artículos antedichos el policía de Portland se parece creer que Marquez-Ville todavía está en el área de Portland. Y mientras que tu Info es intrigante, es demasiado vago justo a estar de cualquier ayuda

  11. Milano said,

    September 20, 2007 at 6:55 pm

    Ok, Si no me quieren creer pues allá ustedes, yo no tengo nada qué perder. De hecho dándoles información sí tengo que perder: mi tranquilidad. Pero sigan buscándolo en Portland, si están tan seguros que ahí está, seguramente lo encontrarán, Sólo traté de ayudarles y les ayudé lo más que pude, pero si no me creen allá ustedes, es su problema. Sólo quieero desearles éxito en su búsqueda. bye.

  12. September 21, 2007 at 3:04 am

    Milano, just give me something solid. When and how did he leave the US? What city in Mexico? Is he alone there or with someone? Something, anything. Even how you know him. Anything would help to verify that you know him or that you actually know his whereabouts. If you are not comfortable doing it publicly then send it to me through email.

    Milano, justo me da algo sólido. ¿Cuándo y cómo él salió de los E.E.U.U.? ¿Qué ciudad en México? ¿Está él solamente allí o con alguien? Algo, cualquier cosa. Incluso cómo te conoces. Cualquier cosa ayudaría a verificar que te conoces o que sabes realmente el suyo paradero. Si no eres cómodo haciéndolo público entonces enviarmelo a través del email. homesweethomez @ yahoo.com

  13. Misty said,

    June 14, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    I just happened to stumble across your blogpost while looking up information about my uncle. Thank you for writing it!

    And although I am unable to read Spanish, from what I can tell, Milano is/was right. He has always been in Mexico… and has been there with the aid of people close to him. BUT this morning my mom called to tell me that he is now in custody!!

    May justice finally be served!!

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