Episode 170 – Unlikely Assassins – The Case Of Ellen Friar

It was a cool fall morning in Medford, Oregon when police picked up three young runaways by the side of the road.

19-year-old Gavin MacFarlane, a high school dropout, his girlfriend, 15-year-old Ellen Friar, and their mutual friend 22-year-old, Russell Pierce Jones II – a young man with a criminal record and a history of mental illness.

From the back of the police cruiser, Russell made cryptic comments about being the couple’s “protector.” Ellen and Gavin claimed they’d run away because Ellen’s parents disapproved of their age difference; back at home, Ellen’s younger sisters had a very different story to tell.

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Research & Writing:
Matt Snell

Aiden Wolf

Circle Youth Ministries (Official Website)
Facebook: April 7, 2016 post by Medford Police re: Det. Stephanie Smith
Facebook: Ellen Friar personal profile
Facebook: Gavin MacFarlane personal profile
Facebook: Mike Smith (Russell Jones) personal profile
KOBI-TV NBC5 Medford: Final co-conspirator sentenced in Aaron Friar murder case
KOBI-TV NBC5 Medford: Medford murder investigation continues
KOBI-TV NBC5 Medford: Medford police investigating possible homicide
KOBI-TV NBC5 Medford: “Nothing will bring him back,” Murder victim’s sister pleads for trial to begin 4 years after his violent death
KTVL: Friends remember Aaron Friar after his death
KTVL: Homicide investigation underway in Medford
Mail Tribune: Man admits to beating girlfriend’s father to death
Mail Tribune: Man sentenced in connection with beating death
Mail Tribune: Police say daughter conspired with boyfriend in killing
Wikipedia: Medford, Oregon
Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon: Spring 2016 Concert Series
YouTube: Ellen Friar’s full statement at her sentencing hearing
YouTube: Friend of accused Aaron Friar killer speaks out
YouTube: Medford teenager sentenced in plot to murder father
YouTube: Explore with Us—The Craziest Interrogation You’ll Ever See