The Trail Went Cold – Episode 161 – The Martin Family

December 7, 1958. Portland, Oregon. 54-year old Kenneth Martin, his 48-year old wife Barbara and their three daughters – 14-year old Barbie, 12-year old Virginia and 10-year old Susan – leave their home in their station wagon to take a trip to the Columbia River Gorge. When the family fails to return, they are reported missing the following evening. Just under five months later, the bodies of Susan and Virginia are discovered in the Columbia River and while the rest of the family cannot be found, evidence suggests that their vehicle went off a cliff into the water. While some people believe the whole thing was tragic accident, there are other pieces of evidence that point to foul play, including the discovery of a blood-stained gun which is traced back to the Martins’ surviving son. Were the Martins the victim of an elaborate murder plot? If so, who was responsible and what could their motive have been? This week’s episode of “The Trail Went Cold” explores the bizarre disappearance of a family in which three of the five victims are still missing.

Additional Reading:

“Echo of Distant Water: The 1958 Disappearance of Portland’s Martin Family” by J.B. Fisher

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The Trail Went Cold is produced and edited by Magill Foote.

All music is composed by Vince Nitro.