Shawn McClenahan 

Shawn Ann McClenahan was born May 30, 1958. My sister attended schools in Spokane, Washington. She attended Spokane Community College and worked very hard to get her degree. She then went on to work in area hospitals. She did well until she was diagnosed with carpal tunnel and could no longer work.

Eventually drugs took over her life and she fell into prostitution, to get the money for heroin. The month she died she had sent me a birthday card expressing her love for myself and my family. She said to tell the family she was doing well and that she was ALIVE. She had just been accepted into a methadone program. She had been living at a relative's house and was babysitting their children. She was last seen driving away from their home with two other women, in, I believe, a van (not hers) She called the next morning, Dec. 18, 1997 to say that she would be late, but that she would be there. That was the last anyone heard from her until she was found Dec. 27, l997. 

As they will not give me the autopsy report, nor will they tell me when she died, I have to believe that she was not murdered that same day. Shawn was a very family person and I KNOW she would have been at my house on Christmas day. Shawn had two sisters and two brothers, three of whom live in /or around the Spokane area. Her other sister currently lives back east. Shawn had one son, Joel and her first grandchild was born in early January 1998. This was an event she was so looking forward to.

Shawn was a people-person who had a high interest in young children and she would frequently volunteer at the school where I work. She also enjoyed being around elderly and was always so caring and loving. She was wonderful with our father who had had a stroke. She had my sense of humor (which we both thought was wonderful and unique) She had many, many friends-so I became know in Spokane, not as Kathy, but as "Shawn's sister." I am still amazed at how many people, from all walks of life, knew her and spoke so highly of her. Her very large baby picture hangs over my fireplace-when this picture was done, it was so remarkable that it was displayed in the window of the photography studio.

Shawn was about 5-7, slim, brown med. length hair and had the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen. She died of a gunshot wound to the head and was left in an abandoned lot at 14th and Carnahan. (Click here for photo of the site where Shawn's body was found.) She was discovered along with another woman-victims of Spokane's serial killer. Four months later, still another body was found in same location. I know of no other injuries, but then I really do not know a lot. They told me she was not harmed in any other way. The area in which she was found is about a mile away from where she "worked the streets" which is away from where most of the women worked and near a store called K Mart. This was also fairly close to where she was staying.

Shawn also had a love of antiques and we would spend the summers together going to garage sales. We both collected toys. We had talked many times of opening our own shop when I retired from teaching. We were much more than sisters, we were best friends and with her death, a large part of myself also died. According to "news" I hear, there really are no suspects. Not knowing what truly happened and if this person will ever be caught continues to cause grief and pain.

There were two other women murdered (around Seattle) who have been also connected to Spokane's serial killer.  If you have any information about this murder, please send an email to

Kathy Lloyd

News Articles - (start at the bottom for chronological order)

CBS News: February 15, 2002

Murder In Spokane
A Serial Killer On The Loose

ABC News: January 12, 2001

Serial Killer May Get Death
Prosecutors said today they will seek the death penalty when convicted serial killer Robert L. Yates Jr. goes on trial for the slayings of two women in Pierce County.

Local News: Friday, October 27, 2000

Killings linked to Yates
The murder charge in the death of one woman, Shawn McClenahan, was dismissed but could be filed again. Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker has said he's holding out on that charge...

Local News: Friday, October 27, 2000

Yates' statement
Statement made by serial killer Robert L. Yates Jr. in court before he was sentenced yesterday to 408 years in prison: "Nothing I can say will erase the sorrow, the pain and the anguish...

Local News: Friday, October 27, 2000

Emotions run high as Yates is given 408-year sentence
Robert Lee Yates Jr., turning to his audience at his sentencing hearing, looked out at the families of the people he shot dead, and he looked at his wife of 26 years, his father, and two of his five children. He said he was sorry to the families and friends of his victims. He said he was sorry to his "lovely wife" and to his children whom he dearly loves.

Local News: Thursday, October 26, 2000

Serial killer Yates sentenced to 408 years
Serial killer Robert L. Yates Jr., tearful and apologetic, was sentenced to 408 years in prison today after confessing to 13 murders and one attempted murder. Yates, 48, admitted the crimes last week in a deal in Spokane County to escape the death penalty. Yates could still face the death penalty in Pierce County, where he is charged with two additional slayings.

Local News: Friday, October 20, 2000

Yates pleads guilty, breaks down in court
Robert Lee Yates Jr. broke down on Count 10, Sunny Gail Oster, whom he shot dead and left in a ditch with her shoes off and a plastic bag on her head. Yates stood in front of a packed courtroom yesterday, his head bowed in front of his family and the families of the people he killed, and he cried. His voice cracked when he tried to tell the judge his plea on Oster: "Guilty, your honor."

Local News: Thursday, October 19, 2000

Discovery paves way for Yates plea deal
Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney decided to move ahead with a plea agreement today that is supposed to send Robert Lee Yates Jr. away for the rest of his life for killing 13 people and trying to kill another. The agreement hinged on the identity of Melody Murfin's body.

Local News: Wednesday, October 18, 2000

Yates admitted 14 killings in lie test
He says he has killed 14 people, all in Washington state, and no one else, and a lie-detector test said he was telling the truth. Robert Lee Yates Jr., a 48-year-old father of five, a decorated U.S. Army helicopter pilot who has traveled the world, is a serial killer.

Tuesday, October 17, 2000

The victims
Among the women Robert L. Yates Jr. has been charged with killing: Jennifer Joseph, 16, runaway from Spanaway. Death was linchpin in serial-killer investigation. Body found northeast...

Excerpt from Time Magazine article
The Spokane Murders - July 17, 2000

Relatives of victims spoke out, telling how their daughters or sisters, many of whom came from loving families, fell into drugs and thus onto the streets.

Among the most outspoken was Kathy Lloyd, a Head Start teacher, whose sister, Shawn McClenahan, 37, had been found by a jogger on a weedy hillside the day after Christmas, 1997.

A decade ago, Shawn McClenahan had gone back to college after a couple of bad marriages. A pretty woman with blond hair and green eyes, she got a job as a phlebotomist, drawing blood from patients at Sacred Heart Hospital. But a rib pressing on a nerve was misdiagnosed as carpal tunnel syndrome. After two surgeries on her wrists, McClenahan was on painkillers and unable to work. She was evicted from her home, and her teenage son went to live with her sister. She fell into heroin and, to pay for it, prostitution. Days before her death, she sent a birthday card to her sister, saying that after 67 days on a waiting list, she had finally been accepted for methadone treatment. "God, I am so happy," she wrote. "This nightmare is almost over."

The nightmare ended with her murder.

Local News: Saturday, May 20, 2000

Serial-killing suspect appears in court; lawyer says he'll plead not guilty
A man charged in the serial slayings of eight women politely answered a judge's questions in an initial court appearance yesterday in Spokane.

Local News: Friday, May 19, 2000

Yates charged in 7 more slayings
Robert Lee Yates Jr., who turns 48 next week, was charged yesterday in Spokane County Superior Court with eight counts of aggravated first-degree murder.

Local News: Sunday, May 07, 2000

Victims found
All of these women were shot and dumped in remote areas. All had ties to prostitution or drugs or lived on the streets. These dates are when their bodies were found, not necessarily...

Local News: Tuesday, April 25, 2000

Family: Yates would be a 'best friend'
Detectives believe Robert Lee Yates Jr. cruised the seedier side of Spokane at night, preying on women willing to trade sex for money and killing as many as 12. But the family of the man police describe as the prime suspect in Spokane's serial killings says he is someone everyone would want as a best friend.

Local News: Saturday, April 22, 2000

Yates linked to 9 killings, sheriff says
It was a roll call of the dead: Jennifer Joseph. Darla Scott. Shawn Johnson. Laurie Wason. Shawn McClenahan. Melinda Mercer. Sunny Oster. Linda Maybin. Michelyn Derning. Spokane County Sheriff Mark Sterk read these names off a sheet yesterday, and he said that "definitive evidence" linked the women's deaths to Robert Lee Yates Jr.

New York Times: Saturday, April 22, 2000

Names Released in 9 Slayings Linked to Serial Killing Suspect

As Sheriff Sterk read the names of victims that investigators have linked to Mr. Yates, the sister of one watched from behind a row of reporters. ''I'm shaking right now,'' Kathy Lloyd said after her sister, Shawn McClenahan, was named as one of Mr. Yates's victims. ''I'm getting shakier as the days go on,'' said Ms. Lloyd, whose father died Tuesday...


Local News: Friday, April 21, 2000

Despite troubles, victims also had families
Shawn Johnson was proud of her new job as a grocery clerk. Laurie Wason raised Rottweilers and opened her home to adults who needed a place to live. Shawn McClenahan loved going to garage...

Local News: Friday, April 21, 2000

'Definitive evidence' links Yates to 9 killings
Spokane County Sheriff Mark Sterk announced this morning that "definitive evidence" ties Robert Lee Yates to the killings of nine women.

Local News: Thursday, April 20, 2000

Father of 5 tied to serial deaths; DNA, fibers, ballistic evidence cited
Robert Lee Yates Jr. is a husband of almost 24 years. He is a father of five who has never been convicted of a felony. He is a 47-year-old, slightly balding man who combs his hair from right to left and lives in a split-level home that has a basketball hoop. Now he's been charged with first-degree murder.

Local News: Sunday, November 15, 1998

Year passes with no arrest in Spokane serial murder case
Their ordinary faces stare out from posters on the sides of buses that run the East Sprague Avenue route where many of them worked as prostitutes.

Local News: Sunday, November 15, 1998

Nine victims of serial killer
Darla Scott, 29, of Spokane was found shot to death Nov. 5, 1997, near Hangman Valley Golf Course southwest of Spokane. - 2. Shawn Johnson, 36, of Deer Park was found shot to death Dec....

Local News: Wednesday, April 29, 1998

Shirts linked to Spokane killings
The task force investigating Spokane's serial killings released its first pieces of physical evidence yesterday, two grimy T-shirts found at the scene where three of the victims were placed.

Local News: Tuesday, February 10, 1998

Body may be another victim of serial killer
An unidentified body found in a rural part of Spokane County may be that of the latest victim of a serial killer, authorities said yesterday.

Local News: Sunday, January 18, 1998

String of slayings rattles Spokane
Last month, two women's bodies were found off a lonely dirt road in southeastern Spokane. They are believed to be the victims of a serial killer who, it is feared, will kill again.

Local News: Wednesday, December 31, 1997

Women found near Spokane had been shot; link sought
Two women whose bodies were found along a desolate road had been fatally shot, police said yesterday.

Local News: Tuesday, December 30, 1997

2 women found slain in Spokane identified
One of two bodies found dumped along a desolate road southeast of Spokane is that of a woman sought by police in their investigation into a possible serial killer, police said yesterday.


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