According to police, the suspected killer entered her house near Shilshole Marina, subdued her with duct tape and stabbed her to death.
SEATTLE – Donna O’Steen of Ballard was found dead in her home, tied up and stabbed to death. It’s a case that two decades later has baffled her family and investigators.
Richard Haynie was Donna’s husband at the time of her death on November 8, 2001. The two are the parents of a 13-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl.
“At first I wanted him dead, shooting or guillotine would be perfect. Now if they catch him, I hope they lock him up for life and never let him out on parole,” Haynie said.
“It’s hard to realize that this person killed your wife and he’s out there running around free,” he continued.
According to police, the murder suspect, likely wearing gloves, entered the house near Shilshole Marina, restrained her with duct tape and finally stabbed her to death.
Richard Haynie, Donna’s husband at the time, was one of the initial suspects.
“As everyone knows, murdered women are often killed by their husbands, an estranged husband, an estranged boyfriend, a jealous lover or whatever,” Haynie said. I was at the top of their list.”
Haynie has been cleared by investigators although to date no arrests have been made. Donna’s two surviving siblings, Gary Guernsey and Shirley Anne Lacy, are still feeling the pain that Thursday morning.
“My mom called me while they were on the ferry and said something had happened to my sister,” Lacy said.
For years, Donna’s siblings collected every scrap of news, every photo of their sister.
Northwest Unsolved: Remembering Donna O’Steen
“Hopefully… justice will be served,” Guernsey said. “That will never ease the pain in our hearts for our departed sister,” he continued.
To date, very little information has been released about O’Steen’s murder. We know the duct tape found came from outside the house. Several items were taken, including children’s backpacks, some jewelry and perhaps most strangely, a pickle jar filled with coins.
Haynie hopes that all these years later someone will say something about who killed Donna O’Steen, his then-wife.
“She is really a good mother and a good wife. She is a kind and thoughtful person who loves movies and sailing,” he said.
Seattle Police declined to talk about O’Steen’s investigation on camera but released a written statement:
“The investigation into the murder of Donna O’Steen has been ongoing for the past 22 years and continues into 2023. The Seattle Police Department’s Homicide Unit welcomes any additional information from the public about this incident. The Seattle Police Department hotline is 206-233-5000. Thank you for your advice for any assistance.”