By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
Clinton Russell Robison broke up with the woman who became his intended kidnap victim in March 2016.
Text messages and love letters from the next three months, leading up to his arrest in May 2016, show his mental state deteriorating and words turning into action. Robison was intent on “rescuing” the woman from her alleged drug use.
On April 2, 2016, Robison and his victim argue about him keeping a key to her home. Robison had recently let himself into her home while she was there and wrestled two phones away from her.
“Do you know why crazy people do crazy things? It’s really quite obvious. I don’t know why so many people play dumb to it, because they get pushed over the edge,” Robison wrote. “You have pushed me over the edge twice now … Let me know when you catch onto what you should already know about me.”
Later in the exchange, Robison demands that the victim “get the key” from him in the next hour or he will view it as consent to whatever comes next.
In the next several days, Robison continues to harass the victim, sending as many as 83 messages in the span of 90 minutes.
The situation comes to a head again in the early morning of April 5. Robison appears to be sitting outside the victim’s apartment when he issues another ultimatum: “You have until I count to 25 to call me or be outside or I am going to let myself in. And I am going to use the booze I brought to light it all on fire in your apartment. In the middle of your bed.”
On April 9, Robison claims to have poisoned the local heroin supply, and cautions her against using.
“I turned a 1/4 lbs in a 1/2 lbs and now it’s making it’s way through Salem from 4 different routes. Don’t risk it. It’s not worth dying for,” Robison wrote.
Robison himself later faced charges of manufacturing and delivering methamphetamine.
In a text to the victim’s father, on May 2, Robison uses the word kidnap for the first time: I saw her today and she was scared and angry. I knew I should have grabbed her. I should have thrown her over my shoulder and walked her to my truck a (sic) kidnapped her.”
The following day, in another text to the father, he threatens to put a tracker on the victim’s car.
Also on May 3, Robison contacts a friend saying he needs a “big favor from you by being my driver for 10 minutes then I jump in my jeep, you bail in your direction and we part ways.”
On May 5, Robison wrote to another ex-girlfriend about his plans: “I have to get this girl. I have to, I can’t wait any more. I have never experienced this before. My insides and outsides literally hurt. When I see her my heart races faster than it’s ever raced.”
Robison also texted his mother on the same day saying he is going to go out looking for the victim.
On May 9, Robison asked another person if he could help acquire methadone, a drug used by heroin addicts while detoxing, and tells him he plans to kidnap his ex-girlfriend.
On May 10 and 11, Robison has a long exchange with his cousin, David Elliot Cook, and the two lay out plans for a kidnapping attempt. Robison wanted Cook to be his getaway driver. Cook would later claim he talked Robison down and the pair worked on Cook’s car instead. The messages show Robison asking Cook to purchase black hair dye on his way to Salem, and whether Cook’s girlfriend knows anything about dying hair.
Cook eventually plead guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and attempt to commit kidnapping.
At the same time, Robison was writing love letters to the victim in a notebook later seized by police. In an entry dated May 10, Robison wrote, “My love, you mean so much to me that I become physically sick when I think about how I treated you and the place it drove you to.”
Also on May 11, Robison asks another man about the availability of space on a large property he owns. He asks specifically if there is a barn or shack on the property.
Additionally, he contacts the victim’s father again trying to explain himself. He wrote, “It’s like I have a mental breakdown several times a day sometimes. I have never felt this messed up about anything before.” Robison also mentions kidnapping again later in the exchange.
On May 15, in a note to the victim, Robison details driving around the streets of Keizer looking for the victim or her car when he spots it in front of a house that would become the site of his first arrest four days later.
Robison initially drove past and cleaned out the front seat of his car before parking near the Cherry Avenue home, “I didn’t want you to have anything to hit me with if I took you. I didn’t think I would find you let alone have an opportunity to grab you. My heart was racing .. I seriously felt like you could hook jumper cables to me and start a vehicle.”
Robison wrote he got as far as kneeling down between the victim’s car and a neighbor’s car before deciding to leave.
Sometime between May 15 and his arrest on May 19 at the site of the SWAT team serving a search warrant on at the 3555 Cherry Avenue home, Robison appears to have made another attempt to kidnap the victim. He asked a friend and her boyfriend to drive him to the victim’s house. Once they arrived, the woman and her boyfriend told police that Robison hid in the bushes while sending them to the front door. Robison wanted them to get her outside where he could grab her. The woman went to the door and spoke to the victim and told her to call the police.
Robison sent one last message admonishing the woman and her boyfriend before being arrested trying to “rescue” his intended kidnap victim at the house on Cherry Avenue Northeast.
He makes a plea for them to understand his mission, “The girl who owns my heart is afraid of me because of miscommunication and lies, and drugs. It’s(sic) honestly feels like my chest is on fire when I think about it for too long.”