Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.
QUESTION: The Bee has published two stories mentioning a man named Michael Logsdon. He was murdered at the age of 47 by Jess West in 1997 in a highly publicized shooting in front of Creekside Elementary. A man with the same name was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison at the age of 21, along with Peter Goodridge, for the 1971 slaying of Kenneth Federer, son-in-law of former Lt. Gov. Butch Powers. Are these two men named Michael Logsdon, who are the same age, the same person? If so, how is it Logsdon was out of prison so soon?
Submitted by: Carol, Sacramento
ANSWER: The Michael Logsdon murdered in 1997 was the same Michael Logsdon convicted of first-degree murder in the December 1970 shooting of Kenneth J. Federer, an Elk Grove-area rancher and son-in-law of former California Lt. Gov. Harold J. "Butch" Powers.
According to stories in The Bee, Peter Jon Goodridge and Michael R. Logsdon, then 21 and both escapees from the Sacramento County Jail, were surprised by Federer and his wife inside the couple's ranch home on Dec. 17, 1970. Federer was shot with a pistol and a deer rifle and died Jan. 3, 1971.
Goodridge pleaded guilty to the slaying, and a jury found Logsdon guilty of first-degree murder. Goodridge, now 62, remains incarcerated at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione.
According to accounts in The Bee, Logsdon was released from prison in 1989 after serving 14 years of a life sentence.
On Nov. 13, 1997, Logsdon was waiting in his minivan for two children, including his 6-year-old daughter, outside Creekside Elementary School in the Arden Arcade area when he was shot by Jess Perry West, a parolee, in front of dozens of horrified children and parents.
The slaying reportedly resulted from a dispute in which Logsdon had obtained custody of an 8-year-old boy, who West believed was his son.
West, 48, is serving a life sentence without possibility of parole at California State Prison, Corcoran.