Victoria Cravitz and Leon Shaw mugshots

CAUGHT: Fugitive couple wanted for rape & sodomy of children discovered nearly 2 decades later: FBI

A couple from Oregon on the run for nearly 20 years for suspicion of child rape and sodomy were discovered in Mississippi after the man died and an undertaker found last week that the woman had used an alias for his funeral.

Victoria Michelle Cravitz, 56, was arrested Wednesday by FBI agents in Washington County after an investigation following the death of her husband and partner-in-crime, 72-year-old Leon Henry Shaw, who died of an infection at a hospital, the FBI stated in a press release.

Victoria Cravitz Mugshot [Madison County Detention Center]
An undertaker running a search while generating a death certificate for the alias Shaw was using found that the deceased man was on the FBI’s Most Wanted list, and concerned citizens subsequently contacted officials. Cravitz, who was using the alias Jennifer Larsen, was also wanted on similar charges and taken into federal custody.

Shaw and Cravitz were wanted for their role in allegedly molesting several children between the ages of 6 and 17-years-old in Klamath Falls, Oregon, from approximately December of 1989 until about February of 1999.

Arrest warrants were issued for the couple, with Shaw facing two counts of sodomy, four counts of sex abuse, five counts of rape, six counts of felon in possession of a firearm, and obstructing governmental justice. Cravitz faces charges that include three counts of first-degree rape and one count of first-degree sodomy.

In 2000, warrants for the couple were issued for their “unlawful flight to avoid prosecution,” according to authorities.

Renn Cannon, special agent in charge of Oregon’s FBI, hailed the case as “an excellent example of our determination to see justice done regardless of time limits.”

“The FBI’s commitment to bringing justice to crime victims will never waiver,” he said.  

Klamath County District Attorney Eve Costello said the county “intends to prosecute Cravitz to the full extent of the law,” and spoke of the lives that were critically impacted by the abuse.

“Her and her husband’s abuse of multiple children have created long term negative ramifications for many individuals. The allegations include the kidnap, rape, and torture of a number of girls since before 2000 when the case first came to light to DHS. DHS was able to intervene, but Ms. Cravitz and Mr. Shaw took off out of county. We are glad to see their whereabouts determined and plan to seek justice for the victims.”

Cravitz was in Jackson, Mississippi, court Thursday for an initial appearance on a federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution and is expected to be extradited to Oregon, where she faces additional charges.

[Feature Photo: Victoria Cravitz and Leon Shaw, FBI]