Friends, family, and concerned citizens have reached out from across the country to show their support of Luke.
”I have known Luke since middle school. He attended Naselle for a time. We were friends in middle school and high school, but became even better friends once starting at CCC together. We also had mutual friends.
I remember many times spending the 4th of July at his house and down at Chinook Beach with him. We went fishing together and rowed around in the waters in front of Chinook. He was always nice and courteous to everyone! He even gave me his jacket once when it was cold and gave me friendly advice a few times as well. I stopped by his house during the summers, on my way home from work several times per week, just to hang out and talk.
We took many English classes together at CCC. We had a great time peer editing each other's papers, doing group projects together, and being on the Rain Magazine editing and selection committee. He was a great writer and proof reader! I picked Luke up for school many times. We had a lot of fun chit chatting about school or things going on in our lives. He never gave me the impression that he didn't care. He was a great listener. I hope he feels the same about me.
Luke was a hard worker, both in school and on the job. He was on time and always did his best! He took pride in the work he did in his studies or in the woods. The time he spent on his papers and projects was admirable.
When I got married, Luke said he wouldn't miss it for the world, and he didn't. We danced together, joked around, and had a great time! He was always such a great friend. What he's been going through makes me so sick. The injustices that go on in our corrupt justice system is so appalling. Things need to be changed. There are people that are locked up that shouldn't be, and there are people that are walking the streets that should be locked up. Luke needs to be acquitted of all these charges. He needs to come home.Joanna MunsellLuke's friend for the last 25+ years.
”During an assault the person may experience tonic immobility which causes paralysis of the body. The person literally can't move, this is a natural neurological response due to stress, designed to protect the person. This is not consent. The body is already stressed and if he was in fear of his life, in his own home or elsewhere, he had every right to shoot this man. I bet this criminal/rapist has done it before and no one prosecuted him or he got little jail time. He got braver over time.Lisa S.
”Luke is a friend of mine who I met during my prison time at Snake River Correctional Facility. In that time Luke and I became good friends and we shared a cell together and what I have learned from this man... was patience and kindness. He taught me how to think positive and to love who I was again. I have spent much of my life from a young age only knowing very bad people with bad intentions. I was once that myself but knowing Luke Wirkkala has helped me change that. I have been out of prison for 5 years. It is longest I've been out of custody since I was 15 years old and I owe all of that to Luke Wirkkala. I can surely say this that Luke Wikkala is a good man with good intentions and a love for people.... Luke wirkkala has not one mean bone in his body and he does not belong in prison. I know what type of man belongs there and it's surely not Luke wirkkalaLuke B.
”No one should be in prison for defending themselves against a person threatening to cause additional harm to them.Zoila L.
”Free Luke...come home so mom can make you pancakes, we can go on a canoe adventure and you can discuss literature with your old man. Love you bro...Evelyn L.
”It is an honor to be helping a noble soul like Luke Wirkkala.Anonymous
”Luke is an amazing guy! His family wants him back! 8 years is too damn long to be behind bars for defending himself against a rapist! FREE LUKE!!!Tysha W.
”Free Luke!!!!Amerlyn S.
”FREE LUKEDoria W.
”This is not justice. He rightly defended himself in the face of a second assault.Sue N.
”Luke deserves JUSTICE. He deserves to be released. And he deserves a FAIR trial.Ashley M.
”Please free Luke. We love you, Luke.Trixie L.
”This man should be set free, as a victim of Sexual assault he had every reason to defend himself and do whatever he felt necessary.Billy C.
”He had every right to defend himself in his own home.Shelley G.
”I know you Luke and am so sorry that this horrible atrocity occurred to you. I know you defended yourself and your family against a sexual predator.Evelyn L.
”...Having been assaulted myself in the past I truly believe 100% that by NOT taking into account the facts of the case (right in front of their eyes & laid out clearly) our good Ol' Government of U.S.A. INTENTIONALLY, MALICIOUSLY, & INHUMANELY brought down a life sentence to a man in imminent harm defending himself, his wife and newborn against a man who Premeditated this crime and had history of such unbeknownst to Luke. Way 2 go America! Victimized the Victim...Sarah H.
”Sexual assault should be defendable in any response.Branden W.
”There is proof of his assault.Rosalinda G.
”Total bullshit conviction, known Luke since high school and he is no cold blooded killer. One of the nicest guys ive met. Free luke!!Johnathan R.
”Luke got a raw deal he’s a great guy.Shawn G.
”Luke was violated, then attacked and then acted in self-defense; then he was attacked again, accused of a gay tryst, called a liar, by Deschutes County prosecutors, who convince a jury of their lies, and got him a sentence of life; since remanded by the Appeals Court, but still he is accused and would not be granted bail. The terpitude of Deschutes prosecutors knows no villainous bounds.Elwin W.
”MY BROTHER IS INNOCENT!!! PLEASE HELP TO FREE HIM - JUSTICE FOR LUKE WIRKKALA!!!Cherri L.
”FREE LUKE WIRKKALA- IT'S NOT RIGHT THAT HE'S NOT FREE HE IS INNOCENT!!! JUSTICE FOR LUKE WIRKKALA!!!Cherri L.
”Luke deserves justice!Ronnie W.
”He is innocent!!!Jennifer C.
”He has been wrongfully charged!Lori N.
”It's just wrong that is all.Patrick G.
”I believe justice should be served in this case.Amanda T.
”Defending yourself in your own home (or anywhere) should not be a crime.Etta S.
”Luke had every right to defend himself! Set him free!Selina M.
”This is just wrong.Holly R.
”Absolutely heartbreaking when people can’t admit that this does happen to men too. Free Luke!Alicia O.T.
”The metoo movement should include men and women. And I believe a person has a right to be safe in there own home.Brian W.
”This is terrible. He had every right to defend himself. Free this man.Ashley F.
”This is honestly the last place in my life I ever expected to be. My sister was brutally raped and murdered in front of her son. There were no scratch marks, in spite of her being strangled.Jennifer Benedict ( Luke’s sister in law)2014 Sentencing hearing
I speak on behalf of what it feels like to be the side of victims. I know what it’s like to live without my sister. I know how devastating it was for my family. I understand it with fears that this family here does not get “no.” And I am sorry for their loss.
However, I also know what it’s like to have a sister murdered. And in this case, I honestly, from the bottom of my heart, believe this was self-defense. And the thought of losing my son, who was here and did speak, or to lose my own sister in the same situation that happened 30 years ago, I am still so sad for the situation.
There—there is nothing okay from any side. However, I ask that you please understand that there is remorse. There is sadness. And in this, the best choice at that moment was taken. It was out or protection. And I feel gratitude, in spite of how sad it is, because my family is okay from somebody who was there to do harm.
”I taught my son the ABC’s and also how to read. Throughout our lives together, we have shared many discussions on books, literature, the arts, and culture in general.
Over the year, he has never lied to me, nor have I known him to lie to anyone else. Truth has been paramount in his life. So it is with great regret that I face this great injustice that has been placed upon him.
He’s totally innocent of the charges that this court has levied against him, and I sincerely hope that in the not-too-distant future this great injustice will be rectified and the truth and true justice will prevail.
In closing, just a short poem.
The feet of time keep marching on,Victor Wirkkala2014 Sentencing hearing
Never tired, never worn.
There is no end, there is no start,
Just the moment when we take part.
”Luke and I were just starting our life together. We were completely and hopelessly in love and decided that Bend was the perfect place to share that life together. We used to dance at night in our living room and we played baseball and board games with my son, Trent, during the day.Rachel Wirkkala2014 Sentencing hearing
Within the first week of living together, Trent came up to me and said, “Why don’t you just marry him already?”
We were truly happy, talking about our hopes and dreams together. I remember being in a store and trying on a ridiculously silly hat. And instead of laughing, Luke came up to me, smiling, took off this hat, and kissed me right in the middle of the store. I have so many fond memories with him. We were blissfully happy and in love.
Trent, my 13 year old son, cried on the day we found out about the conviction. We did not ask for this to happen. There is no way that Luke could have given up that life that we shared out of anger. Nothing short of a life-threatening situation would have caused Luke to take the actions he did that night.
When did we lose the right to defend ourselves in our own homes? I fear for what would have happened to the rest of my family that night, had he not acted as quickly as he had.
In the last 15 years, 416 people have proven their innocence after a wrongful homicide conviction. I am truly saddened today, and I pray that Luke also has a chance to prove his innocence.
”Luke and I grew up in Chinook and we were in the choir at Chinook Church..I had a huge crush on him in high school (hence why I joined the choir LOL) He was always so nice. I remember talking to him at WSU when we saw each other. I am heartbroken for him and his family and I pray he gets the justice he deserves.Dena KleffnerLongtime Friend of Luke Wirkala