Rape victim recounts 1993 Edmonds attack in long-awaited book

Maddie MorehouseHeadshot
Madeline Morehouse

On an unseasonably warm 1993 spring evening, Madeline Morehouse, owner of local Edmonds coffee shop Caffe’ Aida, was putting the final touches on what had been a particularly long day.

It began with the pre-dawn opening of her shop, included daytime meetings with suppliers and an afternoon gym workout, and ended with an evening at the Seattle Coliseum watching the Sonics take on the Houston Rockets. Arriving home at her Edmonds townhouse after 11 pm, she still needed to count up the day’s receipts and prepare a bank deposit. It was after midnight when she finally set her alarm for 4 a.m. and turned out the light.

The 46-year-old Morehouse didn’t know that lurking outside her bedroom window was Allen Ray Chesnutt, a 21-year-old serial rapist with at least nine previous victims. Chesnutt, who had so far eluded police capture, used a stolen ladder to gain access to her roof and was preparing to cut her bedroom window screen with a knife taken from his mother’s kitchen.

What followed was a nightmare of brutal sexual assault, knife wounds, screamed obscenities, death threats, blood and pain.

When he was done, the attacker demanded money. With his attention momentarily diverted, Morehouse retrieved the handgun she carried in her purse and turned the tables. Her shots missed the target, but they instantly transformed Chesnutt from a brutal attacker to a cringing figure cowering in the corner and pleading for his life. She ordered him to lie on the floor, screaming that she would kill him if he so much as moved. She punched 911 into her phone, bringing Edmonds police to her door in less than a minute.

“I’d had my gun since 1969,” Morehouse told My Edmonds News. “I got it after the news of the Charles Manson murders broke. I was just scared and I guess having a gun made me feel safer. I fired it at the range a few times, but mostly it just sat in my purse.”

This was the first time she actually used it.

Ultimately convicted and sentenced to 77 years, Chesnutt remains to this day in the Washington State Penitentiary at Walla Walla.

But even 23 years later, Morehouse continues to deal with the aftermath.

“It changed me forever,” she said. “I never wanted to be a hero, I never wanted recognition or awards, I just wanted to forget this ever happened. But you know, you can’t. It’s so much more than the attack itself. It’s how it changed my life forever, and defined everything that’s happened since. Part of working through this for me is coming to understand that I have a timeless story, and that by telling it I can help others.”

Morehouse began her book in 1996, but as her journey continued and new understandings came forth, the story gained additional depth and detail.

Madeline MorehouseFinally published in June 2016, “Code: 10-71, Victim to Victor” is a riveting first-person account of the attack, followed by Chesnutt’s arrest, trial and conviction, and the lasting aftermath. By painstakingly recounting how the ripples of this crime spread out to touch not only her life, but those of her family, friends, community and everyone who listens to her story, she adds depth and breadth to how one woman’s nightmare has relevance for us all.

“Code: 10-71, Victim to Victor” by Madeline Morehouse is available at the Edmonds Bookshop, 111 Fifth Ave. N. in Edmonds, or online from Amazon.

Morehouse is currently in the Address Confidentiality Program, and living in an undisclosed location. She is available to speak to groups about her experiences, in the hope that her story can help others. Learn more here.

— By Larry Vogel


  1. With all due respect to this white person and the book she has written regarding a rape 23 years ago, I am sorry to see that this is the front page news considering the nation and millions are in mourning of another black life lost. I looked at this image of a blonde and the word “rape” and in my mind, it felt terribly wrong at this time …….but hey, what do I know. This is a news source that has had no qualms with also putting a confederate flag front and center as if perfectly normal this day and age………Black lives matter and ALL lives matter…….Perhaps a better front page right now would have been to at least in some small way do better regarding equality, inclusion and diversity in the news source and in all our communities……..At the very least acknowledge that there is something really big going on regarding RACISM and this needs to be addressed all over. It is not always an “Edmonds Kind of Day”………Edmonds is mostly white.

    1. Your comment on this is out of place.
      This Woman’s story and pain are the focus, and it is wrong to discount that because she is “blonde” or “white” or that is happened 23 years ago.
      Linking two separate topics together doesn’t serve anyone, and will only further alienate.
      If you have a story that you would like to be a focus, contact the editor.
      Even better ask if you can write a submission.
      I for one, would support a discussion on a very real and relevant topic. Racism is real, and does need to be addressed. Just not this way.

      1. White Priviledge……….these are not separate topics at all……….white priviledged, segregated (according to a recent ruling by our U.S Supreme Court) communities (and certinly true in Edmonds)across the United States dont even really SEE that there is any problem for people of color ( including deaths and hangings even) and just carry on as usual without missing a beat…….without missing a beat………Ive been around long enough to remember all those images of Watts……..this time it may not be their own communities ………….”we hold these truths to be SELF EVIDENT that ALL men are created equal” for the White Priviledged that just dont get that or want to carry on as usual…..

        My point is not about this woman and her book……..it is about the media and communities maintaining the whiteness of their world
        We live in a global world………
        It was nice to see a welcoming crowd for the new Edmonds DIVERSITY Commission at the 4th……2040!

    2. This is a local news source that handles local news only. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a ‘national’ story on here. There are others larger media outlets that have the capacity and financial backing to do those things. This story is very interesting (I had never heard of it) and it is a good story to be told. When the issues occurred last year with racism and threats at EWHS this website covered it. This isn’t MyUSAnews.com ….. not every story has to be about the same thing. Chill out.

  2. Tere, I believe your comments are way out of line . The causes are good but have nothing to do with this article. Ms. Morehouse is to be commended for writing this book

  3. By the way Tere Ryder, just so you know, this story was posted on July 7th BEFORE the incident in Dallas. Regardless of that, as the other commenter mentioned, this is not a national media outlet, but rather local. That’s why you aren’t seeing the Dallas story. If you have something to add perhaps you should write the editor rather than ranting on somebody else’s story comment area. Just my two cents.

  4. A usual response by Ms. Ryder. I pray that at some point in your life you gain a warm heart for the suffering of all people.

    The event that inspired this book shows the strength and empowerment of all women, regardless of race or hair color. It also identifies the fast action of EPD 26 years ago and they’re only better and more capable now.

    Your written words are at the center of the divide in our neighborhoods, city, county, state and country.

    Thank you for confirming what the readers of this site have suspected about you since you’ve begun posting.

  5. Tere Ryder – I’m with Don Hall, your comments are way out of line. I’m also with Lori Waterworth, if you want to write a letter to the editor, then by all means do that, but don’t rant on somebody else’s story comment area.

  6. First off, this sounds like a really interesting book and I look forward to reading it. I just ordered a copy. Thanks for bringing it to everyone’s attention.

    Second… just wow. You can literally look anywhere else on the Internet and read about nothing BUT the shootings that have taken place over the past few days. Why would we need to discuss it here also?

  7. I worked with this guy allen chesnutt when all this was going on. He would come to work before and after the rapes occurred and in the end when we all found out we were SHOCKED! He went to high school with me and was always creepy. Especially when we were at work. I remember the day he was arrested and it was revealed he was the edmonds/Lynnwood rapist. It was scary and a relief it was over. These victims deserved justice and finally got it.

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