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Thursday, May 26, 2011

[WA] Marlo and Susan lived close, died violently the same day, and both deaths were quickly said to be suicides.

Marlo Sandra Yniguez Gallagher, a police chief's wife, and Susan L. McMahon, a deputy fire marshal's ex-wife who was living with him, lived about an hour away from each other. Both died violently on December 26th, 2010. Both of their deaths were discussed publicly as likely suicides within a day. There were short blurbs in the news about both of them and then silence. How lovely they were, what their dreams or fears were, how much they were loved or how much they are missed - I don't know. I know that I think of them together and wonder if they are friends in heaven.

I wonder what is true.

I know that I won't forget their names.


Info from the news:

Tenino Police Chief Sean Gallagher’s wife died of a shotgun blast to the head, according to Thurston County Coroner Gary Warnock. Lacey police found Marlo Gallagher, 43, dead in her home in Lacey, Washington after learning that a firearm had been discharged. Lacey police Lt. Phil Comstock said that investigators think the gunshot wound was self-inflicted. Comstock said he doesn’t know who owns the shotgun that killed Marlo Gallagher.

From Video: ...Detectives from different agencies are working on this case... Investigators are confirming a law enforcement officer lives in that house. And I checked this morning - there is a Tenino Police vehicle parked outside there. Although investigators are not telling us much more about that officer. Lacey Police say someone called them because they heard what sounded like a gunshot yesterday afternoon a little before four o'clock. Once at the house police saw a person died. They tell us they interviewed that person's spouse. Lacey Police aren't telling us the name of the person who died. They're not giving us too many details about the officer who lives there either, but they are telling us they will give us an update on this case sometime today...

"...Marlo has no one standing for her..."


Susan McMahon was found on the ground outside of a backyard shed that was fully engulfed in flames. The residence was her ex-husband's - where she had been staying with him. Her ex-husband, King County Fire and Rescue Deputy Fire Marshal Melvin McMahon was not home at the time assistance was called for. According to Mapquest, his station is 2 minutes from the home. It was that station that quickly responded to the fire.

"...The woman who died in this fire DID love her kids and grandbaby. And she was a very special person..."

Info from the news:

...Neighbors witnessed the flames engulf a backyard shed before firefighters quickly arrived at the scene... South King Fire & Rescue firefighters arrived at the house in the 29600 block of 40th Place S. within three minutes... Fire Crews don’t know what caused flames to engulf the back yard, just that gasoline inside the gardening shed may have fed the flames... “What we found were severe burns to almost 100 percent of her body,” one firefighter on the scene said... King County fire investigators continue to search for the cause of a fire that took the life of a new grandmother... The King County medical examiner has ruled the death a suicide...

From Video: "...trying to figure out what sparked a deadly fire in Auburn - a fire that hit home to responding crews who knew the 48 year old grandmother... Neignbors say they looked through the fence and saw a woman lying on the ground, on fire. Firefighters immediately recognized the house, the shed, and even the woman herself. [Deputy Chief Gordie Olson, South King County Fire & Rescue:] 'She IS an ex-wife of one of our firefighters. She was staying here at the house with him at the time. The one thing that's also difficult as a part of our family, is we knew that she was a new grandmother'... Her ex-husband was not home at the time of the fire."
[police officer involved domestic violence fire official public safety KCFR oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal fatality fatalities usur alleged suicides washington state politics brass mel mcmahon]


  1. AnonymousMay 27, 2011

    I don't understand why these so called "suicides" are covered up all the time. Do some agencies simply stop their investigations? These poor women suffering at the hands of their husbands, just as Carli did.

  2. To anyone trying to comment here - I apologize but this post is extra sensitive so I am not going to let most comments through. But please feel free to write me at the email address above, or here through the comments. I get them.

    If anyone has something nice to say about Marlo or Susan, I can post that - but other than that we can't talk about what we don't know.

    I will save the unpublished comments as a group and the day may come when I can or should post them.

  3. Questions are allowed though.

  4. AnonymousJune 11, 2011

    I will put these in question form.

    IS IT TRUE that Chief Gallagher had Marlo's beloved dogs put to sleep right away?

    IS IT TRUE that he was having a relationship with Yelm Police Officer Liz Eriksen, who Marlo thought was her friend, and that the chief moved in with his lover right away?

    Is that true? Does he live in Lacey or Yelm, in Liz's houes, now?

    Is this case being investigated?

    Is the other case being investigated?

  5. Those sound like good questions. Let me peek around and see what I can find.

  6. AnonymousJune 12, 2011

    Sean and Liz ?

    Question. Wasn't Liz the girlfriend of the cop that Gallagher fired?

    Didn't Gallagher accuse an openly gay cop of groping him back when he was at NYPD - and win a good chunk of money for that?

    Wasn't Gallagher agreed by the appeals court on that case to be capable of not telling the truth due to some falsifications of records he had done prior?

    Don't blink.

  7. Were the dogs really put down after the incident?

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. Hey Sean and Liz were an item while Marlo was alive.

  10. A new mayor has been elected in Tenino and he has sworn to clean up the city. He has announced that he has asked for performance audits of the city administration and police department by the State of WA. If you have true knowledge of the comments made in this forum, now is the time to stand up for Marlo and let the new Tenino city government know. The new mayor is named Eric Strawn. The new city council member is named Wayne Fournier.

  11. Marlo looks like a very small woman. How is it she could reach the trigger on a shot gun with the barrel aimed at her head?

    that dog don't hunt

  12. I agree anonymous. Something is not right with this death. Question: Did Marlo leave a suicide note (this is common and if she did not leave one then it is a red flag) Did Marlo tell a DV advocate about abuse in the relationship? Females usually do not blow their heads off but take pills or gas themselves. If the husband was not a police officer would the Lacey police dept. treat this any different. If a non police officer lied about an extra marital affair to investigators they would be on it like flies on crap. Something is not right with this scenario.Hope the family or friends force this case to be re opened.

  13. It came out this week that Chief Gallagher lied to law enforcement during the investigation of Marlo's death. What else has been a lie?

  14. I think that the person I'd most like to hear from has posted in these comments. Give me a try.

    1. You would think the person you would most like to hear from is the person who would tell you the truth....not someone who poses their personal opinions in the form of "questions."

    2. Okay: I would like to hear from the person who would tell me the truth.

    3. What would you like to know? I will answer any questions you have with the truth. If I don't know the answer....I will tell you I don't have the answer. Period. What I can tell you up front is that Marlo was a good, kind, caring, wonderful person who made the terrible and sad decision to take her own life. There was an extremely thorough investigation into her death based purely on the fact that her husband was a police officer; No stone was left unturned and it was absolutely shown that she took her own life; no one had anything to do with her decision but her. There was NO "cover up" as stated in the first comment; in fact it was quite the opposite; this investigation was a hundred times more thorough than if her husband had been non-law enforcement. To answer a few other questions posed here: Did she leave a note?: YES. Were her dogs put to sleep?: absolutely NO, they were taken to a friend who has a pet store/rescue shelter within a few days who, per request, adopted both dogs, together, to a loving home of a family member. I will address more of the "questions" later however I will say one more thing in this post: There was NEVER any claim of any type of abuse, nor was there any evidence of such, by Marlo at the hands of her husband. Anyone on here who implies there may have been abuse has made purely speculative statements; they are false.

  15. AnonymousMay 15, 2012

    Tenino's chief of police quits amid plans for inquiry into his conduct
    The Olympian
    Published March 21, 2012

    Tenino Police Chief Sean Gallagher resigned Wednesday after Mayor Eric Strawn said he planned to place Gallagher on paid administrative leave, pending an investigation into what Strawn said was evidence of “conduct unbecoming of an officer.”

    Strawn said the evidence was contained in a police reports recently made public by the Lacey Police Department, detailing its investigation into the December 2010 suicide of Gallagher’s wife, Marlo.

    Marlo Gallagher, 43, was found dead from a gunshot wound at the couple’s home in the 4500 block of Beckonridge Lane in Lacey on Dec. 26, 2010.

    According to the Lacey police investigative file:

    After Marlo Gallagher’s suicide, Sean Gallagher denied to detectives that he’d been having an affair. But after further questioning, “Mr. Gallagher disclosed that he was having an extra-marital affair and was romantically involved” with a Yelm police officer.

    He later apologized for lying, saying he was concerned about his law enforcement reputation.

    More than 300 pages of the Lacey Police Department’s 14-month investigation of Marlo Gallagher’s suicide were made public March 14. The investigation was supervised by Cmdr. Jim Mack. The investigation states that Marlo Gallagher’s death by gunshot was self-inflicted.

    Strawn, who was elected in November, said he recently read LPD’s investigation.

    Strawn said he was “disturbed” by the reports that Gallagher did not initially disclose his affair.

    In an interview Wednesday, Gallagher said Strawn has never brought up concerns that he was less than forthcoming with detectives.

    Gallagher said Wednesday he initially didn’t tell detectives about the affair as they investigated his wife’s death because “Clearly it was something that was private.” Gallagher said he felt uncomfortable discussing the affair with detectives but added that didn’t withhold the information. He said he explained the truth after detectives stopped taping their conversation.

    Gallagher said he resigned Wednesday because Strawn was trying to take over operational control of the Tenino Police Department, and when Gallagher brought up concerns about that to the City Council, Strawn was furious.

    “I decided that I was going to resign today,” Gallagher said.

    Gallagher added that he is engaged to the Yelm officer.

    Gallagher, a former New York City police sergeant, received a $125,000 settlement from the police department there after he sued alleging that his male lieutenant had sexually harassed him. According to court documents filed in relation to the lawsuit, Gallagher had been disciplined in the past by the department for “using a Departmental parking placard to go through the Queens Midtown Tunnel in his private car on personal business.”

    “I wasn’t aware that I wasn’t able to use it like that,” Gallagher said Wednesday.

    Gallagher had served as Tenino’s police chief since January 2010.

    Strawn said Wednesday he has appointed former Thurston County Sheriff’s Detective Dave Haller as interim chief. Haller, who recently retired from the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

    Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445



  16. AnonymousJuly 02, 2012

    "After the investigation of his wife's suicide, Former Tenino Police Chief Sean K Gallagher married Yelm Detective Elizabeth Thyra Eriksen, who is 16 years his junior. This is according to http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov/
    (for middle names) and Washington State Voter Records (for dates of birth)." (Drew Hendricks Olympia Copwatch)

  17. AnonymousJuly 18, 2013

    Lacey police: Tenino chief's wife killed self
    December 27, 2010

    Investigators say a fatal shooting at a Lacey home was the apparent suicide of the Tenino police chief's wife.
    Lacey Police Lt. Phil Comstock says the chief was home at the time of the shooting Sunday afternoon. He was questioned but not arrested.

    Comstock says the Lacey police had not previously responded to the home, and the gun used in the shooting was not Chief Sean Gallagher's service weapon.

  18. Does he have a son by the same name also in the NYPD? If so, he seems to be just as bad


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