Red Collar Criminal

Did Oregon attorney Lori Deveny kill her husband?

“There’s blood on me…”

Robert and Lori Deveny were prominent big game hunters and had taken a number of safaris to Africa. Their home and Lori’s office were covered with trophies and taxidermized animals, including the entire top half of a giraffe. They had many, many guns.

Robert Deveny, November 2017

Lori told me that she and Robert have separate bedrooms due to his CPAP machine, but share the adjoining bathroom. Lori told me that around 0630 this morning, Robert came into her room and asked her to come to his room. Lori told me that Robert was very sweet and gentle with her, and that they ended up making love, though Lori told me it is complicated due to his [erectile disfunction]. Lori told me that after making love, Robert was lying on his back and she was lying next to him on her right side with her head on his left shoulder and her hand on his chest. Lori told me Robert told her that he loved her and then said that he was sorry. Lori told me that she briefly lifted her head up off of his should to look at him and that is when he shot himself.

Lori was also careful to explain that she wrapped the gun in a towel and moved it to the bathroom before the police arrived. The report states that, “she was not sure why she did, except possibly out of habit.” It is unclear if her “habit” was cleaning up after people who have killed themselves, or concealing evidence in general.

Too much information

The foremost problem with Lori’s story is that it is based completely upon Lori’s word — which, as police did not yet know at the time of Robert’s death, was almost entirely worthless. Lori was and is an accomplished con artist.

Photos from Robert Deveny’s last safari in South Africa

‘Red collar criminals’

White collar criminals like Lori Deveny, who commit crimes such as insurance fraud and money laundering, have long been thought to be non-violent by nature because of their class status. Their crimes are regarded as merely a lapse of judgment or a wrong turn from which these otherwise law-abiding people can be rehabilitated.

[T]he link to each fraud detection was crucial in establishing a motive for murder when the prosecution had weak direct evidence, but supportive circumstantial evidence of guilt. Establishing fraud detection as a motive is es­pecially important when the psychopath will at­tempt to use his or her lack of violent criminal­ity as an advantage when the case against him or her may be entirely circumstantial.

The circumstantial evidence that Lori Deveny killed her husband is not only supported, it’s so classic that it borders on cliché. If the script were submitted to the Lifetime Channel, even they would demand a rewrite.

A motive for murder: The estate case of Kathryn Kennedy

It’s difficult not to look back on Lori’s off-the-rails criminal career and wonder what Robert knew (or should have known) and when he may have known it. Given not only the suddenness of his death but its timing, it is impossible not to wonder whether Robert had noticed Lori’s fraud and legal career coming apart, and realized that their finances were not as she claimed them to be.

Too little, too late

One asks how things might have been different if the white-women-heavy state bar had treated Lori Deveny the way she should have been treated: as a threat to the public and a criminal suspect, e.g. meriting at least a press release.

Lori Deveny and Jaques Senekal in Minnesota

I am no psychotherapist, nor have I spoken with Deveny, but Deveny displays many of the traits of a “psychopath.” The [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders] would generally describe a person with this condition as having “ … interpersonal traits include(ing) glibness, superficial charm, grandiosity, pathological lying and manipulation of others. The affective traits include a lack of remorse and/or guilt, shallow affect, lack of empathy and failure to accept responsibility.” I have reviews dozens of emails and letters between [the victims] and Deveny, it seems Deveny was all of that and more.

It’s too bad that no Mr. Young’s assessment has not been taken as seriously as it should be — he is the only person so far that’s gotten it right.