Son charged in mother's White Center murder

Brodie Lamb, 49, is facing a first degree murder charge from the King County Prosecutor’s Office after allegedly fatally stabbing his mother – White Center resident, author and journalist Margaret Ryan – at her apartment on Nov. 13.

According to charging documents released after charges were filed on Nov. 16, Lamb allegedly broke down Ryan’s apartment door after she denied him entrance, grabbed a knife from the kitchen and stabbed her 18 times before calling 911 to report what he had done. Police and paramedics rushed to the scene on the 1300 block of S.W. 100th St. and attempted CPR on Ryan for 25 minutes, but were unable to save her life.

Lamb called 911 at 5:34 p.m. and told dispatch he had just stabbed his mom in the neck and killed her. Dispatch asked him to place the knife in the freezer and wait for authorities to arrive. Lamb was waiting outside the apartment and police took him into custody. The knife was found in the freezer.

Court documents state detectives interviewed Lamb after the attack and he told them “he got frustrated when his mother would not let him into the apartment, so he kicked in the door, got a knife from the kitchen, and stabbed her.”

An autopsy revealed several defensive wounds on 69-year-old Ryan’s hands and arms in addition to the fatal wounds to her neck, indicating she tried to protect herself.

A history of violence, and an order to stay away
The court placed a $2 million bail on Lamb, based on “the nature of this offense and his previous criminal history (which) demonstrates he is a severe danger to the community if released.”

According to the court, Lamb’s criminal history includes an assault conviction in 2008 for punching his mom (the victim in this case) in the face while she was driving him home. In 2009, he was convicted of assault after beating up his 75-year-old landlord and attempting to throw her off of a railing 13 feet above ground because she was trying to collect rent. In addition, he had convictions for harassment, obstruction, domestic violence and a 2010 assault guilty plea for spitting on a corrections officer at King County Jail. A mental health evaluation was ordered as part of the plea deal.

Jasmine Brown, the resident manager at Unity Village apartments where the murder occurred, said she called police on August 29, 2012 because Lamb was wandering around the property, appeared intoxicated, and was taking off his shirt.

Brown said she talked with Ryan about her son and they both agreed they did not want him around. At the request of Ryan and Brown, Lamb was ordered by a King County deputy to stay away from Unity Village and his mom’s apartment for a year.

“Margaret did not want him here; she did not want him around,” Brown said in an interview after the murder.

The initial King County Sheriff’s Office arrest report stated Lamb lived at the apartment with Ryan, but that detail was taken out in the charging documents. Brown said Lamb would not have been allowed to live in the apartment complex even if he and his mother had wanted that arrangement because he would have failed the background check, based on his track record of violence against others, including a landlord.

Margaret Ryan, a no-nonsense truth seeker
Margaret Ryan was known in the White Center as an activist for her community. She was a writer who had just finished a memoir this summer, and worked as a freelance journalist for a local blog.

Ryan’s friend Aileen Sison said she was “always looking to help out in the neighborhood,” and, in regards to her work as a reporter, “She was always looking to get the truth out, which is what I liked about her. She always pushed the envelope to get the facts: that was her experience and this is what I most admired about her.”

Ryan’s memoir, titled “Without Myself,” was published as an e-book on Amazon.

Ryan’s friends are planning to meet on Nov. 19 to create a dedication and planting in her honor. The meeting will be held at Mago Signs, 10032 16th Ave S.W. in White Center from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. The event will be a potluck dinner and an opportunity to brainstorm ways to honor her life. You can RSVP at the event Facebook page.

Lamb’s arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 29 at 8:30 a.m. at the King County Courthouse, Room 1201.

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