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Originally published April 24, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified April 24, 2007 at 3:46 PM

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Prison death of sex offenders' killer is investigated as a suicide

In a letter sent to The Seattle Times a few months before his death, convicted sex-offender killer Michael Mullen wrote that during his...

Seattle Times staff reporters

In a letter sent to The Seattle Times a few months before his death, convicted sex-offender killer Michael Mullen wrote that during his arrest and trial, "facts are, I just wanted to die."

Mullen was serving a 44-year prison term after being convicted of killing two Bellingham sex offenders in what was considered one of the nation's worst cases of vigilantism against sex offenders.

Mullen was found unresponsive in his cell at Stafford Creek Corrections Center near Aberdeen on April 15, and declared dead at Grays Harbor Community Hospital.

The state Department of Corrections says it's still investigating his death.

Prison spokeswoman Sheri Izatt says Mullen was alone in his cell. His death is being investigated as a possible suicide.

"I've been moved from prison to prison since my incarceration," Mullen wrote in his January letter to the Times. "I can not ajust (sic)."

Mullen was sentenced last year for the shooting deaths. He found his victims on Whatcom County's online sex-offender list, posed as an FBI agent in August 2005 to enter the home, and killed Victor Vazquez, 68, and Hank Eisses, 49. He said he let a third resident go because he showed remorse. Mullen had a history of petty crime in Washington and California.

Eisses had served a five-year prison sentence for raping a 13-year-old boy. Vazquez was convicted in 1991 of molesting several children.

In letters Mullen wrote to The Seattle Times after the killings in 2005, he said, "... I wanted one alive to spread the message that 'we' will not tolerate 'our' children being used and abused."

He also said at the time that he was motivated by the case of Joseph Edward Duncan III, a sex offender charged with killing a family in Idaho and kidnapping two children as sex slaves.

A convicted sex offender and former Washington prison inmate, Duncan is accused of murdering a North Idaho woman, her son and her boyfriend, then kidnapping and molesting the woman's 9-year-old son, Dylan Groene, and 8-year-old daughter, Shasta. Duncan is also accused of killing Dylan after molesting him.

Mullen said he would welcome the death penalty in order to beat Duncan into the afterlife and hold him accountable for the Groene family's deaths.

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"I will see to it personally that their deaths and abuse was not in vain!" he wrote to The Times.

Duncan, a Tacoma native, is awaiting a federal trial in Idaho.

Portions of this report are from The Associated Press

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