Tesslynn Elizabeth O'Cull
June 8, 1994 - June 14, 1997
Find A Grave Memorial
I would like to thank Joanie for sending me a link to this picture of Tesslynn.
What a beautiful child she is and her beauty shines even brighter in color.
Stella Kiser gave birth to a baby girl on June 8, 2004. Three years later she would do what so many mothers do, allow her boyfriend to abuse her child to death.
Tesslynn Elizabeth O'Cull was abused from the very moment her mother moved them into the home of Jesse Compton. Jesse was a drug user who would have parties in his home, some of those parties would last several days. After Stella moved in with him, he began to abuse Tesslynn. 

Jesse would hit Tesslynn on different parts of her body with a wooden spoon, a spatula or a belt. People who were visiting were witness to the abuse they gave her and never said a word. Tesslynn's abuse by this man included slaps in the face, being forced to stand in a corner for long periods of time, being dragged by her hair and taking long, cold showers or baths.

People who were witness to the abuse said that during drug parties, Tesslynn was forced to stay in her bedroom and that at times, Jesse would go into the room and she could be heard crying for hours after. No one was allowed to go into the room to check on her or give her help. Tesslynn was eventually kept in the bedroom for most of the time. At one point, a neighbor complained about the way that Tesslynn was being treated. Jesse told the man that if he called the police, he would kill him and his girlfriend. About two months before he killed her, Jesse broke four vertebrae in her back.  He also used an object to rape her and burned her back, bottom and genitals using fire. When some of the burns became infected, he treated them by pouring rubbing alcohol onto them.

Tesslynn was bound with ropes by having her feet and hands tied over her head. She was left in this position for up to ten hours at a  time. Sometime with 24 hours before she died, Jesse struck Tesslynn in the head many times which caused her brain to bruise. Internal injuries were also caused due to her abdomen having been stomped on. Tesslynn was also abused with a fork that was scraped on her body causing scratching and bruising on her abdomen.

When Jesse found Tesslynn dead between 12:00 a.m. and 2:00 a.m., he immediately untied her and tried to revive her by performing CPR, hitting her chest, trying to shock her with an electric cord and pouring cold water on her. Jesse was not able to revive her so he and Stella left her in the room so they could figure out what to do. Both adults knew that with the injuries that were present on her body, they would go to jail. It was decided at some point that they would bury Tesslynn and her Aunt would help them do it. When friends asked about her, they would say she was with a baby sitter or at her Aunt's home. They told friends they were planning to move out of town and wished to have a baby boy.

Jesse's sister went to the Springfield Police Department on June 16, 1997 and told them what had happened to Tesslynn and how she had helped her brother and his girlfriend to bury her. On the morning of June 17, 1997 Tesslynn's body was found in a grave next to a logging road. With the body they found cloth, a braided belt and woman's ring. Later that day, the police went to Jesse and Stella's apartment and he gave them permission to look around. Jesse was read his miranda rights at that time.

The police found the apartment to be dirty with a bad odor. Holes had been punched in the wall by Jesse during fits of rage. Other searches of the apartment would turn up drug residue, drug paraphernalia, a propane torch, a lamp with the cord cut off, a pair of pliers which had burn residue on them, bottles of rubbing alcohol and cloths with knots tied into them.

While searching a dumpster, bags of trash from the apartment were found. Inside the bags police found a Mother's Day card, a child's clothing, the electrical cord from the lamp, with one end having been frayed, shoes strings with knots in them that had hair tangled in the knots and some rope. A piece of cloth they found in the trash bag was a match with cloth found in Tesslynn's grave.

Tesslynn's autopsy revealed that she had died of shock and the cause of death was listed as Battered Child Syndrome.

During the trial, Assistant District Attorney Robert Gorham, made his apologist to the jury for what he needed to tell them regarding the abuse that Tesslynn had suffered:

"I'm sorry that I have to tell you about these things. You must face the reality of this case." 

"There are 64 different talking points I have written down on the autopsy report. There are more 
injuries than that. She has an injury on every part of her body."

Jesse Compton went to trial on October 20, 1998.  Having been charged and convicted on six counts of murder by abuse, first degree sexual penetration, second degree abuse of a corpse and aggravated murder, on November 5, 1998, he was sentenced to death. The jury took only four hours to convict and as Circuit Judge Lyle Velure read the ruling, Jesse had no reaction.

Tesslynn's grandfather, who was from California commented:

"This is exactly what we came to Oregon for" 

Stella Kiser went to trial in January of 1999 and that trial ended in a hung jury. In a second trial staring on April 19, 1999 and ending on April 29, 1999, she was found guilty ONLY of aggravated murder and was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole.

Both Jesse and Stella had personal ads asking for pen pals. Neither of them even mentioned Tesslynn at all. Both talked of what wonderful people they are. Tesslynn and those who love her, would disagree!

Below is the poster for stopping child abuse in Oregon.
The picture used is of Tesslynn.

Return To Tesslyn's Story
Read some posts that I found related to this case

Death Occurred in the state of Oregon

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