The Boston Globe

The secret life of alleged double murderer Logan Clegg: a loner with a temper, guns — and a taste for travel

Former friends are astonished that the onetime ‘band kid’ is accused of killing a Concord, N.H., couple

The Marsh Loop Trail, in the area where the Reids were killed in Concord, N.H. Logan Clegg is charged in the murder. Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff


LOGAN, Utah — The police officers must have seen him. The wall-to-wall windows at the Logan City Police Department look straight out onto the abandoned brick building where Logan Clegg lived in the summer of 2020.

He slept on a couch in a former radiator shop in that building, his passport filled with stamps from European countries tucked beneath the cushions. Pilfered wallets and purses whose spoils sustained his lifestyle sat in a pile. But he was unseen, invisible.

The police a hundred yards away didn’t know that he was there. Or that he was carrying a CZ 75B handgun stolen from a nearby sporting goods store a month earlier.

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A clean-cut, meek, and skinny guy, Clegg, then 24, wasn’t the type to arouse suspicion — even when he should. In 2018, he showed up for his night shift at a McDonald’s in Spokane, Wash., covered in blood after stabbing a much bigger — but unarmed — man to death. Yet, he convinced police the killing was self-defense and he was never charged.

This year, he allegedly shot Steve and Djeswende Reid on a trail in Concord, N.H., a sensational double murder in a state that only sees 18 or so homicides a year. Yet, he didn’t immediately flee. Two days after the murder, police crossed paths with Clegg in the woods behind the Reids’ apartment, just yards from their discarded bodies. When confronted, he told police his name was Arthur Kelly and that was the end of it. They did not report asking for identification and Clegg went on his way. The only thing they noticed about him was the unusual number of Mountain Dews he carried. The flavor? Code Red.

Logan Clegg was charged with shooting Djeswende and Stephen Reid to death on a hiking trail in April 2022. – Associated Press

“He was just a ghost,” said one former friend who knew Clegg growing up in the fog-shrouded lumber and mining town of Colville, Wash.

When police finally arrested Clegg in the murder of the Reids last month, prosecutors revealed that this outwardly unremarkable young man was in fact leading a highly unusual and contradictory life. He regularly slept in tents through the extreme winter cold, but appeared well-kept and clean-shaven when people saw him. His relatives seldom left the Western United States, but he traveled internationally on a US passport and had a Romanian passport card in the name Claude Zemo. Debt plagued his family throughout his childhood, but as an adult, he often had thousands of dollars in his wallet, according to police reports.

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“I am really surprised by it all,” said Caleb Smith, a former friend who was in the high school band with Clegg. “So whatever happened between now and then is kind of a testament to how many little confounding factors can interrupt a person and make it difficult for them to adapt.”

Smith was one of nine people who knew Clegg and agreed to be interviewed by the Globe during a reporting journey that spanned four states in an attempt to understand Clegg’s unlikely trajectory from a little-noticed band kid to one of New Hampshire’s most baffling murder suspects.

In each interview, one word came up time and time again: ghost. But Clegg’s quiet, almost spectral existence belied the anger that brewed inside and could spill out with sudden ferocity. He had never met Corey Ward, the man he killed in a Spokane parking lot, but stabbed him 10 times after an altercation over Ward’s car.

Clegg’s early years in Colville were marked, at least outwardly, by interests common to many adolescent boys. Home run derbies. Trampolines. Guitar Hero. Star Wars. He attended public schools and played the trombone in band class, where he made most of his friends.

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Yearbook photos from his middle and high school days show Clegg with wire oval glasses and a mop of auburn hair, crudely cut across his forehead. His close-lipped grin reveals a dimple on the left cheek and his right eyebrow arches slightly upward, as if he’s straining to be happy. His shirt seems a size too big and drapes over a hunched and bony frame.

People who knew Clegg as a child say he struggled socially and could seem painfully shy.

“If you talked to him, his face would turn very, very red, and you couldn’t hear his responses because he spoke very quietly and mumbled,” recalled Shelby Naylor, a bandmate of Clegg.

Logan Clegg in a yearbook photo. – Yearbook photo

Still, “he had a really funny sense of humor,” according to another bandmate, Noah Baum. “He was just very selective about who he actually talked to.”

But one summer day marked a dark turning point for Clegg. That morning in July, Clegg, then 12, found his dad dead by apparent suicide in the backyard of their house in Colville, according to three people living in town at the time. Logan Clegg’s mother, Tisha, and other relatives did not respond to multiple interview requests from the Globe. Still, a virtual memorial for Randy Clegg may give a clue to his son’s status in the family: he is not mentioned by name once on the sprawling tribute page and only appears in three of the 60-plus shared photos.

The trauma seemed to snag an already loose thread in Clegg, say people who knew him, and he began to unravel.

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“He was never the same after that,” said one neighborhood friend, who asked not to be identified out of concerns for his privacy. “One time he slammed the door on us and basically said, ‘I want you to leave me alone. I don’t want to hang out anymore.’ ”

Though the friend shared a locker with Clegg, he rarely saw him again after that July day. No one who spoke to the Globe could even remember whether Clegg had graduated with the class of 2014. He must have left Colville High sophomore, wait, junior, no, senior year, they waffled. In reality, he attended Colville through February of his senior year, but to confirm these dates, Kevin Knight — the principal at the time who did not recall a Logan Clegg — had to reference official records.

At some point after receiving his GED from a community college in Spokane an hour south of Colville, he returned to his hometown. But instead of living with family or classmates, many of whom live in the area to this day, he opted to camp out under the grandstand at the Stevens County Fairground. From that date until his arrest in 2022, Clegg seldom, if ever, had a permanent address.

One day in February 2017, an employee of the fairgrounds noticed Clegg’s belongings and moved them to a nearby storage area. This incensed Clegg, who stormed into her office and demanded his items be returned, according to police records. When she moved to call the police, he tried to snatch the phone from her hand.

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Some months later, he landed a nighttime custodian job at a McDonald’s in Spokane. Assistant manager Brianne Peterson, whose shift often overlapped with Clegg’s, said he never called in sick or complained when given extra tasks. She also said he drank a lot of Mountain Dew.

“Whenever he came in, he’d always say hi to me first thing. It’s just one of those things that you could, like, consistently count on every night when walking in and like, you know, no one wants to come to work. No one wants to be there and still he cared about the pleasantries,” said Peterson.

He told his employer that he lived on the streets, roughly 2 miles away, though he always showed up for work early. But one night in May 2018, he arrived a few minutes late. Blood pooled in the whites of his eyes. Underneath a cap, his auburn hair was matted, wet, and red. An open wound on his hand spurted blood like a fountain. He shook uncontrollably. Peterson steeled herself not to faint.

As they drove to the hospital, Clegg told her a version of events that police ultimately accepted:

He had been walking his usual route to work, which cuts through an apartment complex, when a man began yelling at him from the window, insinuating that Clegg was messing with his car. The man, later identified as 32-year-old Corey Ward, then chased Clegg, tackled him, and began punching him repeatedly. Clegg unsheathed a knife and swung it at Ward. He claimed he didn’t know he had even harmed Ward, who soon backed off. Clegg — bloodied and battered — left the mortally wounded Ward and finished the remaining 1-mile walk to work. Ward died in a pool of blood in the parking lot. Spokane police never charged Clegg, determining he acted in self-defense — a finding Ward’s family has questioned.

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Corey Ward was stabbed to death by Logan Clegg during a fight in Spokane, Wash., in 2018. Authorities concluded Clegg acted in self-defense. – WARD FAMILY HANDOUT

Police were “saying, ‘Corey was the aggressor,’ ” the victim’s mom, Lisa Ward, told the Globe recently. “My son was a lot of things. He was a hard-working kid, but when he wasn’t working, like for his job, he was as lazy as the day is long. He would have never come out of his apartment, run down two flights of stairs, just to start a fight. That’s not my son.”

Peterson, the McDonald’s manager, no longer knows which version of the story she believes. But at the time, she saw in Clegg a scared kid, who weighed maybe 110 pounds soaking wet.

“After that happened, he became super skittish. Something would fall and he’d nearly jump out of his pants. He was broken in a way,” said Peterson. “Who knows what happens to a person after what he went through.”

Clegg worked a few more weeks, then he didn’t show one night, and Peterson never saw him again.

Two years later, he surfaced in Logan, Utah, a city of 50,000 in the Wasatch Mountains, where Clegg stole two handguns from the sporting goods store in July, according to a police report. A couple of weeks later, he was caught shoplifting at a Walmart in nearby Salt Lake City and found with one of the stolen guns. He told the three officers who confronted him that he thought “three on one” was unfair, and that he wished he had “a chance to pull [the gun] out and fight one on one.” Clegg pleaded guilty to the felony charges of burglary and theft, but the judge suspended his sentence and he left town soon after, violating the terms of probation.

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By this time, Clegg had already begun to travel the world, flying to Paris the previous fall and telling one detective in Logan that he had a friend in Europe with a locksmith business. Clegg said the friend “offered him an apprenticeship when he arrives,” wrote the detective.

People who knew Clegg as a child are baffled by his international travels — the well-used US passport, the Romanian passport with his picture and the name Claude Zemo, and his claim that he had friends abroad. To them, Clegg’s lifestyle couldn’t be further removed from his childhood in Colville, where he drew so little notice and people seldom strayed far from their homes.

One Clegg relative could only name one other cousin who had moved away from the region, settling in the far-off state of Virginia. “We are a very tight Northwest family,” wrote the relative. One bandmate said their class sometimes traveled across the state border to Idaho. “Maybe that’s where he got hit by the travel bug?” he suggested.

But the neighborhood friend, who seemed to have known Clegg best, wondered if the itinerant lifestyle gave Clegg the anonymity he so desperately sought.

“That’s the only way it would make sense to me. He wanted to be so far away where he couldn’t communicate with anybody,” he said.

By the time Clegg arrived in Concord, N.H., in November 2021 he’d spent nearly half the year in Europe, according to the affidavit from his Vermont arrest. On June 21, he flew from Chicago to Lisbon and didn’t return stateside until Nov. 7 via a flight from Munich to Boston. In total, he had spent 139 days out of the country.

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This is a long time by any measure, but particularly because the visa that most Americans use to travel around Europe, a Schengen visa, is only valid for 90 days within a 180-day period. To stay for 139 days, Clegg would have had to leave the so-called Schengen zone — which includes Germany and Portugal, but not Romania — for at least 49 days to avoid overstaying his visa. Visa violations can result in fines running to hundreds or thousands of dollars, deportation, or a permanent ban from the zone.

Police have released few details of his European travels.

Alton Woods apartments, where Stephen and Djeswende Reid lived in Concord, N.H. – CRAIG F. WALKER/GLOBE STAFF

When he finally returned stateside in the fall of 2021, he settled in Concord, where he had no apparent roots. He lived out of a tent in the woods — less than a mile from the Reids’ apartment — through a brutal New Hampshire winter, buying dozens of propane tanks and working as the nightside custodian once again at a nearby McDonald’s.

But in February, he quit. And six days later, despite his criminal record in Utah, Clegg purchased a Glock 17 and three boxes of 9mm ammunition at R&L Archery in Barre, Vt. He presented a Vermont license with the name Arthur Kelly, the same alias he later gave the Concord police in the woods. The number on the license couldn’t be confirmed, according to law enforcement records, but that still didn’t trigger a hold on the sale.

“That gentleman came into our store to buy a gun and provided an ID that we enter into the FBI’s NCIS system. If there were any red flags that came up, we wouldn’t have sold him the gun,” said store owner Chris Sanborn. The FBI did not respond to a request for comment on the case.

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Discarded police tape near a parking area for Centennial Woods, near where Logan Clegg’s camp was found, just off Patchen Road in South Burlington, Vt. – IAN THOMAS JANSEN-LONNQUIST FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

Clegg had a ticket to Iceland a week later, but never boarded the plane. Instead, he was still living in the Concord woods on the day the Reids decided to take an afternoon stroll on the Marsh Loop Trail. The couple had spent their life doing humanitarian work in rugged countries like Burkina Faso, Liberia, and Haiti, only to be murdered a year into their retirement on a hiking trail near Interstate 393, allegedly by a drifter with a gun purchased illegally in Vermont.

Clegg lingered near the trail long enough to cross paths with detectives in the woods; he torched his campsite soon after the encounter. By mid-May, he was in Boston, boarding a South Station bus to Burlington, Vt.

On Oct. 12, Clegg’s Glock 17 lay fully loaded in a backpack atop a desk in a sunny corner of the South Burlington Public Library where Clegg was typing away on his gray laptop. He had a ticket to Germany that left in two days. Body camera footage shows him — dressed in a black cap, khakis, and crisp green button-down — raise his gaze as an officer rounds the corner. As police handcuffed his bony wrists behind his back, Clegg — in that slow voice that his Colville bandmates always struggled to hear — asked what he had done.

“You’ll get all the answers you want,” responded an officer.

And yet, for a shocked public, for the Reids and for all those in his hometown, Clegg’s arrest left many more questions than answers.

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South Burlington Public Library, where police eventually arrested Logan Clegg. – IAN THOMAS JANSEN-LONNQUIST FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

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