Family of Cheshire murder victim speaks out

Stephen Bream, 73, who was killed Tuesday morning, sought a restraining order against Travis Crum on March 16.

Posted: Mar 24, 2021 11:53 AM
Updated: Mar 26, 2021 4:31 PM

CHESHIRE, Ore.-- The family of Stephen Bream, a murder victim in Cheshire, is speaking out after he was found dead in his girlfriend's home Tuesday. He is referred to by his loved ones as "Perry." 

"He was always willing to extend himself to everyone. He was probably one of the most open, friendliest, giving people that I know," his nephew, Richard Bethune said.  

Photo by The News-Review

Bethune also a accounted an instance where Bream assisted his family on a sailing trip in which treacherous waters nearly capsized the boat, and placed the family's life at risk. 

"He was the main reason we made it back alive," Bethune said. 

Perry also dedicated his spare time to activism. Fighting for the causes he felt were right. 

"He took on a lot of causes related to equality, democracy, being very much aligned to his progressive values," Bethune said.

Bream's niece wrote on Twitter that her uncle had his faults but didn't deserve to be killed.

Wednesday, KEZI obtained a restraining order Bream filed against the suspect Travis Crum. In his own hand, Bream described the terrifying scene: His girlfriend's son had stormed into his bedroom in the middle of the night, threatening to throw the 73-year-old out the window.

Bream wrote about meth, violence, and physical abuse.

In his application for a restraining order, Bream said Crum had lived in the home since May 2019. When asked on the form when and where the alleged abuse took place, he simply wrote: "[F]or many weeks at home."

Crum's mother and a second man also filed a similar order, saying they, too, were afraid of Crum.

Lane County Judge Jay McAlpin signed the order and it was apparently served on March 17. Crum was ordered to stay at least 150 feet from the residence in the 25000 block of Hall Road.

Six days later, Bream was dead.

Now Crum, 52, sits in the Lane County jail, charged with second-degree murder in Bream's death. He was arrested Tuesday night after residents reported a man matching Crum’s description throwing sticks at passing vehicles on Highway 36 near milepost 18.

"Travis Crum killed his mother's boyfriend," Lt. DJ Mann of the Lane County sheriff's department, said. "That was the connection."

But that wasn't Crum's first interaction with Lane County deputies. According to Bream's application for a restraining order, Crum was arrested on the property on March 13 after striking another man, who was 74. Crum was taken to the hospital where drugs were allegedly discovered in his system.

Meanwhile, the residents of the small community of Cheshire say they're in disbelief.

"Violence like that hardly ever happens in a community like this," Darren Hanauska said.

Sheriff's deputies are still looking for a 2004 dark gold Dodge Caravan with Oregon license plate 975 ESN. The van may have blue painter’s tape on the hood and fenders. Anyone who spots the van is asked to call 541-682-4150.

If you or someone you know is being abused. Call 1-855-503-7233 to reach the hotline for Elder and Vulnerable Adult Abuse.

If it's an emergency, call 911. 

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