Neighbors paint picture of couple

Neighbors and acquaintances who knew the man who apparently elected to be shot dead by police rather than surrender after a 20-hour standoff at his home in Hoquiam describe him as a friendless know-it-all who could be paranoid in his views and oppressive toward his wife.

The man who has gone by the name Ray Marlowe and Rick Marlowe and apparently has used other aliases, had lived at the East Hoquiam home since 2004 with his wife, Nina. Those who knew her liked her, but said the two kept to themselves, mostly because of his standoffish ways.

“She doesn’t have to be afraid of him anymore,” said Judith Alberts, who lives in the neighborhood. Alberts said she and her daughter were close friends of Nina, who was arrested Wednesday on a California warrant on a 2004 case charging Nina and her husband with real estate fraud.

Alberts said Nina Marlowe was a Ukrainian immigrant who spoke with a thick accent and could barely read English. It’s inconceivable that the woman could have been involved in any kind of complex scheme, Alberts said. She said the woman used her phone call from jail to call Alberts’ daughter to ask that she feed the rabbits that Nina raised in the backyard. “She said she was afraid that he would kill them,” Alberts said.

Another woman who had lived in the neighborhood said one of the main reasons she and her family moved was because of unpleasant experiences with the husband. They weren’t so much physically frightened, she said, but did not trust him and did not like his manner.

Rick Marlowe never worked, neighbors said. Alberts said he spent much of the day on the computer and wouldn’t allow his wife into the computer room. “He lived like someone who was in hiding.”

Nina Marlowe worked for a relatively short time at a janitorial service. Carrie Montoure worked with her and said she was likable and often talked about her husband being “crazy.” Montoure only saw him a couple of times. “He was kind of an oddball” and had opinions on “anything and everything,”she said.

It’s unclear how they supported themselves. Nina would walk the neighborhood alleys scrounging for food for the rabbits, one neighbor said, and others described Rick Marlowe as someone who liked to “scavenge” and often carted things home.

Alberts speculated Rick Marlowe’s time on the computer might be related to credit card fraud because she had heard that he often paid his bills with credit cards. She said they often received food from a food bank. Alberts wants the public to see Nina Marlowe as a victim, she said. “He was very bossy to her at all times,” she said. “She has been depressed and oppressed as long as I’ve known her. She said he would ask her to sign things and she didn’t know what they were.”

Alberts said her friend was in extremely poor health and had to be talked into seeking health care through social services. She speculated that Nina resisted because it might mean giving a Social Security number.

Alberts’ is worried that Nina Marlowe won’t be able to navigate the legal issues she’s likely to face. “She’s frightened of her own shadow and not Americanized.”