Slain Portland history teacher had planned to move, start over just before his death






They blew bubbles, played his favorite songs by George Harrison and told stories about Peter John, a man with a Ph.D. in history who loved teaching but became misunderstood in recent years as he coped with bipolar disorder.

John was stabbed to death March 4 just as he was getting ready to move out of his longtime North Portland home to a more spacious property in Washington with a view of the Columbia River. There, he hoped to play music as loud as he wanted and commune with nature in peace.

"Peter was taken from us in an act of cowardice and darkness,'' family friend Corlene Ankrum said at a recent memorial service to remember John.

John, 56, had allowed Stephen Kovacs, 51, to stay at his home on North Haight Avenue the past two months after Kovacs had lost his job and struggled with alcohol abuse.



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