5 things to know about famous dog trainer Mark Stover

Dateline: Unforgettable The next episode will dive into the murder case of Mark Stover, a renowned dog trainer who worked with big names like Eddie Vader and Howard Schultz. After a difficult time following his divorce from Linda Opdycke, the daughter of multi-millionaire Wally Opdycke, Stover had a bitter fight with his ex-wife that lasted for years.

In 2009, the 57-year-old dog trainer disappeared from his home in the Anacortes area. His body has never been found. As his fight with his ex-wife was well known, it didn’t take long to track down Michiel Oakes, Linda’s boyfriend at the time. At trial, Oakes testified that he killed Stover but claimed it was an act of self-defense. The jury was not convinced of this claim and Oakes was sentenced to 26½ years in prison.

Before the next episode of Timeline: Unforgettable, title The Man Who Talked to Dogs here are five facts about the episode’s subject, Mark Stover.


Five fast facts about Oakes victim Mark Stover

1) Mark Stover had a rough childhood and strayed down a “wrong path”

Join Mike and Gibby as they talk about the murder of famous dog trainer Mark Stover at the hands of Michiel Oakes on the True Crime All The Time podcast. #true crime #podcast https://t.co/XiizKC3S7b

Stover reportedly had a very difficult childhood. He was only 18 months old when his father died, and soon after one of his sisters died. According to Vicky Simmons, Stover’s sister, survival was a big deal for the family. She also said that Stover initially strayed from the wrong path. Recalling the time, Simmons said:

“He was on a bad path… He got kicked out of high school for smoking drugs… I think he stumbled in the dark for a number of those years.”


2) Mark found his calling when he met a German Shepherd named Gunther

Dog trainer of Seattle’s famous alleged murderer (AP): AP – Mark Stover was the stars’ dog trainer in the Pacific Northwest. He taug..

Mark was a high school dropout with no real purpose until he met Gunther, a German Shepherd puppy he trained to be a search and rescue dog. In the process, he discovered his true calling. Simons said:

“Mark and this dog bonded that very day…it gave his life meaning. He gave his life meaning…This dog saved him.”


3) Mark and Linda opened a million dollar business together on Kiket Island

Celebrities have called Mark Stover the “Dog Whisperer”, but someone wanted him silenced. #BehindMansionWalls at 9E/P

The heiress to Wally Opdycke’s huge fortune, Linda, and rising dog trainer Mark Stover have found their perfect partner. Together they opened a dog training business on Kiket Island, a private island owned by Linda’s parents.

Within a few years, Stover & Opdycke had grown into a million dollar company.


4) Mark Stover was accused of harassing Linda after their divorce

Mark Stover and his Dingo dog “Ding”. She survived the attack, not him. She died of cancer shortly after recovering from a bullet fired by Mark’s killer. instagram.com/p/BtCo6uDlJcK/…

After a couple of rocky years of marriage and a messy divorce, Stover reportedly refused to give up on Linda. He allegedly stalked, followed and threatened her on several occasions. Although he was not arrested for the first few months, he was eventually arrested when a neighbor caught him playing with Linda’s trash.

Neighbor Ruthie Hagemeister described the incident saying:

“As I pull up here I notice there’s a white station wagon here and there’s a gentleman in Linda’s bins taking the bins out of the bins… I said, ‘Excuse me, who are you?’ He says, ‘My name is John.’ I go, ‘Why are you taking my friend’s trash?’ And he said, ‘I have permission to take the trash.'”

Recognizing Mark Stover, Ruthie called Linda, who in turn notified the cops. Stover was released on a year’s probation after this.


5) Stover trained the dogs of Nirvana and Pearl Jam stars

Boyfriend of suspected missing ex-wife of dog trainer Mark Stover at… http://bit.ly/3rjgYl

Mark Stover was one of the area’s most renowned dog trainers. His high profile clients included Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Nirvana Krist Novoselic, Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell, filmmaker Cameron Crowe and Costco Corp. CEO Jim Sinegal, among many others.

The next episode of Timeline: Unforgettable will cover the case in detail when it airs on August 2, 2022.

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