Worst Roommate Ever Season 2: The Full Story of Lethal Landlord Mike Dudley

The Alki Beach TikTok case is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Worst Roommate Ever season 2’s Michael Dudley.

Worst Roommate Ever Season 2.
Photo: Netflix

From the outside, Michael Lee Dudley was a nice guy. He was friendly and accommodating to the people who lived in his Airbnb rental in the Seattle suburb of Burien, Washington. Dudley, a 60-something with white hair and a beard, seemed like a kindly older man. Perhaps he was a bit strange, or a bit too-attached to his dog Duke, but harmless enough. But Dudley, the subject of the latest episode of the Netflix hit true crime docuseries Worst Roommate Ever, had a darker side even before he became the focus of season 2 episode 4 “The Lethal Landlord.”

Throughout “The Lethal Landlord,” Dudley is established as being a Jekyll and Hyde figure. Is he the nice old guy who volunteers to care for your dogs and drive his renters to job interviews? Or is he the man who beats a dog to death for trying to attack his chickens and lies about it to that very same former short-term renter? At least at the surface level, Dudley’s crimes seem out of character, even after the details unearthed by Worst Roommate Ever. However, a closer examination suggests that Dudley’s tendency towards violence started well before the events in Burien.

The criminal incidents as laid out in the Blumhouse-produced true crime series were felonies, but kind of mild ones? Stealing cars, assault, and carrying concealed weapons aren’t great on paper, but they’re not “kill two people and dump their chopped up bodies into the river” level crimes. Prior to the discovery of suitcases full of body parts on Alki Beach by some teenagers using an exploration app (and later on the shore of Duwamish Head), Michael Dudley was just a standard, relatively minor criminal. However, even before the deaths of Austin Wenner and Jessica Lewis on June 9, 2020, Dudley was known to be a person with violent tendencies.

According to a report from Seattle’s King5 News, Dudley’s ex-girlfriend Marlys Gordon says that during their on-and-off 14 year relationship, Dudley was violent. Gordon described one incident in 2016 which led to Dudley being arrested for assault, saying, “He started to hit me and grab my hair and my head, and threw me on the floor and hit my head into the hardwood floor. Threw me and my stuff on his patio out the door, and came out and hit my head on the patio, did that with one hand and held a gun in another hand.”

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That pattern of behavior is reflected in the testimony of Jessica Lewis’s aunt, Gina Jaschke, in both Worst Roommate Ever and in an interview with Westside Seattle. Jaschke describes multiple incidents of threatening behavior from Dudley, including placing trackers on cars, killing animals to make threats, and holding people at gunpoint. These threatening actions were done both to Wenner and Lewis and to other people, such as electrician Dudley had a disagreement with. That electrician incident led to a 911 call, but nothing happened as a result of that.

It establishes a pattern of bad behavior that is only exacerbated by a Petition for Sexual Assault Protection Order request filled out against Michael Dudley by an adult daughter who is not named in the paperwork. According to that restraining order petition, Dudley is accused of sexually assaulting his daughter from ages 10 until 18. She describes incidents of drugging and rape by Dudley, and the restraining order petition further asserts that Dudley made threats towards her with a gun and other weapons and that she did not feel safe in her home or community. The paperwork describes Dudley as a serious, imminent threat to the community. The court order was denied, based on the judge’s decision that the behaviors alleged were domestic violence, not sexual assault under Washington state penal statutes. 

Despite the protection order not being granted, it fits an established pattern of threatening, violent behavior performed by Dudley that led up to the horrifying discovery on June 19, 2020, and the viral TikTok video that accompanied it. Unfortunately for Austin Wenner and Jessica Lewis and their families, Dudley was still a free man when he shot the couple after a dispute over unpaid rent. However, the people of Seattle can rest a little bit easier knowing that the Lethal Landlord won’t be able to hurt anyone else ever again, thanks in no small part to the power of TikTok. Sometimes, going viral is the worst thing that can happen to someone, especially if they have blood on their hands.

On April 7, 2023, Michael Lee Dudley was found guilty of two counts of second-degree murder. He was sentenced to 46 years in prison and is currently serving his sentence at Washington State Penitentiary at Walla Walla alongside serial killers Gary “Green River Killer” Ridgeway and Kenneth “Hillside Strangler” Bianchi. Michael “The Lethal Landlord” Dudley will not be eligible for parole until he is 104.

All four episodes of Worst Rommate Ever season 2 are available to stream on Netflix now.