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Monday, February 28, 2011

[CA] Ex-Fire Chief Jim Williamson killed wife Sandy, her attorney and himself

...Sandy [Williamson] had temporary possession of the home but had left it because she was afraid to be there... and even though there was a restraining order against him, he never paid attention to it and one morning Sandy said she woke up to Jim standing on her deck, dressed in a disguise... "She did her best to be upbeat and positive about everything that happened to her and a lot happened to her... She always took the high road..." Jim was a retired fire department chief from Thousand Oaks and Sandy had been a stay-at-home mom... Sandy was very afraid of her husband. She claimed he had pistol-whipped his prior wife and that she had an alarm installed at her house after he moved out... [Judith] Soley, the first woman to serve as president of the Fresno County Bar Association, has practiced law for almost 40 years...



BASS LAKE TRAGEDY, THE VICTIMS AND A BITTER DIVORCE
abclocal.go.com
Corin Hoggard, Sara Sandrick, Dale Yurong, Shannon Handy
Shannon Handy
Thursday, February 17, 2011
[Excerpts] Court documents are revealing more about the suspect and the victims involved in a murder-suicide at Bass Lake. The suspect has been identified as Jim Williamson. Authorities found him dead early Thursday morning from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. They say Williamson is responsible for the murders of his estranged wife, Sandy, and her attorney, Judy Soley. According to court documents, Sandy had been asking for the couple's Bass Lake home, nearly $12 hundred a month in spousal support, and more than $150 thousand in attorney's fees... Court documents show Sandy first filed for legal separation in 2004 and was granted a restraining order because of fears about domestic abuse. But the couple reconciled until 2007 when Sandy filed for divorce and requested a new restraining order. Sandy's pastor did not want to reveal personal details of the couple's relationship, but she did tell Action News Sandy's safety had been a concern in the past. Pastor and family friend, Dr. Candi McAlpine said, "There has been times when she's felt fearful." According to this court paperwork, Sandy was very afraid of her husband. She claimed he had pistol-whipped his prior wife and that she had an alarm installed at her house after he moved out. She also said quote, "I am extremely fearful, so much so that I had my grandson stay on the property with me." The documents also reveal financial fights between Sandy and her estranged husband... Judy Soley practiced law for almost 40 years. Her death left a large void in the valley's legal and public service community... Judy Lund recalled the moment fellow attorney Bob Koligian told her their close friend Judy Soley had been killed. Lund said, "I couldn't speak. I couldn't breathe." Koligian said of Soley, "She was the most endearing and kindest person"... Norma Rolff, a Williamson family friend said, "You think of these kinds of things happening in a big city, but not here. It was just too close to home"... [Full article here]



DOUBLE MURDER/SUICIDE SHOCKS: JAMES WILLIAMSON TAKES OWN LIFE AFTER SHOOTING ESTRANGED WIFE AND HER FRESNO ATTORNEY FEB. 16
Sierra Star
Brian Wilkinson, Tiffany Tuell, Carmen George
February 24, 2011
[Excerpts] A bitter divorce and an enraged husband led to the murder of two women Feb. 16 at about 1 p.m. at Ducey's at Bass Lake. According to the Madera County Sheriff's Department, James (Jim) H. Williamson, 71, shot his wife Sandra (Sandy) Kay Williamson, 65, and her Fresno attorney Judith L. Soley, 65, before driving to his Bass Lake home on Fawn Point Lane where he shot himself in the head... Over the past two and a half years, Jim Williamson was representing himself in court over the divorce. According to sheriff's department spokesperson Erica Stuart, Sandy Williamson and Soley drove to Ducey's and had lunch in the upstairs Bar & Grill. When they were leaving the restaurant they were confronted by Williamson who struck Soley once with his .357 Smith & Wesson revolver and then shot her... Sandy Williamson ran screaming back into Ducey's lobby and upstairs to the Bar & Grill where she was followed by her husband. He shot her twice... Deputies quickly found the truck parked outside the house he built with his father about 15 years ago... At the time the vehicle was discovered, deputies also saw fresh shoe tracks leading to the house. The Madera County Regional SWAT Team, including a negotiator, was called to the house at about 3:30 p.m. It was not until after midnight, after sending a camera-equipped robot into the house and using tear gas, that SWAT team members entered the house and found Williamson lying on a bed with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head... Jim was a retired fire department chief from Thousand Oaks and Sandy had been a stay-at-home mom, involved in 4-H. Soley, the first woman to serve as president of the Fresno County Bar Association, has practiced law for almost 40 years... Friends of Jim and Sandy Williamson remember the couple for their gracious hospitality and involvement in the church prior to what has been called a "nasty divorce" by one friend of the couple. The friend, who wishes to remain anonymous, shared a piece of Sandy's life. "She did her best to be upbeat and positive about everything that happened to her and a lot happened to her," the friend said. "She always took the high road if Jim was saying things that weren't true. She didn't refute them and just said people would find out the truth later. If she was afraid, she'd just go to some place he couldn't find her." The friend said Sandy had temporary possession of the home but had left it because she was afraid to be there even though she had security cameras and an alarm system installed at the house. The friend said Jim was "unpredictable" and even though there was a restraining order against him, he never paid attention to it and one morning Sandy said she woke up to Jim standing on her deck, dressed in a disguise. "She was a wonderful Christian and did a lot of missionary work," the friend said, adding that Sandy was a host home and administrator of the reservation system for Makihiki Hospitality Homes - a ministry that places ministers and missionaries in homes around the world. Sandy was involved in Kairos Ministry, which goes into prisons and conducts weekend retreats to bring life, hope and a Christian message to the inmates, according to Candi MacAlpine of Destiny Training Ministry and the Epicenter Prayer Room. Sandy had a ministry outreach program as a midwife/doula and spent a lot of time at the women's prison in Chowchilla, teaching birthing classes and birthing inmate's newborns. She founded nonprofit organizations Free to Give Life and Birth Rite Labor Services to teach others midwife skills in or out of prison. She had recently been invited to Saudi Arabia to teach birthing classes. She was involved in Destiny Training Center, GodShop house church and the Epicenter Prayer Room, helped with food distribution to those in need and the Christmas Eve dinner at the Oakhurst Community Center. She had plans to go to Hawaii in September to enrole in a Youth With a Mission Crossroads course to train for three months, then minister in another country for three months, MacAlpine said. "She was one of the most generous people you would ever want to meet, always thinking of the other person and how she could contribute or help them," MacAlpine said.... Court documents stacked seven inches tall reflect a long and bitter court battle between Jim and Sandy Williamson that has been going on for more than six years. After being married for 25 years, Sandy Williamson first filed for a legal separation on Sept. 9, 2004... [Full article here]

From Sandy's website, a scene she loved:

[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety fatality fatalities murder california state politics]

1 comment:

  1. SANDY'S BLOG:
    Mama Doula Takes a Stroll Down Memory Lane
    Taking Back the Miracle of Birth Through Education
    http://childbirthdoulasandgotmilk.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete

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