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Friday, February 8, 2008

[WA] Ann Rule's latest book includes King Co. Sheriff's Deputy Jensen's domestic abuse and eventual plot to have his family murdered

King County Sheriff's Deputy William "Bill" Jensen was sentenced to 60 years in prison for hiring a fellow inmate to kill his wife and three other family members while he was in jail on a domestic violence charge... A Seattle police detective, posing as the hit man's girlfriend, captured Jensen on tape ironing out the details for the murders of Jensen's wife, sister-in-law, and two teenage children...

 Read an excerpt from Ann Rule's lastest book here

 Book Review:

Written: Feb 07 '08



[Ann] Rule begins with "The Deputy's Wife", which is the headlining case for this volume. In "The Deputy's Wife", Rule relates the story of Sue Harris, a woman who had led a charmed life until she had the misfortune of marrying Bill Jensen... It turned out that Bill Jensen was a dangerous man who never forgot a slight. In the coming years, Sue would find out that the man she had once fallen in love with was capable of hiring someone to murder her and his children... "The Deputy's Wife" has its own photo section and takes up the first 155 pages of Smoke, Mirrors, and Murder. Rule does a pretty good job relating this scary story about a man who became completely unraveled. As usual, I enjoyed Ann Rule's knack for spinning an interesting tale without becoming sensationalist or sleazy. As always, she focuses on the victims, but still manages to give the perpetrator a human face. The next six stories are much briefer than "The Deputy's Wife"... Recommended: Yes 

Ex-cop who tried to hire hit man from jail gets 60-year sentence
King County Journal
by Chris Winters

William Jensen was sentenced Friday to 60 years in prison for hiring a fellow inmate to kill his wife and three other family members while he was in jail on a domestic violence charge.

The plot, which the 47-year-old retired King County sheriff's deputy hatched last year, unraveled because the hit man turned him in to police.

A Seattle police detective, posing as the hit man's girlfriend, captured Jensen on tape ironing out the details for the murders of Jensen's wife, sister-in-law, and two teenage children.

All four family members, along with friends and supporters, were in the courtroom Friday when King County Superior Court Judge Richard Jones handed down the sentence, at the low end of a standard sentencing range of 720-960 months for the four counts against him. Jensen was found guilty on all four counts June 4.

Jensen's attorney, Bill Hicks, moved for an exceptionally light sentence, based on several factors. They included the situation with the jailhouse informant, who Hicks said influenced Jensen to hire him, the fact that Jensen was a former law enforcement officer with a clean record, and Jensen's medical condition.

Jensen is in chronic pain stemming originally from a knee injury when he was a police officer, but now including staph infections, herniated disks and leukemia.

Judge Jones denied the motion for an exceptional sentence. "When you look at this case, there is nothing mitigating about it," he said.

Jensen, 47, showed no emotion as his college-age daughter Jennifer and his wife Sue Jensen addressed the court.

"I am urging the court to sentence William F. Jensen to the maximum punishment possible as he so cowardly refuses to own up and admit guilt to his incredulous plot," Jennifer Jensen said through tears, reading from a prepared statement.

"Would he have chosen to admit his guilt, I would have at least some sympathy for such a pathetic human being, only due to the fact that he is my father."

Sue Jensen, who has been trying to divorce her husband for several years, also brought a statement, but in the end just handed it over to the court. "We're scared," she said. "this has been a complete nightmare, a very surreal situation, and it's my children."

"I don't know how any, any man, a father, can do this to his own children. He's evil. And with that, I ask you to look at my children," she said.

When Jensen was given the chance to address the court, he spoke for 25 minutes, alternating between tears and anger as he maintained his innocence.

Jensen blamed his predicament on the fact that his pain medication had been taken away when he was first arrested, that he'd gone through a botched surgery, that charges of harassment were trumped up to felony status, that he suffered from chronic diarrhea in jail, that he was given mind-altering drugs that impaired his judgment, and that the police informant used his susceptibility to set him up for the crime.

He said there were two Bill Jensens, one who was under the influence of drugs and easily susceptible to suggestions. He said he had undergone a religious conversion in jail and would never have hurt his family.

"They are completely safe for the rest of their lives from me," Jensen said. "They were never in any danger from me."

The judge wasn't swayed.

"Mr. Jensen, you had a family," Jones said. "When given the choice of what was more important, instead of giving them love and affection, you were giving their descriptions to hit men."

After the sentencing, Lara Herrmann, a Tacoma attorney who has worked with the victim's rights group Women for Justice, said the case marks a victory in fighting domestic violence by police officers.

People across the nation are watching this case, Herrmann said, especially following the case of Crystal Brame, who was shot and killed by her husband last year, Tacoma Police Chief David Brame. David Brame committed suicide after shooting his wife.

Sue Jensen expressed some relief it was over, but said it had been much more than she expected.

"I knew my life was in danger, I knew my sister-in-law's life was in danger," she said. "I never thought my only children's lives would be in danger."

"I hope that they put him far away," she added. "Far away can't be far enough."

The advocacy of groups like Women for Justice has helped her in her case.

"I owe my life to Crystal Brame," she said
[police officer involved domestic violence attempted murder children hit plot for murder for hire hit man washington state]


  1. Wow, I'm reading this book now. Sad. Maybe if you wouldn't kept your hands to yourself you could have been a good man.

  2. this is my uncle she wrote about...

  3. I am writing this in the hopes that it is read by anyone advocating for the release of William Jensen, the former deputy convicted of trying to hire a hitman to kill his wife and children. In 2020, I made the acquaintance of a woman who had hired me to do some carpentry for her. That woman and I remain friends today. This woman, during a recent divorce from her husband, made me aware of horrific incidents that she experienced repeatedly, as a young Bellevue resident, from 15-19 years of age. It involved Jensen, in the first years of his employment as a deputy sheriff, repeatedly raping her after discovering drugs in her vehicle during a traffic stop. At 15 yrs of age, after being pulled over and taken into custody by Jensen, she was taken to a local Red Lion hotel, where she was savagely raped, at gunpoint, over the course of 2 days. As a young, terrified victim of this man, she never contacted authorities about the crime. Jensen then repeated the sexual assaults over a 4 yr period, often while holding a gun to her head and threatening to kill her and her family if she ever exposed him. She survived the attacks, and a myriad of other abuses, as Jensen forced her to perform sexual acts for him and others, during that time. Understandably, the trauma that she incurred as a result of the attacks, went on to haunt her to this day. She is unaware of my writing this, and would not have requested me to do so, I do it only because if there is some chance of anyone on the planet thinking this monster is redeemable for his atrocities, they are sadly mistaken. Releasing him early would be a horrendous mistake,and a slap in the face to the numerous victims he created during his time as a deputy. Hearing her terrified recounting of those years prompted me to post this, please keep that sorry excuse for a human being behind bars, where he belongs, forever.

    For M.J.C, friend and mother


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