Episode 18: Serial Killer Leslie Allen Williams, Uber Driver Assaults and Murders
- Pretend podcast music (because we couldn’t find any we liked enough for a theme song).
- Ali has a weird laugh. It is often loud.
Today’s podcast will be about Ali’s hometown serial killer and why it is dangerous to have anyone in the car that you don’t know.
Ali corrects herself: Before anyone corrects me… it hasn’t aired yet, so I get first go, I’m correcting myself. In the Oakland County Child Killer case, close to the end, I say that Kristine was the first female child killed, but she was the second one.
Also, I looked it up. Oprah’s channel is OWN. Oxygen just starts with an O.
Ali also showed up looking extra homeless with paint in her hair. She was worried they would crash on the way to record with Jenn, and police would believe she wasn’t his wife, but a hitchhiking homeless person.
Leslie Allen Williams, serial killer
In the early 1990s, for two years, there was a serial killer in Michigan that no one knew about until he told on himself in 1992. His name was Leslie Allen Williams.
Jenn and Ali talk about why serial killers tell others. Only they are excited about killing, not the people they tell.
I know that he graduated from my high school, decades before me because I looked him up in 1993, my senior year. I went to high school in Walled Lake, as his crimes were coming to light and more charges were being brought against him. In the commons area of my school, there was, maybe still is, a large collection of photos from all the senior classes. They were on the wall, the same way they display posters in a store. In my senior year in high school, I did the math on Leslie’s age and then flipped through the corresponding years, until I found his senior photo.
Leslie Allen Williams was born July 4, 1953, to Dorothy Williams and Lyle Young Williams. Lyle was Dorothy’s second husband. Dorothy had two daughters with her first husband. She also had three sons with Lyle, including Leslie. The boys were named Lyle Jr., Leslie, and Jay. (Why Jay? It breaks up the alliteration.)
Dorothy was a prostitute. Lyle told police that he knew his wife was a prostitute and he used to watch her with customers from the closet.
In 1957, Lyle was convicted of sexually abusing Dorothy’s two daughters, pleading guilty to the charges. He was sent to a hospital for the criminally insane in Ionia, MI.
Before Lyle left the hospital, Dorothy, Lyle Jr., and Leslie moved to California in 1959. Dorothy’s other son, Jay, and her two daughters went to live elsewhere. Dorothy and Lyle divorced in 1961 after he was released from his hospital term.
Dorothy married James E. Adams in 1962. Dorothy was shot to death by her third husband, James, shortly after they were married. He shot her in the head and then did the same to himself. I couldn’t find the exact date. (Unfortunately, Dorothy Williams shares the same name as a female serial killer who strangled elderly people. All my searches brought up the killer.)
Jenn has had similar problems while filtering through Youtube.
The two boys who had been living with Dorothy, Lyle Jr. and Leslie, then moved back to Michigan to be raised by their maternal grandparents in Milford, MI.
Leslie Williams was arrested, first, as a teenager. He was charged with breaking into a home. He first served time in 1971, around 18 years old, for breaking and entering, assault, and rape. Leslie became a habitual offender, spending 15 years in jail between 1971 and 1992. His offenses ranged from attempted breaking and entering, breaking and entering, larceny from an auto, assault, assault with intent to commit murder, and first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
In 1983, less than two weeks after he had been paroled, he attacked a woman with the threat to commit kidnapping, assault, and sexual penetration. With this assault, Leslie was given the official title of habitual offender, which means a possibility of life in prison. For the crimes he committed against the woman, Leslie received a sentence of 5-10 years for the various assault and kidnapping charges, and 7-30 years for being a habitual offender. He should serve 12-40 years, for these charges.
A habitual offender is a repeat offender, like a career criminal. Various states define habitual offenders with differentiating laws. Michigan’s Act 175 of 1927 states a habitual offender is someone convicted of 3 or more felonies, plus a lot more legal terms. http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(epa3sw4k2oj334jm5gvgfig5))/mileg.aspx?page=GetObject&objectname=mcl-769-12
Less than 10 years later, he’s paroled in 1990 with a positive recommendation from a therapist. Even Leslie Allen Williams was surprised at the speed of his parole. He had written to the parole board saying, “I had little confidence in gaining parole any time soon.”
He’s on parole and acting like a model citizen, reporting on time, and seeing a therapist.
In May 1992, he is still on parole, to be released in August on 1992. Leslie was seen kidnapping a woman at gunpoint from a cemetery where she was visiting her mother’s grave. He forced the 35-year-old woman into the trunk, threatening to rape and kill her.
Other people in the cemetery witnessed the abduction and called the police. The police were able to find him and pull him over.
While on the side of the road he tells the police officers that he should be “locked up” but doesn’t follow-up on the statement at that time. Then, Leslie confesses to killing four teenage girls between his parole in September 1990 so he was arrested again in May 1992.
Leslie’s former girlfriend called the police after his arrest for the latest kidnapping and showed a detective a field where Leslie had dumped her cat after killing it last summer. It was a few miles north of Oakwood Cemetery, in Fenton.
The body of Kami Marie Villanueva, an 18-year-old, from South Lyon, was found nearby the site. She had been choked to death, but Leslie claimed she had suffocated. (Choking is around the throat, and suffocating couple be compressing someone’s chest while covering their nose and mouth.) Leslie stated that he killed Kami immediately after abducting her.
Cynthia Jones, 15 years old, from Milford, was also found buried nearby. Leslie also claimed that she had been suffocated but police found that she had died of a stab wound. Leslie also asserted that she had been killed right after the abduction.
Two young sisters, with the last name Urbin, Michelle, who was 16, and Melissa, who was 14 years old, were also found. Leslie had the most information about the sisters as he stalked them after meeting them at a therapist’s office. The girls were from Tyrone Township in Livingston County. Leslie later said he saw the girls several times over multiple days as he cased houses to rob. He said that he was attracted to the way that Melissa, the 14-year-old, walked. Leslie came out of the bushes at the girls, with a knife, forcing them into his trunk. He raped and killed them within an hour of the abduction, according to Leslie. Leslie admitted to planning on killing the girls, before the abduction. Leslie told investigators that he also had sex with the victim’s bodies after death.
Leslie also admitting to peeping into women’s windows during this time.
Once the story was out, people were up in arms that a man with such a long conviction record had spent so little time in jail. Each time he was paroled, he immediately attacked women upon his release. The public was also riled that he did all these things while on parole, with no one knowing that he was serial killing young girls.
Leslie told detectives, “I don’t want to cause any trouble. I don’t want to cause taxpayers any grief. I want to be locked up. Lock me up so I don’t do it again. I have no control over my life.” Some people had sympathy for him because he had a hard childhood, but some experts say he was just showing guilt and remorse in order to manipulate the public’s opinion.
Personal Theory: He looks like a teddy bear in his mug shot and mixed with his guilty attitude, people were more likely to attack the parole system instead of him. The parole board dealt with more anger than the actual rapist and killer.
It didn’t help that authorities were initially seen as unapologetic over the parole and shortened prison terms. Kathryn Urbin, the mother of Michelle and Melissa said, “I have no anger towards Williams. It’s for the system which released him.”
The parole board defended their position stating that Leslie had a lot of “positive” factors in prison, including the completion of his high school degree, working towards an associate degree, employment in the prison factory for five years, and therapy participation for over a year. Instead of admitting their mistake, they doubled-down on how right they thought they were. Mistake.
After Leslie’s case, state legislators drafted paperwork to make the parole panel more accountable for their releases.
Other than the four teens, Leslie Allen Williams was accused of raping a 9-year-old girl in Wixom. He didn’t admit to the child initially but said he committed other assaults in which he believed the women did not come forward. The child rape case came through the courthouse where I (Ali) worked in my late teens in 1993.
I worked as a co-op as a senior. I went to school for four hours and then I went to work. I had been hired by the 52nd court, first division, in the criminal section. It was heaven for a true crime addict.
That is how I ended up looking a serial killer in the eyes. At the court, the clerks were told to close and lock all our internal doors while Leslie was in the building. He was a known woman murderer who said he can’t control his impulses and we were literally 99% women.
I waited for what felt like forever. I needed to get to the probation department, which was across the hall from the criminal department that I worked in. So, I opened the door just as the police were bringing him down the hallway… because I was just too dang impatient. I locked eyes with Leslie before we both looked down, and I stepped back into my department.
The is the closest I (Ali) have ever known to be near a serial killer.
Offender Tracking Information System (OTIS): http://mdocweb.state.mi.us/otis2/otis2profile.aspx?mdocNumber=130095
Uber Drivers Death and Assaults
Jenn has a few incidents to highlight.
Uber and Lyft are like taxi services. Today we will focus on Uber. Jenn will provide a long list of incidences for our Continuing Conversation piece.
In 2017, a 16-year-old girl in Illinois killed her Uber driver. Alyssa Wazney was at Walmart and steals a knife and a machete. She called for an Uber and a couple of minutes into the drive, she murdered him. Alyssa was looking to murder someone at that point. Someone called the police, Jenn wasn’t able to find out how they were contacted. The driver exited the car and was actively dying. Alyssa steals the Uber drive car, crashes it, and then runs behind a building. Police find her behind the building only wearing her leggings and a bra. She goes to jail.
In Michigan, 2016, Uber driver Jason Dalton shot eight people killing six. It was in Kalamazoo. He was driving his Uber route when he shot at people at a car dealership. After the shooting, Jason continues working picking up passengers. He then went to Cracker Barrel and killed some people in the parking lot. Jason then picks up his next ride and drives them to their destination. He is just intermittently shooting people. He is later apprehended leaving a bar that night. Right now they are deciding if he could use insanity as a defense.
In Denver, 2018, Michael Hancock was arrested on the suspicion that he fatally shot a passenger. He also called the police about the incident. He used a semi-automatic handgun.
In Atlanta, February 2018, an Uber driver claimed self-defense in shooting a passenger.
Dundee Florida, 2018, an Uber driver just graduated from a police academy and was able to carry a firearm. He picked up a drunk woman from the bar. Said a drunk woman is texting her boyfriend. The boyfriend is telling the drunk woman that he is going to hurt her Uber driver. The boyfriend finds them as they are driving and gets the Uber to pull over onto the side of the road. The boyfriend is aggressive, and the Uber driver gets out. Crazy aggro boyfriend threatens to shoot the Uber driver. Boyfriend reaches for something and is shot by the Uber driver. Turns out, he was reaching for his phone. Uber driver is let off on self-defense.
- 2014, Uber driver tragically struck and killed a six-year-old.
- 2014, Uber driver assaulted a passenger. He was found to have a previous felony.
- 2014, Uber driver kidnaps a passenger.
- 2014, Uber driver accused of fondling a passenger.
- 2013, Uber driver assaulted a passenger while going on an anti-gay and anti-American rant.
- Three without dates:
- Uber driver choked a passenger in a racist attack.
- Uber driver verbally and physically abused a passenger.
- Uber driver attacked passenger with a hammer.