Woman talks about her mother's murder at Bass Lake
FRESNO, Calif. -- For the first time since last week's tragic shooting at Bass Lake, the oldest daughter of one of the victims is shedding light on how her mom and stepfather's marriage came to such a violent end.
Sandy Williamson and her attorney were gunned down at Ducey's restaurant by Sandy's estranged husband, Jim Williamson.
As Barbara Phillips prepares a collage of family photographs, she reminisces about her mom, Sandy, a woman who loved horses, kids, and life in general.
Sandy was a soccer mom before the term was even coined. She led 4-H clubs in Thousand Oaks where Barbara grew up. Eventually she became a Doula, or birthing coach and lactation instructor. She even helped women in prison.
In Barbara's early teens her mother married Jim Williamson. The family eventually moved to Bass Lake and built their 5300 square foot dream home. Sandy had two daughters and a son, Jim had three daughters.
Phillips said, "There was always an underlying current of "uncomfortableness" ... we had a lot of fun as a family, but there was always something that was uncomfortable."
Although Sandy never shared her marital troubles with her family until recently, Barbara suspects the discomfort she felt around her step-father as a teen was what pushed her mother away. Sandy filed for divorce four years ago.
Phillips said, "For years he told her it didn't matter if he ended up with nothing, but she would not get anything that was his."
Barbara says Jim Williamson not only threatened to harm his wife, but the rest of the family.
Phillips said, "We all discussed this many times. We knew this was possible. Of course we all hoped and prayed it never would happen."
It was the final tragedy in a life full of sadness. Sandy's first husband is in prison. Her youngest son was killed by a drunk driver and her first grandchild, Barbara's first child, died after 33 days of life. But through all the heartache Barbara says her mom had much hope, lots of love, and a tremendous faith
Phillips said, "I want her to be remembered as someone who loved life and loved people and most of all loved Jesus."
Sandy Williamson will be laid to rest later this week. Her funeral will take place on Friday at 11:00 a.m. at the Mountain Christian Church in Oakhurst.NEWS BY LOCATION | ABC30 BLOGS | DISCUSSION FORUMS
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bass lake, homicide, madera county, local, liz harrison
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