The Summer of Terror

by: Sarah VanderPol and Reagan Micheli

The Criminals: Benjamin and James Williams

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The Burning of the Synagogues

June 18, 1999 criminals destroyed the library and severely damaged the sanctuary of the B'Nai Israel Synagogue located in Sacramento, California. 45 minutes later, fires were also set to the two other synagogues in the area, Beth Shalom and Kennesset Israel. However, the attempt to burn the B'Naie Israel sanctuary was not completed, physical evidence including the accelerant, made up of oil and gasoline, was found on the walls, the piano, the bimah, and the seating area. On the other hand, the library was completely destroyed. Investigators found three black one gallon Mobil oil jugs. On these jugs, mulltiple items of trace evidence were removed.


-Glass on the black wrecking bar recovered from the Williams’

vehicle was similar in re fractive index to the glass from a broken

window at B’Nai Israel.

-Paint on the broken glass of the window at B’Nai Israel was

similar to the wrenching bar paint from the Williams’ vehicle .

-Oil jugs similar to the Mobil oil jug from Williams’ Palo Cedro


-Dog hairs and feathers on the mouth of the oil jugs and rags tied to

the oil jugs were similar to animals at the Palo Cedro residence.

-Blue over red paint chips on the mouth of the oil jugs were similar

to the paint from the shed at the Palo Cedro residence.

-Newspaper in the bottom of a crate left at the synagogue arson was

from the Redding area.

A City Unites After Synagogue Arsons

Murder of Gary Matson and Winfred Mauder

July 1, 1999, Gary Matson and Winfred Mauder, a gay couple living in Happy Valley, California, were found murdered in their bed. If the murder was not enough, the criminals stole their vehicle along with their credit cards. 2 days later, the murder victims vehicle was found abandoned in the Oroville area. When investigators got inside the vehicle, they found a strong gasoline odor. Then investigators found that one of the victims credit cards had been used in Arizona to order ammunition. The ammunition had been sent to a UPS store in Yuba City, California so investigators went to the store. As they arrived, Benjamin Williams and James Williams were found picking up the ammunition. They were both arrested on the scene for possession of a stolen credit card. Police then found a large amount of weapons and ammunition in the cars and house of the two men and one of the weapons was then matched to the murder weapon used to kill Gary Matson and Winfred Mauder. They were then arrested for murder.


-All the evidence found in the stolen vehicle

-The weapons found (including the murder weapon).

-The ammunition bought with the victims credit cards.

-The address the ammunition was sent to for pick up.

Not In Our Town Northern California: Redding, CA

Medical Clinic Burning

On the night of July 2 1999, an office building that housed a medical clinic that performed abortions was burned down by two men. The men used pry bars to break into the clinic, which left paint chips on the prybar. Once in the building they used a mix of gas and oil to create a combustable mixture. They left behind the Bottles which served as evidence against them later. They then burned down the building because they performed abortions.


-Paint on the blade of the Black Pry bar in the Williams’ vehicle

similar to the door from the medical clinic

-Paint on the broken glass of the door of the medical clinic similar

to the pry bar paint

-Glass on the pry bar similar in refractive indexand semi

quantitative elemental analysis to the glass from the window in the

door of the medical clinic

-Glass on the floor of Matson vehicle similar in refractive index and

semi quantitative elemental analysisto the glass from the medical


-Glass on the jumpsuit recovered from the Palo Cedro residence

similar in refractive indexand semi qualitative elemental analysis to glass from the medical clinic

-Fibers on the jumpsuit recovered from Palo Cedro residue was were similar to the upholstery of the Matson vehicle

-Fibers on the front seats of the Matson vehicle similar to the fabric of the jumpsuit

-DNA (analyzed by FBI laboratory) on the jumpsuit matching the younger brother James Williams indicating that the younger Williams brother wore this jumpsuit .

Daubert Report

The Daubert Report is one which the courts accept the scientifically proven expert testimony of a suspect. It is used in todays courts on a federal and state court of law levels.

This relates to the William's brothers case because the trashman saw two men fleeing in jump suits driving away in a car that police described to be the same as the one the brothers used along with the same jumpsiut at the same time of day at the same place.