Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder of Radio Legend Steven B. Williams

The Timeline

  

Clark just kept getting one stroke of luck after another on the Williams case.

In February 2007, five months after Morrow's arrest and nine months after Williams had been found, a member of the Los Angeles Yacht Club was in the organization's library doing research. Looking through various file cabinets, Yacht Club member David Cort came across something interesting.

At the back of one of the drawers was an old wooden filing box. He opened it up and found dues records dating back to the 1920s. And behind that was a heavy object wrapped in paper towels. Cort unwrapped the package and saw that it was a GPS system without any batteries.

He took it home, installed batteries, and turned it on. A voyage from the Port of Los Angeles to the far side of Santa Catalina popped up. The boat went around in circles for awhile before heading around the front and back home.

"Well, it just struck me as being very odd," Cort later testified. "If you looked at my GPS, the most recent trip I took, I brought my boat home from San Diego, left San Diego pretty much a straight line up to L.A. Harbor. If I went to Catalina, I follow a similar path — go straight essentially to the island. Stop there and come back. Going around behind the island, just going around in circles for awhile is very odd."

Knowing the fact surrounding Williams' death, Cort thought the GPS might be related to the case so he called detectives. It matched the make and model of the GPS that Morrow was seen purchasing and is consistent with a type used on boats.

A U.S. Coast Guard computer expert looked at the device and determined that much of the memory was erased because the batteries had been removed. Utilizing government software, the expert was able to retrieve the data. What he found coincided with Clark's theory of what happened to Williams — that he was killed off the far side of Santa Catalina and pushed overboard.

The GPS showed a voyage beginning in Los Angeles Harbor at 3:17 p.m. on May 4. At 8:35 p.m. the yacht was on the remote northern side of Santa Catalina, moving at a slow rate of speed. An hour later, it was almost stationary. At 2:14 a.m. on May 5, the yacht departed the waters around Santa Catalina for Los Angeles Harbor, according to court records.

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