Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Murder by the Book: William Overson

Ninja Attack

Poor William Overson must have died perplexed.

William Overson
William Overson

On the morning of April 12, 2004a Mondayhe took a break from his golf course job to run an errand. He told colleagues he'd be back in an hour and pointed his Mitsubishi Montero down a canyon road in the scenic Clairemont section of San Diego.

As he paused at a stop sign a few blocks from the golf course, a man dressed from head to toe in blacklike a ninja warrior, police saidsuddenly leaped from the nearby shrubs and began firing a semi-automatic rifle at Overson's SUV. The gunfire drew the attention of residents of a condominium building on the canyon rim above, and they watched in disbelief as the tableau unfolded.

After the initial shots, Overson's vehicle sped away from the assailant, who sprinted after it. But Overson apparently had been hit with gunfire; his vehicle soon slowed erratically. Up above, the onlookers shouted in vain at Overson to keep driving, that the ninja was chasing him. After a couple of blocks, the attacker caught up. He fired more shots, pulled Overson from his vehicle, climbed into the driver's seat and sped away, leaving the victim in a bloody heap on Sam Snead Avenue.

Aerial View, San Diego's Sunset Bowl
Aerial View, San Diego's Sunset Bowl

Moments later, other witnesses saw Overson's Mitsubishi screech into a parking lot at the Sunset Bowl, at Iroquois Avenue and Clairemont Drive, a half-mile from the shooting. A man inside the bowling alley saw the man in black frantically search inside the SUV. The witness said it seemed like he couldn't find something that he expected to be there. After a brief pause, the ninja scrambled out of the SUV andstill carrying the rifleleaped into the back of a white Ford Ranger pickup truck, which left swiftly. The Mitsubishi was left with its motor running and windshield wipers flapping.

 

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