Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder of Daniel Williams


Eighty miles northeast of Los Angeles, in San Bernardino County, lies the city of Victorville. Perched on the southern edge of the Mojave Desert, Victorville has a population of 100,000 and is home to California's Route 66 Museum.

Map of California with Victorville Locator
Map of California with Victorville Locator

After months of fruitless searching, members of the fugitive squad finally tracked Richardson to a trailer park in Victorville, where he was staying with a girlfriend.

On September 22, 2004, more than a year after the DNA match that identified Richardson as Daniel's likely killer, a task force of L.A. cops and fugitive hunters from the U.S. Marshals Service set up surveillance on the trailer where they thought Richardson was staying. Hours later, the task force cops spotted Richardson as he stepped out of the trailer and climbed into a car. As the fugitive drove away, the surveillance team slid in behind his car and pulled him over.

The accused murderer surrendered without a fight.

Shortly after Richardson's arrest, detectives Abdul and Fanning had their suspect inside a Police Department interrogation room. The DNA hit was powerful evidence, but it didn't prove murder. They intended to keep the information about the DNA match from Richardson as long as possible. Police interrogations are like a poker game. It's best to play your cards close to the vest.






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