Mother, son found dead on Mount Diablo in suspected murder-suicide

Investigators say Walnut Creek woman left note, put dog to sleep earlier in day and took cats to a shelter

A Walnut Creek woman and her teenage son were found fatally shot Friday night on top of Mount Diablo in a case that appears to be a murder-suicide, Contra Costa County sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee said Wednesday.

A park ranger discovered the bodies of Judith Williams, 51, and her 16-year-old son Adam Williams at Lookout Point on top of Mount Diablo at about 10 p.m. Friday, sheriff's Capt. Daniel Terry said.

Investigators believe Judith Williams and her son had driven up the mountain earlier in the day and then hiked up the last stretch to Lookout Point.

They were there for several hours before Judith Williams apparently shot her son in the chest and the head and then shot herself in the head, according to the sheriff's office.

Investigators found a suicide note in Judith Williams' home, and the gun used in the shooting was registered to her, Terry said.

Earlier that day, Judith Williams had a dog put to sleep and had taken some cats to a shelter, Terry said.

"She had obviously thought about this for a while," Terry said.

Investigators were still trying to determine when Judith Williams bought the gun used in the shooting, but believe she may have bought it recently with the murder-suicide in mind, Terry said.

Judith Williams appeared to have been having some financial problems and was upset about issues in a relationship between her ex-husband, Adam's father, and his new wife, Terry said.


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Posted by Danville mom
a resident of Danville
on Jul 24, 2009 at 10:19 am

How terribly sad!

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Posted by Sue
a resident of Danville
on Jul 24, 2009 at 3:16 pm

How is it that we are trying to improve health care for everyone and yet have no methods to help people who are having problems as severe as this woman had? We can notify CPS if a child is being abused or neglected. Who can we notify at the first signs of a cry for help from a parent?

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Posted by Ramesh Manghirmalani
a resident of Danville
on Jul 29, 2009 at 3:46 am

It is very sad- You should talk to your friends,live a different life today, made a lot of changes, learned to set boundaries and gain self acceptance and worth. I certainly didn't do it overnight, and I didn't do it without help and support. But I wouldn't trade my worst day today for my best day then, because I'm learning a new way to live. Hope this helps in some small way. Take care!

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Posted by allyn
a resident of another community
on Aug 31, 2009 at 11:30 am

There would have been no point in mental health services available. Judy had insurance, but would have refused to go to anything smacking of assistance for mental issues, as she denied any culpability in her issues all of her life. She was a child of a VERY abusive home, and determined many years ago that NO ONE would ever abuse her again. Unfortunately, she became a defensive, angry, overly emotional person, who would have been furious if anyone suggested she get help. Her family and friends, from aunts, uncles, mother, father, siblings, cousins, boyfriends, and surely her ex, probably all thought at one time or another, that she was a temperamental flake, but never, ever expected she'd do what she did. She doted on her boy to the point of gaggi-ness.....super involved, super protective, and felt she and she alone was responsible for him. For a woman who always remembered growing up in a violent, cruel home, she committed the ultimate child abuse her own self.

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