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Sadness at Regatta Park

by Steve Lackmeyer Published: December 23, 2012

I last saw and spoke to Bill Schnittman on Monday at the annual Retro Metro OKC Christmas party. Bill wasn’t an Oklahoma City native – he is part of a new community being forged together along the Oklahoma River. He was a Michigan native who was eagerly making Oklahoma City his home – and the launching pad for his ambitions to join the U.S. Olympic Rowing team.
That dream will never be realized. On Friday, Bill was gunned down as part of a confusing series of events involving the abduction and assault of a woman, and the eventually suicide of the killer.
You can read more about Bill in his hometown newspaper.
I’ve been contacted by friends and acquaintances I have in the rowing community who clearly wish to have a forum to mourn their loss, pay tribute to the man.
I wish I had gotten to know Bill better. He was a good guy, very friendly, always eager to hear about the city’s history. His hair always looked as it did in the photo above (which makes me smile). I did not know the personal jeopardy he faced. He was just one of many newcomers I’ve met over the past few years, quite a few drawn by opportunities along the Oklahoma River, who loved Oklahoma City and yearned to learn more about their new hometown.

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by Steve Lackmeyer
Reporter Sr.
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter and columnist who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's Metropolitan...
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