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Mystery still surrounds the deaths of mother, son in 2003 killings in Norman

Detectives have no solid leads in the deaths of Marie and John Patrick Williams, who were found slain Dec. 6, 2003, in their Norman home.
by Jane Glenn Cannon Modified: December 29, 2012 at 12:13 am •  Published: December 31, 2012
/articleid/3741613/1/pictures/1917394">Photo - John Patrick Williams is pictured in his Norman neighborhood shortly before his death.  PHOTO PROVIDED BY  NORMAN POLICE DEPARTMENT
John Patrick Williams is pictured in his Norman neighborhood shortly before his death. PHOTO PROVIDED BY NORMAN POLICE DEPARTMENT

Police do have DNA evidence, skin cells found underneath Marie Williams' fingernails. Recently, they submitted a shirt to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation for further DNA testing, Gibson said.

Called “touch” testing, it's a fairly new forensic technique requiring a small sample of cells that could be deposited on something like an article of clothing, Gibson said.

The police captain said investigators are looking for evidence of a second perpetrator or corroborating the DNA evidence under Marie Williams' fingernails.

“But DNA testing is only as good as our ability to match it to somebody,” he said. “Say the killer has since died, maybe got hit by a car, then we'll never be able to get a match. They will have carried their DNA to the grave.”

Detectives follow up on every tip, some of which trickle in periodically, Gibson said.

Most recently, detectives entered investigative reports on Nov. 9 and Dec. 3 of this year, based on interviews they conducted after receiving tips.

“Nothing substantive came out of the interviews, but it shows that the case is still active. We continue to get tips that we pursue,” Gibson said.

The bodies were discovered Dec. 6, 2003, after a landlord became worried because she hadn't received a rent check.

Nothing appeared to be taken from the house, Gibson said, but John Patrick Williams' brown Mercedes-Benz was found parked about a block away on Jenkins Avenue, near the railroad tracks.

“Not his normal parking place,” Gibson said.

The keys to the car have never been found.

John Patrick Williams had a tight circle of friends, who have tried to help investigators develop leads, the police captain said.

“We encourage them to reach out to us, to rethink the case. We believe they still might know something that could help us,” Gibson said. has disabled the comments for this article.
by Jane Glenn Cannon
Senior Reporter
A native of Oklahoma, Jane Glenn Cannon is an award-winning reporter who has covered everything from crime, courts and government to entertainment and features. She wrote a popular personal column for many years. She is a former associate writer...
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