Destiny Turns Deadly: A Memoir

TRUE CRIME Non-fiction



Destiny Turns Deadly is a memoir that tells the story of how my destiny was to become a deputy sheriff.  Many children say that they want to be a policeman or a fireman when they grow up.  As a small child, I thought of nothing else than becoming a police officer.  Most people who has ever pinned on a badge and carried a gun have remarkable stories to tell.  Sadly, so many of these life experiences and personal accounts go untold, for one reason or another.

Eventually becoming a homicide detective, I would put scores of men and women in prison for murder.  What if destiny had not led me to becoming a police officer, would those murderers have gotten away with their heinous deeds?

I wrote this book to not only share with the reader; my journey, the life lessons I learned, and perhaps most significantly, my unique experiences.

Destiny Turned Deadly shares my law enforcement career; I would be involved with four separate killers of four different law enforcement officers. I was involved in an officer involved shooting and my parents’ home was struck by nine bullets over a drug deal, just to mention a few of the story lines.

Forward: Sheriff Jack Campbell,

Sangamon County, Illinois Sheriff’s Department

Edited: Deb Staton Bailey

Justice For The Badge

True Crime Non-fiction 

Available for Purchase

JFTB for web

According to the 2016 Federal Bureau of Investigation Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) statistics collected by the FBI, 118 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents in 2016.  Of these, 66 law enforcement officers died as a result of felonious acts, and 52 officers died in accidents.  In addition, 57,180 officers were victims of line-of-duty assaults.

The figures suggest a grim trend; 2016 was the deadliest year for police in 5 years.  A total of 135 officers died in 2015 with the latest in a growing number of officer deaths in 2017, up 18 percent from this time last year.  148 police officers died in the line of duty in 2018.

Surprisingly, there was a time when the killing of police officers was just as prevalent as in the years of 2016 through 2018.  That time was a five-year period between 1971 and 1975 when statistics indicate that one hundred twenty-five police officers were killed each year in the line of duty.  This country was a much different place in the 70’s.

William D. Simmons, a man in his thirties, husband and father of two small children, decides he wants a change in his life.  Bill Simmons’ overpowering desire to be a police officer causes him to give up his lucrative job in the insurance industry.  Little did he realize at the time, how much this new felt passion would cost him?  Within two years of starting his career in law enforcement, in 1975, Sangamon County, Illinois, Deputy Sheriff William D. Simmons became just such another statistic.

As the very first law enforcement officer on the scene the night of the murder, and the homicide detective that eventually solved this long-standing case, and a friend of Bill Simmons, I am able to write the story from a very unique perspective.  Using personal knowledge of the investigation and the official court transcripts, the true story can be told.  By including numerous details in the book, never before released, makes for an interesting read.

Justice for the Badge is the story of one of the longest unsolved murders of an on-duty police officer in this country.  The case goes unsolved for nearly two painful decades, until the cold-blooded cop killer is finally brought to justice.

By writing this book and describing this very lengthy investigation in detail, it is my intention to tell the story of a wonderful man who would pay the ultimate price to wear the six-pointed star of a deputy sheriff.

Forward written by J. William Roberts

Former Sangamon County State’s Attorney and former Assistant U.S. Attorney General  

and Special Prosecutor in this murder trial.

Edited by: Venetia Weiler Schnapp