14 July 2020

Acting Major Todd O. Stratton
Troop C Commander


Cold Case Tuesday: Troop C continues to investigate a 36-year-old homicide case in Broome County.

State Police in Binghamton continue to investigate the 1983 murder of 19-year-old Bessie P. Williams of Johnson City, NY.

On the evening of November 4, 1983, Bessie P. Williams was reported missing to the Johnson City Police Department when she did not return home to her apartment on Main Street in Johnson City, NY.  The last time she had been seen that day was at 1:15 p.m., when she was picking up her paycheck at the Quality Inn Lodge and Convention Center in Endwell, NY.

On April 11, 1985, State Police in Binghamton responded to a report of human skeletal remains being found outside in a wooded area off of King Street in the Town of Barker.  A forensic examination determined the remains were those of Bessie Williams, and the manner of death was homicide.  

Since the discovery of Bessie’s remains, State Police have been attempting to identify a suspect whose vehicle was towed by citizens in the fall of 1983, from a field bordering the wooded area where her remains were discovered. 

The suspect was described in 1985 as an intoxicated white male, 25 - 30 years old, 5’ 07 – 5’10", medium build with a noticeable "pot belly", wearing work boots, jeans and a blue wind breaker.  The suspect was operating a late 1970s white hatchback, possibly a Ford, with a reddish brown interior, stick shift, bearing unknown New York registration plates.

Many leads have been followed up on and the case has remained open.  Several interviews of potential witnesses have been completed over the years, however, this homicide has never been solved. 

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call the New York State Police at (607) 561-7400.  All calls will remain confidential. 



Suspect sketch

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