Police: Elderly man stabbed and beat wife, watched her bleed

Police: Elderly man stabbed and beat wife, watched her bleed
Warning: This story contains graphic content.

SEATTLE -- Investigators say he stabbed his wife times over and as she lay, bleeding and in pain, he sat, drinking coffee and smoking a cigarette, telling her she was taking too long to die.

Jerold P. Goodwillie, 78, of Auburn has been charged with second-degree attempted murder - domestic violence. He is being held on $3 million bail.

Goodwillie's wife was critically injured in the attack on Sept. 30, and her heart stopped beating at one point, investigators said. But medics revived the woman who, after undergoing several emergency surgeries, was able to recount the attack to detectives.

Goodwillie told the woman that he'd met someone else, and that he was going to kill her, according to the statement of probable cause. He added he did not want to divorce her, because "I want the money."

He then began strangling the woman, lifting her off the ground, investigators said. The woman fought back by biting the man's arm and ran into the kitchen to grab a knife with a 5-inch blade. Armed with the wooden handle of an ax, Goodwillie chased her down and struck her on the head several times, causing a large cut that later required several stitches.

Goodwillie took the knife from his wife and tried to slit her throat, investigators said. The woman raised her hand in defense, and sustained a shallow cut across her throat and a deep cut on her thumb.

The woman said she ran outside and collapsed, and was followed by her husband, who placed his knee behind her neck and stabbed her at least three times, lacerating a lung.

As the woman lay in the grass, bleeding, Goodwillie returned with rubber gloves and tried to suffocate her with a plastic bag, the statement said. When the woman begged him to let her die looking at the sky, he sat down, lit a cigarette and drank coffee, the woman said, complaining she was "taking too long" to die.

Goodwillie eventually went back inside the house, and the woman managed to crawl to the side of the house. But when Goodwillie spotted her, he dragged her into the garage and strangled her again until she told him she was about to die and asked to be left alone. Goodwillie responded, "I'm going to sit here until you die," the document said.

The woman said she lay very still for some time, and Goodwillie moved her to the bed of his pickup truck before. She waited until he went inside, then managed to escape from the garage.

The woman said she could not walk, so she dragged herself out of the garage then rolled down the driveway, hoping to be spotted. But as she was dragging herself down the street, Goodwillie pulled up next to her in his pickup truck. He threw her in the truck bed and drove back to the home's garage.

Once in the garage, the man told his wife, "You're going to die here," then closed the truck bed's tonneau cover, locking it.

Officers soon arrived on the scene after having received a 911 call from Goodwillie's neighbor, who reported having seen someone pick up a bleeding woman from the street. Through a garage window, they saw the truck's tonneau cover vibrating, as if someone was kicking it.

At about the same time, Goodwillie came into the garage with his arms covered in blood. Officers ordered him to come outside where he was handcuffed.

Upon hearing a woman screaming, "Help me, please!" from the truck bed, officers forced open the tonneau cover and found the woman, who was covered in blood from head to toe. The woman, who was very weak, pleaded with investigators to not let her die, the statement said. She was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Officers went into Goodwillie's home and noted "the house was clean and spotless" with "a very strong odor of 'Pine Sol' (a cleaning solvent) in the kitchen and living room area" where the floors appeared to have been freshly mopped, the statement said. In the backyard, they found a large outdoor umbrella covering what appeared to be a large patch of blood.

When questioned by detectives, Goodwillie admitted to having stabbed his wife of 48 years multiple times and beating her over the head with a wooden ax handle. He said he put the assault weapons in the truck bed with his wife's body as he had intended to dump them all somewhere "in an attempt to conceal the assault," the statement said.

Goodwillie has no prior criminal history; however, prosecutors requested a high bail, describing the attack as "completely unprovoked and violent." They added the man "is capable of violent acts with a disturbing calloused indifference."

Goodwillie's wife is expected to recover.