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This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Suspected Ninja Stabber Accused of Killing Daughter of Family He Once Lived With* Is Caught [UPDATED]

Screenshot (KTLA)
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The man accused of sneaking into the home of a long-time family friend dressed as a ninja, killing the family's daughter, then stabbing her boyfriend and father and then fleeing has been caught.

William Gary Simpson Jr., 19, was arrested at his mother's home last night, according to ABC 7.

Simpson had been living with the Burke family in Murrieta, but he left a year ago. A relative said that Paul Burke became concerned that Simpson seemed to be falling in love with his daughter 18-year-old Saskia Burke.

Saskia's mother Catherine Burke gave an emotionally-wrenching interview describing her first-hand account of how Simpson broke into her home on Tuesday and stabbed her daughter to death. She said he also attacked her husband and her daughter's boyfriend.

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Friends who knew Simpson told Murrieta Patch that the grisly murder sounded out of character for him. They describe Simpson as a mellow community college student, who was pondering a career in film or law enforcement.

*EDITOR'S NOTE 01/08/2011: This post previously mischaracterized the relationship between William Gary Simpson Jr. and the Burke family. KTLA had earlier reported that Simpson was the family's foster son, but that's wrong, according to Catherine Burke who reached out to LAist in an e-mail. She said that Simpson grew up with Burke's son. After Simpson graduated from high school, he asked if he could stay with the family while he attended Riverside Community College. He stayed with the family until November 2010. The story has been updated to reflect this information.

Catherine Burke also disputes the idea that her husband Paul booted Simpson out because he was romantically attracted to her daughter, as was reported in the Riverside Press-Enterprise. She writes in an e-mail to LAist: "Gary had no love interest, nor ever made 'googley eyed looks" nor was "gaga" over our daughter. The only bad feelings Paul had towards Gary was that Gary had agreed in exchange for room and board to get a job and pay rent. When Gary was finally offered a job, but turned it down because he didn't want to pay rent, we were very disappointed in him."

Burke said that when Simpson left her home in November 2010, he did so voluntarily.