Teen Accused of Murdering His Own Grandfather for Tattoos & Gym Shoes

man shot grandfatherA 19-year-old on the South Side of Chicago is accused of killing his 72-year-old grandfather in cold blood earlier this months. The elderly man who had taken care of his grandson for the past few months, had been waiting for his bus ride to a kidney dialysis appointment.

Prosecutors allege that William Strickland shot his grandfather (also named William Strickland) six times in the back and stole his wallet, leaving him to bleed to death just feet from his own home. He then used the money he got to buy tattoos and gym shoes. If this is true, it is one of the coldest, sickest things I remember hearing.

As a parent, it is also an absolute nightmare. When you are first pregnant, there is always that one conversation every parent has that starts with something like this: What if?

What if we have a child who is not what we expected? What if we have a child we cannot control? What if we have a child who hurts us?

Quickly, for most of us, those thoughts are set aside with the busy day-to-day of raising our kids. Besides, not many people really worry that their adorable 5-year-old is going to someday do something horrific and cruel. 

Of course, if they do. Everyone will blame the mom and dad (assuming there is one). In this case, I am sure people will wonder where his mother went wrong in raising a boy who joined gangs and killed his grandfather. But there is evidence that his mother was paying attention and trying to keep her son out of trouble. She sent him to live with her father to try to keep him out of trouble. Clearly she was trying.

The story is just tragic all around. No one thinks their child is going to grow up to hurt their family. Who does something like this? Now his mother is in the horrible position of having to either continue to love the boy who killed her father or abandoning her son.

What a horrible, horrible tragedy.

Do you think it is the parent's fault when something like this happens?


Image via Chicago Police



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Katie Hesney Johnson

What a little gangster wannabe piece of garbage. If there is evidence that the mother was truly trying, than she should not beat herself up. There is really only so much a parent can do before a child becomes truly out of control. This garbage's environment took over, and he chose himself and his selfish needs over his family. 

It also brings up another valid point: Chicago has the highest rate of gun violence in the country, but some of the strictest laws. Clearly, something has to change to stop this madness. Kids are shot just trying to live life out there in their own neighborhoods. Situations like this make me want to move to a state where the gun laws are very liberal and if I or any one of my family is confronted by someone with a weapon, we will have our weapons to adequetly protect ourselves. It's a scary world where criminals have more weapons than the good guys. 

nonmember avatar krelia

Holy shit. First comment and somebody is bringing up the gun law debate. That asinine argument is tiresome and there is a plethora of reasons Chicago is the way it is and it's NOT strict gun laws.

abra819 abra819

^^ Word.

nonmember avatar Debbie

Katie, off you go to Texas or Florida or some other very safe stae with lax gun laws. Isn't if funny how places with very strict gun laws such as Europe, Canada and Australia have incredibly low rates of gun associated deaths? When will people in this country wake up and realize that people with guns kill a LOT of people. In fact, we are neck and neck with Colombia, Brazil and Panama. Something to be proud of.

nonmember avatar Zuri

@krelia: Ditto. This man was just a monster, no two ways about it. R.I.P William Strickland Sr. :(

Vegeta Vegeta

I seriously doubt any of you know how important new kicks are to certain groups of teenage black and Hispanic boys. They try to stab eachother if they think they got cut in line. It's not 'just sneakers' to them. Your shoes dictate your rank in their social circles. Right now he probably dosent think murder is worse than not having new foams or breds.

nonmember avatar Lana

I live in Chicago and remember when this poor man was murdered. We have murders and shootings all the time and trust me when I tell you all that Katie is dead on. The good news is, the state of Illinois has until June to come up with a ccw law. Law abiding citizens are very excited and very much looking forward to being able to defend themselves against people like this POS.

Shirley Jean Lafleur

Most parents try to raise their children in a correct way so this child will function correctly in the outside world. But not all parens are willing to give of themselves the time, energy & compassion it takes to raise a child in today's world. Parents of today seem to want to be more of a "friend" to their children then a parent that has to teach, correct & sometimes discipline their children. Every child needs an authorative figure in their lives & that figure should be their parents in the household where the child is living. Children in today's world need a "strong hand" & a mild mannered authorative figure to teach them the ways of the world they will have to live & function in, in their adult life.

da808... da808gypsy

These comments are just WOW...

I have to say I agree with Katie.

Ricky's comment is ignorant so I'm not even going to bother with it. But its crazy how people compare the US to the UK when it comes to gun violence. I think its too damn late to take away guns because the only people that are going to get rid of their guns are the people who need protecting in the first place. I'm pretty sure most crimes are done with non-registered guns. How are they going to take those away when they don't even know they exist? that's right they aren't.

Mary Ann Johnston

We had a story down here a few years ago of a woman and her husband who were arrested for beating her father to death over what little he had in is wallet..was estimated about $55.  Even worse is that I knew her and was always afraid he would only end up causing distruction in her life.  Never could have I imagined it would lead to the death of her father.

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