What happens when love blinds us so much that we can’t see the clear warning signs in our partners?
The sad story of Bill Williamson, a retired postman, will serve as a lesson for all. The 82-year-old woman was killed by her former partner for his money after using and stealing from him on multiple occasions.
The show Deadly Women: DIY Burial on Investigation Discovery follows police as they search for his partner Ann Browning and eventually catch him for killing him. If the case interests you and you want to know everything about it, you’ve come to the right place. Shall we learn more about Ann Browning then?
What’s your name?
Ann Browning was a self-employed cleaner living at Milton’s Crescent in Ockford Ridge, Godalming, Surrey. She was 54 years old. She had two sons and was divorced twice. Ann had met Bill Williamson, an 82-year-old retired postman and widower, in 2007 at a local history club event. Bill’s wife Mary died in 2004 at the age of 91. He used to live alone at his home in Milford Church Street. He is said to have had no children.
Court testimony said Bill was an old, lonely man who wanted to be with someone. Ann had just divorced her second husband and they got along well. Bill had a lot of money, so he helped Ann by giving her money for gas and dental work, among other things. He may even have changed his will so that she gets most of his money. But things changed when he reportedly caught her stealing money from him.
Bill said Ann helped him set up an account that was missing £1,200. Bill said Ann had withdrawn £200 from an ATM six times using a debit card he didn’t know about. She reportedly used that money to buy £1,000 worth of Premium Bonds a few days later. Ann said that Bill got the money out himself and forgot about it because he was getting old. But she was never charged because there was no proof she did anything wrong.
Bill’s friends had told him to be careful with Ann and it was said he and Ann had split up. During this time she also tried but failed to get back together with her ex-husband. Despite his friends’ concerns, Ann and Bill got back together in March 2009. When they met the second time, their relationship grew to the point where Ann convinced Bill to sell his Church Road home and Bill agreed to do the same with his home on Milton’s Crescent. Bill agreed they should start a new life together and even gave Ann £6,000 to buy a new Kia.
Bill sold his Church Road home for £246,924 and moved out on 10 September 2010. The money went into their joint account and he moved into Ann’s house. Prosecutors said she killed Bill with a baton just hours after he moved in. She then returned to her normal life, going to the theater, playing bingo with friends and even shopping with his cards. She even put £140,000 from the sale of Bill’s house into her account from the money they had in their joint account and she had his red Mazda registered in her name.
But Bill’s doctor told the police when he didn’t show up for his flu shot appointment, so the police showed up at her door. She told police he was in Ireland to go to a family funeral, which she knew was wrong. She also said Bill’s car was broken into, but police found it parked a few blocks away. She was arrested when surveillance footage showed her taking Bill’s money from the bank and registering his car in her name.
On October 8, 2010, police found Bill’s battered and naked body buried in a shallow grave in her backyard. His legs were tied with a belt and his body was wrapped in a shower curtain. On October 7, 2010, she said she did. She reportedly told police, “Yes, I killed him, I confess.” However, she denied the murder was committed for money, saying it all happened in the heat of the moment.
How is Ann Browning now?
Ann said she surrendered after his son’s wedding in October 2010. She said, “I love my son so much that I didn’t want to ruin his happiness because he would marry the girl of his dreams.” But the court didn’t believe her lies and she was found guilty of killing Bill.
In August 2011, she was sentenced to life imprisonment, but would have to serve at least 25 years. She was also awarded a confiscation order for £250,293 to pay as compensation to Bill’s Surrey estate. She is now in her 60s and is serving her time in a Surrey prison.
Today a cleaner who killed an 82-year-old widower by beating him to death and burying him in the garden so she could get his money was sentenced to life in prison.
Ann Browning, 54, has been sentenced to at least 25 years in prison for the “wicked murder” of William Williamson, a retired postman. A judge at Guildford Crown Court said she planned the murder to make money.
Browning, who was from Ockford Ridge, Surrey, pleaded guilty to the murder but denied he did it for money.
Ann Browning befriended Bill Williamson so she could steal his £250,000. Ann Browning killed Bill Williamson.
Ann Browning, at left, killed William Williamson with a plastic bat so she could get his £250,000 fortune at right.
She said that in a fit of rage she hit Mr. Williamson with a plastic bat and buried his body in her garden to hide her crime.
At a hearing last week to decide whether she plotted the murder to get money, the court heard that Browning punched Mr. Williamson numerous times in the head and body.
She then stripped off his clothes, tied his legs with a belt, wrapped him in a shower curtain, and laid him upside down in a grave she had dug in the back garden of the house they shared.
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When he died in September 2010, she transferred £140,000 from their joint account to her own account within days.
The court heard that when asked where Mr Williamson was, she told “a series of elaborate lies” such as that he was at a funeral in Ireland.
She also forged his signature on papers to close a Royal Mail account in his name and said he was moving into a care home on the south coast.
The court heard that Mr. Williamson often gave Ms. Browning money and that he had agreed to sell his house so he could move in with her and they could buy a house together.
He moved into her house but was killed either that day or the next.
But Browning said she killed Mr Williamson out of anger and that she will turn herself in after her son’s wedding in October.
She said she got angry when he told her he no longer wanted to live with her and was moving to Ireland instead.
The mother of two, who has been married twice before, said she wanted to confess once her son’s wedding was over. She told the court, “I figured if I could just get through the weeks leading up to his wedding and get this wedding over with, I would confess.”
“I love my son so much that I didn’t want to stop him from marrying the girl of his dreams because I didn’t want to ruin his happiness.”
But Guildford Judge Christopher Critchlow ruled today that Browning had planned the murder.
He said, “I’m sure she didn’t kill him in one tantrum.” Considering all her lies and how they added up, I’m sure she intended to kill him.
“The Crown convinced me that they planned to kill him, either for their own benefit or to help other people financially.
“He was a little man who, at his age, couldn’t fight what she did to him. So this was a gruesome murder of an old man easily hurt for money.’
During the hearing, Browning was visibly upset. He often cried and screamed from the dock.
The 54-year-old woman told the judge “may God forgive your soul” as she was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 25 years.
The court heard that following his meeting with Browning in 2007, Mr. Williamson had amended his will to leave most of his money to her.
But he changed it back after accusing her of taking £1,200 from an account she helped him set up.
He said she made six withdrawals of £200 using a debit card he didn’t know about and just a few days later she spent £1000 on Premium Bonds.
Browning was never arrested, although he denied the theft and said Mr Williamson must have taken the money and then forgotten it.
The court heard the couple had split, but in March 2009 she got in touch with him and they agreed to sell their homes and buy a new one together.
At one point, Browning tried to get back together with her husband, but it didn’t work out. However, she did not tell either man about her relationship with the other.
On September 10, Mr. Williamson sold his house and moved in with Browning. According to prosecutors, she killed him the same day. She said she killed him the next day.
Today the judge ruled in favor of the Crown because he was certain Browning had planned the murder in advance.
“I’m sure that when he first met her in 2007 and after 2009, he wanted her to take care of him, cook for him and clean for him and he was willing to pay her big bucks to do that. “
In 2007, she realized that he didn’t spend much time with his family and that she could benefit from getting to know him.
In 2007 and 2010, she had more power than him because he was in love with her and wanted her to take care of him.
“I think she’s worried about money and her future, especially as her hip problems are getting worse,” I said.
He said Browning’s claim that she withdrew money from Mr Williamson’s account after his death because she was concerned about the stability of the bank was “incongruent” if she really intended to turn herself in.