Assault on a elderly Tulsa woman

Saturday, October 22nd 2005, 12:01 pm
By: News On 6

A shocking attack on an elderly Tulsa woman.

The 75 year-old woman was nearly strangled to death in her own home Friday. Police say the only thing that saved her was a visiting granddaughter who scared the attacker away.

Today the woman's newspaper deliveryman
is in jail for the crime. News on Six crime reporter Lori Fullbright has the exclusive details.

He doesn't look like a man who would try to strangle a helpless woman with his bare hands, but police say that's exactly what he did. An affidavit says he admitted to the crime and the victim's granddaughter saw him running from the house.

Paul Williford had been delivering Tulsa World newspaper for the 75 year-old woman for two years and when she didn't get one today, she called him. Police say that was part of the plan.

Captain Tracie Crocker, Tulsa Police: "He admitted purposefully not delivering her paper so she'd call him. He did deliver the paper, gained access into the house and tried to kill her by strangulation."

The victim's granddaughter picked that moment to visit her grandmother when she saw the woman on the floor, she assumed she'd fallen.

Tracy; "I called 911 immediately and was trying to get a response out of her and out of the corner of my eye, I saw this man run by. I started chasing him and he ran to a car and got in and took off."

Thanks to a great description of the man and car, Sergeant Brandon Wycoff stopped it and arrested 64-year-old Paul Wiliford.
Police say he admitted he planned to strangle the victim to death, then committed a sexual battery and stole 30 dollars.

Perhaps most chilling of all is Williford hinted to police that he's been involved in other attacks and those ended differently.

Captain Crocker: "Police are investigating right now and researching other previous crimes and homicides to see if there is a link to this suspect."

The family is just thankful this victim is alive to tell police what happened and who did it.

Tracy: "I want to see him in jail for the rest of his life and if he gets out, we have an army of people who will hunt him down.

Lori Fullbright, the News on 6.