It started with a hug. Jerold P. Goodwillie, a 78-year-old Auburn man, allegedly hugged his wife of 49 years, then calmly told her "I'm going to kill you."
And with a knife, an axe handle, and a plastic bag, police say the old man tried everything he could to make good on that promise.Somehow, however, Joan survived. But her husband is now looking at spending whatever years he has left locked in a prison cell.
According to documents filed in King County Superior Court, police were called to Goodwillie's house on Sept. 30 when a neighbor reported seeing a bloody woman squirming on the ground outside the house, followed by Goodwillie himself picking her up and throwing her in the back of his truck before driving her into his garage.
When police arrived, they say they heard banging sounds coming from inside the home and could see into the garage, where something under a tarp in the back of a truck was moving.
That was Joan, barely alive, with at least three stab wounds in her body.
Joan later described the attack to police as thus: After Goodwillie hugged her, he told her he'd met someone else and that he was going to kill her. Immediately he got behind her and started to strangle her, but she fought back by biting his arm and was able to briefly escape.
She said that next Goodwillie ran and grabbed a heavy axe handle and bludgeoned her over the head with it several times, nearly knocking her unconscious.
While the attack was going on, Joan told police that she asked her husband why he didn't just divorce her and leave, and that he said "because I want the money."
The attack continued when Goodwillie was able to get a knife that Joan had used to defend herself away from her. He tried to slit her throat with the knife, Joan says, but she was able to get her hand in the way, and while the cut nearly took off her thumb, it likely saved her life.
After failing to cut her throat, Joan managed to escape outside. But her husband followed her, and, after she'd collapsed face-down on the ground, he climbed on her and drove the knife into her back three times.
Goodwillie then allegedly left his wife's body and came back with trash bags and gloves, hoping to clean up the murderous mess. But Joan was still alive, so the man then tried to suffocate her with a plastic trash bag.
This failed too, and Goodwillie, exhausted, allegedly sat down, lit a cigarette, sipped his coffee, and complained that she was "taking too long to die."
Goodwillie eventually got his wife's body into the garage, where he put her in the back of his truck, tried strangling her again, and then covered her with a tarp. But when he went back inside, Joan managed to drag herself out of the house and roll her body into the street, where her neighbor caught sight of her and called police.
Medics managed to get the woman to the hospital, and though her heart at one point stopped completely, several emergency surgeries later, Joan was stable and was able to recount the tale.
Goodwillie, meanwhile, apparently admitted the assault to police.
He's now being charged with second-degree attempted murder and domestic violence.
If convicted he can expect to die in prison.