WEST CHESTER >> Stephanie Williams, 50, died of gunshot wounds to the chest and head, the Chester County Coroner’s Office ruled yesterday, and her husband, Charles died of a gunshot wound to the head.
Charles Williams, 52, killed his wife and then turned the gun on himself during the early morning hours of June 1 inside the couple’s West Goshen home, police said. The couple’s 10-year-old twins, a boy and a girl, were home at the time and the boy discovered the bodies of his parents when he woke up in the morning.
A GoFundMe site to help defray the costs of Stephanie Williams’ funeral has been set up, and as of Thursday afternoon, $15,420 had been raised of a $20,000 goal. The site is located at https://www.gofundme.com/xe4uz-funeral-costs.
Vito and Rebecca LoGrasso, who knew the Williams personally for 20 years, and who spent many holidays with them, said Stephanie Williams was kind and compassionate and was the one who held the family together as her husband was often away on the weekends. Charles Williams was a professional wrestler, and sometimes traveled for work.
“She ran her own business Crystal Rox for years,” Rebecca LoGrasso said. “She created beautiful jewelry for fairs and bizarres. She cared for children. She was a big helping parent for the Boys Scouts and the Girls Scouts of America. She adored taking her children to taekwondo. She delighted in there achievements. She planned gatherings for our group of friends. Holidays we would make up for fun like ‘wrestle-giving’ for all the former wrestlers. Everyone made their favorite dish and Stephanie would plan over the phone for weeks with the girls sharing Pinterest recipes. She was an animal lover. She always had a smile for you and a big hug, and so many people loved her.”
Vito and Rebecca LoGrasso said they made many efforts to get Stephanie help, and to get her and the children away, to attempt to get Charles Williams the medical help he desperately needed, and had to end their friendship a couple of months ago.
“Stephanie knew no other love from a man than abusive love,” Rebecca LoGrasso said. “She loved her family with all her heart. She loved him with all her heart, but she knew someday he would take her life and told our tight group of friends it would end this way. She lived in fear that if she left he would kill her and possibly the children, so she stayed.”
Rebecca LoGrasso said Stephanie Williams was caught in an abusive marriage and told her that her husband promised to kill Stephanie and the children if she ever left him.
“We begged Steph to come to our home with the kids, and we offered to buy video cameras for her house because Chuck would punch himself and scratch his own face when the police arrived after a frantic call,” Rebecca LoGrasso said. “He would tell the police she did it, and here is where the system fails Stephanie. They would threaten to take them both to jail. What would happen to her children? She would refuse to press charges. The final call came the week of her death. Police said (if they get called) one more call and they were both being arrested and charged. Now Stephanie, who loved her children more than anything had nowhere to turn.”
Stephanie was remembered by her family on the GoFundMe site as a mother who did everything for her family.
“She was loved by so many and the outpouring of love, prayers and support has been an overwhelmingly welcomed feeling. Her family considered her the firstborn leader, the glue, the best friend, the heart of gold, the crafty one, the brain, and most importantly the best mother those children could ever have,” the family wrote.
“(My nephew) only being 10 years old found both his mommy and daddy. He took their pulse and then ran upstairs to get his sister and had to tell her what happened,” he wrote on the GoFundMe page. “They both had to pass their mother and father again on the way out while (my nephew) also retrieved their dog Appolo.”
“Together, our family will do our best to give them all the love, security, and peaceful life imaginable. In the name of our sister and daughter, we will continue to love, care and support (for her children), always and forever,” the family stated. “We want to keep her legacy alive by learning as much as we can through friends and family. In time, as a family, we will be starting a foundation in Stephanie’s honor. She will always be remembered; we will make sure of that! #EndDomesticViolence.”
Stephanie’s brother Chadwick wrote:
“You are my sister, we aren’t supposed to feel this kind of pain. This doesn’t happen to our family. We grieve and pray for the other families not for my beautiful ‘Honey’. I tried to help you.. I tried so hard.. I even used words that I thought would scare you enough to leave. I told you not believing it would happen but to scare you enough so that I could protect you. I said there’s only 2 ways out of an abusive marriage and I wouldn’t allow the second. You promised me you understood and I know you did. You were working on your way out plan. Selling items at your weekend yard sales. You were protecting your babies. Colton and Maddison are safe my sweet Honey.”
Toxicology tests for Charles Williams are pending. The case is under the jurisdiction of the West Goshen Police Department, which is continuing its investigation.