Man kills lover, her new beau, self Girl, 4, tells cops: 'Daddy shot Mommoy'

Posted: March 20, 2001

The clock struck midnight, the birthday cake was cut and the celebration was about to begin.

But by 12:03 a.m., Meghan Bingham was dead.

She begged for her life, she tried to run and escape, but a jealous ex-boyfriend didn't want her to live to see her next birthday.

Today, Bingham, 26, her boyfriend, Jesse Woodward, 28, and the gunman, Daniel Williams, 27, are all dead. And a 4-year-old girl who watched her father kill her mother, the boyfriend and then himself is now an orphan.

"Daddy shot Mommy," the little girl screamed as police arrived at their Bensalem apartment to find her standing next to her mother's fallen body.

It marked the third murder-suicide in the past week in the Philadelphia area.

A shooting Sunday left a minister and her husband dead in Willingboro, N.J. And last Wednesday, a Philadelphia police officer killed his wife, then himself.

Williams, of Levittown, appears to have planned the birthday ambush early yesterday, and even made arrangements for someone to care for the couple's 4-year-old daughter.

"A friend came to take the child" after the incident, said

Frederick Harran, Bensalem Township Deputy Director of Public Safety. "I'm sure that person didn't know what was going to happen."

"Now, there's a 4-year-old without parents who witnessed a horrific event," he said. Cops say Bingham had been dating Woodward, also of Levittown, but still had been seeing Williams, partly because the two shared a child.

On Sunday night, Williams may have been waiting for Bingham to return home with Woodward to the Hamilton Court Apartments on Street Road near Richlieu Road and may have had a key to the apartment, police said.

Bensalem 911 records show a call came in at 12:01 a.m. As Bingham begged for help, screaming and gunshots filled the background.

While the phone lay off the hook on the floor of Bingham's apartment, it took just two minutes for a bloody, violent conflict to end all three lives.

Using a .40 caliber Smith and Wesson automatic, Williams first pumped two bullets into Woodward's back. Then, as his estranged girlfriend tried to save her life by jumping off the second-story balcony, Williams shot twice more, this time hitting Bingham twice in the back and striking her dead, her knees caught in the black wrought iron balcony ledge.

At some point, a neighbor called 911 and hid in his bathroom as shots were fired. The 4-year-old also tried to call 911, but the phone was already off the hook, cops said.

Police finishing up a call on Street Road arrived within two minutes of the 911 call and swarmed the back of the condominium building, where they heard one final shot - Williams' suicide.

Police found the 4-year-old standing on the apartment balcony beside her dead mother.

"Everybody's dead, everybody's dead!" screamed the little girl, as cops moved into the apartment looking for signs of life.

"I heard four or five shots," said Monica Vasilas, who lives a building away from Bingham. "They came from out back."

Police say they may never know whether Williams intended to take his own life, or whether he felt cornered as police closed in on him. There was no suicide note.

Doylestown Family Court records indicate Bingham obtained a restraining order against Williams from June 1999 until June 2000. She did not renew it, nor did she notify Bensalem Township about it, sources said.

The order stated that Williams had hit Bingham in the head and stomach at a factory, where she worked. *

Staff writer Yvonne Latty contributed to this report.

Send e-mail to adamsoa@phillynews.com

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