Beating Suspect Linked to Two Assaults - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

12/06/05

Beating Suspect Linked to Two Assaults

After two brutal attacks on elderly women in the same week, the suspect behind bars. The severe beatings of a 77-year-old Bloomingdale woman and an 82-year-old Talahi Island woman are disturbing to say the least.

Police say last week, a Savannah man left both women for dead, and was already in jail for one attack before investigators even found out about the second.

William Dixon, 38, is facing a slew of charges after the vicious attacks. Bloomingdale police say last Wednesday, he nearly beat his wife's 77-year-old grandmother to death with an iron skillet.

"The victim was bleeding pretty profusely," Chief Thomas Gossett told us. "She was also tied up and thrown on the bed."

Gossett says she was able to get free from her bindings and call for help around 5am. Investigators were able to track Dixon down in Garden City a day later.

The brutal surprises weren't finished yet, though. Friday, Etta Dickey, 82, was discovered in her home also brutally beaten, this time with a brick. Police say she'd been laying in her home bloodied and half naked for almost three days.

"Certainly there was some blunt trauma to her and I don't want to go into what we may think was done to the victim at this point," Capt. Bob Merriman of the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department said.

Police say Dixon had been hired to do some repair work at Dickey's house and they quickly found him, already in jail for the other attack. Both beatings have caught their respective communities off guard.

"Just by word of mouth, there's sort of a state of shock that that could happen here in Bloomingdale," said Chief Gossett. "Obviously in police work, we know how it can happen anywhere and we see it happen everywhere."

On Talahi Island, it's got neighbors watching out for each other more than ever before. "They can't be patrolling 24 hours per day and this was, we're thinking, in broad daylight," resident Judy Collins said.

In both attacks police say he robbed the women, and at least with the one in Bloomingdale, investigators say he was looking for money to buy drugs.

Dixon will be scheduled for arraignment on aggravated assault and armed robbery.

Both victims are still alive at this point, but both are still in the hospital.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite, ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com

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