The Proctor District is a fairly prosperous area of Tacoma. I spent a couple of years living in an apartment just off of North 32nd and Proctor. The neighborhood is full of little shops and big houses. The Metropolitan Market just off of 26th and Proctor is the most high end grocery store in the city. About a block down is a restored classic movie theater called The Blue Mouse. And, I spent many an evening having a few drinks at Knapps and then stumbling home. It was a great place to live.
Wednesday afternoon, police stopped by a house on North 30th Street near Proctor. They’d received reports the 55-year-old woman who lived there had been missing from work for a few days and had not returned phone calls. Inside the house, police found the bodies of Jacqueline Hensler and her 18-year-old son, Ryan Simms. Jacqueline was stabbed multiple times. Ryan was found with a plastic bag over his head. After going over evidence at the scene, it was determined that Ryan stabbed his mother to death and then took his own life by asphyxiating himself.
At this time the motive for the murder is unknown. Jacqueline was a nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital and by all accounts well liked. Ryan had recently returned from attending college in England. Police have not released a motive at this time. If more details become available about the motive or the circumstances, I will update this post with that information.
Jacqueline’s murder and her son’s suicide is a sobering reminder that domestic violence is a reality regardless of the neighborhood you live in. It’s difficult to comprehend this sort of crime. Even if more details are revealed, I doubt that it will make too much sense. Somebody once said that suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems. This is true. The same can often be said of homicide.
This is the worst of all possible outcomes for this family and my thoughts go out to their loved ones.
Comments by those who knew the deceased are welcome.