Monthly Archives: June 2011

Seventh Tacoma Homicide of 2011 – Jacqueline Hensler

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.

-Jack Cameron

5 Question Friday With Mark Lindquist!

Mark LindquistA couple of month’s ago, I was spending a lot of time at the County City Building. While waiting for a court room to be available, I waited in the Law Library, where I found a copy of Mark Lindquist’s King Of Methlehem. I enjoyed the book and wrote a review of it on my other site.

Also while at the County City Building, I ran into Mark Lindquist himself on a random elevator ride. Mark Lindquist, for those who don’t know, is the Prosecutor for Pierce County. He’s also a novelist.

This week’s 5 Question Friday is with Mark Lindquist. Since I’m betting he gets more questions in interviews about being a prosecutor than a writer, I chose to ask him about his writing. In typical lawyer fashion, his answers were quick and to the point. Enjoy.
1. King of Methlehem includes a lot of real places in Tacoma. How much of the events in the book are based on real events?
Less than people think, more than I will admit.

2. Besides your experience in the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office, what other research did you do for your novel, King of Methlehem?
Not much, that’s part of the beauty of having the greatest job in the world.

3. Tacoma has been featured not just in ‘Methlehem’, but in stories by Raymond Carver and others. What do you think makes Tacoma such a great place to write about?
Port towns always seem to attract characters and generate stories.  Tacoma has the additional advantage of being small enough that everyone seems to know each other’s stories, and large enough that not everyone is bored with each other.   I love this town, and even appreciate the annoying characters because they add color.

4. Who are some of your favorite authors?
Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Joan Didion, Bret Easton Ellis, Jay McInerney, Richard Ford, Peter Farrelly, Nick Hornby, Kurt Vonnegut, John Irving, Haruki Murakami, the aforementioned Raymond Carver, and many others.

5. What are your plans for your next book?
I’m writing a sequel to “The King of Methlehem,” creating a series for Detective Wyatt James.  I have a good title, which is a good start.
I’d like to thank Mark for taking time out of his busy schedule to participate in 5 Question Friday and I look forward to his next book.

If you haven’t read King of Methlehem, you really should check it out. It’s good crime fiction and it’s even better if you’re a local.
Do you know someone you think I should question for 5 Question Friday? Email me at jackcameronis@gmail.com.