Last Thursday at a house on South 19th and L Street in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood there was a loud argument that had turned violent. A 37-year-old man was convinced that a coworker and roommate was romantically involved with his live-in girlfriend. He beat the roommate with his fists and a chair and also assaulted his girlfriend. Police arrived and found a 25-year-old man named AJ Geissler bloodied and injured. They arrested the 37-year-old and took him to jail.
The man they arrested was no stranger to the law. In the last two years alone he’d been arrested four times for domestic violence though only charged in one of those cases. Before that, his ex-wife had gotten two restraining orders on him in 2008 and 2010. In 2012 another roommate got a restraining order against him after an assault.
The Tacoma Municipal Court had not finished reviewing the case and since he had not been charged, he was released from jail on Friday.
Hours after being released from jail, the man returned to the house on Friday and assaulted three individuals at the house. He killed AJ Geissler, the man he’d assaulted the night before. He also killed 59-year-old Denyse Marshall, his girlfriend’s aunt who was staying at the house while she went through a divorce. He also wounded a third person.
Denyse and Joseph are the third and fourth homicides Tacoma has had this year. This is as low as the homicide rate has been at this point in the year since I started writing about Tacoma’s homicides. Of course this does not lessen the impact by family and friends devastated by the loss of these two individuals.
Their killer has been arrested. Unfortunately no amount of justice is going to bring any real solace to the grieving friends and family of the victims. Sudden losses like this are catastrophic. Denyse Marshall and AJ Geissler were citizens of Tacoma deserving of a full life that was cut short. What we can do now is remember Denyse and Joseph and share any memories we have of them.
The comments section is reserved for friends and families of the victims. I moderate and approve all comments before they appear. I am sorry for your loss.
– Jack Cameron
Just so you guys know his name was andrew giessler not joseph andrew
Denise was my Aunt and a wonderful person. Though I’m in Texas and she’d always been in Washington, the times we had together were memories I will always cherish. She was kind and funny and a great friend. She is and will always be greatly missed.
I am sorry for the loss of your aunt…God bless.
I met AJ a few years ago when I lived in Tacoma. My heart hurts because of this. Nothing will ever take way the hurt that this has caused any of us that knew AJ or Denise. This was a crime that never should have happened. Why was the murderer ever released in the first place? We have been trying to make sense of this since it happened and I am not sure any of us ever will.
A.j geissler was a friend of mine I knew him pretty we’ll he was a great guy and wouldn’t hurt a fly I will miss him dearly it’s almost unreal … I pray for the ppl involved it’s a tragity
Andrew J. Geissler (A.J.) was a dear young person. He was a student of ours at Foss High School. He was kind, friendly, cheerful, and a pleasure to be around. Schoolwork did not come easily to him, yet he always tried his best in my classes. He was a very affable person! It is true that Andrew (A.J.) would not hurt a fly, he always meant well. Andrew was good all the way through to his core. He offered much to the world through his sweet disposition alone. A.J., you are sorely missed. I wish I could see your face, give you a hug, and tell you what a joy it was to have you around! I enjoyed seeing you at school or running into you in town during those years we were both in Tacoma. You did nothing wrong and did not deserve this horrific, brutal end. Domestic violence needs to be taken much more seriously. May you rest happily in peace, my young former student. I will remember you fondly. I am fortunate to have known you. Much love to A.J.’s family and friends. My thoughts are with each of you, and I care.