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Murder victim's daughter: 'I never really knew my dad'

2:25 AM, May 17, 2013   |    comments
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  • William Hill left behind a wife and two daughters.
    
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  • ATLANTA -- Fifteen years after one of the most ruthless killings in metro Atlanta, the case is cold, still unsolved.

    The victim, William Hill, left behind a wife and two daughters. He is gone but not forgotten.

    "We know a lot about the case, we don't know a lot about who did it," said FBI Special Agent Stephen Emmett.

    William Hill was 52 years old when he was killed on May 6, 1998. He left behind a wife, Rita, and two daughters, Jasmine, 2 and Jaime, 4.

    Now Jasmine is 17 and she said it bothers her that she never really knew her father.

    "A lot of kids are kind of ungrateful nowadays," she said. "They hate their parents and I'm like, well, I never really knew my dad so it's kind of hard for me."

    Jasmine said she and her sister Jaime, who is in college, got more curious about their father's death as they grew older.

    "We were always looking through old pictures and newspapers, Googling what happened that day trying to figure out what really, really happened," she said.

    Hill's wife Rita remembers it vividly.

    "I remember trying to call him (that day) and he would always return my phone call," she said.

    But that day, William Hill never returned his wife's call. He was lying dead in the Roswell-Wieuca shopping center parking lot on Roswell Road. Investigators who worked the case would later call it the coldest murder they ever saw. Some of them said they have nightmares about it to this day.

    "It was very disheartening to see the cruelty of that type of a cold-blooded murder," Emmett said.

    William Hill, who was a Marine, worked for Alliance Security for five years. He filled ATM's with cash.

    It was the middle of the day, broad daylight, when he pulled his van up to the SouthTrust stand-alone ATM in the shopping center. He got out of his van and witnesses saw his head explode. William Hill fell to the ground and died instantly. He never knew what happened.

    Rita Hill found out when she called a secretary at Alliance.

    "I called the office and she was the one that gave me the news," she said. "It didn't register and I'm like, I cannot believe what I'm hearing."

    Her daughter Jasmine still can't understand why.

    "It wasn't necessary to kill someone, not necessarily because he's my father, but anyone period," she said.

    The FBI would later map out what happened. When Hill pulled up to the ATM there was a pickup truck with a camper shell on the back parked 70 feet away. When Hill got out of the truck, a shot from a high powered rifle came from the back of the pickup truck hitting Hill in the head. "One shot, one kill" is the sniper term.

    "We believe they were laying in wait, they knew that he would be there and killed him in cold blood," Emmett said.

    A witness, who was horrified by what he saw, gave investigators a description of a man who calmly walked up to Hill's body, grabbed two canisters of cash Hill was carrying, and walked back to the truck and drove off. He stole about $70,000.

    What baffled police was when they arrived at the scene, Hill's van was wide open and 14 more canisters were still sitting there. The suspect could have stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars more.

    "There was a lot of money at the scene and only a portion of it taken by that individual," Emmett said.

    Minutes after the heist the pickup truck, a Ford Ranger, was found torched in the parking lot of a nearby condominium complex. The camper shell was melted, revealing several bales of pine straw that lined the truck. The FBI thinks the pine straw provided the shooter with cover and sound suppression.

    The truck was stolen in Gwinnett County several months before the shooting. Whoever stole it had the camper shell installed. They also put a stolen plate on it. The truck was taken to the GBI crime lab but forensic technicians found no evidence. It was wiped clean of finger prints.

    Fifteen years later, the FBI, Atlanta Police and Rita Hill are not giving up hope that the suspects will be caught.

    "Someone that has heard something, whether they're a family member or a co-worker or a cell mate, we'll take that information however we can get it," Emmett said.

    "He was a real man," Rita Hill said. "He took care of business, he took care of his family and he wasn't disliked by anybody, so he was one in a million."

    An arrest would mean a lot to her and to the two daughters who barely knew him, who are grateful for the short time with him.

    "I really want to know why they did it," Jasmine Hill said. "What was the reason behind it?"

    "They took away a father, a husband and a gem and it didn't have to turn out that way because he would have given them the money," Rita Hill said.

    If you know anything about the William Hill case call the FBI at 404-679-9000 or Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-TIPS (8477).

    You can follow Kevin on Twitter @kgrowson

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