Man charged with Anchorage woman's murder

Posted: Friday, January 24, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage man has been charged with the murder of a woman found dead Wednesday in the East Anchorage apartment they shared.

Lorene S. Boehly, the 60-year-old woman found dead Wednesday inside her East Anchorage condo, was beaten so violently with a frying pan by her boyfriend that the pan shattered, Anchorage police said Thursday.

William E. Willett, 55, confessed to the beating death of Lorene S. Boehly, 60, said Anchorage Detective Bob Glen. Willett made his confession while at Providence Alaska Medical Center, where he is recovering from a drug overdose, Glen said.

Willett was charged Thursday evening with first-degree murder.

Boehly was a counselor for the Veterans Administration Homeless Domiciliary Program, which helps street veterans make a better life for themselves. When she didn't show up for work Wednesday, a friend went to check on her but was unable to make contact and called police. Officers showed up at Boehly's College Alps condo on Mills Drive with a locksmith at about 2 p.m. and found her dead in the living room and Willett drifting in and out of consciousness.

Willett was rushed to the hospital.

''He tried to kill himself,'' Glen said. ''That's what he told me.''

Willett beat Boehly in the head with a frying pan after the couple got into an argument, Glen said.

''There's no history of violence between them'' as far as police know, he said. The frying pan was recovered in pieces, Glen said.

Willett is charged with tampering with evidence for trying to clean up the scene and for covering the victim's body, Glen said.

Boehly, Anchorage's third homicide victim this year, was a longtime employee of the VA Hospital, said Alex Spector, director of the Alaska VA Health Care System.

''The love she showed to veterans living on the streets helped them to change their lives around. She was loved by the staff and the veterans she worked with, and she'll be greatly missed by this tragedy,'' Spector said.

Willett is being held on $100,000 bail, police said.

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