In Memorial

Bill Callison

Bill Callison Oct. 22, 1941 - Dec. 11, 2008 Bill attended Central Kitsap High School where he was the Student Body President in 1959. He earned a National Merit Scholarship to attend Stanford University, graduating in 1963 with a degree in Political Science. He received a Master's degree in Far East Studies from UC Berkeley in 1965. Bill lived in the SF Bay Area for most of his adult life. He was active in the Peace and Freedom Party and ran for U.S. Congress for the 7th District in the November 2008 election. Bill had many interests. He was very active in the peace movement and was a tireless advocate for working people's rights.

Bill Callison's earlier history includes a successful Supreme Court case in which he was recognized as a conscientious objector to military service despite not being a member of an organized religion, and working as founding editor (1967) of The Bond, the first anti-war newspaper for soldiers.

Bill Callison Obituary

Bill Callison Obituary

PFP- Bill's Biography

Friends of Hanging Victim Allege He Was Lynched

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Timonthy Lee

Timothy Lee UNK - Nov 2, 1985 The most grisly event occurred last Nov. 2, in a vacant lot near one of the new office towers adjoining the BART station. On that mud-caked piece of land, an off-duty security guard found the body of a young black man hanging from the branch of an old fig tree.

Police ruled the man’s death a suicide. But local black leaders and some white residents are convinced that 23-year-old Timothy Charles Lee was lynched--perhaps by a splinter of the Ku Klux Klan.

NAACP got FBI to investigate. Lee’s death came not 12 hours after a pair of white-robed white men knifed two black teen-agers a few blocks away--has touched off an ugly controversy in what was recently lauded as one of the least stressful cities in the nation.

The suspects in the Nov. 2 stabbings that preceded Lee’s death contend that their white robes, with accurate Klan markings, were merely costumes worn to a Halloween party. The existence of such a party has not been established.

Lee had left his San Francisco job that day happy and hopeful, friends and co-workers said. He worked part time in a fabric design store while taking classes at the San Francisco Academy of Art; he had recently won a grant to study fashion design in Italy.

Friends speculate that after leaving work, Lee visited several bars in town, a position supported by the .13% level of alcohol later found in his blood. (A level of .10% is the legal criterion for drunk driving.) After socializing for several hours, Lee boarded a BART train for the 15-mile ride home to Berkeley. On the train, however, he fell asleep and missed his stop. He did not awaken until 1 a.m., when the train reached the end of the line, 25 miles down the track in Concord. He then discovered that he had missed the final train of the night back to Berkeley. He was stranded. Lee relayed this story to several friends he called in a fruitless attempt to find someone with a car who could pick him up. It was the last time any of them would hear from him.

The coroner’s report concluded that Lee died between 6 and 8 a.m. that morning by hanging himself with a black nylon web strap from a rucksack he was carrying. His jacket was tucked neatly into a crook of the tree, according to a police report. His wallet was found 36 feet away. The rucksack rested at the base of the tree. Nearby was an envelope on which was scrawled a apparent suicide note, However note misspelled his own and his friends names.

William Callison, a white man who told police he received an anonymous threatening telephone call after he went to the FBI and challenged the coroner’s conclusion that Lee had committed suicide.

Racial Friction in Concord : Lynching or Suicide? A City Is Gripped by Tension