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Exciting news today with Monterey County District Attorney Dean Flippo’s announcement that Charles Holifield will be charged with murder in connection with the Peninsula’s most notorious unsolved crime, the June 1998 slaying of 13-year-old Christina Williams at Fort Ord.

Holifield has been in prison for nearly two decades for the attempted gunpoint kidnapping of a Marina woman two months after Christina disappeared while walking her dog. He has long been considered the prime suspect in her killing, which has been the subject of intense investigation by local authorities and the FBI. At a news conference Thursday, Flippo said DNA evidence is what finally made the case against Holifield. He would not elaborate, saying it would come out in court.

It appeared several times over the years that an arrest could be imminent, most recently in 2010. That year, a federal grand jury was convened to reexamine the evidence against Holifield. Among those called to testify was former Monterey Herald reporter John DeSantis, who had written a compelling story implicating Holifield in 1999. Among other things, DeSantis spelled out other assaults linked to Holifield and bearing strong resemblance to the Williams case.

Because of his other crimes, Holifield was a suspect early in the Williams investigation but he was essentially cleared by alibi. He and relatives described how he had been at work the day the girl disappeared and they provided investigators with a detailed accounting of his various comings and goings. DeSantis’s article, however, poked a giant hole in the alibi by establishing that Holifield’s movements couldn’t have been as described because President Bill Clinton was on the Peninsula that day and his motorcade would have made some of Holifield’s movements impossible to have occurred as he and associates described them.

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  • Carol Voss April 6, 2017, 6:22 pm

    Thought it was interesting that anchor Dan Green did the feature story on the news tonite instead of Felix Cortez who apparently has followed the story for years.

  • david fairhurst April 6, 2017, 10:16 pm

    Still not a happy ending to a very sad story. I met the former area FBI “head” a short time after this vile monstrosity (and won’t share his name). I think not solving this case was the most upsetting thing to him in his career and desires for justice. I hope that at least some that were hurt so deeply can now get some sense of “closer” and heal, as they can.

  • Peggy Johnson April 7, 2017, 10:34 am

    I came face-to-face with the perp. the day before the murder, and called the tip line, but the tip probably wasn’t acted upon because it happened on the wrong day. I estimated his age to be older than it was, but at first I thought he might have been a coach (probably due to his large neck) when I saw him smile broadly toward a couple of young boys, but they didn’t seem to know him at all. Then my creepy feeling simultaneously with his abrupt realization of my presence resulted in a complete change in his demeanor, and rapid right turn from California onto Reservation Road.

  • Susan Ragsdale-Cronin April 8, 2017, 10:06 am

    My opinion is that not only is this monster guilty of violent acts against women and children… he is also responsible for the absence of kids playing outside in their neighborhoods. The fear that this man has brought to our community is immeasurable.