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.