Police: West Bank Street murder not random, motive still unclear

  • Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2013 12:30 a.m.
    UPDATED: Thursday, March 21, 2013 12:34 a.m.

SALISBURY — Neighbors say a 68-year-old man who was found stabbed in his West Bank Street home kept to himself. Salisbury Police are trying to determine who killed William Allen Henderson, who was found by a caretaker inside a common room in the rear of the home.

Cedric Withers, who lives several houses away from the 1405 W. Bank St. home, said Henderson drove to work, to church and came home. He was unsure of where Henderson worked or attended church.

“I’ve been knowing him for years. He didn’t bother anybody,” Withers said.

Withers said he never saw a lot of people enter and leave Henderson’s home. In fact, he said Henderson was a very private person.

“He was good. It boggles my mind that somebody would stab him,” he said.

Investigators have not released a motive, but Withers speculated his neighbor was killed as the result of a robbery.

“He didn’t have an enemy. He was a good person. He didn’t start anything,” Withers said.

Some knew Henderson as Billy. Melvin D. Lentz went to school with him at the former Monroe Street School, which was then an African American public school. They later attended J.C. Price High School, just across the street.

Lentz said he and Henderson were in the school’s marching band together.

“Billy was our drum major,” Lentz said.

He said Henderson didn’t participate in sports, but he was known as someone who made people laugh. Lentz believed Henderson had family in the area, but was unsure. It appears Henderson lived alone.

Lentz and Withers, who were chatting in Withers’ front yard Wednesday evening, said they found out about Henderson’s death from news reports. Investigators have said Henderson was stabbed multiple times.

One neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said as long as he’s been living in the area, there’s not been any violence of this kind. He also said he rarely saw Henderson.

Although investigators say the motive is unclear, they don’t believe the crime was a random attack.

Salisbury Police were sent to the home at 7:34 p.m. Tuesday. Police Chief Rory Collins said the victim had a medical condition, but he did not describe what type. A caretaker called 911, Collins said.

Henderson was stabbed, but Collins did not say where or how many times. He said invesstigators are awaiting an autopsy report.

There was no sign of forced entry into the home, Collins said. He could not say if any items were taken from the home.

Collins said the investigation is continuing and more details will be released later.

The last violent crime the police investigated in Salisbury, Collins said, was more than a year ago.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Salisbury Police at 704-638-5333 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245. These calls may be made anonymously.

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