Dacusville crime watch set to kick off

DACUSVILLE — A sleepy Pickens County community that has been rocked by multiple tragic killings over the past 14 months will soon be a little more protected with help from its own residents.

Local residents are invited to attend a kickoff event for the Dacusville-area crime watch at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Dacusville Community Center.

The event will be hosted by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office and the Dacusville Business Association to kick off a community-wide crime watch for the greater Dacusville area.

At the event, Pickens County Sheriff’s Office officials will provide residents with information about the most common crimes committed in Pickens County and introduce residents to the sheriff’s office community watch initiative.

Anyone interested in participating in the crime watch or helping to lead the effort is encouraged to attend.

For more information or a copy of the crime watch pamphlet, contact Dacusville Business Association president Henry Wilson at (864) 643-8352 or

Although a historically low-crime area, Dacusville was thrust into the spotlight after three deadly shooting incidents in a 10-month period spanning from May 2013 to March of this year.

First, police found two children dead and their father shot in bed following a wreck in Dacusville on May 14, 2013. The children’s mother, 35-year-old Suzanna Simpson, was charged with killing 5-year-old Sawyer Simpson and 7-year-old Carly Simpson and trying to kill her husband, 34-year-old Michael Simpson.

On Jan. 26 of this year, sheriff’s office deputies responded to reports of a shooting on Devon Court in Dacusville and found 38-year-old Shane Williams dead of three gunshot wounds. Police later charged Williams’ wife, Crystal Williams, 34, and her friend Marcus Johnson, 35, with murdering Williams to collect a $250,000 life insurance policy.

Two months later, on March 25, Dacusville resident Travis Scott Whitman was shot and killed by his wife during a domestic dispute. No charges were filed in the case, as 13th Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins said self-defense laws applied to the case. The couple had a volatile history, according to investigators, and Whitman had pleaded guilty to domestic violence earlier that same day in Greenville.