Everybody Loses


Devon, 7, and his brother Ian, 3, went to bed on Tues. night to dream the dreams that little boys dream. I don’t know if they lay awake for a time thinking of what they would do on the morrow, or if they lay awake listening to their parents argue. Neither Devon or Ian will tell us what they dreamed. Only their bodies remain to tell us what happened to them.

Wednesday morning about 7:35 am, their mother ran screaming from their home. Neighbors rushed to aid and comfort her. She reportedly told them her husband was injured inside. One neighbor and a deputy entered the home and found her husband Neal Williams, suffering from stab wounds- possibly from a sword. The children were found lying in their bunk beds with no apparent injuries. It is believed they may have been smothered.

According to neighbors, Manling Williams (I’ve also seen written as Man-Ling Tsang Williams) told them she had gone food shopping late on Tues. night and returned to find her husband injured. However, neighbors say she did not appear dressed to go shopping and they thought they could smell alcohol on her. Police have said there was no signs of forced entry to the home. And they have said they found incriminating evidence in her car. They have also said she has admitted that there were problems at home and have said she made incriminatory statements, more recent articles say that she has confessed.

Man-ling Williams worked as a waitress in a restaurant since Oct. A friend and co-worker reportedly called her on Tues. night and the two went to the restaurant and “hung out” for a while. Allegedly she did not disclose any problems at home. Neal Williams remained at home to put the boys to bed. The co-worker has said that Neal Williams worked for an insurance company and spent most of his time at home.  Neal Williams has been described as “reserved” and his mother has said of him

“Neal was a loving father, brother and son,” she said. “I was proud of him. He was friendly, hard working and had a passion for the truth. His boys were the lights of his life.”

His sister has described him as

“My brother was a profound influence in my life. He was a strength and comfort in my times of need and a joy in the good times. He was exceedingly bright, and funny.

Police have arrested Man-ling Williams. On Fri. she was formally charged with the murders of her husband and both her sons. They have also cited special circumstances of lying in wait and multiple murders. By citing special circumstances, she could be eligible for the death penalty.

latimes.com     cbs2.com    sgvtribune.com   myfoxla.com

sgvtribune.com   whittierdailynews.com  sgvtribune.com

Two little boys will never wake, never smile, won’t go to school or play again. Their father will never teach them to drive, will never see them wed, will never know what they would grow up to be, will never be able to mourn them.

Just as friends and family will grieve for the father, so will the friends and family of children grieve for them. Little children are not supposed to understand what death or mourning and grieving is. All they will understand is that they cannot play with Devon and Ian anymore. Many times this will cause anxiety in young children, because if their friends died at their parents hands- could that horror happen to them?

Two little children, what was the “crime” they were killed for? Because they lived or because they carried the blood of the man she allegedly killed.

Reports about the family have varied from they were happy, to reports that he yelled at her, to she yelled at him, to they argued. Many couples argue. Many couples even argue to the point they cannot live together anymore. But if that is the case, a divorce is in order- not murder. Killing does not solve the problem, it only creates others. Killing does not wipe out all evidence of the marriage- even if you kill the issue of the marriage the memories are still there.


The above picture I have added is a very touching picture of Neal, Ian and Devon that was submitted by Neal’s Mom. After seeing the picture and the care Neal is displaying in reading to the boys and their rapt attention to the story I have to say that I agree that her choice of memorial for them is apt.

Neal’s Mom, thank you so much for sharing this treasured picture with us.



  1. Mark said,

    August 13, 2007 at 12:13 am

    She emailed me a couple weeks ago. I had not talked to her in 9 years. She seemed happy. Looking at her myspace she posted a poem in her blog a few weeks ago that looked very depressed. Then a few days later one that seemed to say she had come through her dark times with the help of her friends. she had issues when I knew here but not to this extent of course. I think the depression, probably a bi polar disorder and excessive alcohol to the point of “black out” where you do not any more care about nor realize the consequences of your actions is probably what happened. I have seen people drunk enough to where they barely remember what happened and don’t care if they are mad how far they go. The explanation is not an excuse. I can not abide what she did.

  2. anonymous said,

    August 13, 2007 at 4:39 am

    Well I worked with this girl.When I saw it on the news that she had murdered her family it was very shocking to me. I knew that she was moody and had cried a few times at work,but I didn’t realize the extent to her moodiness. I feel for the family.

  3. maliha11 said,

    August 13, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    that is very shameful that a women could get so moody that she would wipe out her life like that !!! what was the fault of the kids .. she could of left them out of it… that is just complete selfishness.

    i feel bad for the family my sympathies go out to them

  4. johnjacobs said,

    August 13, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    I think she murdered her own two children, because they witnessed the horrifying murder. I believe she attacked her husband while he was asleep. A person can not die instantly from a stab wound, so the husband must of tried to run away. While ling was butchering her husband the kids must of awoke from the agonizing screams. Kids their age 3 and 7 are capable of telling what they saw. Out of fear of being caught she must of smothered the first child while the other one watched in horror, then second. I truly hope she doesn’t get the death penalty but LIFE in prison so she can suffer more and not get the easy way out from death. I want her to think about what she did for the rest of her life in a cell with hardcore criminals.

  5. Boo(Duh) said,

    August 13, 2007 at 7:43 pm

    I always thought that I would feel a righteous burning anger in the face of this kind of tragedy. I always thought any sympathy I could have felt for a mother in this situation would melt away in my wrath over what was done to her family. You hear about these type of events on the news, but you never imagine that it could possibly hit so close to home. They used to bring Devon to my house to play with my daughter when they were babies. I cannot be angry at her right now. I am sure that the anger will come, but right now I am simply grieving for Neal and the Boys, and for her. The woman I knew could never do what she is accused of doing. I feel a lot of pain for her. Can you imagine being so desperate, feeling so isolated, so out of control that THIS seemed like an option? That THIS seemed like the only way out? I can only pray that no one would ever find themselves in that dark place. For the rest of her life, regardless of how long that life may be, everything will be about *what she did* not *who she is*. I cannot justify what she did. I cannot condone what she did. I cannot understand what she did. I also cannot Judge. It is not my place. I am sure that at some point my grief for the family (to me it feels just the same as if the whole family had died. I cannot accept that the woman who is in jail now is the same woman I shared dinners and birthday parties with) will turn to anger. At some point I will question how a mother could do something so brutal to her own children. At some point I will feel the righteous burning, but not yet. Now I am still numb. Now I am still in shock. The pain is too great to quantify. I believe that the woman who murdered Neal and the Boys is NOT the woman I know. I believe that for the length of time it took for this atrocity to unfold, she was not herself. I don’t know how, I don’t know why. I long for rationalization. I long for explanation, I long for closure. I cannot summon the physical, brutal, palpable anger I always thought I would feel. I am blazingly, searingly, numbly grief stricken.

  6. one sad mommy said,

    August 14, 2007 at 4:09 am

    I don’t know what to think right now. I knew the family through Devon’s school. My son also attended with him. I heard him talk non-stop about his friend Devon. I met them many times, and they even came over as a couple with Devon to let my son and Devon play together. We laughed with them and watched the boys play–it was so nice. We ran into them many times around town and at school functions, and it was always so pleasant to be around them. I cannot believe that the women that I saw, the loving mother, could do such a thing–what makes a person snap like that? Desperation? Drugs? Depression?

    This has torn this small community up. My son is devastated, and I haven’t even told him the whole story. All he knows is that something bad happened at Devon’s house and that Devon’s won’t be coming back to school this year. Of course my son has questions–but I am only answering what he has asked. He went to school today and said that he heard that Devon got stabbed with a sword. I told him that it wasn’t true and Devon went to sleep and didn’t wake up (oh, I hope that it is true. I can’t think of it any other way). But I told him that something like that happened to his father, and you could just see the color drain from his little face. This just opened the door to a whole round of questions, many that I just couldn’t bear to answer completely. How do you tell a child that his friend was probably murdered by his own mother? You don’t. No 7-year-old should ever know this kind of terror or evil. We’re just heartsick, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Williams family right now.

  7. Ling's friend said,

    August 14, 2007 at 6:43 am

    I dont know how to tell my son either, they’re running around the house, up and down, Devon always share his toys with my son, and little Ian couldn’t keep up with them with they running but he liked to follow.. Devom and my son were born at the same hospital, just 2days apart.. Ling’s my son’s God mother..

    My husband and I tryed not to talk about what happened in front of my son, cus we dont know how to tell him..

    As a mother, i can not understand “why”..
    As Ling’s friend, I wanna ask “WHY??”

    I dont understand why she’s not call out for help, let us help her to work throught those darkness..
    What kind of problemes she has make her feel so helpless or made her lose contral to done such thing??

    I was cutting Devon’s hair when he ready 1st drage last year, he told Ling he wanted have spike hair style ( usually Ling would just gave him bowl cut ), so I went to their’s house then cut Devon’s hair.. He just sit on chair not move a bit, til i finished his cut, then run up took shower and put gel and show me his new look, he was so happy.. Ian …. couldnt sit long time, I could only shave his hair off cus he kept moving i conldn’t gave him any style..

    I remember each one of them’s smile…

    I don’t know Neal much, cus he’s quiet and I’m not good at English with him.. He is a good father, he is..

    When i knew Ling quitted her job to help Neal sell insurance, I was asking Ling how ccould they make for living? Ling said they still had some saving and when Neal build up his own customers, then everything will be fine..

    She believed in Neal so much, but i think they didn’t get what they plan to get, last thing i knew that Ling got a job as waitress at city of industry.. We went to see her once when she at work, it’s look she’s fine, til last wed, then i knew.. they gone forever..

    First i was angry, cus kids, they’re so young, what they done wrong? why that happened to them?

    Two kids, i met them whe nthey were babies, I watched them grow, Ian even wear my son’s clothes since he’s youngest, but they all gone, even Ling, she’s gone too..

    I feel heavy everytime when i think of them, people who not know about Ling think she’s a such bad mom and wife, but deeply in my heart, she’s not, she’s sweet, helpful and loving and careng person, mom, and wife..

    What happened to her? I want an answer..

  8. Sia said,

    August 14, 2007 at 7:10 am

    Everyone in the world is connected by 6 degrees. At least thats what is said. I never really knew her but within those 6 degrees I am connected. It’s kind of crazy to think about what happened. Its hard to put the pieces together. Since no one really knows what happened, there is a lot of speculation. I think what happens is that people start guessing things and people start believing them and thus a story develops which may or may not necessarily be true. It just makes me wonder what could go so wrong that would make a person kill the person they married or your very own kids. That’s what hits me the most. How can something go that bad that you could do that to someone. It just doesn’t solve anything. Taking your family’s life doesn’t solve anything. It’s really sad. And to be fair to those who did know her and say that people shouldn’t think that she’s such a bad person, people need to take that into consideration. The kids and the husband were victims but she is a victim too. She seemed to have lost herself. Whatever it was, she was unable to climb out of it. How did no one see the signs? Was she depressed? Did she try to reach out to get help yet was ignored? It’s hard to think of it that way, but I think we need to. Take care of your friends and your family members. Get involved and just be there for each other because you never know when someone might slip into the darkness and not return. My regards to the William’s family and to Ling’s family.

  9. JJ said,

    August 14, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    This is a very sad situation. Perhaps she had the Scott Peterson sydrome. Get rid of the current spouse and child(ren), and move on to the next phase of her life. If she were to of gotten away with it she would of been the grieving widow and all the sympathy in the world would be hers. I have no idea if there is another lover, but it just seems like this is something we have seen before in other cases. She could be, and is likely a sociopath who cares about no one but herself. She no longer had use for the current family. How else could you kill your own children.

  10. I knew Man-ling Tseng said,

    August 14, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    I knew Manling in Jr. High and High School and when I say she had problems, she had problems. When I heard about what she did on the news, all I could think to myself was..That poor guy and poor kids. But it did not surprise me in the least even though I have not spoken with her in over 10 years. She was always moody, and drepressed, and had the attitude that she was a victim of society. I have trouble using the word “hate” when referring to anyone, but from the memories I have of her and after hearing what she has done to her husband and her husbands children…I hate her. I wish this were Texas instead of California, they would surely find a fitting punishment for this crime.

  11. Ling's friend said,

    August 15, 2007 at 6:32 am

    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

    It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

    Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

    It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    Love never fails.

  12. sad & lost said,

    August 15, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    WOW where do I egin I am in shock that something so horribble was happening while i was upsatirs in my home literally a hop skip and a jump away~ I really dont care what anyone thinks Ling is obviously a stupid worthless piece of shit. How could someone hurt their children, I mean as well as the husband the way she stabbed him over 49 times that was some deep anger. How sick!!! There were so many other options if she was so unhappy in her life. She could have for one gotten in her car drove off and never returned that would have been so much better for those three that suffered. She could have gottena divorce and given Neal custody if she did not want her boys. Neal was ana amazing Dad We would always see him outside playing with the boys, we hardly ever saw her….and yeah yeah her friends can say it is because she was wroking to support him that is a crock of shit he did his part. Those poor little boys all I can continue to think is how can you stand over your kids and suffocaite them as they resist or as you hear them gasp for air what a horendous thing!!! Why does God give evil sick women like this kids ?? I honestly hope that some big bad ass woman in jail gives her a daily beating to remind her of the horrible pain se put her husband and her kids thru…..I dont want them to kill her because she needs to suffer!!! I hope they beat her ass every day and I hope it gets worse every day for her. I do not feel bad for her like others have said why would you. I feel bad for Neals family Devon & Ians friends who will never be able to run on the playground with him i feel sorry for that baseball team that Devon would have played with next season. I feel sorry for this neighborhood that is in shambles.

  13. tom said,

    August 16, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    I agree with the last comment. She is satan in a human form, and (edited per HSH) The only sympathy i have is for neal, devon, ian and neals family. (edited per HSH)? How can anyone have so much anger in another? Just because her husband didn’t make good money doesn’t mean she had the right to take his life. What did the kids do? If Manling wasn’t close to her kids then there is a reason. Bad mother vs good father, of course the kids are closer to neal. To one of the replies in the sgv tribune DONT be accusing neal as a bad father. You don’t know that so (edited per HSH)!!

  14. Boo(Duh) said,

    August 17, 2007 at 12:22 am

    Tom – based on the things you have posted here and on Crime Scene, I am going to make an assumption. Ridiculous I know, I remember the saying about assumption. However, with that being said, I am going to assume that you are a friend of Neal’s. It seems to me that you are very angry over his death, and trust me, I understand that. I loved Neal. I loved the boys. Neal was a sweet, loving, caring, intelligent, fun guy, who as far as I know only ever brought joy into the world. I have been obsessively following all the comments, I just can’t help it. I believe that everyone who has speculated in a negative fashion regarding Neal’s character obviously never met Neal. Don’t let it get to you. Those people don’t know. You seem to be struggling to deal with this, and in your pain lashing out at everything you read that makes you feel as though the focus has shifted from Neal and the Boys to Ling. It’s painful. I am just as guilty as anyone else of focusing my comments on Ling, and not on Neal and the Boys. Devon was an amazing child. He was my daughters first friend. Neal as far as I knew was an amazing father. I wish that I could come up with a way to memorialize them permanently, but at this point all I can do is keep my memories close to me. Take comfort, Tom. No one can understand or belittle how you feel, it is yours and yours alone.

  15. AJ said,

    August 17, 2007 at 5:39 am

    I knew Manling and Neal about 7 years ago. Though we might not be very close, but enough time for me to know the family: Neal, Devon, Ian and Manling.

    First, neither Neal nor Manling are bad person. Devon was a very very nice boy. I did not have time to know Ian as he was too young.

    Neal had been working for Disney for years. Although with good benefits, the income and future was not bright enough. As a father of two, he still took the step to try to do something new – becoming a Primerica agent. To do this I found he studied very hard and able to get one license after another in a short time. Manling, a person with easy-going and bright personality, had started working together to bring leads to Neal. She went to malls, gas stations to talk to people she met, basically “cold calling”. They approached me more than a year ago. I found no reason not to let a couple I knew, who worked hard and striving to make their lives better to take care of my insurance. And that was the last time I met them together.

    Then the shocking news came. For more than a week I could not emotionally accept that Neal and two kids were gone. I believe all couple might have problems. I don’t know what had happened in last one year, but why the kids? Why? It makes no sense at all after all the efforts and sacrifices they had done. It makes no sense. I just hope God can bless their souls.

  16. Friend and Mentor of Neal and Ling said,

    August 17, 2007 at 6:13 am

    I recruited Ling and Neal into Primerica. They were my friends. I followed up with them for over a year because I wanted to help them. Neal was so bright and kind. A little shy, but wanted to do something big for his family. I remember when he came to an event. Someone with the same name as him, a once warehouse worker now successful business man, inspired him. I could see the hope in his eyes. I believed in them and loved them. They became my friends and over the years, were there for me, in my personal life as well. I since moved on, needing more stability for me and my daughter, as Primerica works better for two people working together. I haven’t talked to them in a while, but still considered them my friends. When I heard the news, I was hit by a wave of shock. I agree with Lings friends, you would never ever in a million years think that she was capable of this. I agree with the anger in those who don’t know her, I just feel shock, and agony over the loss of Neal and the boys. But I cannot stop just trying to understand what happened to her. She must have had a psychotic breakdown. It’s like something evil crawled inside her mind, and the Ling we knew was gone. I don’t think we will ever understand this side of Heaven. God have mercy on her soul.

  17. N/A said,

    August 18, 2007 at 6:11 am

    I worked with Neal at Disney and i knew him the whole time he worked there although at first he was quiet and on breaks sat in the back smoked and read his book… kept to himself but after a while with working with him i found one of the greastest sense of humor ever…and one of the kindest people… even though he has been gone from disney for a couple of years he kept in contact with a few people and became a very good friend and i met ling a couple of times and whatnot. but i would never have guessed anything like this could happen… i knew they had some problems but like it has been said over and over who doesn’t…. and you never expect it to happen to one of your friends…. i’m still in shock and dazed… that first night i actually called his cell phone thought it was some kinda sick joke…. but all i can say i know he loved those boys he talked about them all the time in fact i remember when ian was born… anywayy i can say once you were at disney for so long you remain part of the disney family the lose of Neal has been felt in a big way at Disney and we will always remember him. and from everyone at disney we send our thoughts and prayers to the family…. And him and his boys are truley one with the force! and the comment above, it is true. people just snap sometimes to the point where they don’t realize what they are doing…

  18. Kim said,

    August 18, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    What a sad story. I’ve personally seen other families in my city destroyed by Primerica. How? Because so many of these agents are tied to a dream that will never come true…they spend their days recruiting and trying to “sell the dream”, but then they come home without a paycheck. The spouse waits at home, hoping for things to pick up, but they never do. In the end, it takes something dramatic for the agent to wake up and see the futility of effort- bankruptcy, divorce or worse, as we’ve seen here.

  19. Jason said,

    August 19, 2007 at 1:11 am


    I knew a guy who almost got on the same path with Neal. He is a friend of him and ready to sign up with Primerica. Because most of people he met at the meetings seemed all going the same direction: part time agent, then quit their day job to be a full time agent…

    However, he told me because he has done cold calling (sweeping the street) for AT&T before, he said he finally decided not to put the family’s finance at risk. He took a low pay job and moved on.

    Maybe there should be a blog talks about families affected by these companies using direct marketing method selling big dreams to people and not being able to look at the social responsibility of what they are portraying to people and what happen to those who did not see the dream they were sold.

    I have attended meetings that sell big rich dreams. They often sell natural health food, aloe vera, etc. All of them promise a short path to “financial freedom”, but what are the impacts to families who bought the story and eventually not able to make it.


  20. Ling's friend said,

    August 19, 2007 at 4:05 am

    Yeah, my husband was went to those kind of meetings with Neal and Manling before, then he told me when he back from the meeting..

    It’s a beautiful dream, but hard to come true..

    So when I know Neal and Manling both made that as full-time job, I was worry…


  21. a said,

    August 22, 2007 at 5:06 am

    “If it is too good to be true….”. No such thing as a free ride or making money for little or no effort. To stop these companies from doing that is not to fall for their tactics. Like the saying ” sucker born every minute”….. It pisses me off that people become parents and do not think how it would effect them in the future. Children are not some idea they are a reality. Big dreams don’t take care of children. Parents need to make sacrifices to make sure their children are taken care of mentally,physically, and financially.

  22. tom said,

    August 24, 2007 at 11:39 pm

    so what do you get when you sign up for primerica??? I’m sure they probably give u a website one T shirt and a folder right?? Those probably costed him a good 700 to 800 dollars. I’ve been to those scams myself also. Companies like that should be illegal in the US. They scam people into believeing they’ll be rich by their retarded ideas. Those companies file bankruptcy after they have scammed a certain amount of money. The CEO’s of these companies should be brought to justice for FRAUD.

  23. Bob said,

    August 26, 2007 at 12:17 pm

    You people are actual idiots. How can you justify going to a job everyday making a little bit of money and working in a jail cell from 9 2 5 2 65 then retire broke….have a great life!

  24. sad said,

    August 27, 2007 at 4:06 am

    I dont get what Bob is getting @! Four lives are gone, a lesson from all of this should be to treat and value others with respect. At the very least! Please remember those sweet boys are gone please use this page to help people deal with that issue and not to ague personal feeings on pyramid scams.

  25. Friend and Mentor of Neal and Ling said,

    August 28, 2007 at 2:04 am

    I agree. I never intended to bring the company we worked for into this. I only wanted to say that I knew them, cared about them, believed in them, mentored them, and did my best to help them believe that no matter what they did in this life, that they could have great things happen for them. Is that wrong? Could that really be to blame for what happened here? You might as well blame the author of every success program in the world, because they all say the same thing. Work hard, believe in your dreams, and don’t quit. How is that message a scam? You cannot blame a company or a dream for the extreme behavior that took place in this situation. The company never said it’s easy, you have to work harder than a job to make it and it takes time and dedication, like any other business. It’s exactly like that movie “The Pursuit of Happyness” with Will Smith. If you haven’t seen it, you should. You might understand who Neal was and what he was after a bit more. My point was that I believed in him, and he could have made it. I’ve seen many do it. And for the time he spent there, he was able to become a better man because of it. What happened to Ling was beyond what a dream, any dream, can do to someone. What happened to this family is psychosis and bipolar disorder. NOT a dream. Although I learned something here. You cannot take credit for people’s success nor can you blame yourself for their actions. It hurts to see someone I had so much hope for, pass on in such a tragic way. I know we are all in different stages of grief, from anger, to depression, to confusion. I would just pray for the peace that passes all understanding. May you all be comforted by the Spirit of God in who’s arms the Williams boys are now.

  26. August 28, 2007 at 2:53 am

    I have been watching this thread closely and it seems that some of the participants are familiar with the employment (I am not, to me get rich schemes scare me because they ask for too much and do not guarantee any results.) But like many of life’s decisions, that was a choice. The Williams’ made a choice to try it- that was their right, they were not forced into that employment. And at any point, they could have withdrawn.
    Could it have been a stressor on the family? Yes. But most families have stressors and they deal with them. If the job was a stressor, then getting another job or her going to work as she did might have been a solution. Finances are one type of stressor, marital discord, and just daily efforts are other stressors, but there are other more permanent stressors like health problems that don’t result in a situation like this. Why she did it, what she was thinking, what led up to it is something that only she could possibly tell- and even she may not completely know. But basically it does come down to the fact that she did do it. Not the job, not the stressors- she made the choice and took the action.

  27. Friend and Mentor of Neal and Ling said,

    August 28, 2007 at 4:44 am

    Thank you. Yes. She did make a choice. She will have to deal with what she did. And for the rest of us just trying to deal with the aftermath, we can deliberate all we want, but again, we will never truly get it. We can blame, we can try to pick it apart, we can vent, but we can’t do anything about it at this point. All we can do now is grieve. I cried at work today. I just couldn’t hold it back. I am going through depression, anger, crying, denial, and all the rest. We are all gonna go through this. It’s just not the same as losing a friend in a car accident or something. This is a whole different realm. It’s hard because for me, they weren’t immediate family. So I am expected to just get over it and get back to my life. But it just cut so deep. I am functioning, but it’s like carrying around this hole in my chest. The only thing I can say is that it hurts. Really bad.

  28. Classmate of Ling said,

    September 2, 2007 at 12:46 am

    I went to jr and high school with Man-Ling. We were pretty close in jr high but kind of went our own way in high school. Though she exaggerated on many things in our teen years, she was a good girl who simply just needed some love and attention. When I heard the news of her family, I was in shock. I couldn’t believe the girl I went to school with was charged with such a horrendous crime. What I don’t understand is why she simply didn’t just walk away from the family but instead had to kill. And what really puzzles me is why kill her kids. Devon and Ian were her blood, as a mother, am angry that she took their lives. I have kids and I would do anything to protect them.

  29. AJ said,

    September 2, 2007 at 7:34 am

    It has been two weeks since last time I visited this page. I see people brought the discussion to the multi-level marketing company. It is good to see the blog host brought it back to what we can only talk about:

    1. Grief to the loss of our friends.
    2. Giving Ling more of a fair chance by telling our actual experience with her that she was not a bad person. But still face the fact she did it.
    3. Try to find out what made Ling did such a thing we would never believed she was capable or even thinking of doing it.

    Even we eventually got the answer, the tragic lost of three families (Neal’s, Williams, Tsengs) cannot be recovered.

    It hurts me still every time I think of them. Because a year ago I met them the family was so excited with the progress they had made in the new financial service career.

  30. sad said,

    September 5, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    It appals me that this blog became a bash against Primamerica. I am a friend of Neals mother. She lived and breathed for those kids. I never personally knew the kids, Neal, or Manling, but I felt like I did. I knew every milestone that they hit, everthing. There was never a grandmother that loved her kids more than Neals mother. To think that Manling was selfish enough to kill her family. Manling was having an affair. She had spent the previous weekend with a man out of town.. (This is not a rumor this is directly from the man’s mouth, confirmed) She did this in total selfishness, and should suffer eternally for what she did

  31. A said,

    September 6, 2007 at 6:12 am

    Both kids had friends too. It is awful that these very young children now have to deal with the death of a friend. Along with knowledge that a mother caused the death. These are things that children should not have to deal with.

  32. Anonymous said,

    September 6, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    I have been following this for a while, what is this about the affair posted in #30.?

    does anyone have any inside info? or theories?

  33. AJ said,

    September 16, 2007 at 8:58 am

    Ok. About the “affair” posting. So far, I treat it as a rumor.

    Would someone trying to divert (or imply)this matter, or case, to a third party that might heavily envolved?

    For “sad” I would suggest you go to the authority and identify yourself and your source. Because your statement here is implying a. motive b. third party

    Still, It is hard to believe a mother can do this to her children. Not a normal behavior, whether she is having an affair or under extreme financial stress. I believe the four residents in that house are all good people.

  34. Anonymous said,

    September 26, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    She pleaded not guilty…???
    I bet they are going for insanity.

  35. September 26, 2007 at 8:17 pm

    Unless they are taking a plea, almost all plead not guilty in the initial formalities.

  36. Anonymous said,

    September 27, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    Ok I see, thanks. I was just expecting her to plead guilty out remorse for what she has done, (I am assuming she did it). But I guess she is going to try and fight it. I wonder if she showed any emotion or if she has talk to anyone about what happened and why she did it…

  37. Neal's Mom said,

    November 14, 2007 at 7:41 am

    I only just ran across this site, as I have not really been up to reading about this until now. I see the thread has died out, but I want to say that I appreciate all the words of support and concern. We are all just as bewildered and shocked as all of you seem to be – still just as much now in November as you were in August. We haven’t been given much more info than you have gathered from the papers. I have been told that we may never know all the whys in this case. What went on in Ling’s head only she can tell. But even if we did know why, would the reason ever be good enough? Neal, Devon and Ian deserved a rich full life, and it breaks my heart to think of all we could have shared with them in the years to come.

  38. November 14, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    Neal’s Mom, I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers have been with your family. No, knowing why would not bring Neal, Devon and Ian back, and that is the only thing that would be good enough.

  39. a friend said,

    November 19, 2007 at 6:54 am

    I was just wondeing what is going on with Ling’s trial. Does anyone know if she has admitted anything? Is she crazy? Does she realize what a horrible thing she did? My heart goes out to everyone involved. Three lives taken, I guess will never get an answer that will explain any of this

  40. Neal's Mom said,

    November 30, 2007 at 6:16 am

    There was a hearing today, but the matter was continued until January because the defense said they need more time to prepare. Next scheduled hearing is January 15, 2008. No further detail was offered.

  41. One Sad Mommy said,

    December 1, 2007 at 4:26 am

    First of all, I would like to express my condolences to Neal’s Mom. Although I had never had the opportunity to meet you, I got to know Devon through my son, who played with him every day. I just want you to know that you had a wonderful son and grandsons. Even now, my own son says he misses Devon and that there are places in the school yard that he will not play in because it reminds him of Devon and it makes him “too sad.”

    Also, I just wanted to mention that the Los Altos Elementary School library where Devon attended will be dedicated to the memory of Devon Williams, and the theme will be “Dinosaurs.” If there are any that are interested in donating (and by the way, no donation is too small) they can contact the Los Altos Elementary School Principal, Dr. Hesselgrave.

    Our family’s thoughts are with you, and your boys will forever be missed. We won’t ever forget them.

  42. Anonymous said,

    December 1, 2007 at 6:31 am

    I wonder.. if Neal’s mom believed her daughter-in-law killed her own husband or sons? After all she should the colsest one to them other than Tsang family.. Did she never feel anything weird before that happen?

  43. Martee said,

    December 1, 2007 at 6:55 am

    I knew Neal when we were still in a high school. I just remember that i first noticing a very quiet person kept to him self and that he had a wonderful smile. As my little crush grow I really wanted to get to know him. And to my amazment he finally looked my way. I got to know this very wonderful person who kept to him self but yet when asked how he is feeling he would totally tell me the truth. But, that it what made a relationship end the way that it did. But after all he did take me to go see Titanic for the first time but he will forever be young, and strong and so full of live in my eyes. And, in final statement Man-Ling should pay for what she did to him and their children. I can’t picture anyone killing their husband and the kids. I have a son and it breaks my heart that anyone would do that. And, I know that his mother does beleive that she killed them cause I belive it does anyone know if she was taking a drugs for her depression possibly maybe Paxil because that drug not only numbs your pain but it also makes you do violet things……..

  44. Neal's Mom said,

    December 3, 2007 at 11:36 pm

    No one knew anything was wrong, not even those closest to her. I spent all day Saturday with them and everything seemed fine. My daughter spoke to her brother the night he was killed, and didn’t feel anything was amiss. It was a shock to everyone. Do I believe Ling killed them? Yes. It is very hard to reconcile the person I took to my heart as a daughter with the person I see in the courtroom. But, yes, I am afraid it is true. Why? No idea. We may never know. I know she drank a lot of Red Bull, and had been stopping by TGI Friday’s for a drink with co-workers sometimes after work, but to my knowledge she wasn’t taking drugs. And as far as I know she hadn’t seen a doctor since Ian was born, and certainly wasn’t taking anything for depression. I could be wrong, but I think Neal would have mentioned it if she wasn’t well. And I know it never occurred to him that she would ever hurt the boys. He would have protected them with his life if he could have. He was a great dad.

    I did not know about the Los Altos library, but I had told the principal that I was going to donate all of the boys’ books (I was a big book giver) to Devon’s school library. We still have not been allowed inside the condo, as the defense is still conducting their own investigation, so I haven’t been able to retrieve the books yet. They’re still coming – I didn’t forget. Devon and Ian both loved dinosaurs, and would be so pleased. Devon wouldn’t want his friends to be sad, though. If there is anything he disliked, it was to see someone else in pain or unhappy. He was always the child who would escort others who were hurt on the playground to the office, the principal told me. And Ian would always say, “Don’t sad, Oma.” I try to remember that on the bad days.

    We have also started an endowed scholarship at Whittier College in their names. Neal practically grew up on campus, and Devon was determined to one day become a “Poet”. I believe he was the only child who made a Whittier College pennent every time it was “college week” at school. If you wish to donate, make check payable to Whittier College with Williams Scholarship in memo line. Send to Whittier College, P.O. Box 634, Whittier, CA 90608.

  45. Anonymous said,

    December 10, 2007 at 8:46 am

    How’s shool going to use those money?

  46. Neal's Mom said,

    December 14, 2007 at 6:36 am

    Which school? Los Altos Elementary will use any donations toward the cost of refurbishing the library and adding new books. I have donated all of Devon and Ian’s book to Los Altos to add to their collection. (I’m big on books as gifts). We have not yet been allowed in the home because the defense is still conducting an investigation, but Ling’s attorneys agreed to bring out the books for us – five big boxes. As I said – book fanatics.

    Whittier College is setting up a permanent scholarship, the Neal, Devon and Ian Memorial Scholarship that will be awarded every year to a Whittier College student in need. It costs a lot to go to college these days. Many students couldn’t attend without aid. Devon was determined to go to Whittier when he grew up. In fact, he was already a contributor. He was always wanting to dig in his bank for money for me to give to the school, so we arranged for one of the student callers to give him a telephone call, just like a grownup. He would make his pledge of $1 over the phone and then wait me to bring him an enveolope so he could proudly count out the money from his Spiderman bank. He was a generous soul.

  47. December 14, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    Neal’s Mom, that story about Devon just broke my heart. I believe every child is special and has great potential, but that story tells just how much the whole world lost when it lost Devon. Thank you for telling us the story.

  48. December 19, 2007 at 5:53 pm

    Post updated with a photo submitted by Neal’s Mom.

  49. Neal's Mom said,

    January 14, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    Sorry I haven’t updated you in a while. The holidays were difficult for us. So many holiday traditions focus on children. Devon and Ian were my only grandchildren, and they left a very big black hole. I enjoyed so much helping Neal pass on our family traditions to his own sons, and I know he enjoyed those things as well. And while 2007 was a very bad year for me, it seems almost bizarre that there could be a new year that my boys will never see. The sun just keeps rising and setting, even when we think the world has come to an end, doesn’t it?

    There is a hearing tomorrow morning. I will let you know the results.

  50. Neal's Mom said,

    January 16, 2008 at 4:56 am

    At the hearing January 15, the defense indicated they are not yet prepared, and asked that the matter be postponed. There will be another “check in” hearing on February 20, and the preliminary hearing has been rescheduled for March 6.

  51. January 16, 2008 at 5:40 am

    Neal’s Mom, thank you for keeping us updated on the progress to trial. It is frustrating but it can take anywhere from 6 mos to 2 or more years to get to a murder trial. The “check in hearings” are to hear motions and make sure the process is going correctly. The defense will ask for as many continuances as they can, there may be scheduling conflicts, and other types of delays. So it may go for the preliminary in Mar. or could possibly be continued. Finally getting it to trial is never a quick and easy process.

  52. AJ said,

    January 22, 2008 at 12:04 am

    I have not checked back to this site for a few months. At this time I am able to look at what is happening here in a logical way. A tragedy happened to a young family > The mom was the one on the scene > no report saying the killer left trace and ran away nor an attempt to find whoelse is the killer > the mom was booked as the main suspect for the killing > Friends and family moan to their lost > a. friends and families said the mom should be punished b. some friends said they cannot believe the mom did it. Everyone is waiting for the legal procedure to develop, and ends.

    To friends of Neal and Manling who has not seen them for a while, a year, or longer. I remember most of you said you cannot believe she could do it. But many of you said she should pay for the death of Neal and two boys?

    Many guessed Manling has been taking drugs, or were drunk that night or under infuence of certain prescription drug that will turn her violent. Mrs. Williams, Neal’s mom, expressed she does not think Manling were under influence of any substance. And she knows it had never occured to Neal that Manling could hurt the boys. But she believes Manling is the one who performed the crime. Has anyone checked all medical record that relates to Manling indicates she might under influence of any kind of drug?

    It is real that what I read on the news almost everyday now happens to people I know. And the development is more simpler than what I read on news. One thing I know is no matter what we will do, or the court will do cannot bring the young family back.

  53. Neal's Mom said,

    January 24, 2008 at 7:02 am

    No, nothing can bring our boys back again. We can only hold on to who they were in our hearts and believe that the time they spent here with us was worthwhile – that their presence meant something.

    It is unfortunate for those of us who are left behind that the legal system is so slow and cumbersome. We have no idea what the evidence is and so we are left to our own speculations. We run over conversations in our head and pour over every action and reaction to try to find a reasonable theory that we can cling to. Trouble is, there is no reasonable reason for such an unreasonable act. I’d be more than happy to give you answers if I had any. Unfortunately I’m just as much in the dark as you are. All I can say for certain is that Neal was a wonderful man who really enjoyed being a dad, and that Devon and Ian were great boys – I enjoyed being their grandmother. I miss them.

  54. Neal's Mom said,

    February 1, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    The Devon Williams Memorial Library was dedicated in a celebration held Jan. 31. It was a very moving and wonderful experience. I’m sure Devon would have been so pleased. I was asked to make some remarks. Here they are and you’re lucky, because I am much more articulate and interesting on paper than in person:

    Good Afternoon. I’m Jan Williams and I am Devon’s Oma. That’s German for Grandma. I don’t usually give speeches, so you will have to forgive me if I’m a little bit nervous. Whenever Devon was nervous, or the center of attention or just didn’t know what to say, he would always say, “Monkey.” I don’t know why that works, but it seems to defuse tension somehow. Monkeys are interesting and funny and an image that can bring a smile to your face. Just like Devon.
    When Devon was quite small I was studying anthropology at Whittier College. I would take him with me to the zoo to do field research and he would happily watch lemurs or gibbons or squirrel monkeys for hours while I took notes. Primates became his first passion, and fed his thirst to know. You see Devon wanted to know everything. At first that was everything about monkeys, but that expanded and grew until it became a need to know everything about absolutely every subject that crossed his path. He was the master of questions, and every answer would spawn 3 or 4 more questions until at last I was forced to say, “Well, I don’t know the answer to that one. I’ll have to look it up.” Primates, early humans, dinosaurs, the stars and planets, insects, ancient Egypt, crab fishing in Alaska – there wasn’t anything that Devon didn’t want to know about. That’s why there are so many books in Devon’s collection that deal with science, or the habits of animals, or Roman history. He wanted all the answers and he wanted them to make sense. Sometimes when he was given a piece of what he felt was an odd fact he would turn around with a skeptical look and ask another adult, “Is that true?” When assured that it was he would digest the information for a while. Then he would say, “Weird!” and move on to the next question.
    Since Devon loved to learn, he also loved school. In fact, he is the only child I ever met who used to count the days until summer vacation was over. He was in a hurry to get back to his friends, and his teachers and his quest to learn. And he blossomed here. You can be proud of the learning environment that you have provided and the wonderful dedicated staff that has put their heart and soul into making sure each child is educated and is able to fulfill his or her potential. I work at a college, so I see students who are nearing the end of their educational path, who making decisions about their life in the big world beyond. But none of that is possible for a child who has not had that spark of curiosity nurtured at the very beginning of his or her schooling experience. Thank you for giving Devon the room to grow. He was a bundle of raw energy. I used to tease him that I would duct tape him to his chair at the dinner table so he would stop popping up out of it. I know it wasn’t easy to harness that little firecracker in a classroom – but oh, what a reward. If he could have gone to school on the weekends and holidays, he would have done so gladly. Thank you for that.
    When speaking of Devon, I have to also say that he cared about things. He cared about the other people who crossed his path. He didn’t want anyone to be sad or left out. He wanted things to be fair. Someone once told me that when another child scraped a knee on the playground, it was inevitably Devon who escorted them to the office to get a band aid. That was him in a nutshell. I fell on the stairs once, when I was trying to help his younger brother Ian get his head unstuck from between the railings. Again. Whenever I climbed the stairs after that, I would inevitably feel a little hand on the small of my back and hear him say, “Its okay, Oma. I will help you.” I’m not sure how skinny little Devon thought he could stop great big Oma from falling down the stairs if I once started to go. Perhaps with his great big heart. That great big heart would be swelling even greater with pride to see what you have done here to honor him. He would be pleased to be able to share his precious books with his friends. He would be excited by the dinosaurs. And he would say, “Monkey” because everyone was looking at him. Devon was important to us. He was important, not because he died, but because he lived. He lived, and loved, and bounced and acted goofy and that is what he would want us to do. Monkey.

  55. February 1, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    That is beautiful Neal’s Mom. I didn’t know Devon, but I do believe that not only would Devon be proud of the library in his name, he would also be very proud of his Oma.

  56. Neal's Mom said,

    February 21, 2008 at 5:13 am

    Another hearing was held today in this case. The judge sent both defense attorneys, the DA and the detectives into another room and told them to hammer out a date to get started. The preliminary hearing will be held on March 18.

  57. February 21, 2008 at 5:44 am

    I am glad they set the date for the hearing. But that is just the preliminary hearing. I am afraid you need to prepare yourself for a long wait to get into trial. One thing that justice is not, is quick. It will come eventually, but it will take time.

  58. Neal's Mom said,

    March 5, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    Another delay, I’m afraid. There was a hearing today on a defense motion. After reviewing a sealed argument, the judge granted another continuance. New preliminary trial date is May 9.

  59. Neal's Mom said,

    March 5, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    The DA called early this morning to let me know the defense was presenting a motion and that she was on her way to a hearing about it. After reviewing the defense team’s sealed argument, the judge granted them another continuance. The preliminary hearing has been rescheduled for May 9.

  60. March 6, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Neal’s Mom, you will get there. It will take time, but eventually you will get there.

  61. Neal's Mom said,

    March 7, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    “The wheels grind slowly but they grind exceeding small.” I know it could take years for this to be concluded. What I find sad is the fact that there are so many violent deaths in the news, that this murder is now ancient history to many people. There are ever new horrific crimes to discuss and be shocked by. I have been told by some that it’s been “six whole months,” and it’s time to move on. How can I move on when I’m still bleeding from a gaping hole in my heart? It was six months before we were allowed to go into the condo and start going through their possessions (one of the hardest things to do, EVER.) We haven’t even had a preliminary hearing yet. A six month recovery time? I know we have short attention spans in this country, but, come on! My life and the lives of others touched by this kind of tragedy are changed forever. That’s not just the immediate family, but neighbors, coworkers, friends, teachers, etc. There can be some healing in time, but never a full recovery. The world will never be the same again. I wish more people realized that murder leaves lasting devastation in it’s wake. Perhaps they could be a bit more understanding of those struggling to cope.

  62. Merlin Ward said,

    March 11, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    Dear Family Williams,

    I was greatly sadden when I heard the news. I will always miss the Neal , Devon and Ian. Neal was a brother to me and a friend. I would go to the beach and their apartment and eat and joke with him. I remember telling Neal, “Watch this, your going to end up teaching me how to change a diaper.” Devon was a golden child; I will never forget his love, giving, kind hearted kid he was. Ian, was young but very smart; I remember him all the time get into trouble. But, if you looked at Ian just before he would do something, he would wait for you to look away. I would turn my head and wait for him to start doing something, then call Ian’s name; just to play with him.

    It’s hard knowing that I will never see them. I know what it’s like to wake up and feel like their only a phone call away; only then a moment later to know you can’t reach them. Also, to know that I might have to live many years without the person(s) in my life. I know this because my younger brother died on Oct 24 2007. When it’s someone very close to you, the pain much harder.

    Please, If you don’t mind. I would like to goto the next rescheduled The preliminary hearing for May 9

  63. Neal's Mom said,

    March 12, 2008 at 2:26 am

    Sure, Merlin. I don’t mind. I just hope it isn’t postponed yet again. If I hear of any changes, I will post them. I remember that for some reason Devon always forgot your name when he was small and called you by the color of the shirt you were wearing at a beach barbeque. (Even when you weren’t there.) That must have been some shirt to have made such an impression! I’m sorry to hear of the loss of your brother. It’s hard to have someone so important to your life suddenly disappear. I miss the boys every hour of every day.

  64. Neal's Mom said,

    March 15, 2008 at 2:49 am

    St. Patrick’s Day is around the corner, and it makes me think of Devon. Every year he would construct a trap, determined to catch a leprechaun. Last year he succeeded in catching – a potato. At the time of his death last August, he was already planning an elaborate trap that he was sure would work. We found replica pieces of eight at a pirate store that he thought would make the perfect bait. He watched films and read stories, to learn all their tricky habits. He knew that you can’t look away from them, that they will trick you with your wishes, that you might think you have a pocket of jewels only to find it was pebbles in the light of day. Very practical and skeptical about a lot of things, was Devon, liking everything to be explained scientifically. But he had a steadfast belief in leprechauns. Keep a sharp eye out on the 17th, and if you see one, ask him to take Devon my love …and a potato.

  65. Neal's Mom said,

    April 4, 2008 at 5:47 am

    For those who are keeping track there will be another hearing held on April 9 to hear a motion. It will probably mean another delay in starting the preliminary hearing.

  66. April 4, 2008 at 5:54 am

    Neal’s Mom, please don’t get discouraged. I know you probably have questions you want answered and you want to see justice. And it does take a long time. But it will get to trial.

    It is good not to count on things progressing as scheduled all the time. But trust that it will get there eventually.

  67. Neal's Mom said,

    April 10, 2008 at 7:16 am

    A hearing was held today in the Williams murder in which it was decided to have another hearing some time next week (date to be determined.) What a surprise!

  68. Neal's Mom said,

    April 15, 2008 at 5:47 am

    In honor of Victims Rights Week, here is the official song of victim’s groups like Justice for Homicide Victims and Parents of Murdered Children:

    We Are the Survivors

    There are those of us whose mothers have been taken from our arms.
    There are those of us with children we could not keep safe from harm.
    There are those of us who’ve lived to see our fathers lose our lives.
    And each and every one of us survives.


    We are the survivors, left behind to carry on.
    We are the survivors, joined together we are strong.
    We will speak out for our loved ones who were not given a choice.
    We are the survivors, hear our voice.

    Maybe some of us have brothers who were here, but now they’re gone.
    You can ask about our sisters, because their memory is strong.
    We are sons and we are daughters, we are husbands, we are wives.
    And each and every one of us survives


    We are the survivors, left behind to carry on.
    We are the survivors, joined together we are strong.
    We will speak out for our loved ones who were not given a choice.
    We are the survivors, hear our voice.

    With a part of us that never heals, and our fear of the unknown.
    There’s a strength in knowing through it all, you’re not alone


    We are the survivors, left behind to carry on.
    We are the survivors, joined together we are strong.
    We will speak out for our loved ones who were not given a choice.
    We are the survivors, hear our voice.

  69. April 15, 2008 at 6:27 am

    That is beautiful Neal’s Mom.

  70. April 16, 2008 at 5:06 am

    […] 16, 2008 at 5:06 am (Domestic Violence) Yesterday Neal’s Mom left a message on behalf of her son and grandchildren, and I liked it so well I asked permission to […]

  71. Neal's Mom said,

    April 17, 2008 at 2:46 am

    I’ve been thinking a lot about my littlest guy today. I was sitting on my front porch this morning with a cup of tea and heard the chattering of little voices. I looked down the street to see a double line of preschoolers – about 25 of them- being led on a walk by 3 adult women. My street doesn’t have a sidewalk, and the adults struggled to hold the little ones in formation and keep them to the side of the street. They had quite a bit of difficulty as they passed my house as the mailbox drew a lot of attention and the children kept reaching out to touch the evergreen hedge. As they came back down the other side of the street, one little boy broke away and went whirling through the tall, unmown grass across the street. That would have been Ian.

    This was going to be Ian’s year, when he would finally get to go to preschool like the “big guys.” He was very excited about it. He would have been quite a handful, because he had insatiable curiosity, boundless energy and not an ounce of fear. He blew through life like a hurricane, mercurially jumping from one thing to the next without thought. When he broke something or got into trouble as was inevitable, he was usually genuinely surprised. It never occurred to him that anything could possibly go wrong, or that you would actually get mad at him, even though you had told him repeatedly not to continue with what he was doing. There were no half measures with Ian. He threw himself into life with great abandon, and lived totally in the moment. It might not be a good idea to build a ladder out of chairs and climb to the top, but once imagined, the deed had to be carried through to fruition immediately, no matter the consequences.

    So yes, Ian would have been learning to walk in a line holding hands with a partner. (Probably a girl, because Ian just loved little girls). But he couldn’t have resisted opening and closing the mailbox several times, and pulling needles off the hedge, even if it pricked his fingers. And as for the yard of unmown grass, waving knee high in the gentle breeze… absolutely irresistable. Just like Ian.

  72. April 17, 2008 at 3:21 am

    Neal’s Mom, I am so sorry for your loss. But if you will pardon me for saying so, I am also happy for you. You have such beautiful memories, each of them little treasures.

  73. Trey said,

    April 17, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    Neal’s Mom, you have a gift for writing. Please continue to use and develop it.

    God bless you.


  74. Neal's Mom said,

    April 18, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    That is very kind, thank you. I loved my three guys very much and their loss has left a hole in my life that can never be filled. They are also very real and alive in the hearts of those who loved them. They lived, and they were important. Every victim is. That is something that is sometimes forgotten by our media and our society and something that those of us who are left behind need to make clear. The lives written about in pages like these were not just statistics to be added to a total. Each and every one was precious and their loss makes our world a little dimmer for all.

  75. Ann said,

    April 20, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Neal’s mom, I believe you’re doing a wonderful thing to grab hold of your survival and eventual healing as you involve yourself in the work of community groups and share your love for family in your writings. Thank you for your commitment to work with your local Parents Of Murdered Children chapters. Love ~Ann

  76. Neal's Mom said,

    April 25, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    A hearing has been set for next Wednesday. They will probably choose a new preliminary trial date at that time.

  77. Neal's Mom said,

    April 30, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    A hearing was held this morning. Another hearing will be held on May 27 in order to set a new date for the preliminary hearing. Sigh.

  78. April 30, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    Hang in the Neal’s Mom. It will come, but yes getting there will be frustrating. Just keep telling yourself that by doing the issues now, it gives her less to appeal later.

  79. MERCLR said,

    May 5, 2008 at 12:14 am

    Thank you Neals Mom for posting information about the trial…I have done many searches to try and find updated news about what is going on but have found nothing till today.
    We miss Neal! My Husband, Me and my Sister in Law.
    When I get really down about Neal not being around anymore I think about the Star Trek episode we watched at your house in highschool where there were many different levels of reality that were affected by one decision and we only get to see one of those outcomes but in the other realities it may be completely different so for me Neal and the Boys are happy and healty in one of those other realities.
    Thank you for the memories you have shared.
    Our only wish is that we would have gotten back in touch with all of you sooner; We thought we had all the time in the world.
    Thank you agian for the updates and will be visiting this site agian.

  80. Neal's Mom said,

    May 5, 2008 at 3:58 am

    Perhaps so. I’ve thought about that myself. Sometimes I feel as if they are only just out of reach, or around a corner. Sometimes it is as if they have moved away and I haven’t seen them in a while. It is still hard for my heart to grasp the fact that I will never hug them again. I know that they are gone – at least my intellect tells me this is so. But hearts are stubborn. Mine doesn’t listen to logic or reason sometimes.

    All I know is that they are not in the condo. Rumors have started, as I knew and feared they would. My son’s former in-laws have rented out their condo. One new tenant stayed only a week and moved out the day he learned about the murders. Now that it is open and occupied imaginations run wild and the stories start. Children’s voices are heard where there are no children. There are footsteps on the stairs or a ball slowly bouncing down. People read over the stories on the internet and their imaginations take over and fill in the details. One more stress among so many. Aaaaargh!

  81. Neal's Mom said,

    May 16, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    Reflections on Mother’s Day by Jan Williams

    May is a significant month for me. It will be my son Neal’s 28th birthday on May 19 – the first birthday since his death last August. And, of course, Mother’s Day always falls in May. Two significant days for a grieving mother and grandmother! So, I had to reflect a bit on what it will mean to me to face these special days without my boys.

    When I think on Mother’s Day, I never think about the thoughtful, well-chosen gifts I received from my children after they became adults. While always welcome and appreciated, they are not the gifts that I cherished the most. That place of honor goes to the many plaster casts of little handprints, the necklace made of green macaroni strung on a piece of yellow yarn, and the grubby little bundles of hand picked flowers with hardly any stems (hopefully picked from my own garden and not the neighbors!). How sincere and innocent each of those little gifts was, and how eagerly little faces looked up at you with nervous anticipation, waiting for your exclamation of pleasure. Having grandchildren meant I could revisit those times all over again, each moment a pearl of great price. Last year my grandson Devon lugged a huge rock up from the lake because it had a streak of blue in it and he knew it was my favorite color. “I brought you this for Mother’s Day, Oma, he said with pride. I don’t know how he even managed to carry it all that way, but he even put it in my bag for me, so that I wouldn’t leave it behind by mistake. (As if you could forget about a great big rock!)

    I realized as I reflected on my many Mother’s Day gifts, big and small, that even those precious artifacts weren’t the real gifts. The real gifts were their expressions of love. That’s not something that has to be tucked in a bag so it’s not forgotten. It doesn’t have to be dusted off, and you don’t have to find room for it in the closet. That love is eternal, untarnished forever in my heart. I can look at it whenever I want to and the colors of those memories, those feelings, are always just as bright and clear as on the day they were newly made. No one can take that away from me. No one.

    I miss my three boys very much. Each was very special and each had so much to give to everyone whose lives they touched. Their murderer took away their futures and in doing so made my future so much dimmer. It hurts. It wasn’t fair. But I will celebrate Mother’s Day just the same. The time that I had with Neal, Devon and Ian mattered. Their lives, however brief, were significant. That is a message that as survivors we need to give voice to. Each and every life was precious and important, and each one leaves behind a hole that can never be filled. Until we can make those who report on murder, blog about murder, and even those who get entertainment from the subject see that these are real people who really mattered to someone, how can we ever make changes? Until every life is held as precious, how can we stop this from happening to family after family?

  82. CC said,

    May 19, 2008 at 6:49 am

    Hi Neal’s Mom,

    I’ve been trying to keep up with the trial and stumbled upon this blog today. Just finished reading all the comments, and I’m pretty much speechless at the moment.

    I don’t know if you’d be up for answering this, but I’m wondering what the relationship between your family and the in-laws are like now. I hope that you haven’t had to work through too much resistance in dealing with them and obtaining keepsakes from the condo. Sometimes the family of the accused can be real jerks about these sorts of things. I’m surprised they tried to rent out the condo…why not sell it when the real estate market looks better and donate the proceeds to the scholarship fund?

    I read that others have told you that this is ancient history – I wanted to let you know that it’s very current and real for me and I’ll keep coming back here at least once a week to see what’s going on.


  83. Neal's Mom said,

    May 19, 2008 at 8:38 am

    We don’t always understand each other’ viewpoint, but we all grieve. Our contact is less than it was, but that isn’t because of animosity. It’s just coping. That’s about all we can do right now – cope with our own pain and bewilderment. We all sit at endless hearings, on opposite sides of the courtroom, and wish for answers that never come. I take flowers to Rose Hills. They take flowers to Rose Hills.

  84. Neal's Mom said,

    May 19, 2008 at 8:40 am

    May 19, 2008 – Neal’s 28th birthday. More than any other holiday or anniversary that I have faced in the last nine months, this is the one that is the most difficult. This is the day my only son was born. He should be here to eat his grandmother’s key lime pie, the one she only makes for him. It isn’t fair. It isn’t right. He had so many things to look forward to and he didn’t deserve to die. How hard it is as a parent to think of your child bleeding out his life in fear and pain. There are times when I think that my heart is too wounded to beat even one beat more.

    I have spoken and written about the little boys, but until now I have been unable to write about Neal. That isn’t because I loved my grandchildren more than I loved my son. I think it is because the hurt is too close. And because so many parts of our personalities were similar, holding a magnifying glass up to examine Neal means that I must examine myself as well. To help you see Neal I must expose a bit of me. That isn’t easy or comfortable, so let me take a couple of deep breaths.

    Neal and I are both peacemakers. We hate to see anyone angry, in pain or humiliated. We want to fix it. I’ve seen Neal get up and leave the room when he could tell that a character in a television show was about to be embarrassed. His eyes teared up when the barracuda ate the clown fish’s eggs in Finding Nemo, and he was bothered when the T-Rex ate the dog in Jurassic Park II. He could always see the other side in almost every argument. It didn’t necessarily make him change his mind, because he could be very stubborn about his own conclusions, but he could understand and empathize. I am the same way myself. Perhaps that is why we could discuss so many issues – even volatile ones. We both knew that it was safe to air our opinions, but that we shouldn’t expect any sudden about face, no matter how eloquent our arguments.

    We are voracious readers who can lose all sense of time with a book in our hands. It is known to be dangerous to let us loose in a book store, especially if it also sells coffee. We are interested in many of the same things – history and archaeology, space travel and ecology, philosophy and volcanoes. We are fans of Monty Python and Shakespeare, Star Wars and Gilbert and Sullivan. We like to cook but detest washing dishes. We procrastinate. We like to walk in the rain. We sing in the car. Devon once asked me in confusion how I knew all of his daddy’s songs. I can’t begin to tell you how it felt to see my son sing my songs and play my games and tell my stories with his own children. It was almost like being handed a glimpse of immortality, real and down to earth.

    Neal and I are good with animals and children. We can make friends with mean old alley cats and can put babies to sleep. When Neal was in middle school, he was a volunteer aide at a daycare center. I would come to pick him up and see him walking calmly across a play yard with four-year-olds stuck like glue to every limb. The last time I went to the park with Neal and the boys, he started in pushing the merry-go-round, and kept right on pushing, even when his own children had lost interest and gone on with me to other amusements. As long as there was a single child to say “Again!” he was there to push, even red faced and out of breath. He was a great father who treated every child he met as though it was one of his own boys.

    Neal liked to tease, with a roguish twinkle in his eyes, and he had a wonderful, infectious laugh. He was a trustworthy and loyal friend, the kind who would show up with a truck on moving day.. He was an amazing strategist, who thought many moves ahead, and when he played games he usually won. He also had the infinite patience to teach hyperactive little boys how to play chess or baseball or video games or (Devon’s favorite) the German card game Bohnanza. He answered endless questions, and laughed with good humor at whatever jokes were popular in the first grade, even the ones he had heard many times before.

    Neal didn’t have a lot of ambition for material things. He was raised by a single parent from the time he was two, and we never had a lot of money. It didn’t matter. We were rich in many other things, and I know he felt the same about his own adult life. We often talked about it. Devon and Ian were his treasure, and he had no need of fancy cars or a big house. I am proud of that. Neal was a man of heart and integrity, and that means more to me than if he had become the world’s youngest multimillionaire. He would often quote the character Merlin from the movie Excaliber , saying, “When a man lies he murders part of the world.” He believed that and made it his personal code of honor. How many people even have a code of honor in this busy and competitive world? . He wasn’t a perfect man. He was a good man. That was Neal…a genuinely good man.

  85. May 19, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    Neal’s Mom, it sounds like you so much more than a son and grandchildren. You also lost friends. You and Neal so much alike, the kids growing and learning, not knowing that they were also teaching you. Material things are not important, probably one of the reasons you were so close is because you didn’t have the material things. Because of fewer distractions, the love and sharing you had with each other stood out more.

    Birthdays and holidays are always hard. Times that you always made a point of being in contact. This first year is the worst, because it is the first time over and over- each holiday the loss seems fresh again. In the years to come it won’t be easy. But somehow you do become used to it or at least you get better with coping with it.

  86. Anonymous said,

    May 23, 2008 at 4:17 am

    Thank you so much.

  87. Neal's Mom said,

    May 27, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    At a hearing today it was determined that they need to set another date in order to set a date for the preliminary. Next check in hearing date is June 26.

  88. May 27, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    “They need to set another date in order to set a date for the preliminary” ??? Now that makes a lot of sense doesn’t it?

    They may be waiting for more evidence testing, or other testing. They could be negotiating a plea deal. There could be scheduling conflicts between the attorneys. The waiting gets frustrating, and before it is over you will know more about the justice system than you ever wanted to. But eventually it will be over. Hang in there.

  89. SilentLongEnough said,

    June 5, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    Neal’s Mother,

    Can you confirm for me that Ling had a tribal symbol on her lower back? (I just need to know if this is indeed the right Ling…)


  90. Neal's Mom said,

    June 5, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    She has an elaborate Chinese dragon on her lower back.

  91. SilentLongEnough said,

    June 5, 2008 at 11:49 pm


    I was in denial for the longest time because I refused to believe it was really her. (I had called the Walnut police station to verify if it was her, but they would not release any information to me.)

    I forgot how I met Ling. But we were very close… for a short time. This is after high school because we met while I was a freshmen or sophmore in community college. I believe I saw a different side of her – apart from everyone else.

    I want to extend my condolences to you… as well as to the rest of the family.

    I have condemplated whether or not I should vist her. No doubt she will recognize me. I have not forgotten her.

    As for the tattoo on her back side, we went together to get them…..

  92. Neal's Mom said,

    June 6, 2008 at 6:09 am

    Sorry it wasn’t the answer that you hoped for. Thanks for your good wishes. We need all of those we can get.

  93. Neal's Mom said,

    June 14, 2008 at 5:56 am

    Reflecting on my recent 51th birthday I have come to the conclusion that turning 50 was the pits. Not because of the age, but because it was a year of such loss. I lost my son and my little grandsons, my physical and emotional health have gone down hill and most of my illusions have been shattered. Last week I also lost my job, the last thing remaining from the before time. The saddest part of this story is that it isn’t just my story. Almost every murder survivor I have ever spoken to has a similar tale of loss to tell. Not only do we suffer the world shattering death of a loved one, but we end up losing just about everything else as well. That can’t be right. I don’t know what the answer is, but we certainly need one.

  94. June 14, 2008 at 9:10 am

    Neal’s Mom, I am so sorry. You didn’t need any additional turmoil. Yes, last year was the most difficult, and this year while not as bad as last year, will also be difficult. Right now you need to try to take care of yourself, and pick up your life as you can.

    You do have a lot to offer, and the intelligence to do it. I don’t know what you did before, but now maybe it is time to take stock of what you want to do with the rest of your life. Do you want to do what you did before, or do you want to do something different? I do know that you write beautifully, and I hope that you might do something with that.

    The loss of a job is frightening and a blow to the self esteem. But sometimes beginning a new job/new people/new challenges/new routines can offer some distractions from the pain you have been going through. In other words you can take this negative and turn it into something positive.

  95. Neal's Mom said,

    June 15, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    Losing my job is a blow, but it certainly isn’t as painful as it might have been a year ago. I know what real pain and real loss are now. My main worry in this regard is being covered by health insurance. But hearing that this is such a common occurance among those who have suffered a tragedy – well, that’s a tragedy in itself. Americans on the whole are generous and big hearted. We gladly donate millions to help those around the world who have suffered from a natural disaster. However, we often conveniently refuse to see the pain and suffering across the road, or in the next cubicle or sitting beside us on a bench. If we paid just a little more attention it might not be necessary for you to blog about domestic violence, or me to write about murder.

  96. Concerned said,

    June 20, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    What were the circumstances of your job loss? I feel really bad. Did you miss a lot of days because you were depressed or was there just a cut back. I thought you worked there many years. I’ll be praying for you.

  97. Neal's Mom said,

    June 21, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    25 years this July. My doctor had me on a medical leave of absence. Apparently under the Family Medical Leave Act, an employer is no longer obligated to hold your job open once you have been on leave for 12 weeks.

  98. Concerned said,

    June 25, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    Any update at the court today?

  99. Neal's Mom said,

    June 27, 2008 at 3:30 am

    At the hearing today a date was set for the preliminary hearing. It is supposed to be held July 30. We’ve had dates set before and then been delayed again, so I’m not going to hold my breath.

  100. Merlin Ward said,

    June 30, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    Dear Family Williams,

    Thank you for the updates. I don’t know where the preliminary are being held. If you can email me. WMerlin@aol.com

  101. sylvia nevarez said,

    July 2, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    what time and where are the hearings being held? Is she there for this? I what to see her face.

  102. Neal's Mom said,

    July 2, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    Pomona Superior Court, 6th floor. Court is scheduled to open at 8 am, but it’s usually closer to 9 am when it gets started. She is there for every hearing.

  103. SilentLongEnough said,

    July 2, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    Neal’s Mom,

    I was wondering, when you are sitting there in court looking at her, what do you see? Is she remorseful? Sad? Confused?

    I wish I could attend one of the court appointments, but, my friends & family feel it is best to leave it alone. (I have not seen Manling in years) However, I wonder each & everyday, would things have been different if I had still kept in touch…

  104. Neal's Mom said,

    July 3, 2008 at 5:57 am

    That’s okay. It’s not an easy thing to do, believe me. I always seem to be unable to sleep the night before a hearing. (I even vomited sitting outside the courtroom the first time, I was so nervous and stressed out.) Your thoughts and good wishes are much appreciated.

    I actually have not seen much of her face, at least enough to make a good judgement as to her mood. She usually does not look in my direction, which is understandable, I suppose. Sometimes she has seemed a bit vague to me. The papers have stated that the clothes she wears indicates she is being held in an area where inmates are under some degree of observation, and it may be that she has been medicated at such times.

    We all wonder what we could have done differently, and why we didn’t see any signs of difficulty. I spent a lot of time with them, and had no clue. So try not to beat yourself up with your wondering.

  105. SilentLongEnough said,

    July 3, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    Neal’s Mom,

    You have such a way with words….

    Thank you.

    Please do continue to keep writing. I check in here everyone once in a while & would like to hear what is going on in the courtroom because I cannot be there myself.

    BTW, even though times are very difficult right now, I hope you can find a way to enjoy this 4th of July holiday.

  106. Neal's Mom said,

    July 4, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    The 4th of July is a rather emotional day for many who knew Neal, Devon and Ian. For some it was the very last time they saw them, and it seems so long ago and yet as clear as yesterday.

    Last year, Ling and Neal invited all of their friends to a barbecue at the condo. I remember that the house was full of happy children’s voices and the sound of little running feet.

    Devon and Ian were excited beyond belief, especially about the fireworks. They started asking whether it was time yet before it was even dark. We sat in the back, where a private alleyway ran behind all the condos. From there we could not only watch our own firework display, but could enjoy the fireworks let off by other residents along the drive. Ian’s excitement reached such a fever pitch that he began to run around in circles like a dog chasing its tail. Devon, of course, was interested in how it worked and wanted to know if he could light one. We gave him a sparkler, and told him that he would have to be much bigger before he could set off fireworks.

    It’s sad to think that this was Neal, Devon and Ian’s very last 4th of July. I’m glad we have the memory of that day to hold on to, though. They had a wonderful day, and enjoyed every single moment. Neal was relaxed and happy, manning his barbecue and talking to his heart’s content and the little boys drove themselves into a happy frenzy, playing with their friends and anticipating the excitement of the fireworks.

  107. Neal's Mom said,

    July 16, 2008 at 6:43 am

    I got a call from the District Attorney this afternoon. Manling’s attorneys have filed a sealed motion asking that the preliminary hearing (scheduled for July 30) be rescheduled for a much later date. There will be a hearing about this motion on Thursday, July 17.

  108. SilentLongEnough said,

    July 16, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    Neal’s Mom,

    I know that you have been waiting and waiting.

    May I ask, what kind of punishment would you see fit for her, if she was found guilty?

  109. Neal's Mom said,

    July 17, 2008 at 4:45 am

    To tell you the truth, I’m not sure. Nothing will bring my boys back. But I think that someone who could have such violence inside and yet hide it behind a mask so well is dangerous. How could she ever be trusted in society again? This is all so bizarre and out of the realm of my experience. And we haven’t heard any evidence or testimony yet, so there are a lot of questions that I still would like to have answered. So, I just don’t know. What do you think?

  110. sylvia said,

    July 17, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    Thank you, please let me know what happen today? I did plan on going to court on the 30th. Do you know where she is being held. What are they wait for?

  111. Neal's Mom said,

    July 18, 2008 at 1:19 am

    The motion to postpone the preliminary hearing until the end of September has been denied. It is still scheduled for July 30.

    I think Ling is being held at the Lynnwood facility.

  112. SilentLongEnough said,

    July 18, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    Neal’s Mom,

    No one has asked me what I thought of this whole sad mess. I honestly don’t know what to think or make of it.

    I have always had mixed feelings about the death penalty. On one side, I am against it. After all, Ghandi once said: “An eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind.”

    However, on the other, I am for it. (I really don’t like the idea of killers, rapist, child molesters, etc, living off our tax $ in an air conditioned cell, served hot meals, & having the benefit of full medical coverage)

    But, when you are talking about the death penalty in connection with someone you know (or knew), it’s hard to say. I could never wish death upon any persons that I met. It is not my nature to hate some that much. But, as you have mentioned earlier, how can you put someone so dangerous back in society (if she is guilty)? Or, would it be better if she just rot in a prison until old age takes her?

    I truly want to believe that there is an higher judgement beyond our (crappy) courts here. Perhaps karma will turn for Ling in her next life.

  113. Neal's Mom said,

    July 24, 2008 at 6:04 am

    My son’s neighbors are plannining a candlelight vigil August 8 in memory of Neal, Devon and Ian. It will be the 1 year anniversary of their deaths. I would like to suggest that those who wish to attend consider bringing a small donation for the Neal, Devon and Ian Williams Scholarship at Whittier College, or a favorite children’s book for the Devon Williams Memorial Library at Los Altos Elementary School in Hacienda Heights. I want to remember them in a positive way, and I’m sure that they would be happy to know that two schools that they cared about were benefiting in their names.

  114. Neal's Mom said,

    July 25, 2008 at 6:52 am

    Devon’s birthday Saturday, July 26. He would have been 8 years old. Such a loving child. He loved absolutely everybody, and everybody who met him loved him in return. He was always unashamedly himself, and accepted everyone for who and what they were. That’s so rare in our world, isn’t it?

  115. Neal's Mom said,

    July 29, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    Last minute update. Preliminary hearing postponed until September 11.

  116. concerned said,

    July 30, 2008 at 3:36 am

    Are you sure? What happened? Did the defense make a motion?

  117. Neal's Mom said,

    July 30, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    Yes, I’m sure. Got a voice message that there was a last minute hearing Tuesday morning and the judge ruled that the preliminary be postponed. Perhaps it’s just as well, as I understand the Pomona courthouse took some damage in the quake.

  118. July 31, 2008 at 12:41 am

    One less issue to appeal in the future. It will get there eventually.

  119. sylvia said,

    July 31, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    Thanks for the up date . Do you know what time the vigil will be?

  120. Neal's Mom said,

    August 1, 2008 at 4:38 am

    I’ve heard both 7pm and 7:30pm to start. Split the difference?

  121. Neal's Mom said,

    August 3, 2008 at 4:25 am

    An Ordinary Day
    The boys have been on my mind almost constantly lately…probably because the one year anniversary of their deaths is fast approaching. My daughter and I were out running some errands for my mother, who was feeling the heat a bit. We had picked up the requested items, and I was sitting at an outside table waiting while she ordered herself something to eat. I have always enjoyed people watching, so I just sat in the shade outside a bakery and watched the families running all their own errands.

    Suddenly I became teary eyed. Everything was so ordinary. It was just like any other day, with people trying to get everything done, and keep track of their children at the same time. I think that’s why it was so hard. It could have been any ordinary Saturday with Neal and the boys. Neal or Auntie would have to try to keep Ian from falling into the fountain or running into passersby. I could see myself reading and explaining every single item on display in the bakery to Devon, knowing full well he would end up ordering the same thing he always ordered. When we sat down to lunch, Ian would try to talk everyone into giving him any fruit on their plates, and would help himself to the avocado on my sandwich. For Devon it would be croutons – ghe always wanted the croutons out of my salad. Every five minutes he would pop up out of his seat, and I would have to tell him to sit down. One of the boys would have to go to the bathroom, and then naturally the other would discover that he needed to go, too, and Neal would sigh and they would all troup into the restroom. When the drinks arrived, Neal would blow the wrapper off his straw and it would fly across the table at me or his sister. I would tell him he was setting a bad example, and throw my empty sweetner packet at him. Devon would start telling all the same first grade jokes that every first grade boy tells, and Neal would have to keep grabbing for Ian as he tried to slip under the table. So ordinary, and yet so precious.

    It made me think of the final scene in the play “Our Town” when Emily, who had died, tries to go back and relive just one ordinary day. It ends up being too painful and she can’t stand it. She says that live people just don’t understand. Every second is so precious, and we let them all slip through our fingers without a second thought. What I wouldn’t give for one of those plain ordinary days. If I close my eyes, I can almost feel sticky little fingers clasping my hand, and hear merry inconsequentlial chatter as I walk through a hot parking lot to the car. If only. If only.

  122. August 3, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    Isn’t it funny how things we take for granted can become treasured memories? Even things that may have aggravated us in the past, can become treasures because they are what is left.

    There is that old expression ‘Stop and smell the roses’ and Neal’s Mom your words are a reminder that we do need to enjoy and remember those ‘Ordinary Days’ with our loved ones also.

  123. Neal's Mom said,

    August 4, 2008 at 5:01 am

    If you plan on attending the candlelight vigil for Neal, Devon and Ian, don’t forget to bring a candle! A book for the library or money for the scholarship would be deeply appreciated as well. The neighbors plan to begin at 7 pm on August 8 in front of the condo. This is not a formal occasion, just a gathering and remembrance. I invite you to share any memories that you have, so we may all celebrate the wonderful people that we had the honor to know. I want to celebrate their lives, not dwell on their deaths. Who they were and what they mean to us is much more important than how they died.

  124. Neal's Mom said,

    August 9, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    I appreciate the support that everyone has given us, which has helped to make an extremely difficult one-year anniversary a little easier to endure.


  125. Patrick said,

    August 15, 2008 at 7:45 am

    Hello Jan,

    I have not seen Neal since we went to daycare together. It affected me as if I had seen Neal yesterday. I am deeply sympathetic for you and Mala. While I will never understand why this happened I must know what happens. Please don’t stop providing us with updates. It is important to me.



  126. Neal's Mom said,

    August 15, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    Thanks, Patrick. Many people have said similar things about Neal. Neal was always Neal, and friends knew they could pick up a friendship even years later knowing that he would be just the same… with no awkwardness to get past as so often happens when we haven’t seen someone in a while.

    We donated many of the little boys’ toys, including their beloved train table to that same daycare. Sometimes when I drive past the park I can almost see all of you out there playing pickle or climbing on the statue of John Greenleaf Whittier instead of the newest crop of kids.

  127. Neal's Mom said,

    August 16, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    Missing the Arguments

    There are so many things going on in the world, and I really miss talking to Neal. Whether the Olympics, the Russian invasion of Georgia and threats to Poland, or the discovery of a new group of lowland gorillas in the Congo, I know I could have called him up and had a thorough and satisfying discussion of every one. Each item would be shaken out and held up, turned around and inspected from every angle before finally being folded up and put away. Opinions didn’t matter, we would examine every angle and poke at every argument looking for holes. Devon was going to be just the same – he always wanted full information and weighed every answer with logic, often turning to another adult for confirmation, asking “Is that true?” How he pushed me to examine every little detail of every subject! I think he sent me to do more research of subjects I had thought myself thoroughly versed in than any professor I have ever met. He was confident that I could give him the right answer, and made me the only other member of his Smart Club. That’s a lot to live up to! And Ian came up with the most interesting instant answers out of his fertile imagination. His quicksilver mind darted into avenues unexpected and creative, yet with an interesting logic all their own. I miss that. I miss them all – the stimulation of their agile minds and warmth of their tender hearts.

  128. Jan Williams said,

    September 1, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    I’m having a hard time with the first day of school this year. That was unexpected. Perhaps it is because I was still numb with shock when the first day rolled around last year. Everywhere there are families talking about the start of school and registration, and buying last minute school supplies. Ian would have started kindergarten this year and Devon would be in the third grade. Devon would probably need another new pair of shoes, and would be eagerly looking forward to seeing all his buddies again. Ian would have been impossibly excited, and would have told everyone he saw that he was going to start “real” school the next day. His pencil and his notebook and his backpack would have been displayed with pride and he would pester Devon with questions. Devon was Mr. Question, so it may have been good for him to have to play the part of Answer Man for a change.

    But Ian will never start kindergarten, or pick out a new notebook and backpack. Devon will never get ready for the third grade and look forward to exchanging summer memories with his best friends. Neal won’t ever take them to their new classrooms and meet their new teachers. It hurts. Because, not only have they lost those things, I have lost those things. I will never have a photo of Devon with his front teeth missing. I won’t have a picture of Ian on his first day of school. There will be no traditional school picture of either of the boys to send to relatives in Christmas cards and to hold up against subsequent years as a measure of growth and change. The chart that I measured their hights on hasn’t had a new mark in over a year, and never will have. It breaks my heart.

  129. September 2, 2008 at 4:12 am

    Jan, you spent the first year being busy and concentrating on making sure that some good happened in the worst days of your life. And you did that, you accomplished a lot. But now it has been one year. And that one year anniversary hits hard. That is often when it it hits that this is final, that it will never change. And I know that hurts.

    We cannot change the events that happened, we cannot make it go away. Eventually you will learn to accept, though you will always mourn in some ways. But right now when you are realizing how final it is, it is almost like the grief is fresh again. Right now it is hard to believe that you can get through this, that life can ever be ‘normal’ again. It will be someday, but it will be a different ‘normal’.

    Have you ever heard of the groups Compassionate Friends or Parents with Murdered Children? Both are groups that are composed of parents who have lost their children. Compassionate Friends may have lost their children in any way, PMC have lost their children due to murder. And when I say children, it means children of any age. Most areas have a branch of one or the other group. Some have both.

    What you have gone through and are going through can leave you feeling alone. And no matter how sympathetic friends might be or how grieving other family might be, no one else is in your shoes no one was the Mom, the Grandma. It may feel like no one can understand what you feel and that can leave you feeling very alone. That is where groups like CF and PMC helps. They too have been there, they too are there. And in helping yourself, you also provide support for others.

    Anyway, if you think one of the groups might help, you can usually find a listing for them in your local phone book, or in the links on the left under Grief Support I have links to their webpages.

    Hang in there Jan. You can and will make it through this.

  130. Neal's Mom said,

    September 3, 2008 at 12:23 am

    POMC is a great organization. Wonderful caring people who do a lot to help others in their grief.

  131. Neal's Mom said,

    September 10, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    I’ve been a nervous wreck this week. I’m not sure if I’m afraid that the preliminary hearing will be cancelled again, or that it will take place as scheduled. Maybe both.

  132. September 10, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    Whether it is cancelled or goes on, it will be hard so being nervous is understandable. Just keep remembering, one foot in front of the other and always remember to breathe. That is the most important things you can do at this point. I might suggest that right now you need support. Visiting with close friends and relatives, taking time to do good things for yourself. And breathe.

  133. Neal's Mom said,

    September 11, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    The preliminary has been postponed again and is now scheduled for September 23.

  134. anonymous said,

    September 17, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    Neal’s Mom thank you for keeping us inform of what is going on. I never knew your son or anyone involved in this. However ever since I first heard/read about this tragedy I have been following here for updates… more than anything hoping that some day justice is serve and perhaps closure is brought to you and all your loved one’s. I am sure that like me there is many of us that have been suporting you in silence… Keep up the good fight.

    Sincerly anonymous.

  135. Neal's Mom said,

    September 18, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    Thank you anonymous. We appreciate all the support we can get through this difficult ordeal.

  136. Neal's Mom said,

    September 22, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    Preliminary hearing has been continued until October 15.

  137. Neal's Mom said,

    September 25, 2008 at 4:36 am

    Don’t forget that September 25 is a national day of mourning for murder victims. And Ian would have turned 5 on September 27. Please remember the boys with love.

  138. Patrick said,

    October 7, 2008 at 7:25 am

    Thanks for the updates.

  139. Neal's Mom said,

    October 14, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    The preliminary hearing for Manling has been postponed again. New hearing date November 17, 2008.

  140. October 17, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    Dang Neal’s Mom, I was so hoping that this last one was it. Are you hanging in there?

  141. Neal's Mom said,

    October 22, 2008 at 12:27 am

    Good days and bad days. I’m starting to feel like I am chasing the Holy Grail.

  142. October 22, 2008 at 3:32 am

    Good days and bad days. Life is like that. We give thanks for the good days and try to hang on during the bad ones. For the bad days it might be handy to have a list of things you are thankful for, just in case you need reminders.

  143. Neal's Mom said,

    November 8, 2008 at 5:46 am

    I’ve been assured that it’s really going to happen on the 17th. We’ll see.

  144. Neal's Mom said,

    November 11, 2008 at 2:11 am

    I want to remind those of you who have or work with young children that my daughter-in-law’s preliminary hearing is next Monday. I have been assured that it’s really going to happen this time. From the way the press is already circling, I am afraid there may be some sensationalized coverage of the event. So please, please be extra cautious about keeping the little ones away from newspaper, radio and tv news if you can. I don’t want them to suffer any more trauma from this tragedy. Thank you so much. I know you probably already have it covered, but grandmas worry. Jan

  145. Neal's Mom said,

    November 17, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    After months of delay, we have finally had our preliminary hearing. Only one witness was called, one of the homicide detectives. Information was given on the crime scene, the coroner’s results and some of the details of the confession Ling made. It was a little overwhelming.

    In the first place, although Neal died from a wound to the heart, he was stabbed 97 times. How do you stab someone 97 times? I keep hearing that in my head – 97 times, 97 times. Her story to the detectives was that they had an argument and he called her a dirty name. She was enraged. So in this rage she went downstairs to put on some latex gloves to do some housecleaning, waited until he was asleep or passed out, and stabbed him in the chest. This woke him up and he tried to defend himself or get away from her, but only made it to the landing where he collapsed.

    Covered in blood, she then went into the boys’ room, who miraculously did not wake up during the ruckus, and without leaving any bloody foot or handprints smothered first Ian and then Devon. She stuffed the pillow in a garbage bag and put it up in the back of the closet. She changed clothes and drove around to find a likely dumpster where she got rid of her clothes and her shoes. My gut reaction is that the little ones were killed first, but that is only personal opinion, not fact.

    My sweet boys. I miss them. Monkey

  146. Monty Python Fan said,

    November 17, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    Those who know them knew the things said in this “confession were not true”
    We will always miss and love them. Monkey to.

  147. Neal's Mom said,

    November 18, 2008 at 3:16 am

    Thanks. Much appreciated.

  148. Anonymous said,

    November 24, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    What could he have said that was so terrible? Deep down inside I was hoping for some kind of justification to this, but it’s ovious that this person is just evil.

  149. Neal's Mom said,

    November 24, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    Murder can never be justified. There are always other solutions. Our instinct is always to try to understand and find meaning in someone’s actions, no matter how out of the norm. I don’t think it’s possible. Believe me, I’ve tried. I’ve had to try to accept the fact that I will never really understand the why of it. It’s too far of a stretch. My brain won’t go there.

  150. Seisdedos said,

    November 26, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    Neal’s Mom — You are an inspiration for many families who have lost someone under such horrific circumstances. Your writings are beautiful and keep your loving children’s memories alive. May God give you the strength to continue on. There are people, like me, who will continue reading your postings and updates on this trial. Though nothing will bring back your loved ones, know that you are in my heart and prayers to help you through this difficult time.

  151. Neal's Mom said,

    November 28, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    Thank you. That’s very kind.

  152. Neal's Mom said,

    December 1, 2008 at 6:35 am

    This is a difficult time of year for those who have lost a close loved one. No matter if the death occurred one year ago or twenty, I can guarantee you that he or she is always thought of, always missed. Every sappy commercial, every Christmas tree, and every carol piped over a mall speaker system is a reminder of what might have been. It’s hard. The best present you could give to someone who is bereaved, is to show them that you remember, too. Send an email or write a card. Share a special holiday memory of the one who is lost. Bringing up the loss is not going to give them pain. You will not be reminding them of somethingthat is best forgotten. They remember. Every day. And as time goes by and people stop talking about their loved one, the bereaved may start to fear that they are the last person on the earth who remembers. That’s a very lonely place to be. Give them a hug and tell them that you have not forgotten. Please.

  153. Neal's Mom said,

    December 4, 2008 at 2:36 am

    Arraignment scheduled for today has been continued until January 20, 2009.

  154. Neal's Mom said,

    January 20, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    Arraignment has been continued again until March 5, 2009. Pretrial hearing date set for April 13.

  155. January 25, 2009 at 10:03 am

    I have been thinking of you. Are you doing ok?

  156. Neal's Mom said,

    January 28, 2009 at 5:31 am

    Hanging in there. I’ve found the national obcession with the Caylee Anthony case difficult, especially since the grandfather tried to commit suicide. It’s like rubbing salt in a raw wound. And there’s no getting away from it. I wish people would be a little kinder to the grieving relatives who have so much to absorb and come to terms with.

  157. January 31, 2009 at 5:46 am

    I’m glad to hear that you are hanging in there.

    Yes, I have been following the Anthony case too. And I do have sympathy for the family and for their losses. And yes, I believe it was multiple losses. In some ways the losses they are facing with their daughter may be worse than what they face with their grandaughter.

    I know that never having been in your shoes I can’t say that I know how you feel or how I would feel if the situation should (God forbid) happen to me. And I don’t know how they feel or how I would handle that situation if God forbid it should happen to me (I do know I wouldn’t handle it well). But I can honestly say that having “spoken” with you regularly since your losses, you have handled it with as much grace and serenity as anyone could hope for. Besides your writing that is the other thing that I have admired about you.

  158. Neal's Mom said,

    February 5, 2009 at 4:50 am

    Thank you very much. I appreciate it. Got into an argument on one of the blogs about some of the awful speculation about the Anthony grandparents. I ended up writing a piece for Women In Crime Ink about what it is like to be the survivor of a murder. I hope it will help people to at least give some thought to the fact that these are real people in real pain that they are talking about, and not just another episode on television.

    My goal in writing about my three boys was to show that they were real people, not just nameless victims. That has helped me to keep going… to know that I have to be their voice. But there are so many others whose lives have been ended by murder – and I mean both the victims and the survivors. No one speaks for them either. They are just as invisible as the victims of domestic/child abuse. How do we change that?

  159. Neal's Mom said,

    March 6, 2009 at 12:34 am

    At hearing today a pretrial hearing date was set for May 20, the day after Neal’s 29th birthday.

  160. Patrick said,

    March 7, 2009 at 8:14 am

    The Casey Anthony case is a tragedy on so many levels. I think it’s important to always look for the positive as well. The John/Adam Walsh story was very uplifting for me. I was also happy to see that the JonBenet Ramsey case was reopened. Both cases seem to inspire hope that humanity will seek truth and justice (to the degree possible) regardless of how much time passes. I cannot imagine the anguish of waiting years for justice and having no control over the process or it’s time-line. I must say, I admire you though for remaining focused and helping the rest of us through all of this. Thank you.

  161. Neal's Mom said,

    March 7, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    You are very welcome Patrick. We’re all in this together. And your kind words of support are very welcome as well.

  162. Neal's Mom said,

    March 23, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    I wonder if Devon would have finally caught a leprechaun in one of his elaborate traps this year.

  163. Neal's Mom said,

    April 24, 2009 at 2:54 am

    A reminder to all that Victims’ Rights Week is next week (April 26 – May 2). If you are unable to attend an event in your area, please give a thought to all who are living with the aftermath of violent crime. Thanks!

  164. Neal's Mom said,

    May 19, 2009 at 9:13 am

    May 19th – Neal’s 29th birthday. May 20th – pretrial hearing in Pomona.

  165. quest said,

    June 14, 2009 at 6:15 am

    What is your and the DA’s best guess as to when the trial may actually start?

    Also, how is your relationship with Manling’s parents right now?

  166. Neal's Mom said,

    June 15, 2009 at 4:56 am

    The judge has set a trial date of Sept. 14, 2009. We will have to wait and see if it finally goes forward or not.

    I don’t see Ling’s parents a lot. We see each other at hearings, but don’t have much chance to speak there beyond inquiring for each others’ health. There is no animosity or bitterness if that’s what you are asking, Quest. We share an unbearable sorrow. This is a terrible tragedy for both families and we struggle on taking one day at a time. I see the suffering in their eyes the way I’m sure they see it in mine. Words aren’t necessary.

  167. Neal's Mom said,

    June 27, 2009 at 4:02 am

    To the best of my knowledge the hearing will take place on Monday, June 29, as scheduled.

  168. Neal's Mom said,

    June 29, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    Today’s hearing was mainly proceedural. Next hearing date is August 17.

  169. Patrick said,

    July 9, 2009 at 12:38 am

    Thanks Jan…

  170. Neal's Mom said,

    August 24, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    At the hearing today the defense presented a sealed brief and asked that the trial be postponed so that they have more time to prepare. New trial date: January 25. There will be a hearing on Oct. 15, and another Nov. 10.

  171. Patrick said,

    August 28, 2009 at 7:34 am

    Wow. This is an incredible insight into our legal system and just how complex and drawn out it can be. It is eye opening in a less than flattering way.

  172. Neal's Mom said,

    September 3, 2009 at 4:40 am

    Due to a mixup, this morning’s hearing has been rescheduled for tomorrow morning. Same time, same place.

  173. Neal's Mom said,

    September 4, 2009 at 4:00 am

    After hearing arguments from both sides, a judge today dismissed a motion filed by defense attorneys to dismiss the charges. And so we move onward – next hearing Oct. 15.

  174. Concerned Heart said,

    September 19, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    Hi Jan. Was ManLing present? If so, what was it like to see her– is this the first time you have seen her since before the murders?

  175. Neal's Mom said,

    September 20, 2009 at 5:30 am

    ManLing is always present at court proceedings. In fact, when there was a mix up and she didn’t arrive, the hearing was cancelled. So, yes, we have seen her many times in the courtroom since this process began.

  176. Neal's Mom said,

    September 25, 2009 at 4:43 am

    September 25 is the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims. If you have a chance, please give a thought to all of those who have lost their lives to violence,as well as the grieving friends and families left behind to deal with the trauma that such a death deals out to everyone involved. Thank you.

  177. blithe said,

    September 30, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    Hi Jan,

    I lived around the neighborhood where it occured, and it is something that comes to mind often. I was wondering, regarding court dates and what not, is it open, and can anyone sit in? My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. As hard as it may seem, just know that if God put you through it, he WILL get you through it.

  178. Neal's Mom said,

    October 1, 2009 at 5:27 am

    Most court proceedings are open. If something was confidential, it wouldn’t be said in open court, but in judge’s chambers or in a brief under seal.

  179. Concerned Heart said,

    October 29, 2009 at 5:42 am

    What happened on the October 15th hearing?

  180. Neal's Mom said,

    November 7, 2009 at 5:35 am

    October hearing was cancelled. Next hearing November 10.

  181. Neal's Mom said,

    November 11, 2009 at 12:37 am

    Having fallen victim to the flu, I was unable to attend the hearing today. My close friend who did attend told me that a lot of arguing went on but very little of substance was agreed to. There will be another hearing on December 11. Trial is still on the calendar for January 25, but it seem less and less likely to me that it will actually take place then. Have I become cynical? Ah, well, blame the virus.

  182. Neal's Mom said,

    December 12, 2009 at 6:38 am

    Lots of arguments but no results. We go back to court on Tuesday to finish discussion of several motions and get rulings.

  183. Neal's Mom said,

    December 16, 2009 at 6:47 am

    Another delay. Trial date changed from January 25 to March 25. There is a hearing on January 15.

  184. Anon said,

    January 4, 2010 at 3:27 am

    Do you know if there’s a limit to how long they can postpone the trial?

  185. Neal's Mom said,

    January 4, 2010 at 6:40 am

    No. It depends on the circumstances, the motions put forward, and the rulings made by the individual trial judge hearing the motions to postpone.

  186. Neal's Mom said,

    January 15, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    Just back from court. Pitchess hearing postponed so that defense can submit a more specific motion. Back to court next Tuesday.

  187. Neal's Mom said,

    January 26, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    The hearing on January 25 about jury questions was continued until Wednesday, January 27. One of the defense attorneys was out of town. There is still a hearing on January 29 as well.

  188. Amomymous said,

    January 29, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    Any updates? I know there is alot of us that have been following this tragic event from the begining… we might not post often. but this beutiful people continues to be in our prayers.

  189. Neal's Mom said,

    January 30, 2010 at 7:23 am

    One of the defense attorneys has a serious family emergency of unpredictable duration. Therefore, all scheduled hearing dates have been thrown out. There will be a status check-in hearing is February 16.

  190. Neal's Mom said,

    February 16, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Back from today’s hearing. One of the defense attorneys lost her father last week, so everything is postponed. All pending motions will be heard on April 2. Judge did not set a new trial date as the motions could affect how the case proceeds.

  191. Anonymous said,

    February 19, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    I went to school with ManLing since elementery school. She was one year ahead of me but I did have a class with her in high school. I did not know her well but the person I saw and remember was someone who tried to be friendly and happy. She smiled quite a bit and seemed jovial at times. But through that I could tell she might have not always felt that way. But many people battle good and bad days.
    I found out about this horrible event when I had my cable turned on one day and had the news on. It was the first story I saw. I was and still am in complete shock that anyone I once knew and went to my schools, could be capable of this action.
    I offer my condolences to Neal’s mother and family and I feel sick for the loss of Neal and two beautifully innocent children.
    The one thing that everyone has to take away from this is that the cause of this action was a troubled yet selfish person. I understand personal battles, everyone has their day to day fights. But it is never right to take another persons life for your own destructive end.

  192. Anonymous said,

    February 19, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    So do I have this right? Did Devon go to Los Altos Elementery? If so, I can’t believe that a tragedy like this was brought to my old school. Children should remain innocent and free of such harm. Much love to Neal’s mom. Remain strong! You are enduring with absolute grace. You will allow the memory of your son and grandchildren to live on. Forever young.

  193. Neal's Mom said,

    February 19, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    Yes, Devon attended Los Altos Elementary School. He loved school and had just completed first grade. The students, teachers and parents refurished the library and named it for him. I still collect donations of books for them. He would have liked that. Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate it.

  194. Camino Bello Neighbor said,

    March 16, 2010 at 8:35 am


  195. I don't understand why it's taking so long... said,

    March 30, 2010 at 7:53 am

    Good luck with the trial in early April. Crossing fingers for some movement in this case, finally. Seriously, there should be limits to how many extensions one can ask for.

  196. Neal's Mom said,

    March 30, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    Thank you. Hearing on April 2 will be to discuss a motion. We don’t yet have an actual trial date. It’s discouraging sometimes, but I guess that’s just the way the process works. Certainly a lesson in patience.

  197. Neal's Mom said,

    April 2, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Waited a couple of hours for case to start, as judge had a jury trial verdict to take care of first. We had barely taken a seat when the defense attorney turned around and looked in our direction and then asked the judge to close the hearing to the public, as he felt that in arguing the motion there might be inferences made about information that may be ruled “priviledged”. He was afraid that with the press in the audience and “with so much access to blogs” the information could be made public, and that this could prejudice or taint the possible jury pool. We waited outside the room for quite a while, until they broke for lunch. Didn’t figure there was any point in staying, since they would be arguing the same matter after the recess, and we didn’t want to spend the afternoon sitting outside the closed courtroom. We went to lunch and I drank mango iced tea. Now, don’t go inferring anything from that. People drink iced tea all the time. Monkey! Jan

  198. anonymous said,

    April 9, 2010 at 12:10 am

    Still praying…

  199. Neal's Mom said,

    April 19, 2010 at 5:09 am

    This is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, and a good time to hold all the victims of violent crime in your thoughts and prayers. Here is a link to and article at the Tribune on the event held today at the Homicide Victims’ Memorial at Rose Hills. http://www.sgvtribune.com/ci_14910878?source=email

  200. Neal's Mom said,

    April 28, 2010 at 6:33 am

    Today’s motions to recuse all or some of the District Attorney’s Office and all or some of the LA County Sheriff’s Department from the case were denied. We go back to set more dates for more hearings on Thursday.

  201. Neal's Mom said,

    April 29, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Next court date will be June 7. The court will hear the defense’s Miranda rights motion, probably asking that the confession be suppressed. I think that’s pretty standard. That entire week is tentatively set aside for motion hearings. My birthday is that week – happy happy to me. Trial date set for Sept. 27…Ian’s 7th birthday.

  202. Patrick said,

    May 13, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    We have a trial date! This is good news right? I sure hope so, it does not seem that justice has been swift in this case.

  203. Neal's Mom said,

    May 18, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    I hope so, Patrick. We’ve had several trial dates already that have come and gone. We’ll see.

  204. Betty said,

    May 19, 2010 at 8:01 am


  205. Neal's Mom said,

    May 19, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Celebrating the life of my son, Neal Alastair Williams, 5/19/80 – 8/8/07. Today is his 30th birthday.

  206. sylvia said,

    May 25, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    Thanks Jan for keeping up with this blog. I have been catching up when I can.Would Like to be in court one day! I worked with her at Mimi’s Meet your son & the boys a few times they were so soft spoken. I Want to see her face!!! How could she have hurt such a GIFT of Life

  207. Neal's Mom said,

    June 8, 2010 at 7:13 am

    Today’s hearing was continued until June 17th. It’s supposed to go all day long and include a live witness for one of the motions. If needed it will continue the next day and even the following Monday if necessary.

  208. sylvia said,

    June 8, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Where is the hearing at? And what time? Thanks

  209. Neal's Mom said,

    June 19, 2010 at 9:56 am

    The last two days, June 17-18, the court has heard motions for most of the day. The one with witnesses was a motion by the defense to suppress all the defendant’s statements to the sheriffs and any evidence that was collected as a result of those statements. The judge will rule on that one next Tuesday (June22). I stayed all day Thursday, but only half the day Friday. They were planning to discuss the admission of specific crime scene and autopsy photographs, and that’s not something I’m ready for.

    Court opens at 8 am, but that doesn’t mean we will always start then. It all depends on the calendar. Our hearings are in Dept. S on 6th floor of Pomona Superior Court. Sorry, Sylvia, that I didn’t have a chance to answer your question until now.

  210. Katie said,

    July 6, 2010 at 6:54 am

    I want to extend my deepest sympathy to Neal’s Mom and Ian and Devon’s grandmother. I’ve read all the blog entries, my heart shedding tears many times. It’s obvious that you, Jan, are a beautiful person and I’m not surprised that your son and grandsons were so beautiful, too.

    Although I’ve worked in the legal system, I’m dismayed at the length of time this matter is taking to get to trial. The only positive that may come from it is that by the time the trial is actually over, enough healing may have occurred so breathing comes more naturally and life occurs with greater ease. Until you reach that point in your healing, may your Spirit be strong, your Being tender, and your Understanding ever renewed.

    I’ll continue to follow as the winding road goes by.

  211. Neal's Mom said,

    July 6, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Thank you, Katie. Your sympathy is deeply appreciated. I’ve been told delays like this are common when the prosecution is seeking the death penalty. It can be extremely frustrating for us, but I suppose it is a necessary part of the process. Nothing we can do but endure. In my heart they are still whole and safe and I carry them with me always. Too bad you can’t hug a memory.

  212. Neal's Mom said,

    August 4, 2010 at 3:18 am

    Today’s hearing has been continued until Friday, August 6.

  213. Neal's Mom said,

    August 25, 2010 at 12:48 am

    People have started receiving witness subpoenas. I’m taking that as a hopeful sign that the trial date of Sept. 27 may actually hold.

  214. Patrick said,

    September 15, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Hi Jan, Thanks for the update. Any idea how long the trial might last?

  215. Neal's Mom said,

    September 15, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    From beginning of jury selection through end of penalty phase, estimated 2 – 3 months.

  216. Neal's Mom said,

    September 22, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    Sealed motion to continue was denied. Trial will start on Ian’s birthday, Sept. 27.

  217. S. Thomas said,

    September 23, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    I’m noticing the date when all of this happened in 2007. This gives me some hope that we too will go to trial soon for the murder or our loved one in 2006. Justice is NOT swift! Good luck and blessings to you and your family.

  218. Neal's Mom said,

    September 23, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    Thank you, S. Thomas. I’m so sorry that you have also suffered from such a terrible loss. It’s a long hard road, and sometimes a bit incomprehensible. I don’t think popular culture is much help on that score. It all goes so quickly and smoothly on television. People are always saying things like, “I thought that must have been over long ago.” Doesn’t all fit into an hour episode in real life, does it? I hope you will soon have progress in your process, too, and wish you strength for the long difficult journey. Hug!

  219. Neal's Mom said,

    September 27, 2010 at 5:49 am

    Trial starts in the morning. Here’s a link to the local paper’s story, which has already posted. http://www.sgvtribune.com/news/ci_16179428

  220. Neal's Mom said,

    October 12, 2010 at 2:45 am

    Voir dire starts in the morning. (9/12/10)

  221. Neal's Mom said,

    October 18, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    Today was the final day of Voir Dire. Jurors who have not been eliminated for cause will return on 10/20/10, when a final jury selection will be made. Opening remarks should begin the next day.

  222. Neal's Mom said,

    October 20, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    12 jurors and 8 alternates chosen and sworn in today. Opening statements and testimony starts tomorrow morning.

  223. Neal's Mom said,

    October 22, 2010 at 4:55 am

    Prosecution and defense gave their opening arguments and testimony started. I’m a bit shell shocked. No court tomorrow. Trial resumes Monday Oct. 25.

  224. saddened said,

    October 26, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Mrs. Williams,
    I am so sorry for your loss. I knew Manling in high school and was shocked to the core when i heard what happened. i cant say that manling and i were friends but i never thought that she would do something like this, and i knew her fairly well. Im glad that the trial is finally under way. hopefully soon you will have the verdict and like you said in a much earlier comment, be able to focus more on your precious memories then on the way that things ended. God Bless you and all of your family.

  225. Neal's Mom said,

    October 27, 2010 at 4:35 am

    Thank you for your good wishes. I appreciate it.

  226. WHS girl said,

    November 2, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Neal’s Mom, I want to thank you for your updates. I attended band with both your wonderful children. I cant say enough good things about them both. I will always remember Neal with a smile and having a wonderful laugh. I am still in shock and I know everyone who knew Neal is, still I have kept up with as many of the stories as I can. I may not be family but this has had a huge impact on me. I think having known Neal and being a mom of two young girls……it just brings me to tears anytime I read the news. Its hard to believe that monsters do exist, despite what I tell my daughter. I think you are the bravest soul there is. You raised wonderful children and I see where they got their strong and loving nature. Thank you so very much for the updates.

  227. Neal's Mom said,

    November 3, 2010 at 4:11 am

    Thank you, WHS girl. Neal was a special person and I will always miss my beautiful boys. A tragedy like this has ripples and impact that many people don’t realize. It’s not something that just affects me and my daughter. Murder can be a devastating thing for an entire community, turning the rules of our known universe upside down. Thank you for sharing with me.

    Closing arguments in the guilt phase of the trial will be heard in the morning.

  228. Neal's Mom said,

    November 5, 2010 at 12:42 am

    Verdict has been reached:

    Count 1, Ian: First degree murder with special circumstances of multiple homicide and lying in wait.
    Count 2, Devon: First degree murder with special circumstances of multiple homicide and lying in wait.
    Count 3, Neal: First degree murder with special circumstances of multiple homicide and lying in wait.

    Penalty phase of the trial starts November 15. Jury will hear testimony and then choose between life without the possibility of parole and the death penalty.

  229. Neal's Mom said,

    November 15, 2010 at 1:29 am

    Penalty phase starts in the morning. I will testify as a victim’s impact witness.

  230. Patrick said,

    November 19, 2010 at 7:14 am

    Thank God! God bless you and Mala for remaining strong for so long. It took way too long but justice has prevailed. I only hope that this can mark the start of what I am sure will be a long healing process for you both. I have nothing but the fondest memories of Neal and I always will.

    Thank you for being so strong and keeping us all posted.


  231. Neal's Mom said,

    November 19, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Thank you so much, Patrick. We never would have made it through the last three difficult years without the support of you and all of Neal’s friends. Every message and kind word, whether from new friend or old, has meant the world to me.

    Defense has rested. Closing statements in the penalty phase will be made on Monday and then the jury will have the awesome responsibility of deliberating and making a final decision on sentencing.

  232. Neal's Mom said,

    November 30, 2010 at 4:44 am

    Hung jury in penalty phase. Conviction stands, but we may have to start all over again with a new jury. http://www.sgvtribune.com/ci_16736678

  233. anonymous said,

    February 18, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    does anyone have any updates or can suggest a place where one can follow or get updates. I didn’t know anyone involver but for some reason it touched me when I first read about it. I am about to be a father for the first time in a couple of weeks and i can only now beguin to understand your pain. My admiration is huge for you. you are a STRONG person.

  234. Neal's Mom said,

    February 18, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    New penalty phase trial to start in May. Sorry I don’t always get over here to update. You can always check my blogsite at http://griefsjourney.facesofthemissing.org
    Sometimes all I have is energy enough to update at one place. I’ll try to remember to keep readers here updated, too. Just remind me if it’s been too long. I get email alerts when there is a new comment.

    Thank you for your kind words. I don’t know that it is strength so much as being stubborn. Congratulations on becoming a father. It can be a lot of work, but it’s worth all the trials and tribulations. I don’t begrudge a single moment I had with any of my boys.

  235. anonymous said,

    February 18, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Thank you so much, I am sure it will help a lot of people who like me follow this very close but never comment, not sure why. Just want you to know that you and your lovely boys are in our prayers.

  236. April 4, 2011 at 6:04 am

    My blog site has moved. You can now find me at griefsjourney.wordpress.com

    Neal’s mom.

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