William D. Austin
23 Years Old

June 19, 1964 to December 5, 1987

Billy Austin, 23, of Waterford, Michigan, was a very loving and caring person; he had a unique sense of humor and loved to tease (especially his sister Angela).

When Billy was two, he received a tool set for his birthday from his grandfather, and from that time on, he was either taking something apart or repairing - ranging from a toaster to a large truck.

After his 16th birthday, Billy started working and saving his money. He bought his own vehicles and never asked for money for anything. He was very responsible and loved cars, football and math. Billy was on the football team in both Junior High and Senior High School. In his Sophomore year, he learned to snow ski and was also on the Ski Team. He enjoyed motorcycles and loved racing them and cross-country riding. His greatest passion was reading. He loved to read anything automotive he could get his hands on and had a tremendous memory for it all.

In his Senior year of High School, he bought a 1955 Ford F-150 pickup, which was in pieces and boxes. He built it himself doing all the wiring, mechanical work, and painting. After graduating, Billy drove his truck to Denver, Colorado, and graduated with honors from Denver Diesel and Automotive College. He was working on a Mechanical Engineering Degree at the time of his death. He had accomplished his goals of owning a show truck, Corvette and speedboat, and was working on getting a Porsche.

After years of sibling rivalry, Billy and his sister Angela had become friends and were enjoying their new-found relationship. He had become an uncle 11 months before his death and loved his niece Rachael, very much. Billy had already purchased special lenses for his camera and five rolls of film to capture Rachael's first Christmas, but never got to experience that joy.

As a son, Billy was a joy and quite a learning experience. I will always remember how he would come up behind me and hug me and nibble on my neck to scare me. We were very close and I miss his phone calls and our time together so much. It still doesn't seem real.

Billy will always be loved and missed very much.


During an armed robbery, Billy didn't hand over his money fast enough and was shot. He bled to death internally because he was shot with a bullet that exploded on impact and destroyed an artery.

Billy's murder was unsolved for two years. After a Michigan Oakland County Citizens Grand Jury was instituted, his murder was one of the first crimes solved. Unfortunately, after waiting 6 and 1/2 years for a trial, his murderer was found not guilty because hostile witnesses recanted their testimony. Thankfully Billy's murderer was put in prison two months after his murder because of other crimes he had committed. He was paroled nine years later, but soon committed two more armed robberies and is now serving 10 to 30 years in prison.

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William Austin