Leslie Allen Williams mug.jpg

Leslie Allen Williams, 64, will remain in state prison for life for the 1991 murder of sisters Michelle and Melissa Urbin of Tyrone Township.

 If you are a young lady and think you’re safe going out, that nothing will ever happen to you, think again. No matter how careful you think you are, it is not enough.

 The Urbin sisters of Tyrone Township thought they were safe when in September of 1991, they walked together on a lonely road. Safety in numbers, right? No, the sisters, who were 14 and 16, were raped and murdered by serial killer Leslie Allen Williams.

 Murder came to town again four years later. The badly decomposed remains of Christine O’Brien, 24, were found in 1996, eight months after her disappearance, under the roof of a collapsed duck blind at the south end of Bennett Lake in Deerfield Township.

 O’Brien was last seen the evening of July 18, 1995. She planned to meet someone who was building horse stables. That someone was her killer, Timothy Watkins.

 Alexandra “Ally” Brueger, 32, had no reason to suspect she was not safe jogging along Fish Lake Road in quiet, rural Rose Township. It was a route she ran every day for 10 years. No reason until Saturday, July 25, 2016, the day someone shot her in the back four times, killing her.

 Brueger’s murderer is still at large.

Important tips for keeping yourself safe 

The following are things that every woman should know about personal safety:

Practice awareness.

 This is your first line of defense. True self-defense begins long before any actual physical contact. A criminal’s primary strategy is to use the advantage of surprise. Studies have shown that criminals are adept at choosing targets who appear to be unaware of what is going on around them. 

Use your sixth sense.

 “Sixth sense,” “gut instinct.” Whatever you call it, your intuition is a powerful subconscious insight into situations and people. All of us, especially women, have this gift, but very few of us pay attention to it. Learn to trust this power and use it to your full advantage. Avoid any person or a situation that does not feel right.

Take self-defense training.

 It is important to evaluate the goals and practical usefulness of a women’s self-defense program before signing up. The self-defense program you choose should include simulated assaults, with a fully padded instructor in realistic rape and attack scenarios, to allow you to practice what you’ve learned.

Escape is always your best option.

 You are suddenly confronted by someone who demands that you get in a car with him, or into an alley or a building. You are far more likely to be killed or seriously injured if you go with the predator. Run away, yell for help, throw a rock through a store or car window — do whatever you can to attract attention. And if the criminal is after your purse or other material items, throw them one way while you run the other.

You have a right to fight.

 Unfortunately, no matter how diligently we practice awareness and avoidance techniques, we may find ourselves in a physical confrontation. Whether or not you have self-defense training, and no matter what your age or physical condition, it is important to understand that you can and should defend yourself physically. Aim for the eyes first and the groin second. Remember, strike quickly, and mean business. You may only get one chance.

Pepper spray is not your secret weapon.

 Pepper spray, like other self-defense aids, can be a useful tool. Did you know, however, that it doesn’t work on everyone? Surprisingly, 15 to 20 percent of people will not be incapacitated even by a full-face spray. Also, if you’re carrying it in your purse, you will only waste time and alert the attacker to your intentions while you fumble for it. 

Source: Total Awareness: A Woman’s Safety Book

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