MERCED, CA- On October 1, 2006, the lives of one Merced family changed forever. Bill and Lee Chapman were murdered in their quiet neighborhood in Merced, California. To make matters worse, their house was then set on fire in an effort to destroy evidence. The Chapman’s were the sweetest people you could meet While many may remember Bill as the man behind Chapman’s Shoes in the 1960s and 1970s, in his later years he served as a custodian to his church and sold both vacuums and vitamins part-time. Lee kept herself busy around the home, especially with her love for books and popular culture.
Lee was always taking care of her children and grandchildren, making sure all were fed to bursting whenever they came to visit. But what remains for the family besides who did this, is the lingering question of why would anyone want to murder their parents and grandparents. What could possibly prompt somebody to murder a sweet, elderly couple that had been married 59 years? They had survived depression and war and yet their lives were taken from them in their own home.
A $50,000 reward sign was in place at the front yard, by the State of California for anyone providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s)responsible for this tragedy. Merced Gateway News staff drove by the area today March 4th, 2018, Noticed the reward banner was gone. We would like to hear from the community if anyone by any chance knows what happened to the banner? Or if a new one is being made? We are concerned and still want whoever murdered the Chapman’s to stand trial.
Anyone with information is asked to call Merced police detective Joe Deliman or the department’s anonymous tipster line at (209) 385-4725.