71-year-old USPS worker stabbed to death as she walked home; alleged killer is a repeat offender

Police have arrested a homeless California man after he was accused of brutally stabbing a beloved mother and longtime USPS worker to death as she walked home from her job at the post office, a heinous act of savagery by an alleged killer who despite a history of violence wasn’t behind bars.

Oakland Police announced the arrest of 28-year-old Wilbert Winchester, a mentally troubled transient who attacked the victim, 71-year-old Dilma Franks-Spruill with no provocation and stabbed her more than 12 times, cutting short the journey from her place of employment to her residence, a trip that she had made safely for years before Wednesday when she crossed paths with her killer.

Winchester was also charged in the attempted murder of a 59-year-old woman who was stabbed on a city bus last Monday and is a suspect in several more attacks in the area by a man matching his description who assaulted victims with a metal pole and box cutter.

“The Oakland Police Department (OPD) arrested Wilbert Winchester for the homicide of Dilma Franks-Spruill, and an attempted homicide of another individual. Both of the incidents occurred in the city of Oakland,” the police department wrote in a statement posted to its Facebook page. “Winchester is also being investigated in connection to several other violent assaults throughout Oakland.”

“On January 09, 2023, just before 1:00 AM Oakland Police Officers responded to the 3400 block of International Boulevard for a report of an assault with a knife. Officers arrived on scene and located a female victim suffering from multiple stab wounds,” the statement reads. “On January 11, 2023, just after 12:30 AM. Oakland Police Officers responded to the 1500 block of 8th Street for a report of an assault. Officers arrived on scene and located a female victim suffering from multiple stab wounds. Medical professionals responded to the scene and pronounced the victim deceased.”

(Image: Screengrab/The Daily Mail)

Winchester’s history of violence includes a 2017 arrest for kicking a 73-year-old female passenger on a BART train in the head, resulting in her hospitalization.

“In a plea bargain in May of 2018, he pleaded no contest to the false imprisonment count and in August 2018 was given a three-year prison sentence with more than a year’s credit for time served. He was also ordered to make financial restitution to the victim who was given a 10-year protective order against him, court records show,” according to the East Bay Times.

“According to court records, Winchester was also convicted in February 2017 of a December 2016 battery on a transit passenger and was later placed on three years probation. There were no additional details available about that case,” the outlet reported.

“My mom was a tough cookie, let me tell you! She was 5’2″ packed a good punch, didn’t take no mess – my best friend,” said the victim’s son Miles in an emotional interview with ABC San Francisco. “Just three houses down she was stabbed to death. Multiple times. More than 12 times. The suspect slit her throat,” he added.

In another interview with Fox News San Francisco, Miles had a message for the alleged killer.

“I wish you peace and I wish you farewell. You took my best friend. You took the last living birth parent that I have,” said the victim’s grieving son.

(Video: YouTube/WTVU Fox2 San Francisco)

The USPS said in a statement that the organization is “deeply saddened at the loss of our employee. We lost a member of our postal family. Dilma beamed with energy, joy and brought light to all who had the pleasure to know and work alongside her. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and her co-workers at this time.”

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