MANHATTAN BEACH : Real Estate Agent Convicted of Fatal Mail Bombing


A Los Angeles federal court jury Tuesday convicted a real estate agent of plotting a 1980 mail bombing that killed a secretary at a Manhattan Beach computer firm.

William Ross, 58, was convicted of one count of mailing an explosive device that killed Patricia Wilkerson on July 17, 1980. In earlier trials last fall and in 1988, two other juries had deadlocked on charges against Ross.

Prosecutors said Ross intended the bomb for the wife of Wilkerson’s boss. They said Ross had been involved in a protracted dispute with the wife, Brenda Crouthamel-Adams, because she had sued him over the sale of a Manhattan Beach house, costing him thousands of dollars.


Wilkerson died instantly at ProWest Computers after she opened the package and followed instructions accompanying the disguised bomb telling her to plug it in, authorities said.

Prosecutors said Ross had hired Robert Manning, a Jewish Defense League activist and explosives expert, to build and send the bomb. Manning was convicted in 1993 and is serving a life prison term.

Manning’s wife, Rochelle, who allegedly typed instructions about plugging in the bomb, was tried with Ross in 1988, but a jury failed to reach a verdict. She died last year in an Israeli prison while fighting extradition to the United States to face a second trial.