Threatening Letter Puts Will B. King in Prison

Government gadfly Will B. King, known for his outrageous antics at public meetings, was sentenced Wednesday to 27 months in federal prison for sending a threatening letter to his ex-wife’s fiance, a former Cal State Fullerton professor.

Despite the request from King’s attorney that he be placed on probation, U.S. District Court Judge Gary L. Taylor ordered King to serve the maximum sentence term under federal guidelines for his conviction, U.S. Atty. David R. Fields said.

King, also known as William Beckingham, was arrested last September on charges that he used the U.S. Postal Service to threaten to “kill, injure and intimidate” former science professor James Hester “by means of an explosive,” according to his indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana. He was convicted Jan. 24.


Hester is engaged to King’s ex-wife, Becky Beckingham, Fields said.

King, who lists no permanent address and whose age is unknown, is a fixture at the Board of Supervisors meetings, often showing up in dresses, pumps and fishnet stockings. Once, he stuffed his brassiere with oranges, which he theatrically yanked out as he spoke at a public hearing.

He made national headlines at the murder trial of O.J. Simpson last summer when, again in women’s clothing, he was removed from the courtroom for talking too loudly.

He amassed nearly a dozen misdemeanor convictions in Orange County, from driving offenses to violating court orders.