Later the same day, the Dover school bus dropped off the younger Simmons children for their Christmas break from school. Based on crime scene investigation, it is believed the Simmons children (ages seventeen, fourteen, eleven, and eight) were separated and killed individually, by strangulation and/or drowning in a rain barrel. Their bodies, too, were found in the hole for the outhouse.
The older Simmons children had been invited to the Simmons home on December 26, 1987, for an after-Christmas dinner. Twenty-three-year-old William H. Simmons II, his twenty-one-year-old wife, Renata May Simmons, and their twenty-month-old son, all of Fordyce (Dallas County), were likely the first to arrive. William and Renata were shot, and their bodies were left by the dining room table, and covered with their own coats and some bedding. The child was killed and placed into the trunk of a car behind the Simmons home.
Next to arrive were Simmons's twenty-four-year-old daughter, Sheila, and her husband, thirty-three-year-old Dennis Raymond McNulty, as well as their children, seven-year-old Sylvia (the daughter of Sheila and her father) and twenty-one-month-old Michael. Sheila was shot, and her body was laid on the dining room table and covered with a tablecloth. Simmons shot Dennis and strangled Sylvia. Michael was strangled and placed into the trunk of yet another parked car.
Later this same day, Simmons drove to Russellville, where he stopped at a Sears store and picked up Christmas gifts that had been ordered but had not made it in before the holiday. Later that night, he drove to a private club in Russellville. Then he went home and waited out the weekend.
On Monday, December 28, 1987, Simmons drove a car that had belonged to his son, Ronald Jr., to Russellville. He purchased a second gun from Wal-Mart. His next stop was the Peel, Eddy and Gibbons Law Firm. After entering the building, Simmons shot and killed receptionist/secretary Kathy Cribbins Kendrick.
He next went to the Taylor Oil Company, where he shot and wounded Russell "Rusty" Taylor, the owner of the Sinclair Mini Mart where he had worked, and then shot and killed J. D. (Jim) Chaffin, a fireman and part-time truck driver for Taylor Oil. Simmons shot at and missed another employee before exiting the building.
Simmons then went to the Sinclair Mini Mart, where he shot and wounded Roberta Woolery and David Salyer. His last stop was the Woodline Motor Freight company. Simmons located his former supervisor, Joyce Butts, and wounded her in the head and chest.
He then took worker Vicky Jackson at gunpoint into the computer office and advised her to phone the police. Simmons allegedly told Jackson: "I've come to do what I wanted to do. It's all over now. I've gotten everybody who wanted to hurt me." He surrendered to Russellville police when they arrived.
Simmons was sent to the Arkansas State Hospital in Little Rock (Pulaski County) for a competency evaluation and was found Simmons sane and capable of standing trial.
Simmons was charged with 16 counts of murder, found guilty and sentenced to death. On May 31, 1989, Arkansas governor (later president) Bill Clinton signed Simmons execution warrant, and on June 25, 1990 he died, as he had chosen to, by lethal injection.
His last words were: "Justice delayed finally be done is justifiable homicide." No family members claimed the body, so Simmons was buried in a paupers' plot at Lincoln Memorial Lawn in Varner (Lincoln County).
Rebecca Simmons (wife) - shot with handgun
Barbara Simmons (daughter) - strangled
Loretta Simmons (daughter) - strangled
Eddy Simmons (son), strangled
Marianne Simmons (daughter) - strangled
Becky Simmons (daughter) - strangled
Billy Simmons (son) - shot with handgun
Renata Simmons (daughter in law) shot with handgun
Trae Simmons (grandson) - drowned
Sheila Simmons McNulty (daughter) shot with handgun
Dennis McNulty (son in law) shot with handgun
Sylvia Gail Simmons (child Simmons fathered with his own daughter) - strangled
Michael Simmons (grandson) strangled
Kathy Kendrick (former co-worker) shot with handgun
J. D. Chaffin (visitor at scene of Russellville shooting) shot with handgun
Information and photo courtesy murderpedia.org.