The Julia Wilkinson Case – December 27th, 1980

In the late afternoon hours of Saturday, December 27th, 1980, the San Diego Police Department was called to the corner of Wightman Street in San Diego. Residents had heard screams coming from the corner house, and as they approached the area where they had heard screams, they heard moaning coming from the detached garage. Upon entering the garage, they found their neighbor, Julia Wilkinson, on the floor suffering from severe head wounds that were later determined to have been inflicted by a hammer.

The house where Julia Wilkinson was murdered.
The house where Julia Wilkinson was murdered.

First responders rushed her to Alvarado Hospital as she fell unconscious, but her injuries were too severe and there was no way to save her. She died at 8:19 PM.

Julia Wilkinson - murdered in 1980
Julia Wilkinson while in college studying nursing.

Julia was just shy of her 32nd birthday when she was murdered. She’d gone to college in San Francisco to be a nurse immediately after high school, and she married her husband, Giles Wilkinson, a few years afterward. They’d lived together at 4687 Wightman Street in East San Diego, and were just a few months away from their seventh wedding anniversary when she was killed.

The police canvassed the neighborhood and learned that a suspicious man had been seen in the neighborhood a short time before the attack, and he’d been behaving strangely. He was described as a white male, 25-35 years old, 6’ tall, clean-shaven, with dark, medium-length hair that was bushy on top. He was wearing a green military-type jacket. This person, whoever he is, is believed to be the killer. There’s no clear motive in this case.

A composite of Julia Wilkinson's killer.
A composite of Julia Wilkinson’s killer.
Julia Wilkinson
Julia Wilkinson.

The murder of Julia Wilkinson is unsolved. If you have any information that can help close it, please contact the San Diego Police Department at

Even a case from nearly 40 years ago can be solved, and Julia’s family deserves justice.



Special thanks to “Mrs. Bloodhound” for helping me investigate this case.

The house where Julia Wilkinson was murdered in 1980
The house where Julia Wilkinson was murdered in 1980.