Kathleen Heisey header

It's been 18 years and Kathleen Heisey's family and friends still cry out of for justice.

They say they aren't getting it from the Bakersfield Police Department, so they reached out to us. By the dozen. They wanted us to tell them what detectives wouldn't. They wanted us to make sure the case wasn't forgotten.

They want justice. They want to know: Who killed Kathleen Heisey?

Timm Heisey

Growing up with a sister and a single mother, Timm Heisey spent his whole life as the man of the house. The day after he moved out of his mother’s house, she was slashed and hacked to death in a slaying so gruesome that first responders had to seek counseling.

She was killed in the living room where Timm grew up watching Scooby Doo and Unsolved Mysteries.

Her body was dragged into her bedroom and, investigators said, “posed.”

Two of Timm’s guns had been inserted into his mother’s body in what one investigator said was a pure-evil sexual message from the killer: You cannot protect her.

Timm Heisey – 21 at the time of the killing, 39 now – has spent the last 18 years trying to have a normal life.

He is convinced his mother’s co-worker, Lloyd Wakelee, killed her. Timm said he’s not obsessed with his mother’s killing and with Wakelee. Heisey prefers to say he is “relentless.”

But consider this: In 2012, when Wakelee was out of town, Timm befriended the Wakelees’ housesitter and talked his way into a tour of the Wakelee house. He searched the home for murder clues while videotaping his undercover tour.

In November 2016, he posted the video to YouTube. He used this caption: “Inside the house of Lloyd wakelee, who killed Mcfarland, CA (in Bakersfield) principal Kathleen Heisey on 29 JUN 1998 and has walked free for 18 years due to a mishandled investigation.”

That’s not all, according to Wakelee’s wife, Debbie Wakelee.

“In 2013, Timm Heisey came, her son, and went through this entire neighborhood,” Debbie told Channel 17’s Olivia LaVoice in October. Timm “knocked on every door and said, ‘my mother was murdered 13 years ago (and) the murderer is one of your neighbors.'”

Timm Heisey is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy who was on leave from active duty when he went door-to-door in the Wakelees’ southwest Bakersfield neighborhood. He was a pilot and language expert and soon to be deployed for a dangerous mission. He felt there was a chance he would lose his life.

He said he didn’t want to begin his mission with regrets. He has been a vocal critic of the Bakersfield Police handling of the case, and said he felt he was on his own in his quest for justice. That’s why, he said, he took it upon himself to speak to Wakelee’s neighbors.

He said that just days before she was killed, she told him – and others – that she had written a harsh performance review of Wakelee, who was a counselor at the school where Kathleen Heisey was principal. “When she presented it to him, he flipped out and basically said, ‘If you submit that it’ll be the last thing you ever do,'” Timm Heisey remembered his mother telling him.

Interviewed for this story, Timm said the crime remains incredibly personal to him and has caused him suffering beyond belief, partly because the weapons with which his mother was sexually assaulted were his own. That is a fact about the case Timm says he has kept secret from everyone in his life for 18 years.

He ultimately graduated from the academy with a degree in economics and became a Navy pilot. During a deployment to the Mideast, he began learning Arabic and was accepted into a special warfare unit. He learned Somali and Arabic through the Defense Language Institute.

While being trained as a tactical debriefer, he completed his master’s degree in strategic studies from the Naval War College.

He completed six deployments before transferring to the Navy Reserves, where he serves as a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy’s cyber warfare command. In civilian life, he is a financial adviser with Merrill Lynch and lives in Washington state with his girlfriend Kelly and their kids.

Timm said he has contacted BPD every year to check on his mother’s case. He said he often has been frustrated by having to deal with a new detective every couple years. Timm says some detectives he’s spoken with couldn’t recall key facts of the case, such as the date when her body was found. That may be changing: Timm says he was contacted by a BPD detective in November for the first time without his prompting since 1999.


If you or anyone you know has information regarding this case, you are urged to contact the
Bakersfield Police Department at