[UPDATED With $10,000 Award Offer:] Philip Victor Williamson, Long Beach Murder Victim, Killed Over Medical Marijuana?

. UPDATED, AUG. 1, 1 P.M.: The Long Beach Police Department is offering $10,000 to anyone with information that leads to the arrest of whoever is responsible for the murder of Philip Victory Wiliamson. According to LBPost.com, the award was proposed by LA County Supervisor Don Knabe, and that investigators believe Williamson, who is believed to have been a marijuana deliveryman, might have had up to $500,000 in cash on him when he died.

Anyone with information should call Long Beach PD homicide detectives Scott Lasch or Donald Goodman at 562-570-7244. Anonymity guaranteed.

UPDATED, JULY 12, 1 P.M.: The Long Beach Police Department has
now released surveillance footage from a local liquor store that they
hope may lead them to a person of interest in the murder of Philip Victor Williamson, a former Chico resident police suspect may have been killed because of his role as a long-distance marijuana hauler.

The footage shows a man in a black sweatshirt and black pants making a purchase inside the store. He left in the black 2002 Toyota 4Runner
described below. More interestingly, the press release accompanying the
new footage finally provides an indication as to why the cops want to
find the mystery SUV driver: it turns out that the receipt from this
man's purchase at the liquor store was found in Williamson's residence.

Call the number after the jump if you have any useful information to share with investigators.

ORIGINAL POST, JULY 6, 1 P.M.: On March 24, the body of Philip
Victor Williamson, 29, was discovered in an alley near the 1500 block of
Pine Ave. in downtown Long Beach. At first, police had no leads,
although they suspected the motive may have been robbery. But according
to a press release issued by the Long Beach Police Department yesterday,
the cops have done some field work and now think they have an inkling
of what caused Williamson's death: his apparent involvement in
California's quasi-underground medical marijuana economy.

The Chico Enterprise-Record posted an article today noting that Long Beach police visited Chico recently, and along with volunteers, they “distributed fliers in
a neighborhood near the Chico State University campus, where
Williamson was known to spend time.” According to the newspaper, Williamson “grew up in Chico but was living in Los Angeles” at the time of his murder. “Wlliamson was known to transport large quantities of processed
marijuana between Chico and Los Angeles, selling it to medical marijuana
collectives, the paper continued. “He wasn't known to frequent Long Beach, and his reason for being in the city that night remains a mystery, police said. Police haven't ruled out robbery as a motive in the killing,
noting that items Williamson should have had in his possession are

If that “lead”–the notion that somehow Williamson was murdered in Long Beach because he was known to “transport large quantities of process marijuana” up and down the coast–sounds a bit tenuous, at least the cops do have a somewhat concrete tip, involving a black Toyota SUV that had an “association” with the victim on the day he died, whatever that means.
Here's the press release, which you can click to see a sketch of the mystery vehicle, in its entirety:

Sunday, June 26, 2011, the Long Beach Police Department issued a News
Release asking for the public's help in solving the murder of
29-year-old Philip Victor Williamson of Los Angeles who was found shot
in an alley in the 1500 block of Pine Avenue on March 24, 2011.


Beach Police Homicide Detectives were in Chico, California from June
26th through June 28th, investigating the murder and trying to determine
if the victim's involvement in the distribution of marijuana to medical
marijuana collectives played a role in his death.


Public Information Bulletin was passed out in several neighborhoods
frequented by Victim Williamson in Chico, and news media covered the
investigation updates in both the Chico and Los Angeles areas.


These efforts have provided additional leads in the case that investigators are following.  Detectives
have learned of an association between a vehicle described as a black
4-door Toyota 4-Runner SUV type vehicle and the victim on the day of his
death.  Detectives are interested in locating this vehicle in hopes of identifying and questioning its owner. 


with information regarding this vehicle or its owner, or with
information relating to this case is strongly urged to contact Long
Beach Police Homicide Detectives Scott Lasch and Donald Goodman at (562)

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