Fear Thy Neighbor Unravels Bill Weismann’s Murder Plot Against Tom Wess

Investigation Discovery’s ‘Fear Thy Neighbor: Welcome to Murder Street’ chronicles how a neighbor’s dispute in the affluent Lake of the Pines community in Sacramento, California resulted in a murder-for-hire case in 2003, shocking the entire nation. William “Bill” Weismann tried to put a hit on his next-door neighbor over 18 inches of property encroachment that escalated as both families held onto their egos and constantly tried to win the feud. The episode depicts how ordinary people driven into extraordinary circumstances react harshly during a conflict.

Who is William Weismann?

Tom and Lisa Wess became Lake of the Pines residents in 1998, a gated community around forty-five minutes from Sacramento, California, boasting amenities such as a golf course and lounge. Their neighbors, Bill and Mary Weismann, joined the community in August 2000 upon Bill’s retirement, and tensions arose almost instantly. Conflict emerged regarding a boat dock the Wesses had initiated construction on before the Weismanns arrived. The dispute revolved around the dock encroaching about 18 inches onto the Weismanns’ property.

It remains uncertain whether the Weismanns were aware of this encroachment before purchasing the house. Tom Wess reportedly proposed a solution, suggesting a swap of the small area near the dock for a section near the driveway, technically belonging to the Wess’. The Weismanns declined this offer. Although they claimed to have offered assistance in relocating the dock, the nature of the proposed “help” remained unclear. Tom and Lisa rejected this offer. Bill Weismann asserted that shortly after moving in, he discovered his vehicle’s windows smashed, with water in the gas tank, adding a sinister dimension to the brewing neighborhood dispute.

Throughout two and a half years, conflicts between the Wess and Weismann families reached a boiling point, involving police interventions, Home Owners Association (HOA) involvement, legal battles, and restraining orders. The disputes extended beyond property boundaries to include issues like a rock planter and alleged disturbances. Bill, conducting a survey, discovered an encroachment on his property involving a rock planter, leading him to take a sledgehammer to it in June 2001.

The Wesses sought legal recourse, obtaining easement rights based on the planter’s pre-existing presence. The feud intensified with allegations of disruptive behavior, surveillance, and aggressive statements. Bill reported calls to the police for issues such as barking dogs and tree planting and filed complaints with the HOA about various matters, escalating tension. Lake of the Pines security police, the association’s Environmental Control Committee, and the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office were called to the neighborhood regularly.

In August 2002, Bill faced arrest for misdemeanor battery against Tom. The court ultimately issued restraining orders against both men, barring any contact or harassment, in September 2002. However, the conflict continued. Despite legal clarity affirming the Wess’ right to keep their property as is, the HOA persisted in pressuring them to move the boat dock and planter. The situation took a dark turn when, on April 11, 2003, Bill sought a hitman through a real estate broker named Lou Sans, offering $5,000 to kill Tom Wess.

Taking decisive action, Lou contacted the authorities after learning of Bill’s intent to hire a hitman. The following day, in a staged operation, Bill, Lou, and an undercover cop posing as a hitman convened in a parking lot within Lake of the Pines. During the meeting, Bill handed over $5,000 to the undercover cop as payment for the planned murder of Tom. The entire exchange was meticulously recorded, and Bill was arrested immediately upon exiting the car. Subsequently, he faced charges of two counts of solicitation to commit murder.

Where is William Weismann Now?

After learning about Bill’s arrest, Lisa Wess added, “This is insane that someone would go to this level because of a prescriptive easement. To be honest, we’re still in shock. This is something you watch on television. We’re baffled.” Bill’s attorney sought a reduction in bail for his client’s release, but the judge remained steadfast in denying the request. The legal counsel highlighted their client’s family situation, particularly his grandson’s cancer diagnosis in December 2002, emphasizing Bill’s supportive role during the treatments.

Despite these requests, the judge held firm, suggesting that Bill required a cooling-off period. He entered a no-contest plea to the charges in November 2003 and received a five-year sentence, with the maximum potential sentence being eleven years, in January 2004. Following Bill’s arrest, the Wesses filed a civil suit against the HOA. However, a judge dismissed the case, asserting that the HOA couldn’t be held responsible for Weismann’s actions. Bill is presumed to have returned to his family at Lake of the Pines after serving his sentence.

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