Woodring still on the loose

John “Woody” Woodring, a graduate student and student teacher at WCU, is wanted for the murder of his wife on September the 18th.Late Wednesday night Woodring violated a protective order and shouldered his way into the local REACH battered women’s shelter when a worker assigned to stay with his wife opened the door. Woodring shot his wife, then escaped in a blue 2006 Honda Civic, stolen, along with the murder weapon, from his neighbor.Bonnie Woodring had fled with her son to the local REACH battered women’s shelter after, only four days earlier, the Sylva Police Department had chased Woodring on foot for attempting to strangle his wife. Woodring escaped, but the police seized both his car and truck. Sadly, though supposedly a secret location, Woodring easily found directions to the shelter.Many members of the community are shocked that Woodring was able to get access to his estranged wife at the REACH shelter. Each temporary living unit is equipped with locks on all windows and doors, multiple panic buttons that summon the police, and a worker assigned to stay with the victim.Recent events, however, are calling into question the safety precautions taken by REACH. Many criticize the meager fence that only surrounds parts of the facility, and the lack of a more constant police presence.When asked about the security precautions, Sylva Police Chief Jeff Jamison responded, “I don’t know of anything you can do to 100 percent guarantee somebody’s safety, short of locking them up.”Shockingly, only a week prior to the shooting, Bonnie Woodring filed paperwork to obtain a restraining order on her husband. The court, showing astonishingly poor judgment, ignored Woodring’s violent history and denied her request, explaining that she did not have enough proof of his abuse.”He was so nice, but acted odd,” commented a student of his who wished to remain anonymous.Woodring is no stranger to the world of crime, having spent time in prison himself. Additionally, he is known to have corresponded with infamous killers such as “Son of Sam” David Berkowitz and Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph. Woodring, inspired by his “pen-pals,” wrote a novel The Convict Speaks in which he details several true crime stories from the perspective of the of perpetrator of the crimes.”When I was in jail, I got curious about why people do the things they do,” Woodring told the Sylva Herald in early 2005. “I wanted to know what the real story was, without the Hollywood spin on it. There’s always a few people out there who are wired wrong, but most of the people I talked to had rough childhoods.”Recently law enforcement officials discovered the stolen Civic behind a Greyhound bus depot in Knoxville, Tennessee, prompting Sylva police to request the assistance of America’s Most Wanted. John Woodring’s criminal profile can be found on their website, www.amw.com.Though Woodring has not yet been found, police officials are confident that it is only a matter of time until he is caught, given the press his crime has garnered.Bonnie Woodring was buried on Monday, September 23rd at Woodland’s North Cemetery in Houston, Texas.If you’d like to express your condolences, the family requests that instead of flowers, they welcome small contributions in order to pay for funeral expenses. Such donations may be sent to Stojanik Family, Bank of America, 3811 Washington Ave., Houston, TX 77007.