In January 2001, two dogs killed Diane Whipple of San Francisco as she tried to enter her apartment. Living in an older San Francisco building can come with its quirks. Smith doesn’t stop thinking about her. My heart goes out to Whipple's partner, Sharon Smith. Outside court, Smith said she was "shocked and, frankly, deeply offended" by Ruiz's questioning. by Kate Kendell, Esq. ", Under questioning by prosecutor Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, police Inspector Spencer Gregory reviewed for jurors the areas in the apartment building hallway where Whipple's blood was found. “I probably heard that 100 times,” Smith said.  Attack. "Of course, now, I wish I would have," she said. The 120-pound dogs, Bane and Hera, were objects of fear from the start, Smith said. Apparently overcome by emotion, the victim's domestic partner, Sharon Smith … Smith replied, “Well, let’s change the law.”. For those of you who may not know or remember what happened to Diane, it was an unimaginable nightmare. After graduation, she played on the World Cup lacrosse team, then trained for the 1996 Olympics track and field team, but didn’t qualify. In early December 2000, Whipple called Smith at work to say, with some panic in her voice, that one of … Smith was raised with her two sisters in Maryland and graduated from Longwood College in Virginia in 1987. Just as she was beginning to enjoy success, however, she was killed in a vicious dog-mauling. Where is she? ... Whipple died sometime after paramedics got her out of the building. Mauling blamed on victim's partner / Complaint could have saved her, defense says, Sharon Smith, talks about Diane Whipple's prior encounters with two dogs that ultimately killed her on Jan. 26, 2001, during a news conference Thursday, Feb. 28, 2002, in Los Angeles. Now I'm a... Save big during Lululemon's 'we made too much' sale. According to the model's projections, roughly 5.9% of of the population of Los Angeles County... 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Smith gave a statement to the court, and, according to the SF Chronicle, she looked at Knoller and said that more than seven years after "the worst day of my life and the last day of Diane's life, finally there is some justice." The month before she died, Whipple called Smith at work to report that one of the dogs had bitten her. It was one of the toughest times for both of them, Smith said, but it strengthened their bond. Their dogs, Bane and Hera, have been destroyed. Sharon Smith, life partner of dog mauling victim Diane Whipple, cries with friend Sarah Miller during a candlelight vigil marking the one year anniversary of Whipples death January 26, 2002 in San... Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images Land, 81, of Louisville, Kentucky passed away at his home from heart failure on December 19, 2020. Smith knows exactly what she will do when the trial is over. He has reported on the O.J. You’re living in it, L.A. U.S. experts have calculated the riskiest and safest counties in the country for natural disasters, and Los Angeles is on the shakiest ground. In Memoriam: Diane Alexis Whipple. Finally she can have closure. With Marjorie Knoller and Robert Noel now awaiting their May 10 sentencing for the infamous dog-mauling death of their neighbor Diane Whipple, lawyers for Whipple's partner, Sharon Smith, have turned their attention to her pending wrongful-death civil … PEOPLE; PHONE; EMAIL; Search. They vacationed frequently, traveling to Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Europe. Jaxon Van Derbeken has been the San Francisco police and courts reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle since 1997 and leads the paper's investigative and enterprise reporting efforts. Smith said Whipple, 33, was a fighter, and Smith knew she had to fight too. She acknowledged under cross-examination that neither she nor Whipple had complained about the dogs. "Do you consider that if you had made a complaint that Diane Whipple might be alive today?" Maps Death of Diane Whipple. On March 12, 2001, Sharon Smith, a woman who lived with Diane Whipple as her lover for 7 years, filed her own wrongful death lawsuit against the same defendants as Whipple's mother. A dog bite doesn’t match up with this scene. Today marks the 10th anniversary of the horrific death of Diane Alexis Whipple. Marjorie is charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter while Robert Noel, who was not present during the attack, is … Diane Whipple was terrified of “those dogs,” and she wasn’t the type that scared easily. Sharon Whipple Professional Records Browse Sharon's professional profiles below to see current … The defense objected, but Warren allowed the responses to stand because Ruiz had brought up the civil suit in the first place. Whipple’s partner, Sharon Smith, remembered her as a competitive athlete and a teacher in life. On January 26, 2001, after returning home with bags of groceries, Whipple was attacked by two large Perro de Presa Canario dogs in the hallway of her apartment building. Today marks the 10th anniversary of the horrific death of Diane Alexis Whipple. The answering machine picked up. Then she jumped out and looked up. Since the mauling, Smith, who moved to a new apartment, has spent more time with family and friends. he asked. In 2015, Knoller was once again back before a judge hoping to appeal her conviction. Diane Whipple was born in Princeton, New Jersey. Not long after 4p.m., Sharon cleaned up her desk and called Diane to say she was on her way. The apartment manager said Diane was bitten by a dog and was in critical condition. She was twice a member of the U.S. Women’s Lacrosse World Cup team. "Because I believe they are guilty and responsible for taking Diane's life, and they have to be held accountable," she said tearfully. And she started a foundation in Whipple’s name. View on timesmachine. She had to leave during opening statements when photographs of Whipple’s wounds were shown. At right listening is attorney Michael Cardoza. She was killed in a dog attack in San Francisco on January 26, 2001. Sharon was trying desperately to get anybody’s attention. Attack. Sharon Smith, life partner of dog mauling victim Diane Whipple, speaks to the news media before the start of a candlelight vigil marking the one year... German Shepard bares its teeth during Schutzhund attack dog training at Witmer-Tyson Imports February 14, 2002 in Newark, CA. Something didn’t seem right. Prosecutors argued that during the time the dogs resided with the defendants, the dogs behaved in a manner that must have given the defendants sufficient knowledge to know that Bane and Hera could kill a human. That seemed unbelievable and unfair, Smith said. He has also reported extensively on the August 2012 fire that erupted at Chevron's refinery in Richmond. See the article in its original context from February 1, 2001, Section B, Page 7 Buy Reprints. Bane was destroyed just after Whipple's death, and prosecutors decided not to show his skull to jurors after Warren said it might be "unduly ghoulish. Judy is related to Matthew T Whipple and Frank Joseph Whipple as well as 3 additional people. If Knoller and Noel are found liable, Smith says she will donate any damages to a foundation established in Diane Whipple's memory to support women's lacrosse and cancer research. On March 12, 2001, Sharon Smith, a woman who lived with Diane Whipple as her lover for 7 years, filed her own wrongful death lawsuit against the same defendants as Whipple's mother. Sharon Smith in Dayton, OH 100+ people found for Sharon Smith in Dayton - select Sharon below based on age, prior locations, and family. She became a two-time All-American lacrosse player in high school, and later at Penn State. "Every time we passed the dogs, she made sure I was with her, and she would do everything she could to be as far away as possible from the dogs," Smith said. Whipple liked the neighborhood but didn’t consider herself a city person and wanted to someday buy a house in the more spacious and rural Marin County, just over the Golden Gate Bridge. Smith had never been involved in San Francisco’s politically active gay and lesbian community. Smith said "every penny" of any damage award from the civil suit would go to a foundation established in Whipple's name. What did that mean? The Diane Whipple Case In January 2001, two dogs killed Diane Whipple of San Francisco as she tried to enter her apartment. At that trial, Sharon Smith, who was Diane Whipple’s partner, said that she felt justice had finally been granted. At the time of her death, Whipple lived in San Francisco's Pacific Heights with her domestic partner of six years, Sharon Smith. "I think it shows exactly what the defense in this case is about -- don't take responsibility for yourself, blame everybody but yourself. Diane Alexis Whipple was born in Princeton, New Jersey. 2002-03-01 04:00:00 PDT Los Angeles -- Dog-mauling victim Diane Whipple's domestic partner came under harsh questioning yesterday by a defense attorney who suggested that her failure to act on the couple's fear of their neighbors' pets was to blame for the tragedy. Will she have to give up lacrosse? “They kind of had a happy medium; they complemented each other really well.”. Then, last month, she took the witness stand, telling jurors that one of the dogs had bitten Whipple a month before the fatal attack. The criminal law applicable to the case against Noel was Death caused by a mischievous animal and involuntary manslaughter. “There is no doubt that Sharon’s grace and dignity and her very honest and moving comments about her situation really have struck a chord,” said Kendell, who is also representing Smith in the civil suits. I’m going to hold them accountable. Two years later, she accepted a job at Charles Schwab in Washington, D.C., and has been with the company since, working long hours to make her way up to an executive position in San Francisco. The fun-loving and silly Whipple lived for the moment while the more even-tempered and focused Smith planned ahead, intending to retire at 45. Diane Alexis Whipple was born in Princeton, New Jersey. “I wanted everyone to know that our relationship was real,” she said. "The defense team blamed Diane for her own death, right at the beginning," said attorney Michael Cardoza. 27 Mar 2001: Marjorie Knoller and Robert Noel are arrested. Summary: Sharon Smith is 60 years old and was born on 04/21/1960. I am not going to just sit here quietly and just let this go.”. They moved into an apartment in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco in May 1999, where they lived with their two cats, Bootie and Shadow. The most dramatic moment of yesterday's testimony came when Nedra Ruiz, the attorney for defendant Marjorie Knoller, asked Sharon Smith -- the partner of dog attack victim Diane Whipple -- why she hadn't made any complaints about any prior incidents. ", Smith: "We took action," said Smith. Tamalpais in Marin County. On Wednesday, she accused the first two police officers on the scene of doing nothing while the 33-year-old Whipple lay bleeding. The Suit: Sharon Smith, Diane Whipple’s life partner, filed a wrongful death suite against the dogs’ owners on March 12, 2001. After she and Sharon Smith met and Diane moved to San Francisco, she came within seconds of qualifying for the 1996 Olympic Team in the 800 meters. Smith has had the judge’s permission to be in the courtroom on some days, and those have not been easy. During cross-examination, the defense attorney representing Knoller asked Smith a question that she can’t get out of her head: “Do you consider that had you made a complaint, Diane Whipple might be alive today?”. It was an extended family.”. Aside from the tabloid headlines, the case made LGBT history when Whipple's partner of seven years, Sharon Smith, was allowed to proceed with a wrongful death suit as a domestic partner. ", Before Smith testified, a police forensic dentist showed to the jury plaster casts of Bane's jaw that depicted the animal's inch-long fangs. Funeral Home Services for Sharon are being provided by Belton Stroup Funeral Home. Gov. (AP Photo /Damian Dovarganes). Smith said she was relieved when the trial started in Los Angeles, where it had been moved because of publicity in the Bay Area. TimesMachine is … Late in the afternoon of January 26, Diane Alexis Whipple, a lacrosse coach at St. Mary's College, was opening the door to the apartment she shared with her partner, Sharon Smith, in the exclusive Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco. Sharon Smith lives in Dayton, OH; previous city include Montgomery AL. Everything changed. David Spade knows he’s not America’s No. Sharon Smith, domestic partner for seven years of dog-mauling victim Diane Whipple, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit, apparently the first gay person in … The Suit: Sharon Smith, Diane Whipple’s life partner, filed a wrongful death suite against the dogs’ owners on March 12, 2001. "And now in court today was one of the most shocking questions I've ever heard," he said. The riskiest place for a natural disaster in the U.S.? Whipple had told Smith where she wanted her ashes spread: her high school and college lacrosse fields, the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and a mountain. “When I think about everything that happened in 2001, I think 10 years must have passed,” said Smith, 36, who is on leave from her job as a regional vice president at the brokerage firm Charles Schwab. A week after the attack, Smith met with an attorney who told her she could sue for wrongful death only if she were a parent or legal spouse. After the verdict, Whipple's domestic partner, Sharon Smith, said she felt a level of closure and that she always thought second-degree murder was an appropriate charge in the case. She called three more times while driving through San Francisco traffic. So last spring, Smith stood before the state Legislature and spoke out for the rights of same-sex partners to file wrongful-death suits. What happened? He previously reported on law enforcement for newspapers in Los Angeles and Denver. They hit it off right away and moved in together in Palo Alto a few months later. Smith: "I never spoke to Mr. (Robert) Noel or Ms. Knoller before the bite or after the bite. Murder-by-dog convict Marjorie Knoller is denied parole SACRAMENTO––The California Board of Parole Hearings on February 7, 2019 denied parole to Marjorie Knoller, 64, convicted of murder-by-dog for the January 26, 2001 death of St. Mary’s College lacrosse coach Diane Whipple, 33, at the door to her San Francisco apartment. Sharon Smith, Whipple’s partner, successfully sued Knoller and Noel after the criminal trial, securing $1.5 million in damages. Raised by her grandparents in Manhasset, N.Y., Whipple attended Pennsylvania State University on a lacrosse scholarship. -- Ruiz: "You did nothing to remedy the situation where your life partner lived in fear? Diane Alexis Whipple (January 21, 1968 – January 26, 2001) was a lacrosse player and college coach. But this time Knoller and Noel aren't the sole defendants. And the criminal law applicable to Knoller was death caused by mischievous animal, involuntary manslaughter, and second-degree murder. If same-sex couples could marry legally in California, they would have, Smith said. Both women loved dining out, hiking and going to movies. Smith called Knoller's relationship with the two dogs and the prisoner "perverted" and expressed satisfaction with the lengthy prison sentence. The attorney told her that was the law. Diane Alexis Whipple (January 21, 1968 – January 26, 2001) was a lacrosse player and college coach. 1 star. Eight blocks from the apartment, Sharon saw flashing lights, ambulances, fire engines, television vans. Smith said Whipple is her constant inspiration--both for political advocacy and in her personal life. “Every single thing I do, I miss her,” she said. Now Smith anxiously awaits the outcome of the trial. Diane Alexis Whipple (January 21, 1968 – January 26, 2001) was an American lacrosse player and college coach. My heart goes out to Whipple's partner, Sharon Smith. Smith said later that she hated that question, especially because she did wonder for months if there was anything she could have done to prevent the attack. Sharon made the decision to attempt in every way she could to vindicate Diane’s death. The question brought gasps from the audience and an objection from prosecutor James Hammer, who accused Ruiz of "trying to blame Ms. Smith" for Whipple's death. The story behind that odd pantry in the wall in old SF homes, Why the Zodiac Killer has never been caught, Model: 1 in 17 people in LA County currently has COVID, Business owners frustrated by Calif.'s grant application portal. It had been seven years since Whipple’s death. Smith spoke rapidly as she told of how she and Whipple had started seeing "those dogs" in their apartment building on Pacific Avenue in 2000 -- two Presa Canarios owned by Knoller and her husband, 60-year-old Robert Noel, who is accused of involuntary manslaughter. 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