Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

June 9, 2013

It Was Only a Matter of Time......

Even though I've been gone from Washington for 2 years, I still keep on top of the news from out there by visiting KIRO-7's website several times a week.  While I love the city of Tacoma, and Pierce County as a whole, those places are not without their problems with crime and drugs.  Every time I see a headline on KIRO about a murder or suicide in Pierce County, I hold my breath and click on the article to see if it's anyone I knew.  We had a lot of unstable and angry clients, or their exes were unstable and angry.  

It finally happened.  I was on KIRO's website on Friday, June 7, and saw the headline that a Tacoma man was murdered by a crazy neighbour who then killed himself.  The murdered man's name was Frank Rossiter.  It sounded familiar but I didn't put two and two together till my friend & coworker, Debby, posted on my Timeline that she was devastated about Frank's death and hoped his son wasn't there at the time of the murder (he wasn't).  It was then that I realized that it was our office's process server who was the victim.  Because I always called him 'Frank the Process Server', his last name didn't register with me when I read the article.  

This is a pic of Frank, taken from KOMO-4's website.  HERE is a link to the story on The News Tribune.

Needless to say, I'm pretty upset and devastated by this news.  Frank was the nicest guy.  He was always available when we called.  He would do whatever it took to serve papers on people, often sitting outside homes for hours, or going there at 6:00 AM, 10:00 PM, weekends, holidays...whenever the person would be available.  There were many days we called him at 3:00 pm with an emergency service that had to be done by midnight and he always got it done.  He was able to get on Joint Base Lewis McChord to serve papers.  He got into gated communities, and always did his job with good humour.  We would always warn him of potentially dangerous people, but he showed no fear and would laugh it off.  I used to say to him, 'I don't know how you do this job....I am way too chicken!' and he'd just chuckle and say it wasn't that bad. 

Frank has a young son, who is now 12.  Tristan loved to help his dad and would often be sent into our office  by himself to get the papers, proudly announcing, 'I'm here to get papers for Frank!'  Of course he never took his son on the difficult services.  When he wasn't serving papers for the many attorneys for whom he worked, he was off fishing and enjoying the outdoors with Tristan.  He always brought our office his famous salmon cheeseball, which he made each holiday season.  I don't eat salmon or nuts, but Steve & Deb would devour it.

Apparently he lived in a neighbourhood with a complete and utter psycho, Michael Dillon, who ranted at all the people on his street and kept his home boarded up and lined with cameras outside.  He tangled with everyone, including the good natured Frank.  On Thursday night, June 6, Dillon murdered Frank in cold blood before driving over the bridge to Gig Harbor and committing suicide.  While this saves taxpayers a ton of money in jail and trial costs, Frank will never get justice.  And a little boy is left fatherless.

It's hard enough when friends and family pass away from illness or accidents, but it's really a shock when they are murdered.  It's hard to believe that he's gone; his life snuffed out in an instant by a crazy piece of shit.  Deb told me she had just seen him on Wednesday and he was very much looking forward to his next fishing trip with Tristan.  When she heard the name on the radio, she kept trying to call his cell phone, hoping that it was some other guy with the same name...but he didn't answer.

Rest in peace Frank.  I'm sorry that your life came to this sudden and senseless end.  My heart breaks for your son, family and friends.  The Pierce County legal community will never be the same.  


  1. That's Horrible...I feel so sorry for his son. Clearly no one will miss the crazy guy, why can't thy just kill themselves..Why do they always have to 'take' someone with them.

  2. I cannot even imagine how shattered his family is. His dad was interviewed on KIRO, he's 85...he clearly thought he'd be the one to go first, and not burying his son. It's so tragic.

  3. So sorry to hear the awful news about your friend Frank. I feel so sorry for his little boy too. Just horrible :(

  4. A touching tribute, JoJo. Any murder is sad, always leaving family behind and children without parents. May your co-worker friend RIP.

    Many with undiagnosed mental issues do live among us. Our governments seem to close down our mental institutions to save money and then thrust these people out into the world.

    BTW, I sent you an email, did you get it?

  5. How tragic. Like Tess, I wish psychos people would just kill themselves and leave the innocent alone.

  6. What an awful think to have happened,so sorry for his family and friends. It wouldn't surprise me if the mad neighbour had been reported to police many times and nothing done about it an now an innocent man's life has been taken,so sad.

  7. That's a scary occupation! My former sister in law used to ask me to serve papers, and my answer was always the same. "No way!"

  8. How awful JoJo... the poor boy; I hope he has some family left to hold on to.

    Our society really does need to face up to and deal with the growing problem of mental illness; there are too many of these tragic stories in the news lately.

  9. Having had a boss that worked as a Commissioner down at the state mental hospital in Lakewood, I can tell you that the place is already overcrowded so they have no choice but to let people out and roll the dice that they won't do anything. Although there's no indication that this man had been at Western State at any time prior to this incident. I'm pretty sure the boy lives with his mom.

  10. I'm so sorry to hear about Frank, JoJo. My heartfelt prayers go out to you and to his family and friends.

  11. I'm so very sorry for all of you, and him. So sorry.

  12. I am very sorry to know this news... very sad, and so much unfair!
    Hope you are feeling better today.

  13. There is never any "good time" for death and when it is taken by another human hand makes it all the more tragic. I feel such sorrow for his family and his young son who will miss him terribly.

    Maybe someday medical science will understand the strange workings of the human brain and be able to correct such things as madness and sociopathic killers.