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Hurricane Sandy Leaves One Dead in Princeton Township (Updated)


A Princeton Township resident died last night after a large tree fell on him in his yard on the Great Road as Hurricane Sandy swept through the area.

William Sword, Jr., 61, the investment banker who survived a stabbing in 2003, died last night at the scene. Sword, a 1976 graduate of Princeton University, was the managing director of William Sword & Co., Inc. He also served on the board of directors of Centurion Ministries, the Princeton non-profit that works to free innocent people from prison.

Sources say Sword was concerned that a tree on his property was going to fall, so he went out to cut the tree down with a saw. He realized the wind was too strong and started to head back in the house when another tree fell on his driveway and he was trapped under it.

The accident happened around 8:30 p.m. Rescue workers had a hard time reaching the area because trees were blocking the Great Road. The Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad responded to the scene and initiated life saving measures that were unsuccessful. Sword was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sword was the victim of  the stabbing that made national headlines in 2003. Jelani Manigault, a University of Maryland senior who was taking part in a family religious retreat at the Tenacre Foundation, stole his parents’ car and crashed it into a tree outside of Sword’s home. Sword offered assistance to Manigault, who rushed into the house, took a knife from the family kitchen, and stabbed Sword several times. When police arrived the 24-year-old student was on the front lawn wielding the knife and advancing toward them. Police shot and killed him.

This story will be updated when we have more information.



21 Responses to Hurricane Sandy Leaves One Dead in Princeton Township (Updated)

  1. Vicki November 1, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

    Payson and Family, I am so very sorry for your loss. Lean on each other in this very difficult time.

  2. Martin Bahar November 1, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    Condolences to the Sword family.

  3. Roger F. Gordon November 1, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    A true Princetonian and great supporter of the Princeton Basketball Program. I have lost a wonderful friend.

  4. Larry Foti November 1, 2012 at 2:40 am #

    I got to know Mr. Sword at the golf club I work at and he belonged to. He was one of my favorites; an extremely decent, nice man. I will miss him terribly. Please know that your father, husband, neighbor, friend was one of the best persons I got to meet through work. He has left a void that we all must try to fill in his honor.

  5. Jim Hall October 31, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    I have known the Sword family for over 50 years. I worked with Bill and his brother Dick at their father’s firm Wm Sword and Co. I was in Bill and Martha’s wedding. I was so saddened to learn of Bill’s tragic death. He was a great person and a quiet champion for those in some kind of need. He and his family introduced my son and our family to the wonderful Camp Dudley. My son, Jamie, had a wonderful experience there. The camp’s motto is “the other fellow first”. In my mind that sums up Bill. My thoughts and prayers go out to Martha and their children and the whole Sword family. God Bless

  6. Bruce Hussein Henderson October 31, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    Bill was truly a man of honor and someone I grew to admire as we worked together over the last couple of year. He will be greatly missed.

  7. Richard Zinn October 31, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

    From southern california, Bill will be missed. What a great guy who had a meaningful and positive impact on my life. My deepest condolences to his family.

  8. Richard Parker October 31, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    I was at Princeton and in the Ivy Club with Bill, although we werne’t able to stay much in touch since those years i remember him well for his smile and intelligence and kindness to me. I send his family the most sincere condolences, and marvel at how suddenly we can be taken from those we love. What a reminder of how short life can be and how critical it is that we all live and love fully during what ever time we get to be here…
    Richard Parker

  9. Amy Schoch October 31, 2012 at 9:01 am #

    Bill was a friend from high school days and reunions, and always such a kind and gracious man. I am so sorry he is gone and offer condolences to his family.

  10. Dwight Poler October 31, 2012 at 5:53 am #

    The whole Camp Dudley family, of which Bill Sword (#9655) was a very special and longstanding member, sends its heartfelt prayers to the Sword family. Bill will be very much missed.

  11. Fred October 30, 2012 at 10:37 pm #

    He was the best

  12. Sam Thacker October 30, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

    When I was five years old, I decided to slip out the back gate of my friend’s house off of Witherspoon and walk home to Hamilton. I knew the way, but it would take me several miles down Quakerbridge Road and across Route 1 (back before there was a clover leaf). I was leaving Princeton when a stranger approached me and introduced himself as Bill. He had been passing by in his car and thought that I probably shouldn’t be trekking along unaccompanied. He asked me where I was going and, sensitive to the fact that I had been taught not to enter strangers’ cars, walked me to the nearby police station. My parents were called, I got home safely, and here I sit.

    I’ve never had anything more to do with Mr. Sword, but I think this anecdote hints at the type of decent human being that he was. My deepest condolences go out to the family.

  13. peter krulewitch October 30, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

    Bill sword was a friend and a better man never drew breath. Sad day and sympathies to his family

  14. Marcia October 30, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    My heart goes out to Gretchen, Hope and Martha. Bill was a wonderful man.

  15. Jill October 30, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    I am an old friend of Martha’s and my brother is a friend of Dicks and Bills. He spent many hours at their house growing up. A wonderful, loving, strong family. I was so sad to hear about this loss, for his family and Martha – just losing a husband myself I know it is not easy. God Bless the family as they move through this difficult time.

  16. Tom Pyle October 30, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

    This is too much. Such crushing news. How it hurts to lose such a fine man and friend. May God raise up the Sword family.

  17. Joe S. October 30, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    My deepest deepest sympathies — Bill’s loss is a loss to us all — all my (our) thoughts and hopes for strength to the family — Bill was a wonderful family man, a man devoted to hard work, devoted to his community, and strong values. To a great man a true gentleman — rest in peace — and to his family our prayers!!

  18. Elizabeth October 30, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

    so sorry. He sounds like he was such a good man. :( RIP Sir Sword & ♥ to his loved ones

  19. Roy Williams October 30, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    I am friends with one of Bill’s daughters and spent a ton of time over their house. Bill was a great role model and father and will be missed by all that knew him.

  20. Brian October 30, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    This is tremendously sad news. Bill was a great man – highly intelligent, thoughtful and a true gentleman. Our thoughts are with Martha and his family.

  21. MamaJoJo October 30, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    May he rest in peace. Prayers to the family.

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