Barbara Becnel, Democratic candidate for Governor, announced that on June 25, per a final request from Stanley Tookie Williams, Becnel and “long-time” Williams’ friend Shirley Neal scattered Williams’ ashes in a lake in , Soweto, South Africa. Williams was executed Dec. 13, 2005. Becnel, Williams’ “literary partner and advocate for his clemency,” says she and Neal were present at Williams’ execution and that it was his desire “to return to the Motherland.”
"We’re from Africa no matter how many hundreds of years we’ve been here," she said. "He couldn’t get back to Africa alive, but he could get back to Africa still, and this was the way to do it."
Soweto had significance for him, she said, because there was a famous 1976 student uprising that ultimately led to the unraveling of apartheid. Becnel said there are plans under way in Soweto to build a library in honor of his work.
Williams was convicted of killing four people in 1979 in Los Angeles and maintained his innocence until he died. He was executed Dec. 13 at San Quentin State Prison. His supporters, pointing to the many children’s books he wrote, argued that he had turned his life around in prison and had become an anti-gang crusader.