Below is the official release from the Dubuque Police Department:


On July 15, 2021, at approximately 4:46 p.m. Dubuque Police and Fire Departments responded to 2185 Clarke Drive for a medical assist and located Berniece M. Williamson, 80 years old, deceased inside the residence.

Since July 15, 2021, Investigators have conducted numerous interviews, collected evidence from various locations, reviewed footage from both City of Dubuque traffic cameras and private surveillance. Over the course of the investigation Mark T. Fishler, 60 years old, of Dubuque was identified as a suspect. Fishler has been in Dubuque County jail since July 21, 2021, on unrelated charges.

The State Medical Examiner’s Office performed an autopsy on Williamson and determined her death was caused by multiple blunt force trauma injuries to the head.

On August 5, 2021, an arrest warrant was issued charging Fishler with Murder in the 1st degree.  Fishler was served the arrest warrant while in the Dubuque County jail. Fishler remains in the Dubuque County jail and will appear in court on the Murder charge tomorrow morning.

Murder in the 1st Degree is a class “A” felony punishable by life in prison.

As with any criminal case, the charges filed are allegations and any suspects are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law.  If you have any information on this incident or others, please call the Dubuque Police Department at 563-589-4415 or Crime Stoppers at 800-747-0117 or 563-588-0714 (if the information leads to an arrest, the caller is eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000). You can also submit tips anonymously online at


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