Anne Sacoolas, the U.S. diplomat’s wife who is accused of killing a British teenager in a traffic crash and then fleeing the country, is the wife of a man who worked for the U.S. Defense Department at the time of their marriage. She is also the mother of two.
Harry Dunn, 19, a British motorcyclist, was killed in a head-on collision with Anne Sacoolas on August 27. Anne Sacoolas, 42, has not been accused of criminal wrongdoing at this point, but there is an uproar in Britain over the fact she left the country. Police have said she was driving the wrong way when she struck and killed Dunn with her Volvo XC90.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said, “I do not think that it can be right to use the process of diplomatic immunity for this type of purpose. I hope that Anne Sacoolas will come back and will engage properly with the processes of law as they are carried out in this country.” Sacoolas is planning to meet with Dunn’s parents to offer an apology, according to The New York Post, which reported that the UK’s foreign secretary says Sacoolas can no longer claim diplomatic immunity because she left Britain.
Her lawyer told BBC: “Anne would like to meet with Mr Dunn’s parents so that she can express her deepest sympathies and apologies for this tragic accident. We have been in contact with the family’s attorneys and look forward to hearing from them. No loss compares to the death of a child and Anne extends her deepest sympathy to Harry Dunn’s family.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Jonathan Sacoolas, Anne Sacoolas’ Husband, Grew Up in Oregon & the Couple Married in Virginia in 2003
Ancestry records show that Anne’s husband Jonathan Patrick Sacoolas was born in February 1976 in Santa Clara, California. His mother’s name was Kearney. A yearbook confirms Jonathan attended South Salem High School in Oregon. He’s now 43 years old. He played on the football team. Above, you can see a photo of him from high school.
Records show that Jonathan Sacoolas married his wife Anne on April 12, 2003 in Fairfax, Virginia.
A family obit shows that Sacoolas’ parents are based in Salem, Oregon, and he’s the grandson of an Air Force vet who worked in the missile and space industry. A 1994 article in the Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon discussed Jonathan Sacoolas in conjunction with his high school graduation. It said that he’s the son of John and Maureen Sacoolas and participated in football and track for three years. “He was co-captain of South Salem Hi-Five and involved with the GAPP German Exchange in 1994,” the article states. “He is a member of the National Honor Society and enjoys skiing, camping and hiking.”
2. Jonathan Sacoolas Has a Degree in Electrical Engineering & His Current Job Remains Murky
It is not clear what position Sacoolas holds in the U.S. government as that is all cloaked in secrecy. He does not have obvious social media accounts and no current photo of him has appeared anywhere. Anne also doesn’t have active social media accounts and only a couple photos have emerged showing her.
The family lived near RAF Croughton, a British Royal Air Force base dubbed a “spy base” by some and that is currently being used by the U.S. Air Force as a communications station.
A Dunn family lawyer has accused Jonathan Sacoolas of being a senior spy, which has not been confirmed by the U.S. government. Jonathan also graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in electrical engineering.
At the time of their wedding in 2003, she was employed by the State Department in Washington D.C., and the groom was listed as being employed by the Department of Defense in Washington, according to the wedding announcement.
3. The Family Has Left Britain & They Own a Pricey Home in Virginia
In a statement, the U.S. State Department wouldn’t name either Anne Sacoolas and her husband, citing security and privacy considerations. However, they have been widely named in the news media.
The State Department confirmed that the family had left the United Kingdom.
“We express our deepest sympathies and offer condolences to the family of the deceased in the tragic Aug. 27 traffic accident involving a vehicle driven by the spouse of a U.S. diplomat assigned to the United Kingdom. We can confirm the family has left the U.K.,” the State Department said.
“Any questions regarding a waiver of immunity with regard to our diplomats and their family members overseas in a case like this receive careful attention at senior levels are considered carefully given the global impact such decisions carry; immunity is rarely waived.”
Anne Sacoolas has two young sons with her husband. That’s according to her profile on Pinterest.
The Sacoolas family owns a home in Fairfax County, Virginia, according to a home sales list from The Washington Post. They purchased the house in the Vienna area in 2015 for $770,000.
She and her husband are both Republicans, according to public records.
4. Anne Sacoolas Is the Daughter of Parents Living in South Carolina & Rhode Island
The couple’s wedding announcement in the Aiken Standard newspaper said that Anne Elizabeth Goodwin and Jonathan Patrick Sacoolas were married in Wakefield Chapel, Annandale, VA. She was escorted by her father.
She was described as the daughter of Mary Jon S. Goodwin of Aikin and Philip Gary Goodwin of Providence, Rhode Island, and a granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. William Carlisle Stanley and the late Mr. and Mrs. James Gordon Goodwin.
Her sister, Susan Goodwin, was the maid of honor. The groom’s sister was a bridesmaid. The groom’s brother was best man.
The couple honeymooned in Costa Rica and was living in Sterling, VA. The wedding announcement said that the bride was a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a bachelor of science degree in psychology.
A neighbor of Mary Goodwin told WRDW-TV, “I’m utterly shocked. She loves her daughter and was very concerned about them having to move out of the country. She’d made plans. She was going to visit to see her grandchildren and her daughter in England.”
5. Dunn’s Outraged Family Is Seeking Justice in the Case
The Dunn family has created a GoFundMe page to raise attention to the case.
The page reads, in part:
As many of you now know, the wonderful Harry Dunn, aged 19 from Charlton in South Northamptonshire, died in hospital after his motorcycle was involved in a crash with a car on 27 August 2019. Harry leaves behind a devastated mother and father Charlotte and Tim, twin brother Niall, step parents Bruce and Tracey and a large close knit family who are struggling to come to terms with the tragic and abrupt end to Harry’s life. The police have now confirmed that Harry was riding perfectly safely on the night of the crash travelling on his own side of the road when he collided with an oncoming vehicle being driven on the wrong side of the road.
Harry lived his short life to the fullest with his twin brother and three other brothers and a sister. Harry was bubbly and outgoing and from the age of seven he shared a passion for riding motorbikes with his Gramps and step-dad. That passion eventually grew to become his main interest in life and Harry lived for riding spending all his wages on fuel for his bike. He loved to get out on the road and explore the countryside, with Portland Bill being one of his favourite places. But his travels took him all over the UK and by the age of 19 he had racked up an incredible 50,000 on his bikes, making him a highly experienced, safe and capable rider. The family take enormous comfort from the fact that his riding at the time of the collision was not to blame for the accident.
Harry’s other passion, which he shared with his Dad Tim, was supporting their local football club Northampton Town.
Harry’s love for his family and friends however outshone everything and made him the caring and loving young man he was. The family are so pleased to see how much Harry was loved by so many, as demonstrated by the huge turnout for his funeral.
The page adds that Harry’s death “has left an enormous hole in the lives of the family.”
READ NEXT: The Bio of Anne Sacoolas.