Excerpt from Chapter 46: “The Last Brass Plaque”

After eight years and four trials, some things about the Williams murder case remained constant. Even after being visited by fact jugglers, magic rabbits, and snake-oil peddlers, the evidence never changed. Williams’s killing of Danny Hansford remained as clear on the last day of the last trial as it had been when homicide detectives first saw the puzzle with unexplained pieces spread around Williams’s study.

An “expert” claiming that a donkey could give birth to a penguin is not evidence (other than evidence that some people will say anything). It would not surprise me to read, one day, of a defense expert testifying that a frog could play the harmonica, given enough practice. To believe Williams’s fractured tale, one would have to be willing to buy a ticket to a harmonica concert given by Kermit.

To quote (Georgia Supreme Court) Justice Weltner again, from his Williams II dissent, “Everyone knows a dead man can’t put a chair leg on his trousers.” Justice Weltner might have been surprised what a dead man can do once an “expert” gets their hands on him. The Williams witness parade—with fantastical tales of headless chickens, leapfrogging dead men, bullets bending in flight, bloody rags that weren’t there scrubbing hands that weren’t scrubbed, and boat anchors pulling triggers—was dazzling, as well as astounding for its analytical shallowness and scientific pomposity.

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