“Startling, compelling, and eye-opening. A fascinating glimpse behind the façade that is often created in a courtroom. It will change the way you look at criminal trials forever.”
—Rita Cosby, Emmy-Winning TV Host, Radio Host and Best-Selling Author
Rita Cosby is one of the most recognized and respected broadcasters in America and has been quoted and profiled by hundreds of media outlets across the country and overseas.
Born in Brooklyn, she is a renowned Emmy-winning TV host, veteran correspondent and multiple best selling author, who anchored highly rated primetime shows on Fox News Channel and MSNBC. She is currently a special correspondent for the top-rated CBS syndicated newsmagazine, Inside Edition, does frequent hosting and reporting for CNN/HLN, and hosts “The Rita Cosby Show” on the legendary WABC Radio, the most listened to talk station in America. Heralded as one of the Most Influential Women in Radio in 2014, 2015 and 2016 by Radio Ink Magazine, she was also honored in 2015 and in 2016, with a total of four prestigious Gracie Awards for both “Outstanding Host” and “Outstanding Talk Show.”
“Anyone who thinks they already know this high profile case will be amazed at the bizarre story behind the Danny Hansford murder trials. Kirkland provides a fascinating insight into a criminal justice system that is more interested in winning than in justice. A must read for anyone who wants to know the truth about legal mind games.”
—Aphrodite Jones, Investigation Discovery TV host and NYT bestselling author
On May 27, 2016, Megan Kelly, for some inexplicable reason, chose to conduct a puff-piece interview with Robert Shapiro, a member of the O.J. Simpson defense team. She looked great, which seems to be the point these days, as she’s morphed from an actual journalist into a personality and celebrity. But, in facilitating Shapiro’s fantasy dance on the graves of Simpson’s victims, she obtained honorary membership in the Liar’s Club. It’s called aiding and abetting, if she’d like to refer back to her legal training, which seems to be receding fast into the rear-view mirror of her career. Let’s revisit some facts of the Simpson case.
The following is taken from the opening chapter of “Triumph of Justice” by Daniel Petrocelli, the attorney who led the civil case against O.J. Simpson for the wrongful death of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. This is a far more cogent summation of the evidence in the case than was ever presented by the bumbling Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden:
“Simpson’s blood was dripped at the murder scene; a cap with hairs matching his was found next to Ron’s and Nicole’s dead bodies; one of Simpson’s large leather gloves was lying between them; and the matching glove, still holding strands of the victims’ hair and stained with their blood and Simpson’s, was found outside his house. Size twelve shoe prints, slightly pigeon–toed, were clearly stamped in the victims’ blood, at the murder scene. Simpson is among the 9 percent of the population who wears a size twelve shoe, and he is pigeon–toed. Those shoe prints made an impression that was matched to one sole in the world—a Silga sole, manufactured at the Silga factory in Civitinova Marche, Italy, for the upscale shoemaker Bruno Magli. We had photographs of Simpson wearing Bruno Magli shoes with the identical sole. Simpson’s white Ford Bronco, parked outside his house, contained not only Simpson’s blood but Ron’s and Nicole’s, and a shoe impression consistent with the Brono Magli stained the carpet on the driver’s side. A trail of Simpson’s blood was dripped up his driveway, into his house, and up to his bedroom and bathroom. Planting of that blood was out of the question—because, just like the blood at the murder scene, it was found long before police investigators had taken any blood from his arm. Simpson had cuts all over his hands the day after the murders but had no explanation for how he got them. His socks were lying on his bedroom floor, spattered with his blood and Nicole’s. Blue black cotton fibers consistent with a dark sweatsuit were found at both the crime scene and in Simpson’s home, linking him to both locations. Rare carpet fibers of the type used in his Bronco were found at the murder scene. His blood, his cuts, his clothing, his gloves, his shoes, his car, his house, his ex-wife’s blood, Ron Goldman’s blood . . . all pointed to O.J. Simpson—and to no one else.” (Emphasis added)
These were facts known to everyone. Undoubtedly, even more was known by Simpson’s defense team, including Mr. Shapiro. Since there isn’t a single molecule of doubt that O.J. Simpson butchered these two innocent people, Shapiro knew it. There is no other conclusion possible but that he knew Simpson committed these murders and, so, he lied in his interview with Megan Kelly. And Ms. Kelly played along, failing to challenge any of his absurd assertions, including the possibility that the “real” killer might still be out there. She should be, but most assuredly isn’t, embarrassed.
Ms. Kelly, in introducing the interview, said she was in law school during the Simpson trial but followed it “gavel to gavel.” The trial began in January of 1995; the verdict was rendered in October of 1995. If she followed it “gavel to gavel” she must not have gone to class or done much studying. Or her law school was a lot easier than mine. She mentioned being in law school, presumably, to give herself some hint of gravitas or authority with respect to legal matters. But, by then proceeding to enable an obviously lying member of the Simpson defense team as he repeated one outrageous and impossible allegation after another, she joined the Liars Club and, in so doing, joined those who have chosen to continue shoveling dirt onto the graves of two innocent young people slashed to death by O.J. Simpson, killer.
In Jekyll Island, Savannah, Hilton Head, Charleston, and Atlanta for two weeks of appearances, addresses, and book signings in July and August. Exact dates and locations to come!!
Played in the shadows and dark corners of the criminal justice system,
Lawyer Games is a game within the game the public sees, when the public
is paying attention at all. Most trials don’t attract a passing glance from the public.
Very few attract the attention that a Manson, Simpson, Buono, Anthony, or
Arias attract, and even those cases, as rare as they were, were not tried four times.
But State vs. James A. Williams was—tried four times. And because it was,
we’ve been offered the rarest of opportunities, to watch opposing legal forces do
battle, retreat, adjust their battle plans, and attack again, across a legal landscape
covering close to a decade. We’ve waded into the crossfire, armed with hindsight
and a manic attention to detail that might have occasionally driven the reader to
Such a level of dissection is seldom possible. It also isn’t likely to be worth
the effort, because not all lawyers behave as Williams’s lawyers did. I’ve called
them legal juvenile delinquents, but such advocates do more than spread teenage
mischief. They undermine the justice system.
That system relies on two sets of oaths: one spoken and one unspoken. The
witness takes a spoken oath, or affirmation, to tell the truth, and can be prosecuted
for the oath’s violation if caught. The other oath is that presumed by an
attorney appearing before a tribunal. When this second oath is violated—the
oath that lawyers will procure the truth and speak the truth, whether as to a fact
or a point of law—there is seldom any recourse.
No attorney reviews the rules governing legal ethics every day, but most
don’t have to—they follow those rules instinctively because the rules are grounded
in commonly understood ethical values. Some, however, willingly bulldoze
through ethical boundaries and leave the rules in the mud beneath the bulldozer’s
Yet the process is too often seen as no more than a Lawyer Game. Even what
passes for legal analysis on news programs can turn into a commentary on cleverness.
Too many observers buy into the notion that it’s all about which side just
made the slickest strategic move.
July 20: Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia Summer Conference closing address: “The Criminal Jury Trial: A Playground for Legal Delinquents”
July 21 thru July 31:
Barnes & Noble – Savannah – Oglethorpe Mall
Barnes & Noble – Hilton Head – Sea Pines Circle
Barnes & Noble – Charleston – Northwoods
And MORE announcements to come…….
I was recently interviewed by BooksGoSocial and the interview is now up on their website if you care to take a look: BooksGoSocial – Dep Kirkland Interview
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.