BONUS: The Real Story Behind "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil"
In this bonus episode, join Collier Landry and Dep Kirkland for an hour-long conversation explaining in detail the case that influenced the book turned film "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil."
Dep Kirkland is a former assistant prosecutor in one of the most notorious murder trials in Savannah, GA history. The murder of "grifter" Danny Hansford by well-known yet mercurial antique dealer Jim Williams shook up the sleepy Southern town, spawning a book and feature film.
Youtube link to this episode: https://youtu.be/DR-eAwHoWos
Dep Kirkland-The Real Story Behind Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
[00:00:00] Dep Kirkland: Well, you know, I get called in the middle of the night, four o'clock in the morning to go to, uh, come down here for a minute who knew it was going to turn into this and who knew it was going to turn into this tourist tsunami and it's in the Gulf, Savannah still to this day. People still go to that house.
[00:00:17] That's the money continued today in the most [00:00:20] notorious criminal trial in Richland county history, Dr. John Boyle is accused of killing his wife, Maureen and burying her body in the basement of his new home in Erie, Pennsylvania. The 12 year old son lively took the stand and I heard a scream. I heard this loud where the jury find the
[00:00:35] Collier Landry: defendant and guilty.
[00:00:37] When I was 12 years old, my testimony sent [00:00:40] my father to prison for murdering my mother. This podcast serves as a type of therapy and reconciliation for myself, and it is my hope that it helps anyone who has experienced deception, betrayal, and dark trial. I'm calling your Landry and this is moving past.
[00:00:59] [00:01:00] Hey movers, what's going on? I'm calling your Landry and this is moving password. I just want to say, it's been really cool getting to know a lot of you during my IgE lives, which I have every Tuesday at 11:00 AM Pacific 2:00 PM Eastern time on my Instagram channel, which is at Collier Landry, which should be like right there.
[00:01:17] And I love just getting to know you guys and [00:01:20] getting you guys ask me questions. You asked me questions about my story, about my life. I can ask you questions. And so I want to thank you guys for tuning in, and if you watching this on YouTube, please like, and subscribe. I really appreciate it. It helps with the algorithm.
[00:01:33] You guys know the drill. Thank you very much. My guest today is a gentleman named Deb Kirkland. DEP was the assistant D one of [00:01:40] the assistant DA's in a case, this case came to national prominence through a film that was directed by the amazing Clint Eastwood. It was called midnight in the garden of good and evil.
[00:01:51] There were three mistrials, I believe. Case. Um, and then I think the fourth ended in a conviction. You will get to hear a depth, [00:02:00] explain the case and his role in it more. It'll be very raw and unedited here to discuss all the wonderful games that lawyers play is my guest, Deb Kirkland. So Deb, thank you so much for being with us today.
[00:02:13] Now you cross our paths because you are getting out of the lawyer games and jumping into the [00:02:20] Hollywood games.
[00:02:21] Dep Kirkland: That's right. I don't know which is worse. Oh, I mean better. Excuse me. Yeah,
[00:02:26] Collier Landry: I would, I would concur with that statement. I think they both have sharks and cesspools. Just take your pick, take your pick, which a group of bottom feeders you might want to be a part of.
[00:02:39] Now you [00:02:40] wrote this book, a lawyer games after midnight in the garden of good and evil, which we've all seen. I believe the movie came out in late, late 1990s, early two thousands. Kevin Spacey, who is now a Hollywood pariah and Jude law, I believe was directed by Clint Eastwood. I think Alison Eastwood is in it.
[00:02:56] Ladies Chablis makes it up, makes an appearance. [00:03:00] Uh, but why don't you tell us a little bit about the book and sort of your, your background?
[00:03:06] Dep Kirkland: Well, I actually started out, uh, I'm originally from Savannah the, by Pamela there now in years, but I was originally from there. I started out as a young whippersnapper lawyer and went to the DA's office.
[00:03:18] I did misdemeanor [00:03:20] cases like everybody else. And then I left and went out into private practice. And then I went back to the DA's office sometime later as the chief, deputy chief, uh, chief assistant district judge da. And I basically ran the trial teams and this and that and tried capital cases and all of that sort of thing.
[00:03:37] During the course of that phase, my career, [00:03:40] this case occurred. So, um, interestingly enough, I lived in, uh, in historic Savannah downtown in a place called trustees gardens, very nice little townhouse. And about three in the morning, one morning, I get a call from a detective with the Savannah police department [00:04:00] who told me that they were at a murder scene or they were at the scene of a killing let's put it that way.
[00:04:05] And they wanted me to come over, which is a little unusual today, I think, in a larger, for a larger municipalities LA, for example, where you guys are, they do have teams that go out to scenes from the DA's office, [00:04:20] because they want them there in case they have search issues or questions or that sort of thing that was not done much back then.
[00:04:26] Uh, and the fact was they couldn't find the da, not, I shouldn't, I have not slandering his name and he, I guess he didn't answer the phone and I did. So I was, I was. Um, and this was a homicide detective. So I [00:04:40] went to this house. The house is a well-known in Savannah now because of this midnight phenomenon that has swept through Savannah people, tourism, there is insane.
[00:04:52] I don't know how many millions of people go to Savannah every year. It started actually with the book and the movie about [00:05:00] midnight, this murder, because it involved a very wealthy, uh, antique dealer. One of the most prominent people in the city who lived in a mansion on a, on a square in Savannah. Uh, so of course, when I was told where I'm going, like, oh yeah, it's the, it's the old Mercer house on the [00:05:20] square and Savannah and I lived downtown.
[00:05:21] So it took me two minutes to get there. So I went to the scene. Um, I go, I went in the house and interestingly enough, There were, uh, there was a, uh, fellow in, uh, in his, I guess I know in that, you know, those houses, uh, the [00:05:40] parlor of the mansion sitting with his two lawyers who were already on the scene, which is interesting, which I'll get to and in a room on a study to the one side they lead me in, I met the D uh, I met the, uh, two homicide detectives there and we go in the room and the [00:06:00] body is still on the floor fellow named Danny hands for a young man, 19 years of age, face down on the floor, three bullet holes.
[00:06:08] And they tell me that the gentleman, James Williams, who own the house and was sitting in the borrower, had shot the young man. And he claimed that it was [00:06:20] self-defense because he said that he had been attacked with another pistol. Now, the interesting thing is right off is the two pistols involved in this case.
[00:06:30] We're two world war II, vintage German, Lugers, not a lot of people that have those hanging around their house. He didn't know too. He had [00:06:40] more than two. So I was told, I said, well, why don't you, why do you need me? They said, because this something doesn't look right. Something smells. And we thought because of who he is, and I knew it, wasn't lawyers.
[00:06:53] I said, tell him, hi, Bob, how you doing? I see these guys in there. So we decided to call you just to get [00:07:00] a second opinion, because this could be big. So I go in, I look, I look around and I said, you're right. This doesn't make sense. And I could explain some of it, I guess I don't want to get too much into the details, but there were facets of that scene aspects of that scene [00:07:20] that no, no, no, no, no.
[00:07:23] The most, the most telling part. Was that there was a chair, an antique heavy wooden chair, curved back. And that chair was about halfway up the [00:07:40] backside of this, of this young man, the back leg of the chair had his pants leg pinned underneath it, against the floor against the carpet. Like that doesn't make any sense.
[00:07:55] How did it get, how did him, how did he get a backup under that chair so far? And how [00:08:00] did that pan, how did that chair leg get on top of his pants leg if he was supposedly standing up attacking the guy with the gun? So, no, it didn't make sense. And I actually went through the scene with them. They showed me what they found.
[00:08:11] Uh, and I actually discovered a, another piece of evidence that they hadn't, I guess, noticed away. Which [00:08:20] was that supposedly the, the fellow who stole alive, Jim Williams had been sitting at his desk. This was his story. He's sitting at his desk when this crazy kid answered, who lived in his house. And he took care of him to his room, with a Luger and shot at him missed.
[00:08:38] And he got his own Luger out of a [00:08:40] drawer next to his desk and returned fire shot him three times, defending himself into the story. What had happened was that the bullet from the original Luger, the one that Hansford had supposedly fired and, uh, had pierced a stack of papers on the desk. It had hit a brass [00:09:00] belt buckle and had ricocheted and then go on and then hit a wall behind where Williams had been sitting.
[00:09:06] The interesting thing about that was that when he went through the stack of papers, the bullet created a shower of paper for. The Luger that Williams had used to quote unquote, defend [00:09:20] himself. He had placed on the desk after he had shot and for follow this, the paper fragments created by the supposedly Hanford shop were on top of the Luger that Williams had supposedly used afterwards.
[00:09:39] That was [00:09:40] impossible because the paper fragment cloud was created after Williams had already placed his defensive weapon on his desk. So I said, so I showed it to them and they're like, oh my God. You're right. So we put a photograph, they were already photographing signs. They photograph thanks. I said, all right.
[00:09:59] So here's [00:10:00] what has to happen? You have to arrest him. Okay. That's what we thought. We just wanted to check with you. So I go into the other room and then I'll do. To the details of what you weren't talking about. The case itself, the trial, I go into the other room to the borrower to inform Bob Duffy, the original lawyer who was there on the scene with, with Williams, [00:10:20] that he was about to be arrested so that he could call and make arrangements for a bail, whatever it is he wanted to do.
[00:10:25] Because at this point he says, it's self-defense, he thinks that they're going to leave. So I go into the other room. Williams is sitting there on the sofa next to Duffy, and I said, you just want to let you know that your client is going to be arrested [00:10:40] for what charge is it for murder? And instead of, uh, instead of the lawyer answering Williams himself looked up at me, he was incredulous.
[00:10:53] He couldn't not believe that that was going to happen. And he says to me, he said, you know, if I wanted to shoot you, I [00:11:00] could have done it because there's another pistol in this desk drawer, a drawer I draw to the table, a side table next to the, uh, sofa. He was sitting. Well, because he wasn't your normal defendant.
[00:11:12] The police had not secured the area within the control of the accused to check for weapons. [00:11:20] So he's sitting next to a side table looking at the drawer. There's another Lugar.
[00:11:25] Collier Landry: Wow. So obviously you show up, police are on the scene, you show up, you are automatically know something's rotten in Denmark. Right.
[00:11:37] And this gentleman, so he's a [00:11:40] very wealthy antiques dealer and correct. Correct. Absolutely. And the two
[00:11:48] Dep Kirkland: he's on the board of the T of the museum he's on, I mean, he's very started. He was one of the people who began the historic restoration movement and the city of Savannah.
[00:11:56] Collier Landry: Okay. So he's, so he's probably fairly well connected.
[00:11:59] [00:12:00] It's safe to say. Again, a junior German Luger, uh, is not a common firearm that most people possession, loaded,
[00:12:10] Dep Kirkland: loaded, and loaded, ready to fire and write
[00:12:14] Collier Landry: a fire. So it sounds to me right then and there that this is a [00:12:20] cut and dry case. You have all the evidence laid out before you, uh, you're talking to his defense lawyer who you happen to know, right.
[00:12:28] Or his personal lawyer, and, you know, Hey, we're going to book your, your client and start making some preparations to get them bailed out, yada yada. And I would [00:12:40] presume that a, the swift hand of justice did not play out the way that you potentially thought it would, or maybe you did. And it turned into a circus and a fiasco, which is why they made a movie out of it.
[00:12:54] Dep Kirkland: So why don't you? Oh, I'm sure.
[00:12:58] Collier Landry: Sure. So why don't you give us a little bit of [00:13:00] background here on earth that a little bit of background, but what, what happened next?
[00:13:06] Dep Kirkland: No, he makes bail. Uh, I actually, I, I was so, uh, accommodating with these folks, but I knew those. I knew his lawyer. He's a nice fellow. I nothing to, he says, well, we need to have a bail hearing.
[00:13:17] Well, by now it's like four in the morning. [00:13:20] Sure. And so I go with them, they find a judge, they wake up a judge. I went with them, we wake the judge up and he comes out in a bathrobe and we have a bail hearing in his living room. He sets bail, you know, myself, the detectives sets a bail off. He goes, he posts bail.
[00:13:38] He calls his [00:13:40] friend who is at the house and has him bring the bail money down in a sack in a. Actual cash says, you know, where money is. He brings a paper bag to the jail with whatever it was 10,000 an hour made thousands of dollars on it. And off he goes back home. Yes. I thought, well, here we [00:14:00] go to me.
[00:14:02] And to your point, I have said, I said this before, because this thing, this case was tried four times, four times, four times over a space of over a period of nine and a half years. Right? So I always thought, because I left the DA's office [00:14:20] after the first trial, which I tried with the da and I, I set the case up.
[00:14:25] I handle all the expert witnesses. I handle the construction of it. And then I left and I went to Atlanta to work for the gutter. So the last three trials, I was not there. And I was asked about it because a very famous case. What do you think the first case was reversed? [00:14:40] The second, the first trial ended in conviction.
[00:14:42] Second one ended in can be. They were both overturned. The third one ended in a hung jury, 11 to one for guilty because of something I'll tell you about this person ended up on the jury that shouldn't have been. And nine and a half years later, the case was finally moved to Augusta, Georgia because of [00:15:00] publicity supposedly.
[00:15:01] And he was actually acquitted nine and a half years later. Now I as asked, I was asked about this all the time. Well, what do you think about the Williams case? What do you is going on down there? And I said, look, I don't know why they keep reversing. Here's some shenanigans at the Supreme court. There's a lot going on with this guy.
[00:15:18] He has very prominent [00:15:20] people behind him, but I will tell you this. There's a, uh, uh, there is a judge that was a friend of mine. And I had mentioned something about this to him and his dad had been a judge and he said, my dad told me something. Once you have this thing about these lawyers or lawyers or magician, oh, I'm going to hire so-and-so and I'm going to [00:15:40] get.
[00:15:41] I'd have to tell you that the, the, the defense lawyer in the first trial of Williams was a fellow named Bobby Lee cook, who is world renowned. He may not, we blew this. I don't know if he's still around. He'd be 90. You have to be close to a hundred today, but he had tried 500 murder trials. He'd represented the Carnegie's.
[00:15:58] I mean, this guy was the, [00:16:00] the sartorial, uh, goateed quoter of Shakespeare, that guy that's, who showed up to defend him. One of the biggest, most famous trial lawyers. And particularly in murder cases in the United States is kind of like an athlete Bailey type. But, but, but with a better record, wow, [00:16:20] sorry, better record than definitely yet.
[00:16:23] But yes, that guy's one is the one that, uh, I was talking to Brenda earlier, is it, you know, there are things that happen in a criminal case when you have a very prominent, uh, uh, accused. Person, the first thing you see [00:16:40] is the perp walk. You see the police with this famous person handcuffed, and they're being ushered in to the jail with the media and all the Bella flashbulbs and the cameras are all going on.
[00:16:52] The next thing you see is that person walking out of the jail with [00:17:00] attorney X, right into the face of the microphones, where they have their press conference. Is it, you tell, you know, when you see who the lawyer is like, you know that we've all done this because I have done it myself and I see who it is.
[00:17:16] I like, oh yeah, he did it. It's like are a bit, there [00:17:20] are lawyers at that level that when you see them show up in a case, you know, the defendant is in trouble because you're very expensive. Well, that's
[00:17:29] Collier Landry: the mark Geragos comes to mind spiral over Shapiro. You know, Johnny Cochran, God rest his soul. You know, I think those are the big, [00:17:40] those are the heavy hitters, Alan Dershowitz, all of whom I believe representatives.
[00:17:45] Yes, they did.
[00:17:47] Dep Kirkland: Including F Lee Bailey, who, uh, had in fact, the last, before the OJ case, the last case that Bailey had tried was actually Patty Hearst and he had lost it. So this dream team, I [00:18:00] know that's a whole different subject, but the dream team was not such a dream team. Johnnie Cochran. He made his, made his bones suing the police department for police harassment, which was fine.
[00:18:08] He made a good living doing that. They didn't actually, it wasn't even, it was not a murder. He was not a, uh, a trial over the table, the whole lot of murder cases. But Hey, that's uh, the OJ case is a whole different thing. [00:18:20] So that's what you thought would happen? I thought, well, I said to people who asked me about the Williams case chaperone.
[00:18:26] And I said, I have to tell you this. And this is to share with you what the, my friends, judge, father had told him about that sort of thing. These high powered, famous magicians, as lawyers, his dad had said, I'll tell you what, [00:18:40] you let me pick my evidence and I'll let you pick your lawyer. And that's what I told people.
[00:18:46] I said, if Jim Williams is tried a hundred times for this murder, he will be convicted a hundred times. Why? Because gravity doesn't change and there's nothing he can do [00:19:00] about it. There's the chair leg. There's blood that is in, uh, all over the, the hand of this kid who supposedly had shot at him. There is, uh, put a Luger underneath the kid's hand.
[00:19:13] His fingers are completely chosed close in what was called. When people are shot, occasionally they will clench their fist [00:19:20] and they'll take them to the chest. This kid is on the floor. He's got his one hand under his chest. The others had been pulled out his fingers slightly uncurled and laid on the handle of a Luger.
[00:19:31] Right? There's no blood anywhere on that. Lugar is filled with blood because he had bled into, onto it underneath his chest because that's [00:19:40] how he died. So it, and then you've got the paper fragments you've uh, the defendant in his story had him on the wrong end of the desk. He said he came in from there, but his feeder at the other end, I could go on.
[00:19:53] There's so much physical evidence in this case. And he thought he was very clever. He thought that he could get on the stand and say what he wanted [00:20:00] and they would believe. And he also put on the performances. He was quite, quite a, quite a character. I lost my son. He made a movie out of it.
[00:20:07] Collier Landry: Well, I mean, you got Kevin Spacey played him, so I'm sure he was.
[00:20:10] So let me, let me, let me ask you. So was it true that this, um, this perp, uh, that came in, was that his really his [00:20:20] lover? Yes. Okay. And what did, so was this, you know, this young lover was, did he have family in the area or was he just sorta like a transient, like a grifter in the area? So he did. So they never in essence got justice for
[00:20:39] Dep Kirkland: their [00:20:40] son?
[00:20:40] No, they did not. And I was contacted by his sister because the thing that part of the defense tactic was to portray him. And if you see the movie, you'll see that you would want to play this. Now, one thing I will say, Kevin Spacey, pariah that you mentioned. [00:21:00] Yeah. If anybody nailed it nailed apart and nail Jim Williams.
[00:21:03] It was Spacey in that movie that was Julie Williams, as far as, as, as if he had been pulled up and from the grave and put on the screen, junior law portrayed the kid, Danny Hansford. It was a, like, he was some sort of creature [00:21:20] from the deep. He was like, he was this evil, this embodiment of evil that was not Danny.
[00:21:26] And Danny Hanford was a kid. He was a street punk. Jim Williams used to this was according to the testimony, not me. He would cruise the parks. And that's what they did. Some of these kids in the [00:21:40] parks of Savannah late at night, it was a big of underground culture. Jim Williams used to have a, and this was in the film.
[00:21:49] He had a Christmas party, everybody who was, anybody came to his Christmas. He within open up the doors on the second floor of the mansion and he would play [00:22:00] the pipe organ. I mean, it was an amazing event. If you were the mayor, if you were anybody in Savannah, you went to Jim Williams Christmas party. And I know that actually, uh, the ID officer in this case who handled some things that helped us with evidence later, when working on the book, she worked security for him at those parties [00:22:20] as an off duty police officer.
[00:22:21] So she knew all about it. She said, oh yeah, we did know. Yeah, that was on say Saturday night or Friday night, the next night he had another party, but it wasn't advertised, but it was also at the mansion because he still had the lights up. He still had all of the food. He still had over the [00:22:40] booze and it was for men only.
[00:22:42] And it was all guys, all in tuxedos. So that was, it was a Williams led. And I, you know, at that happens in some cities where people have double lives. He had his public life where he would have a woman go with him. So it was like his date. And then he would, you know, the [00:23:00] next night it was different. Danny Hanford was a street urchin who was very cute and hung out in the parks and he would do what he did for money.
[00:23:10] And all the kids do. Jim Williams picked him up and took him home. And that's something that I talk about in the book. Are they, I believe it was this [00:23:20] obsessive relationship. He bought him a car. He bought him jewelry. He buys Welty. Danny Hansford was not gay, could have been and find him, but he wasn't. He did what he did for money.
[00:23:34] So for example, there was a period of time, right before I think it was the day before he was killed [00:23:40] or the day, day or two, before he was killed. Jim Williams gave him. A, uh, right. Expensive gold necklace. We knew what it cost. I don't want to remember now, but it's in the book about what today's value of that thing would have been.
[00:23:53] It was a lot, it gives Danny this gold necklace chain, necklace, and he takes the [00:24:00] necklace and gives it to his girlfriend. Williams notices that he doesn't have the necklace. So
[00:24:07] Collier Landry: now that's me just, you know, I'm not a prosecutor or a, a lawyer, but that to me, sounds like that could be something we call
[00:24:15] Dep Kirkland: motive.
[00:24:16] There's no doubt that maybe
[00:24:19] Collier Landry: Mr. Williams, [00:24:20] wouldn't be very excited about that notion. No. And it'd be an escape fantasy, or you have this fantasy about this guy, you know, that was straight, that was playing gay, gay for pay.
[00:24:32] Dep Kirkland: Um, I just, with him, he was, he was his plate that he was his boy toy. He did not like he didn't like him having a [00:24:40] girlfriend.
[00:24:40] I mean, he didn't say this at trial until later the first trial. There was nothing to that. He was just a kid that he had taken off the street because he felt sorry for him. She was trying to get him, get him, help him, get his life back together. And here's the thing about mark, about murder cases. And you know, this, uh, it, Brenda knows this there's no necessarily there's [00:25:00] no requirement.
[00:25:01] There's no requirement that you prove motive and a murder case. W why don't you say that again? One more time. There is no requirement that you prove motive in America. It's not an element of the offense. However, if you don't juries, don't like it. They want to [00:25:20] know why this happened. Motive is important.
[00:25:24] You need to prove, I know they say motive. It means an opportunity. What you really need that's for investigators. What you really need for a conviction is opportunity means, and you need to prove it. And I don't care why it happened. If [00:25:40] you've got a video of the killing, you don't need it doesn't matter why somebody got mad or why they flew off the handle or why they pulled the trigger.
[00:25:48] They pulled the trigger. If you can prove that you don't need to prove motive, but you, but it's important to, because juries want to know what that was. Why would somebody do this? Why did this? That's
[00:25:58] Collier Landry: interesting. [00:26:00] So, so I did a Ted talk, um, about my pursuit of making my film, which was a murder of Mansfield about the murder of my mother by my father.
[00:26:11] And I witnessed the murder happened and I testified at trial for two and a half days. Um, Against, uh, my father and put, [00:26:20] essentially put my father in prison. Right. I wouldn't let him get away with it. Nobody believed me except for one detective. And over the course of like 25 days, he and I put together everything.
[00:26:28] And I found this picture, this house that my father had had in his truck. And that's where they turned up. It ended up finding my mother's body was in another state. So, uh, but I, it was in this Ted talk. I'm talking about, you know, [00:26:40] that we, as humans are natural paths. So it's interesting to hear you say this because, you know, I talk about, you know, we always want to know why things happen so we can come to some sort of understanding or rationale of why these crimes.
[00:26:54] Or are perpetrated. Right. Right. And that's interesting that this even translates [00:27:00] over into, uh, you're prosecuting or prosecutors taking into account this sort of psychology when they're trying to present a murder case to a jury, is there has to be that, that bit of empathy, whether it's a sympathetic form of empathy, or just a general understanding or comprehension of why [00:27:20] would they do this?
[00:27:20] Because without that, that humanistic link, you know, in our brains is called the mirror neuron system. Without that link, that sort of bonds us, they can't come to any sort of rational decision one way or another. You're
[00:27:31] Dep Kirkland: absolutely right about that. And in this case, I actually had someone say to me at one point about a, uh, it was about an insanity defense [00:27:40] or murder case, and they were not involved in the case, but we were talking about it.
[00:27:44] And he said, you know, I don't understand, does it. Why would someone for no reason to kill somebody else who doesn't that just per se tell you that they're insane because that's insane as they, well, that's not the legal definition, but I get what you're going [00:28:00] for. And it's what you're talking about. We want to be, we want to juries want to feel comfortable with their decision.
[00:28:06] So a lot of what you do as a prosecutor, and I think you do it as a defense lawyer, you're trying to get them to understand and be confident that if they're going to cut somebody loose, who is in a courtroom was accused of killing somebody. That's a bad thing. I don't want to let somebody go that [00:28:20] maybe did it as a defense lawyer.
[00:28:22] You have to get them to the point that they feel okay about their decision. It ha it comes up in, uh, in capital cases. It comes up in death cases. Oh, you're going to put this person to death. It's important. But in this case, it, it, it, uh, the motive question was a [00:28:40] double edge. Because William's position was he didn't stand up and say this, but this was his, this was his counsel's position in the first trial was that this was a normal relationship.
[00:28:51] Maybe it was a little lie, but there was nothing else to it. It was all fine. He was trying to help you. Why in the world would someone like [00:29:00] James Williams and his position in life decide to take the life of this? Nobody street arching. Okay. But the better question is why would a young man who has been taken off the street and is being [00:29:20] taken care of by, I call him the golden goose by James Williams, living in one of the finest mansions in Savannah
[00:29:27] Collier Landry: by why would he bite the hand that feeds him.
[00:29:30] Dep Kirkland: That's exactly. What is his, what in God's name does he get for by killing James? Uh, James Williams. Now, is it, what was there, [00:29:40]
[00:29:40] Collier Landry: what was their defense? He came up during
[00:29:42] Dep Kirkland: the trial, uh, as it came up during the trial and later in the appellate part process, their claim was that Hansford had a plot. It was ridiculous, but he had a plot to kill Williams and take his money.
[00:29:59] [00:30:00] Well, you might ask yourself, how exactly was he going to get Jim Williams money if your children? And the other thing that I point out in the book is, and where's he going? If he kills Jim Williams on Friday night, where is he sleeping? Saturday night. Exactly. Yeah, but that's what, that's what, [00:30:20] that's one of the things that the defense, uh, when, after it was this made note since Danny Hansford and that's why I think he was played the way he was by Judy.
[00:30:30] Danny Handford was mentally unbalanced. That was their thing. He had been put in a regional hospital at Muslim time when he was [00:30:40] 17 or wherever twice, he had been to Georgia regional. Now why? Because he had, he drank a lot. He was drugged up and he broke a door. His, uh, his, uh, apartment that he lived in, he attack some guy that he claimed had sprayed his cat with us with, uh, uh, with a, uh, paint with a bug killer.
[00:30:59] And [00:31:00] he was a raucous wild, young man who lived in the streets. Okay. So that's what he was like. And he would get into trouble. He'd get drunk, he'd smashed something up. And his mother would put him in Georgia regional, and then a day later they let him out, but they brought him in, they put it psychiatrist on the stand.
[00:31:19] They [00:31:20] brought out his medical records. They tried to paint this picture that he was basically. Um, out of control, raging every, uh, it's kinda funny actually, because during the trial, when James Williams would tell this story and he had to tell it four times, because he was tried four times, his story kept changing, [00:31:40] but he loved me.
[00:31:40] He took the stand. Oh, he took the stand. Oh yes. He was never not taking the stand. It was,
[00:31:47] Collier Landry: would you say this guy Williams was a narcissist and associates
[00:31:51] Dep Kirkland: question? No question about it.
[00:31:54] Collier Landry: Cause I feel that it only narcissists and sociopaths really [00:32:00] feel the need to take the witness stand in a murderer. I mean, my father did, you know, and it's just, it's just, they do.
[00:32:07] They just think that they're so much smarter than everyone else and they can fool everyone and then it just backfires, but they're not even, they're not even cognizant of their sociopathy or their [00:32:20] narcissism to realize that they're, they look. No ad what I'm saying is everyone can read through them. You know,
[00:32:29] Dep Kirkland: between the second trial, I said four trials between the second and the third trial when Williams was out, he and his lawyer did an interview with us [00:32:40] magazine.
[00:32:41] Who does that? What criminal defendant accused of murder sits down with a lawyer and starts talking about their defense. And he says, during the interview, yes, we've been talking, we're hoping to do a plea, maybe to voluntary manslaughter, blah, blah. What are you doing? He thought exactly what you're talking about.
[00:32:57] It's such an ego that he believed he could not [00:33:00] stand the district attorney. He could not stand being even questioned by this man, which I love because he used that to get to him and he lost it on the stand. He did not the fourth time, but he, you could see through it. He looked like I said, he looked like he actually seemed like.
[00:33:18] Uh, a tank commander [00:33:20] about what to rise, you know, around his tanks and attack the enemy. And everyone is going to he's the commandant that he's going to March into battle. Now here's the thing about this case because of the physical evidence, there was also some, some things going on at the other end of the desk, down there with, uh, with, uh, uh, marijuana cigarette.
[00:33:38] It was ground into the top of his [00:33:40] antique leather. That's what happened? I think they were having a conversation. This was the middle of the night. We were supposed to go to Europe the next day with Danny going along as his, uh, as his helper to keep him, you know, whatever. So we know what happened. So you've got that down there.
[00:33:54] You've got the chair leg on the pants. You've got him at the wrong end of the desk. You've got all of this that you had the [00:34:00] blood, you've got all this stuff going on. Now, if I'm a defense lawyer, I'm going to say, you know what, if you don't explain this because I don't have an explanation and you were in the.
[00:34:11] Unlike in your case, there are only two people in this case and the dead guy. Can't tell you what happened though. I think he can tell you [00:34:20] what happened from the evidence, but he can't speak. So what happened was
[00:34:24] Collier Landry: that a heater and some smelling salts? That's for sure.
[00:34:26] Dep Kirkland: Right? You're not going to get him up.
[00:34:28] It is coming back. So what you tell them is, look, I can't eat. You're going down. If you can't explain this evidence, why is that chair on his [00:34:40] pants? Slate? How did it get on his pants leg? I could come up with an a, you could, too, if you had enough time, you'd come up with an explanation. It was October, for some reason it had to have been knocked over because it was obviously had been put back upright and put back up right in the wrong position.
[00:34:55] So you've got to have any excuse for having been toppled in the first place. Well, I feel
[00:34:59] Collier Landry: like it's like [00:35:00] these guys always have, you know, The answers to every question, they have the answer for everything. And I, I feel like that's a pretty typical thing. Now, my question to you is did William's story evolve from the first trial to the fourth trial?
[00:35:17] Did it get more intense? Was there more creative [00:35:20] liberties that happened or did he pretty much stick to a
[00:35:22] Dep Kirkland: script? He, then there was a point I was about to make without that, when you bring that up as you're very true, you might put somebody on the stand because you have to, because there are things about it that somebody, you better explain it.
[00:35:35] And so you think, okay, I'll put him on the stand to explain the chair, [00:35:40] but you don't put him on the stand and then have them tell you that they don't have any idea how the chair got there. Oh. And paying attention to that chair. He didn't address the physical evidence. So why is he testifying? All he's doing is pontificating and is helping us because he looked like this megalomaniac.
[00:35:55] It doesn't make any sense. He doesn't explain any of this stuff. So to your point, [00:36:00] That doesn't make sense because he's on
[00:36:03] Collier Landry: stage, he's on stage, he's on stage. You know, my father did similar things, you know, my father had read it a Jack hammer that he used because my father was convicted of premeditated murder.
[00:36:14] Cause it was premeditated. And a lot of people they've seen the documentary. They were like, well, I wasn't clear. Did he kill [00:36:20] her? Like, no, it was premeditated. He, you know, he read it, the Jack hammer prior to her murder. He, he asked about lowering the basement floor in the home, uh, where she was eventually found in the buried underneath the concrete floor in the basement.
[00:36:34] Um, and all these things were set up. And I think that, uh, you know, when he was being, you [00:36:40] know, cross-examined, uh, he couldn't explain the way these things, but was feeling like he was, uh, because, well, you just take my word for it. It's kind of their thing. Well, cause I'm, you know, Yeah, I'm the narcissist, I'm the sociopath.
[00:36:55] And you should just believe me and trust me.
[00:36:57] Dep Kirkland: Absolutely. Absolutely. I don't understand [00:37:00] why they, but you know what? I also had a judge. I also had a judge make a comment once because as you know, in a murder trial, well then any trial there's, it comes a point about, it comes a point when you ask, is the defendant going to take the stand or not?
[00:37:14] And if they decide not to, there's a whole process that the court has to go through, [00:37:20] questioned them, to make sure they understand that they have the right to testify. They have the right to cross examine. They have a right to confront their witnesses. And if the decision is made not to get on the stand Zandy, it has to be a part of the record.
[00:37:33] And then they can, you know, that's fine. They can make that decision and they have to talk about what their attorneys told them, where they will advise fine. [00:37:40] I had that in a case happen when a fellow is not going to take the stand afterward, I'm talking to the judge in the case. And he says, you know, I've never understood that.
[00:37:50] Like, what do you mean? You mean not testify? He said, look, if I'm on trial for my life, if I don't get on the stand, what am I telling [00:38:00] people? He said, I just don't have a lot of respect for somebody. They won't try to save their own life. He says, I get the strategic decision, but I can tell you, I don't think is like it.
[00:38:13] Um, now what happens is with people like your dad and like Jim Williams, they're sociopath, they [00:38:20] think sure that they will be believed. For example, I'll give you an example. The night that this thing happened, where had they been? Well, they had been to the drive in that Quinn with others. I think that driving might still be there.
[00:38:33] It's kind of a goofy thing to go. Do they go? They want, they had gone to the drive in Williams. Testified. [00:38:40] That Danny Hansford on the way to the drive in did they had stopped at the package store and they had gotten two half pints of wild Turkey or some kind of liquor. And during the movie Hansard had smoked, oh, I don't know, six or seven or eight joints, like, wait a minute.[00:39:00]
[00:39:00] And he drinks the liquor and he's like, I heard this driving. I'm thinking, I'm thinking, so maybe he was smoking or maybe he was smoking a joint at the driving. Fine. But he couldn't, he couldn't let it go at a gym. It had to be six or seven or eight. And I'm thinking, okay, I don't know about this jury, but I know what I know.
[00:39:19] [00:39:20] Like if I joined, I smoked at each point and I drank two half by, so I would be outside the car on the ground at the drugs. Yeah, exactly. And then the other thing is of course, how about the drugs? Oh, no drugs are allowed in mind. Sure, but not at the drive-in. And my other question to Williams is I didn't, I didn't cross examine [00:39:40] Williams, but my question in the book that I would have asked Williams is, so were you in the car at the drive?
[00:39:46] It, did you not inhale the air in the car? Because he doesn't touch drugs? You know, we have don't know, no drugs are not for me. Like you're a car where somebody supposedly smoked a half a dozen joints and you [00:40:00] somehow didn't you remained in a bubble, the stuff they say sometimes doesn't make sense. Well,
[00:40:07] Collier Landry: I believe when I was in college, we called that hotboxing.
[00:40:10] So he would've been hopping.
[00:40:13] Dep Kirkland: Yes. He would have like it or not, you could have been a priest and he still would've been in there and you still have to breathe. Right. But [00:40:20] it's like, it's like, your dad is like, they can't, first of all, they believe that people will believe them and they tend to exaggerate things just to make their case a little bit.
[00:40:33] Collier Landry: Yeah, hyperbole becomes their, uh, their only ally.
[00:40:37] Dep Kirkland: Um, and Hansford, here's where, the thing, [00:40:40] you mentioned his story, as he told the story over and over and over, it did try to adjust for where he's standing because he needed to move him. His feet were at the wrong end of the tape of the desk, his feet, because he had been shot.
[00:40:54] The first shot entered his chest and severed his aorta. He was dead in the space of a half, [00:41:00] four seconds. He felt a complete straight down didn't move. And that was from their own testimony. Their own experts testified to that. He fell down, he never moved. He was dead and no 10 seconds. Well, his feet were at the end of the desk where the chair had been and where the cigarette was ground out [00:41:20] into the top of the leather table.
[00:41:22] My feeling is that was the trigger because this was his antiques and his possessions were. Yeah, it used to do this. His friend said this, he said, you know, Danny would piss Williams off. He'd do it intentionally. He did it [00:41:40] all the time because then Williams would blow up at him and then later he'd feel bad.
[00:41:45] And he by himself. Exactly. Yeah. What he did, that was their pattern. Well, um, that, that's what happened. I think that's what happened in this case. We never had to prove, we didn't have to prove [00:42:00] that Williams planned it didn't plan it. How all we had to prove was that it wasn't self-defense because he had admitted shooting.
[00:42:09] So we could prove that that self-defense theory fell apart. He's standing there having confessed to having shot the kid. So we didn't have to go into what was the cigarette doing down here? What was the chair doing? What [00:42:20] probably happened that led up to this, but we did, you know, he, so he did try to con he tried to change that.
[00:42:25] He said, oh, he, we came in and every time he said he came into the. He would say, well, he came in and he was raging. He was raging, raging became the word of the day. He must have said it 50 times you, he was raising, he came in and he was [00:42:40] raging. I like this. He also spoke in a way that most people don't, it's this heightened type of language.
[00:42:46] It's almost like he was an aristocrat from somebody. He was high flow,
[00:42:50] Collier Landry: very highfalutin. Well that, you know, obviously a high level of intelligence goes hand in hand with sociopathy and narcissism, for sure. And, uh, yeah, [00:43:00] like you, uh, you use the, you know, you said earlier, it's like he was pontificating to everyone from the witness box.
[00:43:06] Dep Kirkland: Well, they convicted him, uh, the first time and I wasn't surprised I did a actually, no, I did the final closing in the case. [00:43:20] And, um, I, I think I said to the jury, I forget what I said exactly, but I said to them basically, Uh, you've, you've had a view into a side of life in Savannah that most people never see it's in a different world, and this is the world they lived in.
[00:43:36] They, this was normal for them. This was normal [00:43:40] behavior for Williams. I was told later by someone who knew him quite well. And I don't know if this is true. I don't think I put it in the book because I, I assume it's true because I've known this person all my life. Um, and he knew Williams quite well downtown in that neighborhood.
[00:43:58] And he said, Jim Williams [00:44:00] used to pay people to go over into the projects with money and pay a kid and bring him back to the house. That's the guy he was. And then he got latched on to Danny Handford and he was, I don't know what you'd call it to his psychosis, [00:44:20] but it was one thing he could not control.
[00:44:23] He could not control. And in the end, I think that's what happened. I think the Hansford pushed him one too many times. He had apparently a temper and it came out occasionally on the stand because whenever Spencer Walton was the [00:44:40] da, uh, who went on to serve for 35 years in that position, Spencer would cross examine him.
[00:44:44] And you could just see where it's getting so irritated and agitated, and that doesn't help either. Like you said, about a motive, a jury watches people, they watch the lawyers, they can decide. I have had juries [00:45:00] come up with decisions. That's another thing about trying cases. You think, you know, you think you made this brilliant point and you think if you win a case that you want it because of this, because of your argument, because, oh, it was about this and it was, here's why, you know, we really nailed them on the blood, but if you're a defense lawyer, you're like, yeah, I got them.
[00:45:17] You know, I got them. I think they really went for this. There you [00:45:20] talk to jurors after. And it is incredible. The things they come up with for doing reasons. They come up with for doing what they do. Sometimes it's not your brilliance whatsoever. It could be. I don't like the lawyers tie that guy. I just didn't believe him anything.
[00:45:35] He said, what you're talking about? The defendant, no, I'm talking about his lawyer. He was like, [00:45:40] what? Where did you come up with this stuff? So they are very observant and they really watch the defendant. They don't just watch them when they're testifying, they watch them. When they're in the courtroom, they watch them at the table.
[00:45:53] They watch their reaction to evidence. They walk into that and he did not do that. Well, what happened? And I'll tell you that [00:46:00] for trials, I get it. First one was reversed. Second one was reversed. Again. He was convicted. The third one, he was, I say, I was, ended up 11 to one for guilty and that's a completely different story.
[00:46:10] There was a person on the jury years later when I was working on the book, I came back and I talked to a detective. Who it was the homicide [00:46:20] detective lead detective. In that case, he was running a task force at the time I went to see him, I said, so what do you think about all this? I know we're talking about the third trial, which ended 11 to one.
[00:46:29] There was a person on there that hung that jury. And he said, well, you know what happened in that case? I said, no, I didn't. And in fact, the da didn't know it. My friend, he didn't know that this is what I'm working on the book years later, [00:46:40] he says, the fact was, we already tried this twice. Here's a third trial.
[00:46:45] And my Lieutenant would not allow me to go to the jury selection portion of the trial, because I'd already spent so much time on this thing. And he's like, look, you can go to the trial because as you know, uh, the, the, the detectives will, will sit with the prosecution [00:47:00] during trial. So he was going to do that, but he didn't go to the jury selection portion, which they normally would.
[00:47:04] They be there from day one. He said he wouldn't let me go. And I got all the things to do. You've got cases. You don't need to go down there and watch him pick a jury. So he didn't go. And he said, if I had been there, that woman would never have been on the. Really does. [00:47:20] I know her, I had served warrants at her house.
[00:47:24] Her husband, her boyfriend slash husband is what we call a safe burglar. These are the guys that would break into a, into a store, take the safe out, burn the store and take this. I mean, this guy is a professional criminal. We have been after him [00:47:40] and she is his girl and we've been to her house. I know her, like, I know what was she doing on the jury?
[00:47:45] She's on the jury. That's incredible. How did that happen? I don't think Spencer knew any of that. He's been there out of toll. Well, she hung the jury and there was no way she was going to convict. Then they go to trial number four, which was [00:48:00] now over nine years later and it's in Augusta. So he moved the trial and I deal with this in the book, as it goes, they acquitted him.
[00:48:10] They acquitted him. Like, how is this possible? Back to my earlier comment. We'll wait, wait, wait. The chairs. The residue [00:48:20] still there. The blitz still there. Aye. How in the world did they cut him loose? So I had to go through and come up with an analysis of why I think maybe he was acquitted finally. Yeah.
[00:48:32] One of those pieces was that in the early, this is about your dad and it's about Jim Lee. Sure. In the [00:48:40] earlier part of this, when he was pontificating and he was showing off, he was irritating. He looked like somebody who thought that this, this kid was a piece of trash and was a nap that he gets swamped.
[00:48:52] Sure. By time of the last trial, now it's nine and a half years later. And I talked to the court reporter who sat through [00:49:00] that trial. And I said, was there anything different? She is the only thing I can tell you that was different. Was his demeanor. It was like, he'd been beaten down plus he's nine and a half years old.
[00:49:12] So he's he looked like this loop, this old man who probably, I don't know, he just didn't, he was not the [00:49:20] same arrogant Jurich that he was in the first trials and it just was like, he responded with a different person. Now, my analysis was that the people in this other city who didn't know him, this is something else that happens with juries.
[00:49:35] This case had been tried three times. Now you're in a different city and all of a [00:49:40] sudden here comes this trial into your town and you're on a, stay on a jury and say, well, isn't this. And it was well known throughout the state of Georgia. It was a big deal. Your allegations are connected to the former governor.
[00:49:51] I mean the Supreme court, some shenanigans here, it was all over the paint. Everybody knew about this case. So you see, that has been brought here. [00:50:00] You see that he's been tried three times. You see that he's still here. So those, those trials, those convictions were reversed. Then there was a hung jury. So what are you thinking.
[00:50:11] Something's wrong with this case, there must be a reason that they keep throwing it out. This is subconscious. There must be a reason they had to [00:50:20] come to Augusta to get justice for this man. Gotta be something to this. And my final comment about it was, and you look at this God, and he doesn't look like the commandant of the tank court anymore.
[00:50:32] He looks like this harmless old man. And you know what? It's been nine and a half years. He's probably not going to kill anybody [00:50:40] else. And if he does, it's not going to be in my town. Right. And so they let him go. What's that sounds like when you refer to the fact that they went to the projects and brought back kids, you're talking about kids under the age of 18.
[00:50:59] [00:51:00] So this guy a pedophile. Oh yeah. Well, people in the town, I'm assuming. You know, for the most part, what, now nobody knew this.
[00:51:12] Collier Landry: They weren't aware of his
[00:51:13] Dep Kirkland: behavior. Oh gosh, no, gosh, no. Nobody knew this except people who really knew him. That's what I'm saying. It's the it's and this [00:51:20] is, I don't think it's, uh, you might say it's something about out of Tennessee Williams, you know, that it's one of those Southern Gothic stories.
[00:51:29] And I think that's one reason if you want to know why I think the midnight book did so well, John Barron's book, it's not accurate. It's not it's it's fiction. [00:51:40] Um, and it, it doesn't even tell you about the four trial. The, one of the reasons I think that it became so popular was not because it was about this murder case, because it was barely about this murder case.
[00:51:50] I think the murder case was his way in. He didn't even show up until after the second trial. He wasn't there in the beginning, even though in the movie, he is. Okay, [00:52:00] because it was about Savannah and it was about the quarter is about the guy owns a dog and invisible dog and the people and the guy has flies on a string and the, the, the, uh, the cotillion and, uh, the people who talk like that, and they all got guns hit in some way.
[00:52:15] I know all of this stuff, I think it was such so delicious. It was a [00:52:20] summary. And you sit on a beach, you can read it quickly. Yeah. That was pretty good. But it wasn't this case. So I think like it's, that, that environment is not only unique to the south, but it is this environment where you have people who have two lives.
[00:52:35] Maybe you go to Italy where I don't know if this is true anymore. But then at [00:52:40] one time we had have cow men. They have, there was a place in New Jersey that I knew somebody who worked. It was a Roadhouse and she was the chief bartender. And she said we had two nights, Friday night was girlfriend night.
[00:52:54] Ours are the other way around. I'm not sure. Saturday night was, [00:53:00]
[00:53:00] Collier Landry: says, he says that in a, you know, they said
[00:53:02] Dep Kirkland: the same guy would come in one night with a girlfriend one night with a family, nobody said a word, and I'm sure the wife knew that he was used to didn't talk about it. He didn't talk about
[00:53:13] Collier Landry: it. Yeah.
[00:53:14] And that is the taboo of the old way of doing things Southern. Yeah. [00:53:20] It's a, it's interesting. It's sort of a swap culture if you will.
[00:53:24] Dep Kirkland: Yeah. It's a fascinating thing, but I still, I still struggle with, and there was some things that happened. Uh, legally there was some things that happened with some decisions that the courts that started to restrict the ability of, uh, experts to testify about certain things.
[00:53:38] And, and they went into that fourth [00:53:40] trial, uh, with a, a brand new case that the judge had to interpret from the Georgia Supreme court and interpreted it in a way that I thought was even more restrictive than the court asked him to do. Which meant that the, uh, expert testimony from the people in the crime lab and the firearms experts and the head forensic guy from there, they, they were, they couldn't draw a [00:54:00] conclusion.
[00:54:00] So he basically couldn't walk the jury through the, through this evidence that we've talked about. They couldn't talk about why the hand being here with the blood being here and not there matters why the time who matters, why the sequence of the shots are different. There was the last, the last shot was, [00:54:20] was fired through Hanford's back after he was face down on the floor, he's already dead.
[00:54:26] The third shot went straight through his, back into the floor. And I was there when they dug the bullet out of the floor. Yeah. All right. He claimed that he was behind his desk the entire time. That is not possible. You would have to [00:54:40] bend a bullet in flight for that to happen. For sure. You have to have somebody explain that to him.
[00:54:46] Now I think you do, or I, or I think if you're relying on the experts to do it, if you're relying on your expert to draw all those diagrams and you end up at the last second, not having them be to [00:55:00] do that and you aren't prepared to do it, then I think that's what happened in that case. I think he, he seemed a little more, you know, less threatening and they didn't have the expert testimony they needed.
[00:55:11] The detective was not allowed to walk the jury through the case and to see the evidence as it appeared and to say, what here's this. Now I did talk to the court reporter, [00:55:20] as I told you. And I said, what do you think Barb? She said, I'll tell you what I've always thought about that case. And if I had it, I wish I had it.
[00:55:28] I would put it up on the screen. I show it to you. The, the, the, the image of that chair planted on his pants leg and halfway up his body. She said, my opinion has always been [00:55:40] that you could have taken that photo and blown it. And hung it in the courtroom and rested your case. Now you didn't. And what happens is if you don't, you try to explain things, it becomes complicated.
[00:55:54] Complication is the friend of the defense. The more complicated it is, [00:56:00] the more places they can find reasonable doubt. But she said, look, there's no way to explain that chair. She sat through four trials. She said he can't be explained and they still let him go. I said, do you know why she said, I think it's because he just had been later, it was in Augusta and he just didn't look like he was all that threatening and they just decided to cut him [00:56:20] loose.
[00:56:21] Collier Landry: Um, that's fascinating. I
[00:56:23] Dep Kirkland: want to tell you this just one, one tidbit. Sure. Uh, I don't know if it's 30 days later or 60 days later. Um, it was founded in his, in his, in the same study where he was shot hands fruit. He had a heart attack. He [00:56:40] fell dead across the threshold of that. Wearing nothing but a t-shirt and apparently had been entertaining some guests of his that evening before, because they were cocktail glasses around here and there.
[00:56:53] And apparently after he dropped dead, they didn't stick around. That was the life he led [00:57:00] eventually. Eventually, I guess he, uh, yeah.
[00:57:07] Collier Landry: Uh, that's fascinating. We have been speaking with Deb Kirkland. He is the author of lawyer games after midnight in the garden of good and evil depth. [00:57:20] Uh, thank you so much for joining us.
[00:57:21] Uh, fascinating, fascinating story. I'm
[00:57:26] Dep Kirkland: glad to be with you. Thanks. So there's a lot to it. I'm sorry. It can go on as bar in Brisbane and we'll tell you, there is that's the tip of the iceberg about this case and everything could happen, but absurd. [00:57:40] Oh, no. When I get called in the middle of the night, four o'clock in the morning to go to, uh, she come down here for a minute who knew it was going to turn into this and who knew who was going to turn into this tourist tsunami.
[00:57:52] And it's in the Gulf, Savannah still to this day. People still go to that house. And then, uh, and then they'll go to the bookstore [00:58:00] nearby and they get my book and they get, uh, Barron's book. And, uh, they are told, they said, look, if you go to the house and you care about the Williams case, you need to read the original midnight.
[00:58:11] And you've got to read this book besides it's got the companion. It's got the photos. Um,
[00:58:19] Collier Landry: well, [00:58:20] uh, again, thank you so much. Step Kirkland. Uh, it's been an honor to talk to you. That was a really interesting conversation with Deb. One of the reasons why I wanted to have him on the program is not only because I really enjoy that movie midnight in the garden of good Knievel.
[00:58:33] I remember seeing it in theaters long time ago, but also, uh, you know, he seen a side of the [00:58:40] law that not many of us get to. I mean, we see these sort of dramas play out on television, I suppose, or in our own fantasy worlds on a true crime podcast. Maybe I don't know. But for the most part, you know, he has an insider's look and it's tough because it has me again, questioning our justice system in a way that I really [00:59:00] hadn't done before, because ultimately, if you look at it, my father was convicted of the murder of my mother.
[00:59:06] He did have a high power team of lawyers and he ultimately lost mostly because of the impact of his 12 year old son. But nonetheless. However it does make me feel [00:59:20] and think about the people who I've interviewed on this program. Like Melissa McKinnis, for example, who was in a couple episodes ago, who still looking for justice for her son Danye Deon Jones, right.
[00:59:29] And evidence being destroyed and things of that nature. It's, it's heartbreaking. So as much as I have, [00:59:40] as much as I have respect for the justice system and that I feel it serve me, it doesn't serve everyone in the same way. And that's unfortunate. And hopefully with conversations like these, we can begin to change that narrative in this country and around the world.
[00:59:57] Um, I mean, [01:00:00] look, life is not fair. It, sometimes it really sucks if life were fair. Ultimately my mother would still be here. She wouldn't have been murdered, but that's what it is. I mean, it's. It's tough, but, um, again, I want to hear from you guys, my [01:00:20] listeners, uh, thank you so much for tuning in. I'm calling your Landry and this is moving past murder.
[01:00:26] Thanks. Y'all
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