It might be Alabama or Alaska, Tennessee or Texas, Michigan or Minnesota. The name of state doesn’t really matter.
Most wrongful conviction cases have a similar theme – Person A gets arrested for a shockingly heinous killing. He’s vilified in the media. The victim’s family hates him. The judge throws the book at him. The convicted killer goes off to prison. The media coverage stops.
Ten years pass, maybe a lot longer. Then, like a piano that plunges from the sky and comes crashing through the roof of your house, that long-ago solved murder case as we once knew it gets flipped upside down.
It’s a terribly confusing ordeal for everyone involved.
We’re now told Person A isn’t a guilty killer after all. Why, he’s innocent – always has been. Huh?
We’re befuddled, dazed and confused. There’s real conflict now. Who’s the real killer and why didn’t we know this long before?
Almost always, there’s a real struggle to come to grips with a wrongful conviction.
And that’s definitely true in my new book FAILURE OF JUSTICE. That struggle has consumed several members of Helen Wilson’s family and also many of the people around their community of Beatrice, pop. 13,000, where the brutal crime occurred on Feb. 6, 1985.
Order your copy of John Ferak’s true crime book on the Beatrice 6 case, FAILURE OF JUSTICE.
OK, so if the so-called Beatrice 6 didn’t harm Helen Wilson, then who did?
Here’s a teaser of sorts for those you wanting a better understanding of the myriad of potential suspects who may have committed the late night ambush that claimed the life of a elderly widow:
In alphabetical order:
Randy Emory, a Beatrice man who bounced between Nebraska and a Missouri. On the night of the crime, Emery had been out with a couple of male friends and then crashed at his apartment. Emery insisted to the police that he was not responsible for the savage attack upon Helen Wilson.
Anthony Flowers had been in and out of prison for a burglary. At the time of Wilson’s murder, Flowers happened to be a free man and living right in Beatrice, the same community where Wilson was murdered.
Clifford Shelden, a deeply troubled individual who was a regular source of police response calls. Shelden maintained he was hospitalized on the night of Helen Wilson’s attack due to a venereal disease. Was this really the case or merely the perfect excuse to avoid scrutiny from the Beatrice Police Department?
Bruce Smith, a native of Beatrice who had a chaotic upbringing and later a placement at a youth detention facility in a far away Nebraska city. Smith eventually landed in Oklahoma City, but on occasion, he rode the bus back to his hometown to see old friends and family. Could he be the culprit? If so, why would Smith rape a woman old enough to be his grandmother?
If you still don’t know who killed Helen Wilson, that’s OK. That will be revealed in due time as you read FAILURE OF JUSTICE.