« True Murder: The Most Shocking Killers


2015-06-10 | 🔗
A survivor's firsthand account of attempted murder in St. Francisville, Louisiana. A former warden of Angola Prison shoots his wife five times with a pistol, then sits down to watch her die on her plantation home porch. The victim, author Anne Butler, survives to tell this true crime story, detailing the unraveling of her seven-year marriage and how it led to her near-murder. Interspersed with simple black and white snapshots, this stranger-than-fiction story of murder, survival, and forgiveness offers keen insights into the mind of both victim and criminal. WEEP FOR THE LIVING-Anne Butler
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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you are now listening to true murder, the most shocking killers and true crime history and the authors that have written about them: DC, Bundy, Dahmer, the night Stalker Dck every week, another fascinating author talking about the most shocking and infamous killer, true crime, history, true murder, with your host journalist and author Dan. This is Nancy good evening. This episode of true murder is brought to you by Casper the online american retailer. Saving you big money, by revolutionizing the mattress industry, cutting.
Resellers and show rooms to deliver to you, the latest in sleep technology, at shockingly low prices, visit W W W Dot, casper dot com, promo code, true murder, rest assured, Casper Delete, delivers the best sleep you've. Only ever dreamed of a survivor's first hand, account of attempted murder in St Francisville Louisiana. A former warden of Angola prison shoots his wife five times with the pistol since, sits down to watch her die on her plantation home porch. The victim author, Ann Butler, survives to tell this true crime story detailing the unraveling of uh. Seven year, marriage and how it led to our near murder interspersed with simple
black and white snapshots this stranger than fiction story of murder survival. An forgiveness offers keen insights into the mind of both victim and criminal. The book that we are featuring this evening is weep for the living with my special guests, author, Ann Butler, welcome to the program, and thank you for agreeing to this interview, Ann Butler, my pleasure Dan nice to talk to you. Thank you very much. Now, let's get right to as you do so masterfully in your book set, get you set the mood, an take us right into the Butler Greenwood Plantation in Louisiana. You talk about this being eight generations of family in this home.
So tell us about the Butler Greenwood Plantation. This is in St Francisville LA and say: Francisville is not french Louisiana or Cajun Louisiana or Creole Louisiana, it's English Louisiana and the early settle here, came down from the EAST Coast right after the revolutionary war, and they brought with them very english traditions and culture. My family came in the 1770s and got Spanish, land grants and first they grew indigo as their cash crop and then cotton and sugar cane I've. This plantation has never been sold out of the family a And so it's a little unusual. We operated it as a water house for twenty three years and then finally have closed it, but we do bad and breakfast on the plantation. So it's a it's a state,
family home, a lot of history here, and it is typical of the plantation, the english plantation country,. Lot of live oaks, formal pardon beautiful, historic, home, very beautiful, furnishing and so visitors really enjoy seeing something that had never been sold out of the family or owned by the state, or anything like that, it's it's a real real piece of living history. Here, absolutely you talk about in the book to that. Did you said in the MID eighteen, hundreds, two thirds of known millionaires lived in this area. If for the devastation of the civil war, absolutely all along the Mississippi River Carter from New Orleans to natches. You did have most of the mo.
Of the country's millionaires living near huge sugar plantations a lot of wealth and then have, for the civil war, of course, that That way of life was over, but some of the families like this one were still at ok hold on to the land, the lifestyle would never be Evidente but it was still a wonderful life on these old places. Now you also talk about because of the civil war men the men were killed, so it it left an opportunity in a all boys kind of world for women to take over these plantations after work, Well, you know. During the civil war and after the civil war, the men were their dad, are gone during the civil war and the ones who came home from the war were either so disabled. You're so demoralized, but they were not able. To resume the world, but I have played
during the war, the women from very strong women stepped up and ran the plantation, and they had to continue to do that after the civil war Oh, you had some very strong women all across the south and Ticular Lee in this house. It was usually the women who not They were where the strong ones, but outlive the man by many years, and so it was a call matriarchy here, no tell us about your writing career in the kinds of books that you have written and had written up to this date, Of course, as a mother, I rather children's books when my child we're small and then I wrote travel books and uh very much involved in historic preservation, and as Louisiana um has such a vulnerable fragile invite- and here and culture. I have written a lot about preserving the culture
so I've written. I got twenty two books, some more substantial. And others, but I also had written to crime books on true stories from Angola Plant haitian, which is now the Louisiana state. Penitentiary. Very, very near here and um had them plantations in I put them all together and and started this eighteen thousand acre penitentiary there. And behind every door there there was a very interesting story, and lesson to learn, and so the I'm books that I wrote were were extremely and thing. As a crime writer, I had certainly never intended to be more than an objective observer, but when I became victim. It really
It was a golden opportunity for me now tell us about your describe. I mean it must be hard for you, but to a certain extent, tell us about the kind of character that you have been you'd said before. Did you met Murray? You had three previous marriages, so tell us about your marriage is an in and if you could, a little bit about your character. Well, I went to College in Virginia and then I worked in Washington DC for a couple years and I went to the West Coast and worked writing for magazines out there? I went to graduate school out there, so it's not not as if I have stayed here Cannulae and really it was very helpful to me to be away. But cuz when you're in a small town? It's it's easy to succumb to the small town mentality, whereas when you come back from other areas, you you realize
that you're not missing anything anywhere else. You can be satisfied with with the small town life, and and not intimidated by the small town mentality? I started writing books when my children were small, my first husband what's on Virginia and we had a wonderful football is life right after college and and a lot of traveling and Thing and then, when it was time to settle down, it was pretty well me who who assume the risk- ability of earning a living and taking care of children, and so that I and then divorce Anne then I married two more times and was here, was here in Francis from that point on, and my last husband
was someone who to whom I was attracted by his intelligence and his access to stories that I really wanted to write about, and so that was my fourth marriage and he but also been married before So we were married for seven years. I I would have to say that, as as a Wi Fi don't like to be told what to do and as a person I don't like to be told what to do, and so I prob really I'm not the ideal servant. Why this for sure, but I am an independent independent person and and My fourth husband was someone who had been in corrections as his lifetime career and had to exercise absolute control over the everything
situation, and that did not translate well into our marriage. I think that was the the main issue there. Well, let's go back here because we've got to talk about your business and your family, you have a daughter named Jason, a son so tell us about the for ages and let's go back in time in terms of before you met Murray, you alluded to what attracted you to Mary Henderson, but let's talk about what the age difference was an what your particular Familja situation was in terms of your daughter and your son and then talk about how you met Mary, Henderson, ok, well, my daughter at time of this book, my daughter was in college and was going to Emory for her senior year. My son was twelve years old. I within the house with me and Murray,
I knew him through the episcopal church and we had had been you know socially appointed, but not and he was considerably older than I was twenty four years uhm. He was was very entertaining and um very bright of a sad and I had a great deal of respect: for him as a as a progressive corrections, administrator and also very attracted to him because of the access to criminal records and stories, like that? And so my son lived in the house with us when we married and my daughter had gone off too to Emory in Atlanta. Now the
is we're talking about one thousand nine hundred and ninety correct. When you got married, well, one thousand nine hundred and ninety we married one thousand nine hundred and ninety seven is when the book takes place. Right now tell us about Very Henderson an again. You talked about him being a real reformer in terms of corrections, and that was part of the attraction you had to him as well. So tell us about before we go into the books that you've written about Angola, tell us about Angola. Well, his career in corrections started in Tennessee. Then he went to Iowa as the warden mirror went back to Tennessee, we warden of the Tennessee State Penitentiary, and then he came to Angola at a time. When the prison was was horrible. There were huge abuse. Is it was a very game,
nearest place for inmates, as well as as corrections officers, it's very isolated, an it's it's purple, play isolated, it surrounded on three sides by the Mississippi River and then the other side by the Tunica Hills, Witcher almost impossible to make it difficult for escape to take place. It's yeah, it's so isolated that it was extremely difficult to attract competent, employ you there there were certainly a number of good dedicated info. Voice, but there were also a number who have issues with can Arlen violence and I it was just a terrible terrible like the inmate inmate, God guards were given guns to too, because they were very little staff there and it just was rife with abuses and inmates would sleep with Sears catalog.
Type to their chest, to to ward off the knives in the night, I brought in some progressive oceans, administrators and Marie came in that point as the warden and was very much resented by the entrenched. Hierarchy at Angola, and so he had issues, not only with with the in night, but with the SAM and try tried very hard to implement some. Some good reforms that were very much needed. Also the government had to step in at never see a lot of the reforms there, now in his tenure there was also the first correctional officer to be killed was in Angola. Wasn't it that's correct and now there's a key I said, is still in the system. Today. I one of the killers just this week has been ordered
released after forty years and in the isolation. It's it's a very interesting case but involve not only marry but at Troy involve me as well, because it was one of the cases that. I had included in my book dying to tell and down when they see The indictment in had to re indict him. I was on the Grand rose call for the grand jury and kept asking that I be dismissed because I had written about it, but they kept me on the grand jury, which of course, was grounds for peo, although it was denied and it still still going on today now. You also include a story of uh. I think it's an author of Peter MAS in nineteen. Seventy five to nineteen. Eighty in wanna see influence peddling scandal, so tell us a little bit about that and the
re a true story by Peter Maas. So I'm a regime e? How was it was there the time when Governor Blanton Couple of other high officials were sent to prison for for influence, have and lying was the warden of the penitentiary and then became commissioner correction in Tennessee, he was never charged with anything, but at that point he left and came to Angola. That was that was what sent him out of Tennessee I I think he's left a number of a high position under a little cloud, I'm shall we say and Marie I actually spoke with her and she she did say that she did not think that he was. Guilty of any criminal activity, but just being one of the good old boys and not trying to make waves, although they were certainly some criminal
activity in the in the corrections department? Now this is very important to the story that he was heading a. The hospital were prison for the criminally insane with, and so he was the head of this forensic hospital so which would have him meet and establish relationships with the psychologists and psychiatrists. So tell us a little bit about he worked ahead of. They call it to Louisiana for who is the head of the effort comedy where they would stand who were having their beer? so, for criminal trials and. So he knew all of the psychiatrists knew all the psychologist. He was very familiar with how the in
sanity defense works, and this, I think I really gave him some, but I do Yes on how to commit the perfect crime. Now you talk about that in the course of the research for these two books and the idea for these two books was basically your idea and really you did, the research and the writing, but it also brought you together on the road in motel rooms and your romance with spark. Despite this two thousand four hundred and twenty five year, difference tell us with just a little bit about how and because you were married- and he was married as well so tell us about how this romance developed and what you have to do as a result of this budding romance.
Well, I didn't uh go into it with the idea of having any involvement with him other than professional, and I called him. Mister Henderson and his ideas were very different than he had been trying to get Bob with me for a number of years, which I did not even realize he would invite me to come to his retirement program and have designs to go out for lunch and all this, and I would show up with my husband, you know, and and several instances like that after a while, you know you get close to somebody and you have respect for their here, opinions in their intelligence and Allah just developed. You know just grew into a what what seems to be a nice situation
he had been married for a number of years, but somewhat unhappily and I was looking for a little more more than what I was having in my marriage Ella, I had a very good husband at the time, and so we divorced and married in nineteen. Ninety Ann were married for seven years. We did two books together, starting in nineteen, ninety and had it had a had a contentious relationship from the beginning. Now what might have cemented this somewhat is that he had said that he was very impressed with your writing again as well. An.
And so very flattering for you, as a writer. Also- and you said you were- you were enthralled with- you know his marvelous mind when you do meet and with his twenty four year old difference in age and just coming from a marriage where you have to divorce your husband and he has divorce his wife. What was the response from your children and your family Demery Henderson coming into your life. All I think they were all horrified, my daughter. Never you'd like him. Um could barely toler, write and got out of the house as soon as she could I was only twelve years old, you know and and very my dad, an effort with him. They went fishing once twice and then course, age, you know he,
body of spending quality time with to watch the Macneil Neil Lehrer report on tv. You know twelve year old is not going to. Be that impressed, but sweet little boy, and he you know he tried to get along with him. My daughter never did care for him at all. What was your relationship characterized by in terms of his disposition? What was his nature like, especially in the beginning? He was very very good to me. I never heard him raise his voice. I never saw any violence? At all, he had had thinking problem while he was at Angola, but I never saw him take a drink, he did not drink at all. While we were were married,
we had a a very cordial relationship, but underneath the surface was always a struggle for control, always Was he did he exhibit some jealousy? You talk about your longtime carpenter, an partner restore of your plantation, the Butler Plantation. His name is that, and you were friends with him and his wife. So was he jealous of that relationship that you had with Burnett? he was jealous and every relationship I had even with the cleaning staff. He was very are demanding that he got all the attention and always be the center of everything wonderful writer, Abigail Gail Padgett from San Diego would come stay here and we would all go out to dinner and she she's the one
who wrote the introduction to the book and she comments on how come She and I would always talk all through dinner and he would just sit there and wait for the conversation just send her around him. You know and then he would participate, but he just he all I needed to be the center of everything he resent is any time that I spent with anyone else and he resent, did any Decision that I made without talking to him, and course the business with mine, and I didn't feel I needed to consult him on anything. Although I would try to include
renting that he always had to be the center of everything. This might seem like I'm crying, but I think this is. I know this is important to the story. What was you just mentioned that you didn't need him for the business now? Will I'll I'll mention that you were forty six? He was seventy. He was basically retired, but you say wasn't involved with your busy so so tell us exactly what the relationship was often in terms of him moving in. But what was his role in terms of when you talked about expense? is when you talked about your money, his money. How did that work? We, we had no community property at all. The business was on I inherited property, which was not community property, the money that when intuit it mine either in here
Good or borrowed from the bank and He had very little role in the the property. Here he had a little part time job that he did with some health agency going around visiting doctors and things we never had their joint bank account. We never had any commit Maybe anything all of their accounts were totally separate. You also retained your name butler, and you said in the book that he resented that somewhat dedni, where the writer you know, I never should have changed my name because I've had so many books published, and so I did keep my last name, and I really Reading the book, one instance where I was giving a book review and he was introduced as Mister Butler and he got up and said: well, she has very grey,
just Lee allowed me to keep my own name, but he really did not appreciate that at all. No, don't according to witnesses again written in your book that your relationship was marred by separations, will say for a few days. For several days for different periods of time for various reasons, I like you say you didn't really have any major. Are you what wasn't a violent person by nature but tell us how your relationship in that seven years was characterized in terms of these often separations? We just what would feel the need to be apart and he would leave and then he would come back and finally, the last under the left. I was just delighted that he was gone and did not.
Allow him to come back, glad you it's off and on for four years, hopefully just the irritation of Struggle over control and where would he go when he went, which is interesting? Where would he go when he, when you were involved in these separations well. His ex wife very graciously allowed him to have a room in their house, and so you go over there and then he would come back to why she allowed him to do that. I'll, never know, but then Why I allowed him to come by. Here I'll never know either, but the last time I did not. Now it's very, very interesting and again important is Murray, Henderson's, son and his occupation so tell us about Mary Henderson Son
He was an assistant district attorney at a nearby parish and actually very nice person. He would come. You're a lot and and spend weekends with his second wife and his the other side a little bit older than my son and so um. He would come and spend some when swim and play with Stuart, so we we had a good relationship. Now. What would you do in the seven years? And you say that this again, you mentioned the last separation, which was different so tell us before you tell us,
about the last separation and how it was particularly different markedly different. Tell us about what had led up to this say will talk about the last six months for the last year. How had the relationship changed and what was your reaction? What was his reaction in that say last year of the marriage I think, for one thing: it was because we did not have a writing project going and The other thing was that we just really got very tired of trying to live together, and Get along together, it was not something that started Aph, slowly and eh So I did it with something that just was two hundred
overnight and started it was something just released He would sit on their back porch and somebody would have to walk past him to get to the to the laundry room to do bed and breakfast laundry and he had he was very tall and he would stretch out his legs and you have to step over his legs. Get to the laundry room and- and so one of Cleaning ladies came in and- and he was looking at times- you're very, very much about fashion plate. You know very well dressed all the time and have a million close, and we had to build a whole new closet room to accommodate all of his clothes, and so that is that, while one of the cleaning staff came in and he kept trying to show her, the high in the catalog
and she sort of cursory look at it and walked on vine, and I came by to get to the laundry room and- and he tried to show me the time and I said: listen, I need some space here. You know and that's what set it off and the next thing you he was hall out all these clothes, and that was when it really started. When did you, what did he when did the other the yield, be sorry. You ever heard. My name was at that at that time,. That was when he was that was that was the day of the of the book starting okay. Okay,
So now with this, this heated argument- and you said you needed some space that spurned him to start packing up the stuff. Tell us a little bit more about what this conversation lead to in terms of him and your living situation. Well, he was packing up his clothes. I was helping him pack his clothes I happen to open a box that I didn't know whether it was mine or his that was in a and or more and there was a pistol in there, which I had never seen before and I'll just put it back in the box and put it with his style stuff to go out to the to the car. And down that was the first time I had seen a pistol, but it would not be the last time. Ok, we're gonna before we talk about the actual day in question, we're going to use this as a pause just for to talk about our Sponsor Casper.
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days leading up to the actual event in question. Well, I didn't see him during the week, but um some friends, I am going out to dinner and jazz celebrating his 77th birthday and he had on to the employment place one of my cleaning, lady, user and told her that he was so happy and non, but they said that he was very subdued at the celebration dinner. I didn't really think anything about it and then on a Sunday morning, as I got up and went to church and was doing a little tour. Early that morning he came driving in and I You saying, but the the people that were here on the tour tell me that he had driven the other when he saw there were other other cars here. He left
and then after they left, he came driving it again. He had a very carefully planned because my daughter and son had left partly Atlanta. The day before my son was driving up what riding up with my daughter to help her unpack for her last master at Emory and dad and he was flying back. This Sunday morning of all this happening- and I was to pick him up at the airport at at noon- but normally on Sunday morning. We were not open. Why didn't do house chores until after lunch and the cleaning staff came in late, and so he thought that I would be completely alone in the house. He didn't know is that because I had this tour, a couple of the cleaning staff had been dropped off, so there were no cars out there, but he didn't know that anybody was here but me, and so when he appeared at the door after I had
the Torah, I invited him in rather stupidly and we sat on the back porch and. I had a little chat and you know very civil and low key, and then next thing. I knew he was standing over me with a gun, and so he was holding it out in a very accomplished. Shooter have had taken FBI. Higher shooting glasses and was a hunter in his earlier years and so from eighteen inches away uhm. He proceeded to shoot me at least five times. They never quite sure whether it was five or six because he had reloaded the the gun and very carefully aimed at my right arm, which I'm that's my
dominant arm and all through the torso he um shot and then severed. The intestines then check out part the kidney and the barely missed the the the spine, because I sat up- and I said Stop what are you doing? You know I have children to raise at which point you blew my right elbow to pieces and then the right shoulder and so I was sitting there an I figured. You know I would just do well to play dead because he reloaded the gun, and so I say out there for about an hour bleeding profusely. And this is how it gets sort of funny. Because one of my cleaning staff
came to the back door and I was sitting right in front of the back door on the back porch and she opened the door, and this is how you get punished for speaking ill of somebody, because she was she's got a wonderful heart, but she doesn't quite make the connection between, seeing something in doing something- and I had said a million times that if she went out to one of the cottages, and there was a dead body on the floor. She would sleep around it and not even think anything about it, and so she can in the door and look at me and went and started laundry and went back out. An later when the state police and you to her. She said you now she says I never saw her take a nap and I wondered when she had changed from a yellow blouse to a red one, and so they I haven't quite a lot of time to when I had to sit there and then another
another member of the staff came in and saw what was going on and he was sitting there, which is done and she said well. She needs to get to the hospital right away and he said oh no she's gone, you go back out there. I won't hurt you so she kind of backed away and went to the phone and outside phone and called of all things. The third um, member of the cleaning staff, who's older and more sensible who lived twenty miles away and was, I'm getting ready to go to church, and so she set up calling nine hundred and eleven jump in her truck and rushes down an when she comes in here. She sees that his car is still here and so, she goes over next door to where I have a cousin. Who is an attorney and finally, finally,
you know that nine hundred and eleven just called and and down he's still sitting there watching me bleed to death, and I could see out of the back back glass in porch. I could see too well. Deputy sheriff's come creeping up, walkway and one of them open the door and me me by the legs to try to pull me up. I thought I was dead said when seventy touch my legs, there was just, Marble there's no blood in the middle and when he yeah, I open my eyes, and so I knew that I had to go in and get him and he was in the room right behind me and have a special in his pocket, but he was trying to pull it out and then
finger on the trigger and these tool deputies. They had no blood bulletproof vest on at all. One of them grabbed him through the grab through the pocket and held a cylinder of the pistol so that he couldn't shoot, and I took him out So while I was sitting here, I just would say that. I never struggled never thought I on I don't think I could have moved at all. The pain was just excruciating, but I never saw the he's better blood, I never looked down. I never looked at my injuries, I just sat there and they said that the doctor said that it probably is one save my life because By being so still and trying not to let him see that I was even breathing it it's slow.
My metabolism enough, you know that I didn't believe completely out, but but pretty close to it. Oh the deputy came back in once they have removed him from the scene and as soon as he came in, I said, Rand you've got to get somebody to go to the airport and pick up Stewart, and he said, oh, I can't believe you're still alive. You know ho but when we got an ambulance coming so hum, ambulance came, and it was one well that I knew. I knew that ambulance people for EMT, who is an ambulance, started a couple out and wrapped in bed. Around them, so they would would would go fast, and when we got in the ambulance he thought I was not going to make it to the hospital. And they were telling my family to start to
arrangements and make arrangements for my children and in the ambulance as we're going one hundred dollars hard to the hospital. That's like twenty miles away, I'm telling the cmt. This is gonna, make such a wonder cool story, and I know how I'm gonna write this book and I had it all outline completely in my head. Of course, I forgot. No. You know in six weeks Hospital under morphine, but hi and I knew at that time as I writer I was going to make a book out of it and- and it was going to be good absolutely- that was interesting, too, is what was when, when you talk about the last conversation that precipitated this incident, this attempted murder is the talked about space that you said. I I need some space. What was the quote that he gave you and then you also talked about Stewart and and be
very, very concerned about who would pick Stewart up at the airport, and so there was talk that that the one thing that Murray did do was make a call for someone to pick Stewart so tell us about the actual quote that he does say to you, which is just fantastic the only thing he said to me as he started. Shooting was space how's this for space space. You wanted space, have this for right and then after the shooting. I asked him to make sure that Stewart not come into the airport alone and he did go out and telephone, an arrange for someone to pick up Stewart at the airport. Now he was he was he had promised to. Pay them twenty five dollars, and when the Japanese took him out of the house. He had twenty five dollars lives in his pocket and
My horror was, you know if he was go, going to be there when Stewart arrived and he paid off this person who picked up Stuart? What was he going to do with Stuart? I I'd like to think he wouldn't have harmed him, but I don't know one the most fascinating aspects of this- is that you are so cognizant of. What's going on the your surroundings during this ordeal, and you talk about you hearing something that in your mind, because you got your eyes closed, then you can't see is that you think it's me hello, pouring out gasoline to light the entire plantation on firing you with it, but instead it's a glut, didn't go a glut, sound that you hear. What is it that you didn't do Well, you know I wasn't completely conscious all the time, but I was conscious most of the time
I'm very much aware of what he was doing and what was going on and. Behind me in the dining room I could hear glug glug glug and I really thought that he was pouring gasoline on the floor and would burn down the house because he never really here and never really liked it, However, what he was doing was pouring out of Bir minutes down his throat, so but when they arrested him he would be legally drunk. He had not having any of it when he arrived and when he did the shooting. How it was just one more defense strategy that that that he was was applying. He had gone and bought the vermouth that morning after he had been target shooting down at the Mississippi River, with the pistol people saw him there and then
he went to little in town- that's run by some of my friends and the verb move there and he made sure that they knew that he was there and was buying it. If you just gone to the growth, shoe store to bought, nobody would have noticed, and so it wouldn't have had the witness to to his purchase of the of the liquor at that and so I was all all pretty well planned. He thought that he had the perfect crime. Now. He is arrested immediately and, of course, he's got. Connections with law enforcement for all the years he's been involved in corrections But typically with a case like this, there would be a bail and he would be held without bond. Usually so tell us what happens in this case. Well, as I do
go to the hospital in critical condition and will be there for six weeks. He goes to jail pollen is out in twenty four hours. His best friend was the mayor who was best friends with the judge. The sheriff was not his friend and get out really did not want to let him out, but he had to, and so twenty four hours he's out with his guns with his car. I'm in the hospital And in intensive care for a couple of weeks and then in a the hospital for quite a while. I went in in August and came out in the middle of all ball and they were terrified that he would come back to the hospital every nurses station had his photograph and have me under an assumed name. I couldn't go
out anywhere in the hallway during visiting hours, and they would take me down the serve, elevators to go do to therapy and, and it was very dis. Granting, the nurses would come in and oh, how are you Miss Jones? I'm I'm thinking I'm not MRS Jones on oh thank you know, but I was taking so much pain. Medicine soon just really started out of it for quite awhile. All the dead day that I went in, they were able to do some of the stomach surgery but I had to just pack my arm- and I are about a week before I could deal with that, and so it was it was you know I have a lot of morphine those couple of weeks and really was not that much aware of what was going on, but it was very sorry to know that
Not only was he out there, but that since he had been I had a laptop rent check, and all of that and number of the medical personnel might have worked for him or might be working with him. You know, and so I'm going to pan there for awhile what, do talk about two. Is that the he's charged for second degree murder- and he has some conditions to not to go into your parish, but despite that, he is contacting big rose and he's asking questions about who's questions that could be perceived as very much like someone is monitoring you and stalking you in terms of who's home who's. There who's, not there and just adding to your paranoia so tell us about this effort and what happens as a result of his
cockiness. Well, when I was finally released from the hospital I had a had a colostomy, I had to have help because I have an arm in a cast and stitches and staples everywhere. I ended up having eight separate, really major surgeries. So it went on for about two years. But why now family relation from the hospital he he had a a restraining order not to contact me. Your My children or my staff. So as they mounted their descents, they would stake out the place and follow the clue meaning staff home and I'm try to send people. You know when you're open to the public, for for overnight accommodations, you can interrogate people assume what their motives are. You know, so they actually would say
and investigators, pretending to be guess who would take photographs and he would contact some of my staff too find out, you know, ostensibly how was that he would be asking. Did anybody stay with her at nine eight? Is there a guard on the ground? You know very worried some questions and I'll. Finally, he started calling me- and I had made me- get caller id on the phone, and so it was pretty obvious and at one point he actually spoke and said. Oh I'm sorry, I have the wrong number.
You know, and at that point the sense of that. The prosecutor of the state decided it was time for him to go to jail, I'm not that was so interesting, because every every legal person in this area recused himself. You know that the district attorney said that he had had. Connections, so he couldn't get involved in the case and that kind of bumped around and finally ended up Uh in another parish down on the it's on the Louisiana Coast, and so that was a like Two hour drive for the assistant district attorney to come up here and hot. Oh my sawing, once or twice before the trial. An my heart really sank when I saw him because he was a stunning
just he freckles in little blond hair and he looked like he had on his father suit and very soft spoken, and you know I just really. Right, but it turned out that he had he had trained with Harry Connick in New Orleans for ten years and he just tore them up in court, but but anyway, he decided that we really needed to getting put in jail. He I have not wanted me to go to any of the hearing before that, but cause he did not want the defense to see what kind of a witness I would make knowing how I probably would not be too easily intimidated on the stand, and so he he decided it. You know, this one, the other, and I would just have to go and testify, and so we did go and with judge would let him out at twenty four. Cars after after the crime
and so I really didn't think we're gonna get anywhere Dan, and I made up some cock and bull story about how well he was just trying to order books. How will you know real order books from an offer? You order them from the publisher, and you know just a really stupid thing and and set up in the chair, and he said he said you know whatever you say when you call there, even if you say that you're sorry, you the wrong number. What you really say. Thing, is on out here and I'm gonna get you again? He says you're going to jail on, which was a big shock to everybody, including me, and so he did get incarcerated until the trial, which crime happened.
In August of ninety. Seven in the trial was in light solid of ninety eight in the interim. What is the strategy for? He and his defense in terms of defense Well, you know it was just a typical domestic violence. Defense Can you see it in the paper every day? It's it's! It's really shameful! um, how we have lost their communication skills to the extent that we have to resort to violence, but he would say you know when the police come in domestic violence case. Usually the perpetrator is still there or easily found an probably proud of what he's done.
I understand a man with a gun or knife or a baseball bat, and so he can't say he didn't do it so the defense becomes. He did it, but it's her fault or get it, but he's and I tried both of those in my case They tried to blame it on me. They tried to blame it on insanity and neither one of them went over really well, but it it was a typical, typical domestic violence defense. He had a really good lawyer. Of course you pay for that. Really good lawyer had a good lawyer and what it was is he pled it's insanity and what the insanity was. He tried to explain through psychiatric expert witnesses that you had said something to the effect of called him a will. We won't go into it because I know your sense,
this, but the mf word. So the MF phrase that we all know of which you know you claim to never have said to him, but his lawyers claimed that their your arguments of this word was the trigger that taken this normally his whole life, uncharacteristically or characteristically nonviolent, and it was a trigger, so explain a little bit more about what he tried to explain to the jury. Well, first of all he had to defense attorneys are extremely well paid. He had a jury consultant bad, but Oj Simpson. You know right so his defense was that was very, very costly and part of it was the day they were claiming that he was having a discussion disorder I
So disorder is something that it's a legitimate psychiatric defense. You see it in child abuse cases or in war atrocities you know where your mind does not just blanks it out. And you don't remember it, and you you're not even sure that it's ever happened well for one thing, you know the the stay that the court had hired some sanity sanat ANA had a sanity hearing and and both the psychiatrist and a psychologist who examined him the court non biased and not for the defense or the prosecution I found him legally sane and able to assist in his defense and knowing right from wrong at the time of the crime the dissociative disorder
You could walk in front of a car and not know it. You run into a wall that the his defense psychiatrist and psychologist both were saying that that's what he was having and that it was precipitated by my calling him an Emmy well. I never use that word toward him at all, plus the the prosecutor would pretty I'll blow that out of the water when he would ask these professionals now you know, do you have a dissociative response to abuse? Yes, do you have a dissociative Wants to wartime hard? Yes, do you have a dissociative response to being called a bad name? Well, maybe not you know so that didn't really go over very well. The prosecutor, just really
I made them look like cool the other thing they did. The defense was to make it my fault, and they said that I then I was money which was a lie, and I had my bookkeeper there. The bed and breakfast bookkeeper who was was ready to testify. About the fact that it was my money, then I was essentially supporting him. That I had been running around but was not true. I had well, they are ready to test about the debt, but the prosecutor decided that all these tangential things were not. They were going to to really distract the jury, from the main issue, and so he didn't want to bring. Happened. No, we didn't, but what happened was- and this is this- is typical domestic violence. You get victimized one,
in the in the crime and then you get victimizing court where they try to make it your fault, and then you get victimized third time when the media picks it up and reports it. You know very aggravating to sit through really what it comes down. Despite I know it, it seems like re victimization, and it certainly is- and I was involved myself in in a try now. So I know how harmful some of these things can be said, especially when you expect very much so watching a law order episode where the district attorney will stand up and object to some of these things. Where is in actuality. Some of these things are, let go 'cause like you say it can confuse the jury. Let the defense lawyer Say the lies that he's going to say the bald faced lies that he is going to say, because the jury has heard the essential elements they've heard
your testimony and everyone else is so so, despite that, what I think he zeroed in very very masterfully was: is that. If it was a dissociative state, then he wouldn't have said to your cleaning person that listen. No, she doesn't need to go to the hospital she's ready gone and he wouldn't have been able to read aloud to drown. You wouldn't have been able to turn his car around you when you've been able to do all you have to plan. I had to you know to do their target shooting on the buying of the liquor. You know it's just you just really terrible, but I'm just wanting to say that I'm so fortunate that my Cars are more physical than mental, and I think writing. The book was what really helped me. The most Not only was it good physical therapy doing, the type
I am trying to get my hands functional again, but it was tremendous. Therapeutic mentally I knew that I would be able to get my story. Out there. I hope that it would have some social relevance and would reach people, and it does it It's still selling, eighteen years later, Anna get letters and phone calls all the time from people saying you know you have. Help me to understand you you've been so honest in your writing and um you're, not telling just you your you're telling our stories, so it gives a to what had essentially been a silent crime before the women who were victimized were either too afraid to scout, or they were too inarticulate to speak.
Yeah or they had no no medium to to give them a place to speak out. So I I really feel good about giving a voice to two all of those people, and then you know, I would just have to say, if you're going shoot some They don't shoot a writer because they're going to get the last word. You know. It's incredible to that. We really didn't have enough time to go to really touch on some of the more heartfelt elements of this, where your friends and your family and supporters that well wishers from people. You've never met before all this support from the people that you knew as your friends and and new friends that arose out of this tragedy. The therapist everybody was involved, and we don't even mention how stressful this was to have. You know the specter of maybe Marie coming in and
finishing the job, but also of the incredible burden of trying to run this business sustain this business while you're injured, find a rehab from these incredible injuries. And also the financial burden of this. So, again. This is. Are we talked about in the introduction? This is a talk, the tale of survival and for true crime book. It is very in all it's a happy ending if there is such a thing in true crime, books or Yes, it is, and it's a real tribute to a small town, because there were times when I was sixteen One thousand dollars overdrawn and then a big city. I've been hauling up the furniture and the bankers here just said: keep writing the checks. We know you'll catch up, so The whole town pretty well turned out and supported me and down and helped my recovery.
We also. I want to ask what Mary Henderson received in court at the trial in terms of the sentence and then to talk about again. We just mentioned about survival, but but forgiveness. So unbelievably, you spoke with Mary Henderson after this whole ordeal after the sentence. Ng so tell us what he did receive and tell us a little bit about how on earth you could have spoke to him and what did you say. Well. He got a sentence of fifty years, which was amazing because it was the same judge and he was sent to one of the penitentiary in north, piano, which was about as far as I could get him from here, and so he spent his time playing the stop. Stock market and reading books and started
writing me and calling me and I did go to see number one time when I was trying to get divorce from him, and he was trying to claim part of my business here and would not settle community of which there was none and round. I really wanted to see what he had to say to me, which was just a bunch of bull I also wanted to see the elements that I have not seen in court. I was so question at the time that they were presenting the real physical evidence, and so I wanted to see clothes in the gun and everything and and everybody kept telling me. No, no, you don't want to see that and- and I I did because why the I couple things sister to deal with them and move on, and so I went to the core
out here and they were all cardboard box and all these bloody clue. Lowe's and everything I wanted to see what what he was looking at you know when he was shooting late and by looking at the clothes. I got a pretty good idea, you know of how they were all covered in blood, and so too it's black cocks and everything, and I had a conversation with the EMT with internet in the ambulance with me, and he said he said. Don't look at this as a crime of passion. He said this is a crime of hate. You know I I really came to the understand, that he was very person underneath all that control. It was very tightly. Oh, but he had a real men straight and that I bore the brunt of that. But what else do I need to study here?
um. What was this official? What was this official sorry? What was this official reasoning that ever say, listen. This is why I did this tell us what was his official now you have no reason he could not tell he took no responsibility for it. He didn't feel so sorry for anything other than the impact on his life. He's out there sorry for himself you felt. Sorry for me or anybody that was going through the trauma with me and people would ask me What about forgiveness? Have you forgiven? Do you? Don't you see that you have to forgive him Well, yes, and no, and what I did was not necessarily loving forgiveness, but more in not
allowing him to have any control over my emotions, anymore and just totally right stem from my life and Ann now, if I had remained, bitter or angry or hating. He would have still been in control. And so I was not willing to allow that and just moved on. Yes, it's interesting that when you talk about not taking responsibility right to the end, he claims to not remember, but of course he would have done anything because he loves you so much, but again not taking responsibility what so ever now. He did try to get out of prison and he applied for a pardon and
for the Pardon board and again it was all just a big setup deal. He had so many connections in the correction. There are Russian and I really was not going to even attend. Can the pardon hearing that ahead of the Pardon Board, called me and said you really need to be there. You you've got to go my children wanted to go? I did not want them to. I did not want them exported during the trial, and I did not allow them to to have anything much to try other than my daughter right at the end of the trial did talk about how she had not, seen any deterioration in him and know that she just didn't like him, but when, when we went to the Pardon board hearing, I asked to be the only
one who would speak and ask to speak last, and so they presented his his some wanting to get out and he had several witnesses on and how wonderfully was and what are marvelous career had had an aisle. What a nice old man he was and that the sheriff did not not object to his coming back to the Saint Francisville Area, and I just happen to have seen the chief deputy from from this area we had, we had gone to a pardon hearing out of the parish somewhere else, and I just happen to see the chief deputy, from this parish standing there and- and I asked him what he was doing here and he said well. The sheriff sent sent me to make sure that I understood that what he once it. What you want. And so I was able to get him to get up and say, say what the sheriff actually said, rather than
supporting his release. He did not want him and I'm diggin artist. This is part and then he he died in jail Oh, I actually got in a nursing, home or hospital down, so that was. We had about any start, maybe five years altogether. But what was it like hearing about his passing. Radio station called me and asked if I would like to make a come in, and I said I certainly would not. You need to get a comment from his family that would like to be positive and I have nothing to say about it. I felt sorry that he had died. But then not, I, you know, fell much greatly relieved and my children with our may be able to sleep through the night daughter her
bedroom, was right about mine in the second floor, and I would hear her feet hit. The floor every night, when a car our backfired or somebody shot at a mailbox or something. My little son, who was twelve years old at the time, had had real issues anger issues? You really would've would've liked a shooting. I would come down and get into bed with me at night to protect me yeah and it just was really sad. I was in the hospital for two years during which time he went from a child to a teenager and an I feel like I really miss the important years of his his transition they're and was not there to help him, but that they both are good now and and she's married and lived in Mississippi and would never live here again, just totally ruined it for her and my son
married and have two little children and less right here on the place with me, and how is the business presently today? An. Oh it's great for a while was it was pretty hard to get it started again because you know Just spend the night in some place where there's been a very violent attempted murder we had to have security on the ground, but not even but we've got very loyal customers who have been staying with us, Sir twenty one thousand and twenty. Five years now and I he love the peace and quiet that we are her, and so the bed and breakfast does very well. It's go I continue to write. I continue to write and have done some one, Your books book feel, like I I have been given eighteen years as a real blessing that I all
did not have and have seen much. Children grow up and have my My son have children and make lobster for well, then I have also written some some pretty good books in the nine times that I wouldn't have had a chance to ride at all, so I really feel very fortunate. Yes tell us about the titles that you have the the non fiction. True crime titles will say that you have written and also the fictional books of the other books that you have written as well non fiction or army. Asian titles monthly. I write nonfiction and I'll. Tell you that we've for the living the title came, from Melo Cemetery right up. The rd from my house, where Jefferson Davis is first, was actually buried. It's a locust amateur and there's a little baby. But that was very there. She was
buried in the 1830s at that just one year old and her epitaph said stranger, here are the headlines, the red we are the living not to do that? No, not such an apt quotation and and good for this book way for the living yeah, a pelican publishing but it has sold extremely well the whole time since I wrote it and I have five six other pelican books mostly on regional press. And fifth, I run. About. My two crime books were published by University of Lafayette Press University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press yeah one is called. Angola Louisiana State Penitentiary
and the other is called dying to tell, which is mostly death penalty cases, very very interesting stories from Angola because, as I said before, behind every your there there's a very, very interesting story as well as a lesson that, if we don't learn, keeps repeating itself so there there very interesting true crime books and I've had some other little humor books and children's books and travel books and swamped or books and books on. On not only history monthly yeah. Tell us for those people that would might want to contact you about the bed and breakfast in the plantation and and and and also
maybe find out about your books. Do you have a website or do you? Are you interested in Facebook? Friends tell us how people might contact you and wear if you have a website where they might go for more information there's also a list of all my books on there and they can be ordered through the publisher, Pelican publishing in New Orleans. Are you well perhaps in Lafayette, Louisiana or on Amazon or Barnes, and noble or need a bookseller sites, and then I I also have a facebook presence. Actually I have three I am Butler learning about Butler author and Butler Greenwood Plantation
the NBA, and so welcome anybody to get in touch with me and to to get a copy of the book if they are interested. I think I think that it's a book that have some social relevance, and hopefully it helps the body they have done. A lot of speaking on domestic violence. I've spoken to um sheriffs in training and two first responder training and victims rights organization, as well as such such opposite like this as the New York State Supreme Court and then, anger management in prisons, anger management, graduating classes where you got five hundred faces. Looking at you who seen worse and done worse and heard worse and you're, not gonna, press them by getting up there and crying, but I can get up.
Clear and compare how many times we've been God and that kind of gets their attention, and So maybe they listen to me a little bit more than some pathetic victim who, who is really a victim. I see myself as a survivor and and hopefully, a lot Are there other women do to that's an incredible journey that you have to to get this man convicted. It looks like for a time that he made skate from justice based on his connections and his rep rotation, and certainly it didn't look good for you with with your recovery and looming Bills, and so it's a fascinating story about how the tables were turned. And finally, justice was served.
And also how you survived all this with the help of family and friends and just people around the world that have been well wishers since you've gone through this ordeal and written this fine book weep for the living. So I want to thank you very much and Butler for coming on and talking about weep for the living. I want to thank you very much and you have a great evening thanks Dan, it's been nice to talk to you. Thank you, goodnight goodnight Steeped, in luxury, driven by innovation. It's how we do business at Genesis of Willow Grove. It's our mantra, the phrase we can't help, but repeat it's our promise that Genesis of Willow Grove will serve every customer has exquisitely as Genesis DAS, steeped in luxury, driven by innovation, its genesis of Willow, Grove on Eastern Road in Willow, grove and online, at Genesis of Willow Grove dot com hurry in for an offer as exceptional as our vehicles.
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Transcript generated on 2019-11-05.