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Statement on Willingham

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One person the New Yorker story has definitely not convinced of Cameron Todd Willingham's innocence is Stacy Kuykendall. Her statement, printed in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, says, "Governor Rick Perry called Cameron Todd Willingham a 'monster' and indeed he was." She should know. She was married to him and is the mother of the three baby girls who died in the fire.

I did witness Cameron Todd Willingham's execution. Todd set our house on fire then stood outside and watched it burn. He knew our three daughters were inside this home taking [their] last breath. He watched them die. I felt like the only thing that I could do is watch their murderer die. I wasn't there for closure. My closure was when he told me what he had done. I stood on the behalf of my three daughters. Todd's final words never mentioned his daughters but yet I keep hearing what a loving father he was. Todd spent his last words expressing his love to his prison pen pal Gabby and then he addressed me. He told me repeatedly in obscenity-laced language that he hoped I would "rot in hell" and attempted to maneuver his hand, strapped at the wrist, into an obscene gesture.

So we have confirmation that the tirade in Willingham's very last words, the portion David Grann chose to omit from his story, was indeed directed at her.  Further, unless Ms. Kuykendall is lying, Willingham himself admitted his guilt.

One thing is certain. Those who contend Willingham was certainly innocent are full of baloney.  This is looking more and more like a rerun of the Coleman case. A major news magazine convinced large numbers of people the executed man was innocent. His supporters asserted his innocence as a proven fact. When all the facts were in, he was clearly guilty.

Also in the FWS-T, Dave Montgomery has this long story on the case.

Update: The Dallas Morning News has this story by Steve McGonigle, Brooks Egerton, and Gary Jacobson.  They come close to calling Barry Scheck a liar.
Barry Scheck, co-director of the Innocence Project, a nationally known legal clinic devoted to exposing wrongful convictions, recently declared: "There can no longer be any doubt that an innocent person has been executed."

A review of trial testimony and investigative records shows that reality is far murkier - that Willingham, while never wavering in his denial of wrongdoing, did much that tended to incriminate him.

They end their story with the curious case of David Grann's half-truth at the end of his, regarding Willingham's last words. I am not alone in thinking that was peculiar.

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