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After Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil Paperback – February 25, 2013
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Wall St. Journal Number 8 Best-Selling Nonfiction eBook, December 23, 2011
"I suspect there are a good many readers who likemyself savored the pleasures, on the screen or on the printed page, of JohnBerendt's Midnight in the Garden of Goodand Evil. Yet even after all of the seductive, artful presentation weren'tyou left hanging just a bit? Didn't you want to get closer to the truth thanHollywood or Berendt's atmospherics allowed? I did, but I never thought I'd getthere until I learned about and read Marilyn Bardsley's remarkably well-toldexposition of the truth and the evidence behind the intrigue. Your questionswill be answered."
- Steve Windwalker
Frank "Sonny" Seiler says he can't vouch for the "dirt she dug up on my client," referring to Bardsley's chapters on Williams' life before the shooting. However, the work she did on the trials, Seiler said, is "on the money." - The Daily Report Online
From the Author
Marilyn Bardsley is a respected expert on serial killers and the editor of RosettaBooks' bestselling Crimescape® series, as well as the former executive editor and founder of Time Warner's Crime Library, a premier true crime website.
She has written about some of the most famous serial killers, including Jeffrey Dahmer, Jack the Ripper, the Boston Strangler, and Charles Manson. Her work is also considered an important resource for law enforcement; her feature reporting on child murder cases was mandatory reading for the police team assigned to the Green River serial murders.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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Some of her claims cannot be proved or disproved at this distance. Jim Williams MAY have pimped for closeted gay men in return for financial or social favors. In the days when known homosexuals were virtually lepers, such arrangements were common. The author's belief that William's good looks, his apparent masculinity, and his appeal to women were key to his success is perceptive and rings true to this old Southerner. A flamboyant or effeminate man might have been tolerated, but not accepted socially or in business.
I think she makes an excellent argument that the charge of premeditated murder was absurd. If Williams had wanted to get rid of his young lover, he was certainly smart enough to do so without ruining his own life in the process. It COULD have been a deliberate killing in a moment of passion, but that doesn't jive with William's cool, calculating personality. The most likely explanation is that the older man was infatuated with the youngster, enjoyed the drama he provided, and over-estimated his ability to control him.
Neither the Savannah Police Department nor the District Attorney covered themselves with glory and the whole ugly mess should have been settled in one trial. William's inability to believe that he was in a fight for his life and his insistence on bringing in an "outsider" for his defense played into the hands of the prosecution. I think most people would agree that the last three trials were a waste of time and money.
It's one hell of a story and this author (although not an outstanding writer) tells it clearly. I skipped over some of the lengthy closing argument. If I had been on the jury, I probably would have dozed off! Just as well I wasn't.
I feel however that you either have to read the whole last trial or just read the defense final argument. Also, I loved knowing all he did for Savvanah.
Also, loved the pictures.