The Betty Wilson case was very high profile meaning it attracted the news media nation wide. The only thing she did wrong was to have some "old dirty laundry" in her closet. She was tried by the "Kings of Crap", the ambitious news media and a corrupt political/judicial system.
Dr. Wilson in the hallway of his home. A violent attack was supposed to have occurred here. WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?
Dr. Jack Wilson was found in a pool of blood. There were a series of lacerations on his head. His skull, hyoid bone in his neck, his right shoulder and both arms were all fractured. He was also stabbed twice in the abdomen. THE WORK OF A HIRED KILLER? SOME EXPERTS HAVE SAID HE WAS KILLED "HOMOSEXUAL STYLE". What is homosexual style? Over-kill.
Dr. Jack Wilson was a 55 year old eye doctor, very successful, well-known and well loved in the community. The only person who had a motive to kill the doctor was a son from a former marriage who had been disinherited. This son was very violent and a known user of drugs.
It was Dr. Jack Wilson's custom to remove his shoes and place his wallet and KEYS inside them. WHERE WERE THE KEYS? The keys were found in the front seat of Betty's second vehicle, a Mercedes, which Dr. Wilson NEVER drove.
Most people in prison deserve to be there but once in a while an innocent person "slips through the cracks" because of incompetent lawyers and/or a corrupt judicial /political system. Jim Schutze, a former investigative reporter and author, wrote a book, By Two and Two, which is a true story about Betty Wilson and Peggy Lowe, twin sisters, who were arrested and tried for supposedly hiring James White to kill Betty Wilson's husband, Jack Wilson, a prominent, well-liked, wealthy doctor. Peggy Lowe, the saint, was acquitted and Betty Wilson, the sinner, was sent to the Tutwiler State Prison in Wetumpka, Alabama, for life with no chance of parole. James White, the primary witness and convicted killer in this case will be coming up for parole before the turn of the century [As of March 2001, he is still in prison.] and Betty Wilson looks forward to spending the rest of her life in prison for a crime she did not commit.
There was no physical evidence to connect either of the twins to the murder. The only thing the State of Alabama had to convict either of them was White's testimony. To quote from a State document, "....The State cannot prevail in the trials of Betty Wilson and Peggy Lowe without the testimony of James White....". James White is a known drug addict, alcoholic and child molester who has been diagnosed as a delusional schizophrenic. He was kicked out of Vietnam for stabbing an officer and shooting at his own men. His time in and out of jail and mental institutions had made him very "street-wise". He knew how to play the "system" and did not want to go to the electric chair so he made a deal with the State. He testified against the sisters in exchange for a lighter sentence. He even got the deal in writing.
In 1994, shortly after Peggy's acquittal, White recanted his original testimony against the twin sisters in a sworn written statement. (See White's Recantation link) The night before the recantation was to be presented to the court on behalf of Betty Wilson, White received a visit from the prosecuting D.A., Jimmy Fry, who reminded him of his deal with the State and if he testified in court the following morning, he would be tried for perjury and capital murder. White took the 5th amendment refusing to testify. It is interesting to note that when reporters asked Fry about White's recantation, he responded that the statement was worthless because it was impossible to believe anything James Dennison White said. Yet Fry was concerned enough to pay White a visit before the recantation was to be presented to the court. It is also interesting that in 1998 White was interviewed by "Inside Edition" (See Link) and stated on national TV that he didn't know if Mrs. Wilson or Mrs. Lowe had anything to do with the death of Dr. Wilson, that he did not kill Dr. Wilson even though he plead guilty to it (White has never stated under oath that he killed the doctor.), that he did not know Mrs. Wilson and had never met her. When asked why he lied, he said he was being threatened with the electric chair and that he was coerced in his testimony. He said the prosecution had seven statements from him and none of them agreed. Peggy Lowe's attorneys used these discrepancies as part of her defense.
Both Peggy Lowe and Betty Wilson were tried with the same evidence and testimony. Betty Wilson, who was tried first in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, a city where desegregation was still a source of awkwardness, was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole because the prosecution portrayed her as a greedy, selfish, vile, contemptible, adulterous woman who wanted all of her husband's money and she wanted it now. (See Untapped Areas of Investigation below and "Inside Edition" link) The prosecutor, DA Jimmy Fry, then threw in the "race card".....she had an affair with two African-American men, one of whom was subpoenaed to testify at her trial about their affair. This man had no knowledge of the so called "murder-for-hire conspiracy". Peggy Lowe on the other hand was portrayed as a first grade school teacher, lead singer in the church choir, a devoted mother and wife, and a lady whose time and home were always available to the less fortunate.
The judge at Betty's trial, Thomas N. Younger, made very little effort to keep order in his court. There was jeering, sneering, laughing and uncalled for remarks from the courtroom spectators. When Peggy was giving her testimony for Betty, she noted four jurors sound asleep. Jim Schutze described the courtroom as, "...on the worst days [it] had been a cross between a Fourth of July picnic and a KKK trail ride".
The judge at Peggy's trial, Judge Pate, according to Jim Schutze, thought James White's testimony stank to high heaven, and if the state didn't put on better evidence than it had shown in Tuscaloosa, he didn't care who got what on his or her face. He was going to run a clean straight trial.
Betty was by no means a saint. She was a recovering alcoholic. She would not hesitate to tell anyone what she thought of them. She used bad language and had affairs which her husband tried to understand because he had become impotent due to advanced stages of Crohn's disease and wore an ostomy bag. Betty's relationship with Jack Wilson began when he was a struggling young doctor. She gave up a very promising nursing career to marry him even though he was in poor health and had nothing much to offer her except love. To quote her sister, Peggy Lowe, "She saved Jack's life on more than one occasion. He was very ill and she took care of him. She would give him IVs at home. He would never let anyone take care of him except Betty. [Why would Betty have wanted to hire someone to kill her husband when she could have simply let him die?] Some people are givers and some are takers. Betty is a giver. Kind, compassionate, loving....Jack never had any relationship with his sons [from a former marriage] until he and Betty married. Betty brought them together...At some point in time, every one of Jack's and Betty's children [from a former marriage] lived with them. This is not a selfish woman we are talking about. At the time of Jack's death, Betty was teaching her garbage collector to read. Her home was open to anyone and everyone. The house was never locked. Anyone who needed to come there at any time for food or conversation was welcomed by both Bet and Jack."
Betty was also a devoted grandmother. To quote Peggy again, "She went to her son's home every morning and picked up his two children, took them to her house and fed them breakfast, took Alan (the older of the two) to school every day, picked him up after school, fed both the children lunch and dinner, and she kept the two of them at least two week-ends out of every month. She bought all the clothes for the children."
Betty and Jack had their ups and down as most married couples do. Their sex life was put under a microscope and tossed to the news media. To quote from Jim Schutze's book, "..if adults generally were to have their sex lives held up in public and judged according to the aesthetic standards of MTV---how many people's sex lives would come off looking picture-perfect?" Betty and Jack were preparing for a weekend trip prior to Jack's death to renew their relationship. Again, to quote from Schutze's book, "That was really what their relationship had been about from the beginning---two adults, warts and all, both smart and valuable people, each with terrible shortcomings, fears, flaws, wounds and anxieties, but both battling bravely to hold on to each other and to extend love. Real love. True love. Not pretty love."
As stated previously Betty was portrayed by the prosecution, DA Jimmy Fry, as an evil, adulterous, woman who wanted all her husband's money.(See "Inside Edition" link) The police found, in a pile of papers on a night stand next to her bed, a life insurance policy that would pay her a million dollars upon her husband's death. All that was needed was her signature and social security number. "A curious oversight, for a grasping murderess." to quote Jim Schutze. The prosecution withheld this evidence.
According to Peggy Lowe, the plea agreement White entered into with the State was an agreement between the State, White, and Dr. Wilson's former wife and children who actually signed the plea agreement with White and the State. Dr. Wilson's former wife and children are currently contesting the doctor's will in civil court.
The only persons who had a motive to kill Dr. Wilson were his adopted son from the former marriage, Perry Wilson,and Stephen Wilson also from the former marriage. Both sons on occasions had been physically violent with his father and Perry had been disinherited. Dr. Wilson died from a brutal beating and stabbing, a death of vengeance not a death from a hired killer. Two homicide detectives have described the murder as being homosexual style. Both Perry and Stephen are bisexual. (See "Medical Detectives" link) There were many rumors that Perry Wilson was observed by the Huntsville Police Department to have bruises and abrasions on his hands and face which he stated were caused the evening of his father's death during an assault by two black males. The police department never followed up on this on this incident. Incidentally, James White had no bruises or abrasions.
The Huntsville Police Department, 1) never put Betty in a line-up so White could make a positive identification, 2) there was no physical evidence connecting James White to Betty Wilson for the so called "murder-for-hire", and 3) the lie detector test that Betty was more than willing to take never came about. The fact that she was never placed in a line-up raises a serious question, "Did the police fail to follow proper procedure because they had serious doubts as to White being able to make a positive ID and the State would have no case, if he could not do so? 4)A serious question has been raised as to whether or not Betty received her MIRANDA rights timely. Mickey Brantley, homicide investigator, had been harshly questioning her for hours when Betty asked him if she needed a lawyer. He told her, "No, not yet! Later he left the room. When he returned, he threw a telephone book in her lap and told her if she thought she needed a lawyer to call one.
White, the State's star witness, received preferential treatment. He was made a "trusty" at the Madison County Jail. He had use of the telephone not only to call his family in nearby Vincent but people all over the country. He had access to the law library and at times the offices of jail officials while Betty spent almost a year before her trial in a 10 by 3 feet cell that was normally used for solitary confinement. She was not allowed outside the cell. The only people allowed to visit her were her lawyers who had to sit on the steel bunk that occupied 75% of her floor space to talk with her there instead of in the prisoner's conference room. She had no privacy in this cell She could be observed at all times by guards and passing prisoners, including James White, whether she was awake, asleep, eating or using the toilet.
Dr. Joseph Embry, chief pathologist for the Alabama Department of Forensic Science, who testified for the prosecution at Betty's hearing, never visited the crime scene or examined the murder weapons. White testified that Betty picked him up at a shopping center to drive him to her home to murder her husband and picked him up after the murder and drove him back to the shopping center. However, police forensic experts found no evidence of White's hair, clothing fibers, finger prints or ANY blood inside Betty's car. This evidence was apparently overlooked by Betty's defense team. (See "Medical Detectives" link)
Dr. Kris Sperry, Atlanta's Deputy Medical Examiner, was called in by Peggy's defense team to review Dr. Embry's autopsy report and the crime scene photos. Dr. Sperry, who testified for the defense at Peggy's trial, came up with some interesting findings that the murder weapon, a baseball bat, introduced by the prosecution, DA Jimmy Fry, may have been a fireplace poker and that Dr. Wilson may have been murder elsewhere by more than one person and brought back to the Wilson's home to make it appear that it happened there. (See "Medical Detectives" link) The night before the murder, White stayed at the Ramada Inn, which was managed by Dr. Wilson's former wife. Shortly after the murder the room he stayed in was turned into a storage room.
Betty Wilson and Peggy Lowe were tried during an election year. Mo (Morris) Brooks was appointed to the Madison County D.A. position because the former D.A. had been elected to congress. Brooks wanted to keep his position at any cost. Dr. and Mrs. Wilson were campaigning and funding Brooks' opponent, Tim Morgan. According to Betty Wilson, Mo Brooks made her his "campaign". He did a campaign mailout about her to every home in Madison County. She said the information in the mailout was not true.
Brooks, Mickey Brantley, Homicide Investigator at the Huntsville Police Department, and White's court appointed attorney, Roy Miller, may have helped White "create" his testimony to coincide with the "evidence" thus the seven conflicting statements. White cooperated because he didn't want to die. When Brooks lost the election to Morgan, Morgan was not interested in prosecuting Betty's case but D.A. Jimmy Fry, who had his eye on the Attorney General's position asked to prosecute Betty's case. He needed a case of this magnitude to further his career and went to any extent to win the case, like subpoenaing the African-American who had no knowledge of Betty's case to testify at her trial about their affair because he knew what affect it would have on the racially prejudice jurors. When Fry was offered the opportunity to prosecute Peggy Lowe's case, he declined because he knew he would lose. As a matter of fact, the Attorney General could find no D.A. in the whole State of Alabama who wanted to prosecute Peggy's case. David Valeska from the Attorney General's Office prosecuted her case and lost. (See "Medical Detective" link to review his STUPID remarks.)
On January 17, 1997, an appeal for a new trial for Betty Wilson was turned down by the Alabama State Supreme Court by a 5 to 2 vote. Shortly thereafter an appeal for a new trial was filed in the U. S. District Court and after being continually postponed finally reached the desk of Chief Justice Sam Pointer, Jr. The judge apparently did not bother to read the brief and denied her a new trial.
On March 23, 2000, her appeal to the 11th Circuit Court was "rubber stamped" denied and in March of this year (2001) her U. S. Supreme Court appeal was also "rubber stamped" denied.
This whole affair is tainted with prosecutorial abuse, conspiracy and "making deals with the devil". Betty Wilson and James White were used and abused by the prosecution for self-gain and possible cover-up. Hopefully, the information presented here will spark your interest to help get to the truth of this ugly injustice! Who really killed Dr. Jack Wilson?
APPEAL FOR HELP
All of Betty Wilson's appeals have been "rubber stamped" denied. Her only chance of freedom is new evidence. There are people in Alabama and elsewhere who know the truth. Perhaps you are one of them. If you know anything that might help Betty Wilson get a new trial, please click on this link Betty Wilson
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