November is likely to be a busy month for Willie Manning’s attorneys. By the middle of this month they will be able to read the State’s response to Willie’s request for DNA testing and fingerprint comparison.* Meanwhile, they must also work on a brief on Willie’s other case, to be filed by November 22. They must, of course, work on each case separately.
Willie’s two cases are fortunately easy to distinguish, as the murders in each case were very different. In the case of the two students, the murder weapon was a gun, and the method appeared personal (in addition to the shootings, the female student’s underwear was pulled up, and the male student was run over slowly by a car). In the case of the two elderly ladies the murders were carried out very differently: the ladies were badly beaten with an iron, and suffered slash wounds to the front of their necks.
This difference was noted and puzzled over by former policeman turned private investigator, Vincent Hill, on his radio program, The Other Side of Justice (starts properly at 4.00):
“It doesn’t make sense… People are creatures of habit. Even serial killers are creatures of habit. They kill the exact same way every time… You don’t go shooting someone and then the next day saying, ‘No, that was too noisy – I want to stab them’.”
Hill raised additional questions about the case of the two students, in particular that the slow, deliberate method of assault and execution indicated murders of passion and jealousy by someone who was familiar with the victims, rather than the brutal robbery attributed to Willie.
In May the Mississippi Supreme Court’s original decision in the two students’ case found conclusive, overwhelming evidence of Willie’s guilt that made DNA testing unnecessary. Hill’s experience would seem to contradict this. Yet again we are reminded how critical it is that the Oktibbeha County Circuit Court should grant Willie’s request for fingerprint comparison and DNA testing.
* Willie filed his request on October 14; the State must file a response within 30 days.