The Death of Faith Hathaway by Weird Distractions


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We’re worried about the Willie’s of the world. This week, Alex tells Christie the heartbreaking murder that rocked a small town community in Louisiana.The case of Faith Hathaway was only a part of a chaotic bender, where two men changed the lives of everyone they seemingly came across. Tune in to hear more details about this tragic story – such as who was all involved, what the aftermath was, and what Hollywood has to do with all of this. Trigger warning due to some intense discussions. Apologies to our Louisiana listeners for any mispronouncing of places! Need a distraction? We got you. Podcast Promo: The Path Went Chilly Podcast – check them out. Listener discretion is advised. Shout out to our Patron Tom! Thank you for supporting Weird Distractions on Patreon. You can support the show if you please on Patreon, where you can get bonus content each more! We’re also on Buy Me a Coffee. Want to provide feedback or your own weird story to be read on air? Please email: If you’re listening on Apple Podcasts, please consider rating & reviewing! Find us on Redbubble for merch.


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(1m 24s):
It’s hard to beat that, but through switch to Geico, it’s obviously a good idea. Welcome to true crime by Indy drop-in each week we feature an episode from the best independent creators hit subscribe for more great, true crime content. If you would like to help indie drop in support indie creators, you can buy us a coffee. Just go to buy me a forward slash indie drop-in or click the link in the show notes below today’s episode is from weird distractions podcast. Don’t forget to check out the show notes for links to subscribe and follow on social media, enjoy the show, Distractions podcast, a podcast for chat, true crime, conspiracy theories, paranormal stories, folklore, a little bit of this, a Little bit of that.

(2m 26s):
You know the drill we’ve been doing this for 53 episodes and almost a year. So I’m Alex and Christie. And this week we were back talking true crime back in Louisiana levy, our fav. But before we dive in a little bit of housekeeping, so we have our first patriomer supporter. Yeah. So thank you so much, Tom, for well a for supporting us for this long, even not with Patrion, but joining our Patrion. If you want to get a shout out like Tom, in a future episode, please check us out on Patrion. There’s also really, really great other opportunities on Patrion, including bonus episodes.

(3m 8s):
You get stickers a thank you card, our undying love and affection, all kinds of really great stuff up there. Just lots of gratitude. Just lots of gratitude. Did you say your name? Yeah. Oh, okay. Sorry. I don’t know where I’m at right now. I’m so nervous and it, but also like excited to talk about this case today, as you can see, I’m like holding a Stephen King novel in my hands, so I know, but yeah. Before we dive into that Christie, what’s your need for distraction. The need for distraction is a bit of both. Like anyone I don’t need one, one is again, I’m having a good week. Oh, this has been some good weeks. Nice. So last week was, I figured out how to, to before, but this week is I got my new card.

(3m 52s):
Yes. And it’s gorgeous. I love it. And thankfully my credit card got fixed when I’m done and everything. So I’m just a happy person that I got my new car. I do need a distraction. However, though, because I’ll be driving that car, lots to work. Now that I got a new job again, and I work a lot. Yes. Like the next 20 days, I don’t know how you do it. And still young as hell. I’m able to do it And still laugh and like have morale because I work a nine to five, Monday to Friday and I’m already done at the Chris page 27 already. Right. To retire. So I wish I had to retire, but could have went to that pension. Fair enough. And I don’t, I think we mentioned last, so not a 52 but 51.

(4m 35s):
You had mentioned about the car accident you had, but we didn’t really get into detail. Do you want to tell our listeners what happened? I was in the roundabout, right. In some person behind me did not know yielded. Yeah. And she was in what? A Jeep? The Jeep. I have a very distaste for same Because I got a Jeep for my rental and I fucking hated it. I think it was monstrous as a bus. And I was like, if I need this thing, I’ll never buy this vehicle. No. Or no, it was What? A Jeep grand Cherokee. It Was a dude compass. Oh yeah. It was massive though. Okay. I had to fill it up. You have to put your rentals. We returned them. Yeah, of course. So I don’t use a quarter. Oh no, just $40 to show for a quarter. I was like in This economy, this is fucking engine.

(5m 17s):
I was like, no, absolutely not. No, my need for distraction. Cause now we’re going to focus. sides. Work sucks as always. Yeah. So there’s that, it’s just a weird past like month and a bit. I’ve got clients or we’ll just call like, okay. So case in point. So I, as somebody who we know and I I’ll try and make this as short as possible. So as some of you may know, I drive over an hour to get to my office each day, not eat well. I bef before pre COVID, that was five days a week. I would drive over an hour and a bit, one way to Get to work and just painstaking, which is painstaking. So now with COVID, I’ve been only going like maybe once, couple weeks, once a month, what have you?

(5m 59s):
So last Thursday I went and I had two face-to-face appointments scheduled. I had like four or five phone health, like telephone appointments scheduled. I only edit those appointments. I saw no one in person because they both canceled like last minute. Yeah. I totally missed it, but I didn’t say anything. So I’m going to call it a story. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Totally miss it. Cause one client’s like, yeah, I’m going to go to work today. That’s cool. And then the other one who I haven’t even met in person yet, because she keeps canceling on me, was like, oh, I’m sorry I have a migraine. I don’t feel well. Which totally valid response if I hadn’t heard it 60 million times. So I was just always excused so much. It’s really peeved.

(6m 40s):
And with that being said, it’s just hard because obviously as some of you may know at this point, we are in a third, the lockdown at Ontario. Yeah. So that’s another need for distraction because let’s just say Mr. is not my I’m not as big as fan right now. Never. I never was. But to whom does an exam, which is not a fan, homeboy can go fuck himself partake. Anyways, speaking of hot takes, let’s get to true crime. And I’m going to say for this episode, there was a gargantuan trigger warning for rape murder assault of a teenager, some graphic details as well as discussions about the death penalty.

(7m 24s):
All right. So this week we are talking about the death of faith Hathaway and the cases and crimes surrounding this tragic incident. So we’re going to start off with faith. So faith, Colleen Hathaway was born December 17th, 1961 in Orlando, Florida to mother Elizabeth. I don’t know her biological father because Elizabeth, at some point would go on to marry Vernon. Harvey who would be faced, stepped at faith. Also had a younger sister. Elizabeth, I think Elizabeth was like four years younger than her. Not really for certain, but regardless the family would move from Florida to good old Louisiana food. Good food.

(8m 4s):
Good times. Great atmosphere FiveStars would give more if I could. So, but they specifically lived around Mandeville, Louisiana. Elizabeth described faith as an animal lover, a horseback rider and someone who didn’t meet a stranger, which I took as she was really friendly and outgoing after graduating high school in 1980, faith was on her way to join the U S army Elizabeth reported in a PBS frontline interview, which yes, I’m going to be heavily referencing this entire episode because it was really good for information. This interview specifically. Pardon? That interview specifically, specifically? Yes. That on May 27th, 1980 faith had went to work and was planning on going out afterwards with friends to celebrate this huge milestone of graduating high school and taking the leap into a whole new chapter in her life.

(8m 54s):
Faith was reported to go to the lakefront disco in Mandeville for said celebrations. So, you know, hitting up a little disco to celebrate, it’s kind of like a club. Yeah. They call it disco. It was the eighties. So like that’s what you did. You listen to. Exactly. Faith was going off to the military the next day. So, you know, she, she stayed out late, but obviously realize it. And it’s probably a good time for me to call her and I in the wee hours of them get some sleep, maybe. So unfortunately faith would never be able to attend her induction into the army.

(9m 34s):
Faith was missing for eight days before her body was found by investigator Mike Marando outside of a popular spot called Frick. I think it’s Frick’s cave, which is approximately 45 minutes north of Mandeville. And based on an interview that was posted on the PBS frontline interview, veranda noted that some people were near the cave picnic, picnicking and found face pers along with other belongings the day she like the day after she went missing, but took a lot longer to find her because of the size of the area and like how deep it went. Yeah. So she did make it home from Nesco at all. That’s what I know. Yeah. So she was at the disco.

(10m 15s):
She was like heading home. We’ll find out later the exact details. But at this point, all we know is to make it home. She didn’t make it home missing for eight days. Eight days later they found her body. Does she live alone? No, she bothered. Yeah. She was only a teenager. Yes. Yeah. So faith had been found naked with approximately 17 stab wounds. She showed signs of rape. Her throat had been cut and her fingers were also reportedly cut off. Apparently there was a known your face body that red, you never find her, but unfortunately tests revealed no fingerprints, no fingerprint evidence on the note. What’s overkill To say the least.

(10m 55s):
Yeah. So in a direct quote from the PBS frontline interview, investigator veranda reported the following regarding finding face body. I’ve never seen anything like that. And I’ve been working violent crimes on both sides, defense and prosecution for 20 years. And I’ve never seen anything like it. And I guess I was down here F w down there about an hour by myself with her. And about 15 minutes after the shock, I started doing what a policemen was supposed to do. I started making notes and description of what I saw and things like that. The treasury utterly devastated the community, leaving a hurricane of emotions and uncertainties in his own words again, from the PBS frontline interview investigator for Rondo stated, this is the crime that caused everybody to start locking their doors.

(11m 43s):
This is a very small country community. So similar to the case that you cover from our area. Yeah. Like a small intimate, like everyone knows the details, knows the person knows. Well, yeah, not only that, but it’s a community that left their doors open, you know, come on by like People you’re still leaving their doors unlocked, but yeah, It shouldn’t, but that’s how things get stolen and people die. But like, it wasn’t until this, I think people really started considering that, like this stuff goes down and they need to be a little more, you can’t trust your neighbor. Yeah. So now we’re gonna move into another tragedy that occurred nearby. So 16 year old, Debbie Morris and her then 20 year old boyfriend mark were sitting in Mark’s car drinking milkshakes on May 31st, 1980 in Madisonville between 1130 and 11:45 PM.

(12m 33s):
While the two are sitting in front of the water, enjoying their evening, a random truck pulled up beside them. Deborah called in the PBS frontline interview that she had asked mark, whether he knew who was, who pulled up beside them, kind of like T know these people, like, do you recognize them? This, that, and the other, when all of a sudden two men came out of the truck with guns heading towards them, I really got out and just searched, checking the milkshakes, just hoping to dear God, start the car now. So the men forced Debbie and mark out of the car, allegedly reporting that the two men had told them not to say anything and that they wanted their money.

(13m 14s):
The men had also allegedly told the couple that they had killed before. And when hesitate, if Debbie or mark came to any, like, did any sudden movements or said anything? Yeah. It’d be like frozen in time and be like, okay, take it off. I’m done. I’m just going to sit here and feel okay. But this is where things get icky. Ickier even more icky. So the two men apparently took the couple out of the area in their car. They weren’t there to make them, let’s just get that straight. They lied, they lied right off the hop. So Debbie reported in the PBS frontline interview that the two men went on to torture mark in a direct quote from the website article. And they stabbed his side and cut his throat, burned him with cigarettes all in like tied him to a tree.

(13m 59s):
And then they shot him in the back of the head. What the fuck? Yeah. So Mark’s body would be left in Alabama and a good plot twist. He would go on to apparently survive the incident. I know. Yeah. But that’s good for like, I don’t know the head trauma, the slit throat, but okay. Yeah. I know when I, cause it was kind of confusing and I’ll, I’m just going to hint, I’m going to spill the tea. Now this case was so hard to break down in the sense of there was so much information, but not specific information, which we all know, I need specific information. We need the, we need the full details. We don’t, we can’t just go with little bits of pieces. Yeah. This isn’t, you know, a puzzle, what’s a puzzle, but it’s puzzle with missing pieces and it’s driving me insane.

(14m 46s):
I want to make that beautiful picture of a dog puppies, have everything cause we’re going to need it soon. So Debbie recalled in that same PBS frontline interview that at one point the two men seemed like they weren’t really sure what they were going to do with her, which I can imagine is frightening. On top of the already traumatic experience already unfolding, Debbie would be held captive by these two men being physically, emotionally and sexually abused from Friday when they picked her up until Sunday morning. So all weekend long. Yeah. So they had taken her through Mississippi to Alabama. They also went to a Frick free keys, cave. I’m going to, I feel like I’m misspelled it in this section, but I think it’s Frick’s cave.

(15m 26s):
And at one point the two men took her to another man’s trailer. At this point in time, that’d be reportedly witnessed the three men using drugs, not specifically sure. Which ones, but they were partying. So to speak time and torture carried on and Debbie had mentally prepared to try and escape. When the two men had taken her to a cemetery outside of Madisonville and a surprise twist, apparently the two men let Debbie leave. She kind of like slowly walked away. Like I think facing towards I’m like, absolutely. Yeah. And then like slowly, like kind of turned around and started walking and they actually left. Like they, they passed her. They drove away.

(16m 5s):
Yeah. Okay. No, I know. Can you take me to a cemetery? I’m like, this is where I died. There’s probably already grade buried, like built like dug out for me. This Is where it ends. I’ll just, I’ll just take my own grandpa’s point. So she started off like as soon as she saw the car pass, she was like, fuck, this shit probably started. Yeah. Booked into town. Previous to her leaving. There was kind of like a state of threat to Debbie that if she told police she’d be murdered, but in a very heroic way, prob maybe thinking, you know, I’m not going to let this happen to someone else. She went to police, which thank God. So when Debbie was giving her statement to deputy shear poorly heard about what happened to faith Hathaway, what stood out was the place where faith was left Fricks cave as it was a location that Debbie reported being taken to end rape.

(16m 51s):
While there there’s a lot more detail of Debbie’s experiences that I didn’t really highlight. Like I didn’t take as much of a deep dive, but not because it’s not important because obviously this fucking hugely important to the case, but there’s just so much else this case. I want to make sure that we cover as much as we can without, you know, me losing my mind because it like it, like I said before, this was a really hard case. We haven’t even this Detail so far, like this would be a lot of research and just hard to write it and cover it and get everything organized. Yeah. Also on top of that, Debbie eventually released a book called forgiving the dead man walking, which I would highly recommend checking out as well as the interview she did with PBS for more details, which trigger warning.

(17m 31s):
Some of it’s probably going to be hard to read for people. So we’ve discussed faith, how we’ve discussed Debbie and now to shine a light on the, on the two reported men that caused all this darkness. So first we’re going to start off with Robert Lee, Willie. We don’t like a Willie here on this show. So Willie was apparently born on January 2nd, 1958, begrudgingly. He is a Capricorn, but I don’t accept him as part of the Capricorn drive. I’m just going to put that out on blast. He shunned. So he apparently had four brothers and his parents, Elizabeth and John, they were from Covington, Louisiana on the murder pedia website. They have an article by Christopher Buchanan with the title, Louisiana, a murder, a movie and a wink because spoiler alert, there’s a movie.

(18m 21s):
I will talk about it later where Willie was described as the following and a direct quote. So Willy was well known to police and the Saint to ma to Manny. I almost said St. Tammy, but St. Tammany parish. He had reputation for being a knife, man, carrying with him almost proudly, a string of arrests that began at the age of 14 with a shopping, a shoplifting charge and included burglary, assaulting a police officer and breaking out of jail. Well, he’s like a little dare devil. Yeah. I can hear the song bad to the bone playing in the background, but like not in a great light. You know what I mean? So in an article for the Clarion ledger, Woodlea apparently reported that he started smoking pot when he was 13 and three years later, he had dropped out of high school.

(19m 8s):
He eventually left home and began using heroin at this point as well. Oh yeah. Willy’s dad, John Willie Jr. Was reportedly convicted for second degree murder in the eighties. He also served time for manslaughter, cattle, theft, cattle theft. He stole a cow, an aggravated battery. So just not, that was a role model already. Well, no. And I think that like his dad’s reputation kind of proceeded Willy, right? So like, yeah. So as he got older, Willie AK, Robert Lee, Willie worked as a truck driver, a riverboat driver and made income by also selling drugs and stealing as one does, you know, in this economy I get exactly.

(19m 58s):
So in one article by the Gazette, Willie had allegedly beat in drown, a man before proceeding to steal $10,000 worth of marijuana, which we will get to later on, I promise fingers crossed. We will get to it, but now we’re going to talk about the next person or kind of introduce the next person to the stage, which is Joseph, Jesse, the kero. I couldn’t find much on him other than he was from Pearl river. And I am going to assume he was around the same age as Willie, but Lindsay, again, like, I don’t know his astrological sign. I don’t know. I don’t know what his family was like. You don’t know what’s his favorite color. There’s not a lot going on. Not that I really want to know because It really is by choice and friends and a bunch of us in actions and things, hobbies.

(20m 39s):
He does apparently. Yeah. Choices, Bad choices. Okay. So the kero and Willie apparently met in jail and once they were both out, they would essentially pray for weeks on end, according to reports. So as discussed, we know what happened to Debbie from her account and other reports, but now I’m going to focus more into detail of what took place the night that faith went missing and how these two come into play. So this is again, trigger warning. Lovely, sorry. Welcome to your distractions podcast, where we make everyone utterly depressed. I am your host, Alex, and I’m sorry about sorry. So at approximately 4:30 AM on the morning of May 28th, 1980 Willie and Vaccaro offered a ride home to faith half away from the lakefront theater in the Clarion ledger article.

(21m 30s):
I had mentioned earlier, Willy or poorly claimed that the deadly bender that they were on. So they were, they were partying a lot. I should mention that. Yeah. They were partying A lot out of it. Yeah. So they were on this bender. They were robbing stores while they were drinking. And this was obviously before they kidnapped Debbie and her boyfriend mark. But this is when, on May 20th, they crossed paths was faith. Probably not, probably not the most sober of folks, but to know, excuse me, to skew. Yes. So faith had asked to be taken home, probably given them in her address. However, instead they blindfolded her and took her to Frick’s cave where she would later be found.

(22m 13s):
So according to the court documents, once the three arrived at the location, Willie and Vaccaro proceeded to rape Hathaway before one of them stabbed her in the throat multiple times. And the other holding her hands behind her Willy and Vaccaro, then left the scene and left faith where she would later be found on June 3rd, 1980, Willie and Vaccaro were arrested in Arkansas for something unrelated to Faith’s murder. This is where things get like, I didn’t, I wasn’t able to find definitive information as to like what their arrest in Arkansas was about. Okay. If anyone does know, like if you’re from Louisiana, because we do have listeners, Louisiana, I forgot to tell you that we finally hit that state, which, but anyone knows, can you send us an email?

(22m 56s):
Like if you know, more or heard more because yeah, I tried to look, but I couldn’t find anything particular, but I don’t know if they were arrested in the Arkansas police thought something was maybe up or if they thought there was some kind of relation to Faith’s case. Like, I don’t know. I don’t know if something was said or I don’t know if they just meant, like, I just don’t know. We just don’t know the, the moral of the story is, I don’t know. I don’t know. But regardless the Arkansas police called investigator veranda from Louisiana to fly in and talk to the two, which was clutch. Yes. Yes. Great cross work with police.

(23m 37s):
We love collaboration and communication between police forces. So according to the interview that he had with PBS frontline investigator Brando reported that he was talking to Willie at first and Arkansas of course, mostly about kind of like mundane things. Like nothing of really essence, like nothing really great, nothing really spectacular at the beginning. You know, he kind of talked about like his background got to know him a little bit eventually. And then I think at some point he kind of dropped the information about faith Hathaway kind of seeing like, oh, is he going to say something? Is he going to, you know, does he have any connections to, what are his thoughts on it?

(24m 17s):
He was just doing, you know, police work at some point, but Willy acknowledged that he was based like that. He basically had this kind of like bad boy reputation. So he’s like, yeah, I’m kind of a big fucking deal. Like, I don’t know if you know me, I’m kind of a douchebag, but like then, but then, okay. That’s not actually, when you said, so don’t quote us on that. But that’s, that’s our interpretation vibe. That’s our Patricia bread, Petra. That’s our perspective. That’s our perspective. That’s our perspective. It’s been a rough day. Yes, yes, yes. So detective or Brando kind of agreed like, oh yeah, like you’re such a bad boy. And like, oh, like you’re on all these like newspapers for like all the shit you do this, that and the other kind of like stroking his ego a little bit, just being like, oh yeah.

(25m 5s):
Like, yeah. So Willie then apparently said to detective Rondo. Yeah. I’ll tell you about it in reference to faith Hathaway. Okay. Yeah. I killed her or I was with Joe when he killed her. I’ll give you an interview. Just come up right with it. Yeah. I did it. No big deal. So After being incarcerated for a couple of days, the two apparently confess to the murder of faith on June 10th during their separate confessions, both men tried to blame the other for the rape and stamping a faith, which this is something that will continuously come up even in the trial. So they’re both. Yeah. Which sucks. Like it’s always like when you have a dual sources. So it was like, he said, he said, you’re like, this is getting us nowhere.

(25m 46s):
Yeah. It’s kind of like, I’m going to point, it’s kind of like that Spiderman meme. I feel like I’ve referenced that mean so many times in this shows you. Yeah. It’s like, we’re going to point at each other and you’re actually guilty for it, but maybe I’m guilty for it, but we’re both guilty for at the end of the day. They’ll fucking get there. They’re not in the greatest stouts. Willie apparently told veranda that at one point while the Carroll was stabbing faith, he said, and this is a direct quote. This bitch won’t die. This horror won’t die along with other graphic details of what took place. This Is why there’s so much overkill. So in the trial, which we’re going to get to face on mother would have to hear the rapport.

(26m 27s):
Last words of her daughter, which she shared in the PBS interview, the last words were, and this was direct quote, please go away, leave me alone. Let me die by myself. That’s so heartbreaking. Right. We would have been stabbed 19 times. Like I like what was the actual definitive cause of death? Whether it was like slow throat or the whatever, but was like, I, I couldn’t imagine being a parent and having to hear it’s like the Christine Heron Case, like yeah. Like having to hear him be like, she should have screamed. I’m like, that’s disgusting. No, yeah, yeah, it does. Yeah. Yeah. This was really hard. This may be one of the hardest cases I’ve Yeah.

(27m 6s):
Investigated. There was really a lot of Details. So as some of you may have guessed, unfortunately the story isn’t even nearly over yet. So we’re going to now focus on the trial was probably a shit. Well, we’ll get to it. You might have to leave. Yeah. But both Willy and Vaccaro go to trial for the murder of faith at the same time. So I’m going to be completely transparent. Honest. I make loss over a couple of things just for the sake of, of mental capacity. Like I, I’m not going to go into full detail, but like each court hearing, not that I do, we’re not the, you do not that they do and give you The good gist of what is the most important details.

(27m 50s):
Yeah. Yeah. Like I said, if you want more information, definitely check out the PBS article because it had, it had a lot, but first and foremost, I do want address the note that I had mentioned earlier. You remember the note that was left near Katie. You will find her or something. Yeah. Apparently the Cara was ruled out as writing said no, because he was illiterate. No. Sometimes it helps to be illiterate, helps to ignorance is bliss. You know, according to the court appeal transcript, I read, they mentioned quote Willie’s counsel did not engage a handwriting expert because investigation indicated it would be few tile. So I’m going to let you take that and digest it and come up with your own conclusions.

(28m 30s):
So the trial begins, unless you say, Willie decides that this is his time to shine and be an absolute shit head in the worst, like the worst kind of person and right now in the trial. Okay. So during the trial, Willie would go on to explain how much he enjoyed raping faith while her mother and stepfather were in the courtroom, along with other family members. Like I think her doll, like I think her, sorry, not her daughter. Her sister was in the courtroom as well. I don’t know specifically, but yeah, no, it’s still not Even. And like, I get like some of what you have criminals in core and then say he’s like Ted Bundy, like trying to have their own heyday. It’d be their own lawyer and live in it again. It’s difficult. Those details and make it seem like it’s so gratifying for you.

(29m 12s):
I know. I know. But it’s like that extra push of, I’m going to say something so obscene, because I know the family is here and I just want them to know like how little I care almost. Right? Yeah. So in a direct quote from the PBS interview, face mother stated about the experience of well seeing Willie in court and having to hear his, his story. I never saw any remorse from them being willing to kero. I sat there all through the pre pre-trial hearings, the trials, the, and I looked for any remorse or anything whatsoever that they could have been sorry for like some of the crimes that they have committed because they had been on a crime spree.

(29m 53s):
They never, like, she reported that she never saw any remorse. They made me feel like if they got a chance to do it again, that’s what they would do. Which yeah. Disgusting. Okay. Parachutes ready or the things I go through to get on all on rates. As low as 0.9, 9% APR for 60 months on new vehicles with PenFed, you are aware that you don’t have to be a military member to save hundred on your auto loan. Aren’t you? Anyone can join PenFed. I somewhat terrified of Heights. I probably should’ve looked into that. Probably drop me Slash autos or call 1-800-247-FIVE 6 2 6 advertised rates available through the PenFed car-buying service to receive any advertised product.

(30m 34s):
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(31m 15s):
Not to mention that in a few new, exciting recruits for this group, the stealing is mutual. There’s no shortage of bad guys in the calm game has only gotten more complicated. Don’t miss out on the action, packed heist and discover why crime is fun when you’re the good guys, leverage redemption. Now streaming free on I am DB TV. I am DB TV is available on fire TV, Roku, or anywhere prime video is available. Debbie and mark were asked to testify against McCarran Willy during face trial in the times pecan canyon article by Jason DeParle. It was documented that Willie was observed to be blowing kisses at Debbie in the courtroom, which that’s gotta be fucking triggering as all hell.

(31m 57s):
Yeah. Like you’re Already going through this trial, which is already enough to relive the details. And then you have To have your own case at a trial of someone else who died. Like yeah. Like you’re like you’re sitting there and be like, oh my God, I’m so lucky to be a lot. But like you’re helping the toughest case for this person that they murdered That was around. This was around the same age. Cause I think faith was like 17 when she passed away. And Debbie was 16, like literally a year older than her. Yeah. Like, oh Yeah. Would be cringing at Miskin just watching them kids crawling. Yeah. When mark apparently approached the stand, Willie was observed by observed to be dragging his finger across his throat in a quote menacing way. So it kind of like, I’m gonna fucking kill you.

(32m 38s):
You know what I mean? Which, oh, Again, you’re surviving all of what they did to you. Yeah. If I was in that courtroom, I was like, like as much as like, I can’t even put into words how that feels, because like you want to be the defendant to help put it away, but you’re like, I had to relive this. I have to watch them. They’re like and go through all of it again. Yeah. So prompts a w and mark, like I want to hug them both and like just tell them how fucking resilient they are and, and face family. Like I’m not gonna also, you know, demisse the fact that they probably knew about Debbie Mark’s case or we’re learning about Debbie and Mark’s case as it was happening and being like, oh my God, these two caused so much chaos.

(33m 18s):
Like face mother had said, you know, if they got the chance to do it, she felt that they wouldn’t probably do it. Exactly. Yeah. So according to reports, Debbie’s testimony really painted the picture for the jury regarding what could have taken place during the murder of faith based on what she experienced herself. So Debbie explained and the coverage on Murderpedia by Christopher Buchanan, that it was Willie who was the lead as Vaccaro was quote. So brain dead from drugs. He couldn’t figure anything out. There’s no question in my mind that Willie was in charge. I can see that could be the mortgage cause it’d more dominate. Yeah. And it sucks because we don’t really know much about the kero to know the more details of would he be that one?

(33m 60s):
Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And I also apologize, well, I apologize to those who might’ve known Vaccaro Vaccaro, and if I’m butchering the last name, but to be honest, I don’t, I’m not sorry to him for butchering his last name. So, I mean, I’m sorry. Sorry. So William Vaccaro would be found guilty of the rape and murder of faith Hathaway along with a guilty verdict for kidnapping, for the murder and rape of faith. Vaccaro got life imprisonment with an additional four life sentences, but Carol reportedly miss getting the death penalty because there wasn’t a unanimous jury. Willie on the other hand was sentenced to death by electrocution the court proceedings weren’t done for these two though, they’d have to stand for what happened to Debbie and mark still.

(34m 44s):
They also faced and were convicted for federal kidnapping conspiracy charges because they cross state lines through Mississippi and Alabama with Debbie who was a minor at the time. So not great, no hope. The two, I believe received more charters on top of this Willie and his lawyer did try and appeal the death penalty and stayed the execution. However, it was denied some of the arguments on the appeal included for the jurors who convicted Willie also participated in the trial of a Carroll. The trial court failed to change the venue of the trial as requested. And ultimately there are a bunch of different reasons, but they were denied.

(35m 25s):
Yeah. So even though Willie and Vaccaro were being charged with the same things, I think Willie received the death sentence in my opinion, based on what I read and like my perspective perception of the situation, because it was so heavily that he was leader and that he might’ve actually been the one that kind of organize and orchestrate everything. Yes, exactly. So regardless Willy went on and pled guilty for another murder, the 1978 murder of Dennis hem, hem B near Covington. So do you remember when I mentioned the $10,000 worth of weed that Willie had claimed to have stolen? He heard that guy. Yeah. So according to Willie, he and his cousin Perry, Wayne at Taylor had beaten and drowned Dennis before going on to steal $10,000 worth of marijuana from him.

(36m 11s):
Not sure why or what the reason was, but as you can expect more churches locally, so Taylor apparently would go on to plead guilty to manslaughter and would be sentenced a 21 year sentence while Willie was given I think like two more life sentences, but really was two more like it’s already life. Yeah. Like he’s already on death row. So like before we chat about Willie any further and about like, you know, his death, we need to introduce another key player into this story. Oh yeah. So welcome to the main stage sister Helen Prejean. So the next chapter in this whole case is about sister Helen Prejean, who was a row who is sorry, a Roman Catholic sister who was born on April 21st, 1939 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

(36m 58s):
She was known as a teacher and one of the sisters of St. Joseph of Modell from new Orleans. My apologies if I butchered that she is most famously known it to be an advocate against the death penalty. So we’re not gonna let her, well, I don’t know I’m on the fence about her because I’m on the fence about the death penalty heartache. I don’t, I’m not for it. I’m just going to go share my thoughts and paints because I knew we were going to have to talk about those, but I’m not necessarily for it because I do feel like there is a history of people getting it wrong. Yes. That’s very true. They’re executed on either innocence or just yes. Yeah. But when you’re like, when you’re, When it’s proven definitively that this person did this Thing and they’re confessing and they’re telling you the details of all the gore, they did.

(37m 46s):
Sorry. Yeah. Then It’s like, you know, but it’s maybe instead of the death penalty, maybe in the future, we could just like shift not to space Freeze. Yeah, exactly. Thanks exactly. But yeah, that’s kind of where I stand. Like I, yeah, I’m not, I hate the saying eye for an eye because I Feel like just because someone dies, I would also use a die, like yeah, absolutely. No, but Also the way that the justice system, in terms of like jails, for example, I don’t know if a lot of them are actually helping rehabilitate people either. Yes. Like, so yeah. I like actually being rehabilitated or if you’re just, this is my state, I’m just going to get through it. But like, I’m not going to be a shitty person Again.

(38m 27s):
Yeah. So I think the takeaway from our opinions for our listeners who are wondering is we need to put more supports in to actually help people. I should want to change our lives. Exactly heartache. We Ended anyways back to the sister. So Helen Prejean became a spiritual advisor to Willie counseling and essentially, you know, just being a spiritual support, you know, during his last days on death row, she would go on to write the book, dead man walking and eye witness account of the death penalty in the United States, after witnessing the execution of Willie and another inmate by the name of Patrick, Sonya sister, Helen Prejean, and a SparkNotes kind of explanation of things felt that the death penalty was cruel and that those convicted could be re rehabilitated as opposed to, you know, sentences death, which like, this is where I’m like, I get where she’s coming from, because I would also like, that would be such like a new life because sometimes I think people get caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time, or, you know, they’re struggling with their mental health and need support, you know, with proper supports.

(39m 36s):
They could better themselves and stop committing crimes. But like, you know, I’m also, I’m not here to, let’s say there’s Some people that yes are psychopaths and yeah. Yeah. For example, I know he’s dead now, but Sam little, I wouldn’t want him walking the earth anymore. I’m sorry, like straight up because we know what he did. He confessed to what he did. He beat, we know, right. Same with Ted Bundy. Fuck I dude, I will comment that I did read some of sister Helen protein’s book. There’s a chapter on the PBS frontline website that I’m obviously heavily referencing to as mentioned specifically chapter six was on the website. So this is where Helen, it meets Elizabeth and Vernon and speaks to them at their home about kind of like what happened to faith, who faith was this, that, and the kind of really getting more of a picture of faith.

(40m 25s):
Right. You know, before the pardon bore hearing for Willie. So she went before, I think they were trying to get his execution state, which we both know didn’t happen based on this. I kind of got the sense of like compassion coming from system, sister, Helen Prejean for face family who obviously were seeking the death penalty. Like they wanted him to be executed. Like they wanted them there. Yeah. Which is totally fair and understandable because once again, that’s a process of grief. Right. So, but obviously she still acknowledged her stance, which was obviously against it, which brings us, brings us to the execution. Okay. So when we had a lot of, of things to say leading up to his execution, not great things, not, you know, giving out recipes, telling people how to organize their home, like nothing that we could take and be like, okay, that’s, that’s important.

(41m 19s):
Don’t take away. But we’re going to quote some of the things. This just kind of emphasizes the fact that he kind of was as you’ve called Them numerous, a shitty person. Hey, new Xi person for a shitty person shelf. Yeah. Yay. But boom. We’re like, yay. But wait, wait a minute. Yes. So in one quote from Willie, he said, I don’t run from anything. People say I’m an animal, but they wouldn’t say it to my face. I wouldn’t say I’m an animal, but I’m a cold person. It gets worse. So we’ll acknowledge that. Although some people may have thought he had wasted his life being in his early to mid twenties, when all this kind of went down, he kind of begged to differ.

(41m 60s):
So in a direct quote from the Clarion ledger article, I’ve wasted it, but I’ve also enjoyed it. I’ve lived a good life. Some people might not necessarily agree with that comment. We don’t Patek. I beg to differ. Okay, sir, Willie then apparently shared that if he wasn’t necessarily behind bars, he wouldn’t necessarily have any issues occupying his time. And another direct quote from the same article, I would join a terrorist organization. I’d had banks, the government insures their money. So I’d drop them. It’s your time to Be more shitty and kill more people, being a terrorist and go steal money.

(42m 42s):
Great life choice. I just can like That’s where all the bit life like there was This guy, obviously it had some form of like personality disorder in the sense of, he’s just saying obscure, he’s saying obscure things to get attention Though. Like he’s very, very vibrant in that way. I’m like, look at me. So he further went to share his admiration for the ideas from Fidel Castro and learn great role models. Yeah. So specifically on Hitler, his take, Willie had this toy allegedly state in a way he was Supreme. And in a way he was a nut. He did what he thought was best.

(43m 22s):
He was going to build a superior race. I don’t admire him for killing people or being what he was, but I admire his ideas to advance the world. I’m sorry. Yeah. I go to Meijer for killing people, But yeah, that’s what you would. And that’s the thing he’s like, you know, I think it was kind of shitty that he killed so many people, but like, you Know, hand away for murder, but whatever. Well, he didn’t get away with it, but like a boy. Oh, Okay. Sorry. I’m going to die. I thought you said he got away with it. I was like dusty. No. Yeah, no. Willie, Willie, Willie, Willie, Willie w what choices what’s going on with the willies in the world? Cause y’all, y’all need some help.

(44m 3s):
We’re worried, worried about the Willy’s of the world. Willie who wants again, was being supported and counseled by sister Helen Prejean also made sure to allegedly comment that he believed in God before further stating I’m no hypocrite. I didn’t come to prison to be born again. I figure the sins I’ve committed. God gave his son, gave his son for them. I’m going to do all right. I’m just like poking myself. You know, that meme or GIF of who is that? Julia Roberts where like all the math equations. That’s me trying to understand this motherfucker. A little like a fuzzy white creature. That’s like this with the hands.

(44m 43s):
Oh, they like, why? Like why, what, why let’s go to Miami? I mean the whole episode is entire episode. Hi. Why seriously? The why? So Willie was set to go to the execution chair on December 28th, 1984, four years after the tragic death of faith and the tragic encounter, Debbie and mark had to face when Willie and for Carol walked into their lives during his final hours, Willie spend time with his mother, four brothers and sister Helen Prejean. His final meal was fried fish, oysters, and tramp was some French fries and a salad in comparison to perhaps always having something to say during the time he was apparently observed to be quiet, leading up to the chair, which is probably for the best.

(45m 27s):
Yeah. Cause the thing, when you do speak, it’s terrible. It’s, it’s questionable at best in high class meals. I must say. Yeah, I know it. When I was reading, I was like, fuck, I would give anything for Louisiana food, But you get what you get for your last meal. Exactly. So in the viewing room set face family, along with sister Helen Prejean, he was a scored by two, the cheer by six guards. He acknowledged face family with the falling quote. And this is like the most infamous quote from this whole thing. I would just like to say, Mr and Mrs. Harvey, that I hope you get some relief from my death, killing people is wrong. That’s why you’ve put me to death. It makes no difference whether it’s citizens, countries or governments killing is wrong.

(46m 10s):
That takes me back a little bit because that’s something that should be said, but weird coming from him to me, Like I had a hard time with this. Cool. Because like, it was a rehearsed. That’s what I’m wondering. Because like all the rest isn’t used to say are not nice and questionable. Yes. And fucking weird and make no, I think it was just this last hurrah. Like, let me show you, I am rehabilitated. I might die. Yeah, exactly. So it’s been documented that at one point after he was strapped into the chair and the typical hood was placed over his head that he asked ward in a Frank Blackburn to remove the hood. Once the hood was removed, he allegedly winked at sister Helen Prejean before the hood was placed back on his head, allegedly around this time two sister ProGene begun, praying, stating forgive those who collaborate, which you don’t really know what that means, but she started praying outwardly loudly during this time That’s uncomfortable.

(47m 6s):
So he put the hood on to die, but he’s like, take it off for a second and then winked at her and they’re like, fuck you. And put it back on. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. I don’t want, they just said, fuck you. But like that’s what I’m saying without a doubt. So shortly after the coroner would pronounce, Willie did at 1215 at the age of 26 years old. Yeah. So the aftermath has mentioned sister Helen Prejean her beliefs against the death penalty, along with her encounters with death row inmates in the book, which was eventually adapted into a movie that was released in 1995 called dead man walking, which starred Susan Surandon, who played sister Helen Prejean and Sean Penn who played the character of Matthew upon select a character.

(47m 50s):
Apparently based off of Willie. I’ve never seen this movie before. I’ve never even heard of this movie before the study. Like the title. It sounds familiar, but No we’ll have to walk. We’ll have to watch it. We, yeah. So the storyline as written by tad Dibert on I M D states the following a convicted murderer on death row and to the nun who befriended some through the portrayal of finally drawn characters in their interaction. As the days, hours commenced, tick down, the condemn condemned man’s execution, powerful emotions are unleashed while Matthew peninsula and sister pushy desperately tried to gain a state of execution from the governor of, or the courts scenes are entered, cut from the brutal crime, gradually revealing the truth about the events that transpired.

(48m 38s):
In addition to her temporal help, the nun also tries to reach out spiritually and assist as a guide to salvation. It’s a lot. So has also mentioned earlier, Debbie would go on to release her own book called the called forgiving the dead man, walking, according to the book summary from the Harper Collins, website, Debbie explores her faith and questions, whether or not someone can essentially forgive, can be forgiven for what they’ve done face family, as far as I know, have not been in the public in terms of their own books or movies by any means. Well, and that’s, that’s the thing. So everyone grieves differently.

(49m 18s):
Some exactly. So after the execution of Willie, the family did share the relief that Willie was no longer a loving concern. And even though there is a lot of Hollywood in the neuro righty, around this case at the end of the day, it seems to be focused on Willie and sister Helen preaching, which I’m not for sure. No, because that’s Not, that’s not the point next to be on the victims and what they went through and to never happen again. Exactly. I can say that. I appreciate Debbie for being brave enough to write her side of the story. Like I think that’s, that’s great. That’s awesome. But I kind of hope someday someone maybe does the same for faith because at the end of the day, it kind of felt like even just in the research, it was so focused on like sister Helen Prejean and Willie, and like a little bit of Debbie, but the person that actually died, like the other person that died.

(50m 9s):
Cause we know Willy died. But When he does what happened, like there was a little focus on her. Yeah. The person that was murdered, there was barely any information on her. No, yeah. Was just disgraceful. Yeah. So yeah, that is, that is the case. That’s a hot take. Yeah. I’m sweating a lot profusely profusely. So show it to my resources, which there are a lot. So bear with me. I see that. Yeah. It’s like a Stephen King novel over here. So enterprise journal, article dead, man revisited by Alan Sayer, July 18th, 2003, the New York times article Louisiana killers put to death December 29th, 1984, the crime door app and app.

(50m 51s):
Yeah. I love their app. It’s really, really good. So the fine degree of website and daily word article twenty-five years later, detective tells story of infamous case on July 13th, 2003. Good old murder, pedia PBS frontline website. The, which is from the WGBH educational foundation, the Alka Tron website, Robert Lee, Willie updated December 15th, 2020, the appeal docket, which is docket number 84 dash 3, 2 1 9, September 7th, 1984. The Clarion-Ledger article convicted killer has no regrets for life of drugs, rape and murder, which was posted on December 27th, 1984.

(51m 38s):
That is that the killer who boasted. I don’t run from nothing. December 29th, 1984, the Justia us law website, state versus Willie. The times the article, which sorry if I butchered that victim’s parents watched Willy die by adjacent to Parley and it December 28th, 1984, the associate producer, Christopher boot cannon, which was the article that I read off. Murderpedia called Louisiana, a murder, a movie and a wink girls, www dot sister,, Deak D, UPI archives, Robert Lee, Willie who mocked death plate mock death by placing Janet plume on December 20th, 1984, the Harper Collins, website forgiven the dead man walking by Debbie Morris, Greg Lewis, and finally shadow tour our favorites at I am DB website, a dead man walking, which once again, the movie released in 1995, which the storyline was written by 10 to burn.

(52m 49s):
Wow. Holy moly. I’m sweating still. So yeah, that is, that’s a rough fucking case. Rough story. But I hope it brought a distraction from everybody. And just a reminder that unfortunately there are some really shitty or there was, there is, there’s always, let’s be real, but yeah, there’s, there’s really shitty people that are, they have to fucking ruin it for everybody. And you know, hopefully faith is resting in peace. Hopefully family is doing okay. Probably everyone’s slowly getting there. Yeah. We’ll get back to living their life a little bit in whatever capacity they can. Exactly. Exactly. Christie. Can you tell these fine weird people who are listening to us where they can find us, how they can reach us, how they can support Lochelle if they want to support the show Friends, please following us on anchor Spotify, apple, we’d love a review fast from five stars to be stellar.

(53m 43s):
Any platform you listen to us on, you’ll find us somewhere, somewhere to reach out email. We were destruction gave us some listener stories and we’ll be coming. We already have says yes. Also, if you have again, more of the details about that one thing in the story, Christine doesn’t even remember. She’s like, it’s such a blur. It’s such a blur. Feel free To tweet at us on Twitter and on Insta page, go over to our Patriot. Again, showed it to Tom follower. Only we are on there were distractions. Have the tiers, extra stories, good stuff. You should sign up if you can’t or not monetize something little on, buy me a coffee as well.

(54m 24s):
Yep. And also on red bubble for some merchants, the one over there find all the goodies Stickers, hoodies, tank, tops, Glocks, mats, you name it, whatever. We will put a label on it. Exactly. And just so as a reminder, kind of backtrack a little bit. So our listener tails, we are hoping to do stick, read six stories from you, the listener. So forget it so far. Yeah. Each episode we don’t, we’re not really sure how often we’re going to be released them. Cause they’re really depends on if you email us at where at weird distractions, podcasts that I We want to hear your weird tales, whether it was something paranormal, maybe a conspiracy theory that you heard, or maybe an encounter with a full-color creature.

(55m 5s):
Have you seen a Pooka lately? Like we want to know, we want to know some personal Stories. You encountered some zero killers and survived and survived it. Yeah. That’s that’d be cool. That’d cool. Yeah, we did a couple maybe. Yeah, I think that’d be interesting, but yeah. Thank you so much for listening. Thank you so much for supporting and if you need a distraction, we got you. I’m Robin water from the trail went cold.

(55m 46s):
If you are unfamiliar with my other podcast, I often cover stories from the television show unsolved mysteries for the past five years. You’ve heard me talk about these cases on my own, but now’s your chance to hear me have in-depth discussions about them with other people. I want to welcome you to my new project, a path with Chile, where I will be discussing in depth with my two good friends and cohost cases that I’ve covered on the trail. Went cold. Meet my cohost. First one up is Juul. I am Juul is from the podcast, riddle me that true crime. And I have a PhD in transpersonal counseling. I’m not a psychologist or diagnosticians that don’t get too excited, but I can’t wait. Analyze these cases with these two amazing humans.

(56m 26s):
You’ve already met Robin. Now meet Dr. Ashley Wellman. Hi, I’m Ashley. I have a PhD in criminology, law and society, and I specialize in trauma victims and survivors. I’ve spent a great deal of time. Working with families left behind after homicides with a cold case unit based out of Florida. And I’m also professor of criminology. I’m so excited to be chatting with two of my best friends about the cases that everyone can’t seem to get enough of. We hope in doing so that we will have a clearer perspective of what may have transpired. Oftentimes Ashley will be totally in the dark Juul, and I will be telling Ashley a story she may not know much about. So all of her reactions are genuine.

(57m 7s):
We will be releasing on all major platforms, April eight. We hope you will join us. As we attempt to heat up some ice cold cases, the path one chili will be available every Thursday on all major podcast platforms. Thanks again for listening to true crime by Indy drop-in. If you would like your show featured, reach out to us at Indy drop-in on all social media or go to Indi drop See you next time. 2021 is The 25th anniversary of the telecommunications act of 1996. The last comprehensive update to internet regulation. The internet has experienced more than a few updates since 1996, but internet regulations have not. That’s why Facebook supports updated regulations on key issues like preventing election interference, protecting people’s privacy reforming section two 30 and more.

(57m 55s):
See Facebook’s progress on key issues. And what’s next at Leverage redemption comes to IMD BTV and the con is on and more exciting than ever the team reunites as they take justice into their own hands. Not to mention that in a few new exciting recruits where this group, the stealing is mutual. There’s no shortage of bad guys. And the crime game has only gotten more complicated. Don’t miss out on the action, packed heist and discover why crime is fun when you’re the good guys, leverage redemption now streaming free on IMD TV. I am BB TV is available on fire TV, Roku, or anywhere prime video is available.