Everyone felt the same way: small-town Nebraska widow Helen Wilson didn’t have an ounce of meanness inside her body. Then on February 5, 1985, one of the coldest nights on record, the unthinkable happened. The sixty-eight-year-old resident was murdered inside her second-floor apartment, but why?
Local residents were floored. What type of monster would target a vulnerable widow to fulfill his homicidal sexual fantasies? The crime scene was eerily ritualistic. The trail of evidence turned frustratingly cold until an astonishing breakthrough occurred four years later. A torn scrap of money recovered at the crime scene became the presumed smoking gun that helped solve the hideous crime. The news of six arrests was absolutely stunning to the locals in this easy-going, blue-collar community of 12,000 residents. But why were six loosely connected misfits who lived as far away as Alabama, Colorado and North Carolina being linked to the rape and murder of a beloved Nebraska widow?
As they sat in jail, the constant threat of Nebraska’s barbaric electric chair scared the daylights out of these troubled souls, except for one of them. Joseph White remained defiant in his fight to prove his innocence. It didn’t matter. All six of the condemned were convicted of murder and sent away to prison for the ghastly crime. The town moved on, convinced that justice was served.
For more than twenty-five years, the Beatrice 6 rotted in prison, until the unthinkable occurred in 2008. Now, the red state in America’s Heartland faced a real quandary that could only mean one thing: Nebraska had a colossal FAILURE OF JUSTICE on its hands.
In his latest thrilling true crime book, bestselling and award-winning author John Ferak explores the murder, investigation, trial, conviction and eventual exoneration–the largest such ever in the United States–of the Beatrice 6.