This week we are discussing the case of Cameron Todd Willingham. On December 23rd, 1991 neighbors reported seeing smoke coming from the Willingham household in Corsicana, Texas. Horrified, they watched 23 year old Todd Willingham emerge from the smoke filled entryway, but his three children, all under two years old, were nowhere to be found.
The fire department arrived and entered the house. They found the oldest child, unconscious in one of the rooms, but Todd’s twins were still missing. When the fire was finally extinguished, investigators recovered the bodies of the twins in their bedroom. Their older sister, who had been rescued from the fire, was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Shortly after the fire was put out, Todd was arrested and charged with arson and the murder of his three young daughters. He was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. Despite his conviction, Todd maintained he was not responsible for the fire that killed his children. He appealed until the end, and despite a last minute report casting doubt on the cause of the fire, Todd was put to death on February 17th, 2004.
After his death many have raised the question: did Texas execute an innocent man?
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