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Betty Wilson -- My Story - Part 1

Betty Discovers Jack's Body...


Jack and I were leaving for Santa Fe, New Mexico the next morning on vacation so most of the afternoon was spent shopping and running last minute errands. That evening I grabbed a quick hamburger at McDonalds with a friend and then went to an AA meeting.

Late that evening after the meeting I returned home and was halfway up the stairs when I saw Jack’s body lying sprawled in the hallway. Something inside me told me it was not an accident.

It’s easy to say what you would do in a time of crisis but the harsh reality is that no one knows. I remember dropping my packages and falling down the stairs. I remember banging on a neighbor’s door pleading for help. I remember all the police and the ambulance and a policeman telling me that Jack was dead.

The next day or so is almost a complete blur in my mind. I spent the night at the home of one of my sisters and it seemed as if there were people constantly coming and going. A doctor friend of Jack’s spent a lot of time with me giving me tranquilizers and trying to calm me.

That Sunday I met with a detective who asked about my whereabouts on the day Jack was killed. I told him everything I could remember even which stores I had visited at about what times and what I had purchased. He also wanted a list of everyone that had access to our house, or might have worked for us. Atone point he asked if I ever had any affairs.

I told the truth and said yes, and when he asked for them, gave him the names. I held back one name, though.

Tuesday, the day of Jack’s memorial service, was emotionally devastating. Up until then it had been like a bad dream but now I had to face the fact that Jack was really gone and I would never see him again. Going home after the funeral was the hardest part, to know that it was over and there was nothing I could do for Jack any more.

About 8:00 that evening a detective came to take me down to the station for some more questions. Ever since I had last talked to them I had felt guilty in holding back a name of someone I had had an affair with. I knew he couldn’t possibly be a suspect and I knew it would cause him untold embarrassment.

Now I told him and from the look on the detective’s face, I wondered if I had not made an even bigger mistake.

He works for the city, doesn’t he?”

I said yes.

“Isn’t he married?”

I said yes again.

Left unasked was the question he already knew the answer to...”He’s black isn’t he?”

The questioning became harsh and accusatory. They accused me of hiring a man by the name of James Dennison White to murder Jack. At first I denied knowing him for I had referred to him as Mr. White or Mr. Carpenter. Finally when I realized whom they were talking about, I tried to explain but they wouldn’t listen. They said they had arrested James White and he was in the next room where he had already given a complete confession implicating Peggy and me. They said they also had Peggy and she was confessing everything. I knew they were lying because neither Peggy nor I had done anything to confess to!

At one point they told me they had a man coming to give me a polygraph test but when I told them I was willing, they dropped the subject. Instead, they began hurling more accusations and questions at me. All I could do was say no, no, no. It’s not true! I remember asking them if I needed a lawyer and they told me, “No, not yet!”

I had been taking heavy doses of Valium for several days and had not hardly slept since Jack’s death. I was a complete emotional and physical wreck and barely remembered some of the questions. At one point when they left me in the room alone, I actually fell asleep in the chair. I was wakened when a detective threw a phone book in my lap and told me to look up an attorney if I thought I needed one.

How do I really sit here now and describe that night? Only hours before I was at my husband’s funeral and now I was being interrogated like some plot out of a cheap B grade movie. It was almost like nothing was real; like some horrible nightmare that was too terrifying to actually exist.

Sometime around midnight they carried Peggy and me back to my sister’s home where I was staying and warned us to keep our mouths shut about what happened that night.

We both laid awake all night numb with the realization that we were being accused of something so horrible. We didn’t talk much that night, the whole thing was so incomprehensible we didn’t know what to say and we were scared to death. We just lay thee waiting for daylight to come.

Murder of Dr. Wilson
BettyWilson--My Story Part 1
BettyWilson--My Story Part 2
The Confession of James Dennison White
Poll: Who Plotted to Kill Dr. Jack Wilson?
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