Tuesday, July 13, 2010

William Garner deserves the death penalty

Originally posted 10/21/07.... bumped to the top today, 7/13/10 at 10:38 AM, the exact date and time of William Garner's death.

At 10:38 this morning, I breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that this chapter is finally closed. He will never again physically hurt another person, although the mental pain he has caused so many will linger for a VERY long time. He may have "escaped" through death, but I'm OK with that, because he's finally gone.

I have no problem with the death penalty. There are people who commit terrible crimes who do not deserve to live. William Garner is one of those people.

I've been a Red Cross volunteer since December, 1991. In January, 1992, I went to one of the worst fires I've ever been to. It was only my third fire run, but the second death. The first was a wheelchair-ridden grandmother who set herself on fire, committing suicide. The second, was arson, which resulted in the deaths of 5 children.

The kids were having a sleep-over- four siblings, a cousin and a friend from down the street. The oldest was 13. At some time during the night, after the kids were asleep, the mother, Addie Mack, went outside, slipped and fell on the icy sidewalk, injuring her ankle. She woke up her oldest son, Rod, and told him she was going to the emergency room to have her ankle checked out. While in the ER, her purse was stolen by William Garner.

Garner took a taxi to Mack's apartment, entered the apartment using her keys, and searched for items to steal. He entered each bedroom, observing the sleeping children, and then settled on some electronic equipment he found appealing. As he was loading the taxi with the items, one of the kids woke up. Memory told me it was the 13 year old, but the official court report says it was one of the young girls. He got her a drink of water, let her watch a little tv, and then sent her back to bed, telling her that he ran into her mom at the ER and she had asked him to go check on the kids. He reassured her mom was ok, and would return soon... but then he got scared.

He realized the child could ID him, so he set several fires in the apartment. One was at the base of the stairs, behind the tv which he had decided to leave in the apartment. He then had the taxi driver take him home where he unloaded the stolen goods.

Meanwhile, the fires raged. The smoke woke up the oldest, who tried in vain to get the other kids to leave through a bedroom window. He jumped first, sliding out onto a dormer over the front door and then down to the ground below. None of the kids followed.... they all died from smoke inhalation.

I inspected the house, fearing seeing burnt outlines of the tiny bodies who had perished- but luckily, found none. The families had left the scene and were at the Coroner's office, where I met them. The survivor, Rod, was sitting quietly in the corner, his face swollen and streaked with dried tears. The mothers- all single- crying and hysterically beating their chests, calling out with the familiar "WHYYYYYYYY..... WHYYYYYYYYYY" question that no one could answer.

Then something happened I never expected, and still can't forget. The grandfather approached Rod, grabbed his shoulders and shook him, yelling "HOW COME YOU WERE THE ONLY ONE TO GET OUT!!! WHY DIDN'T YOU PUSH THEM OUT THE WINDOW!! HOW COME YOU SURVIVED, BUT NONE OF THE OTHER KIDS DID!!!"
God. I will NEVER forget that. It was SO tragic... I know he was overcome by grief, and honestly wanted to know "why", but the way he accused Rod of being the lone survivor haunts me.

On the way home, I broke down. While you're with the families, you have a job to do. You're a professional, and you handle it. But when you leave, you're just a person again, and it hits you like a ton of bricks. You cry, and you hit things- the steering wheel, or the passenger seat, and you start asking the same WHYYYYYYY questions the family members ask. You get ANGRY, because you know this wasn't a mistake- it was done on purpose. As I was driving home, I had the radio on, and the story was all over the airwaves. I found out that the taxi driver turned the guy in to the police and he was already in custody.

It's been 15 years since that happened. Rod is now 29, married, and father to a 8 week old son. And William Garner just had his conviction overturned.


Overturned because his new lawyer was able to prove to two of the three judges on the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals that William is "borderline mentally retarded" and didn't understand his Miranda Rights. The judges declared that Garner either be released, or retried for the crimes.

I am SICK about this.

This COWARD stole a purse, broke into a house, inspected the house and KNEW it was full of sleeping children, stole items from the house, waking one of the kids, gave her a drink of water, talked to her, sent her back to bed, AND THEN SET FIRES TO COVER UP HIS BURGLARY!!!!!!

He was smart enough to steal a purse.
He was smart enough to take a taxi to the Mack home, and have the driver wait for him while he cleared it out.
He was quick-witted enough to come up with a story about being "a friend of your Mom's- she sent me to check on you kids" when one child woke up.
He was forward-thinking enough to realize she could ID him, so he set fires, intentionally, to KILL the witness.
He was arrested, read his Miranda Rights, and even signed them, acknowledging on tape that he understood them, and then not only confessed, but provided intricate details about the crimes.

The only stupid thing he did was have the taxi driver take him to his own house to unload the stolen goods. As soon as the driver heard about the deadly fire that morning, he called the police and told them exactly where to find Garner.

This is NOT a "borderline mentally retarded" man. Borderline mentally retarded people aren't quick-witted enough to do the things he did that night. Borderline mentally retarded people don't set THREE FIRES to cover up their crime without realizing what they are doing. I remember feeling relief when his death sentence was announced, and when I read today's article about it being overturned.. I wanted to SCREAM.


I've emailed the county prosecutor's office, asking to assist. I don't know if they will contact me, but I hope they do. I want everyone to know how sadistic and purposeful Garner's actions were that night. I want everyone to hear about the emotional and grief-stricken response of the family.
I want William Garner's death sentence reinstated. NOW.


  • Borderline means almost. Having been a former special ed teacher I know they understand and get away with as much as they can. You're right, the judges are living in an Ivory Tower like the one I used to live in.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:00 PM  

  • Borderline means almost. Having been a former special ed teacher I know they understand and get away with as much as they can. You're right, the judges are living in an Ivory Tower like the one I used to live in.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:00 PM  

  • Thank you for your blog! I was juror number 12 for this trial and it has haunted me ever since. I will never forget little Rod taking the stand or the cries of the families in the courtroom. I was the same age as William Garner when he was on trial, so I was barely an adult myself. When I heard of his sentence being overturned, I cried in disbelief. It was a harrowing experience to sit on such a trial and come to the conclusion that we did, but justice was served. It was even more disturbing to have our verdict overturned! William Garner is not borderline retarded! He is a cunning murderer! I feel so sorry for the family members of the deceased who have had their justice stolen from them just as they had their family stolen from them by William Garner. I wish there was something the jurors could do to change this. We gave him the death penalty because, by law, his crimes warranted death. Justice has not been served.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:25 PM  

  • Thou shalt not kill.(sixth commandment) Why can't you be a better person than many others? We have no right to take any persons life. Also not for punishment.Isn't it a more painfull punishment to have him in jail for the rest of his life thinking about what he did wrong and hating himself for this murder every second for many many years? We do not have the right to judge when someones life is over and how it is over.Only nature or, if you are a believer, God has this right. Don't get me wrong...I feel deeply sorry for the parents and also for you and it is just horrible and immane what he did to this kids, however your judgement isn't objective. Let him live and suffer from compunction. the death penalty is just medieval and immane aswell. America should change this law. It is just not right.
    "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you."

    I'm from Europe and I'm thankful to be born a strong society based on human rights and a healthy legal system. Our law doesn't kill people.

    Best wishes from the Netherlands and Germany.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:25 AM  

  • July 13th 2010 is his execution date, justice is finally being served :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:57 AM  

  • Well it has been a long time comming we lost 4 family members that truly did not have to die this sonso has lived 18teen years while a we go visit our little cousins GRAVES cause see they were so young. I have a lot more to say but no need. JUSTICE WILL BE SERVED JULY 13,2010


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:48 PM  

  • I'm with you all the way, William Garner deserves to be executed. Luckily for all parties involved it looks like justice is soon upon us. I dont think this is about revenge or closure, but justice. Garner deserves what he has coming for what he did. It was something he didnt have to do, it wasnt the quick pull of a trigger, it was a slowly carried out massacre.

    By Anonymous Nick, at 9:43 PM  

  • That bag of shit will die next month!!! Clemency was denied!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:52 PM  

  • Thank you for all you have done to make sure this guy is executed. You couldn't have said it better. You make a good case for his mental stability. God bless thier little souls. Shame on the grandfather for the guilt trip on a 13-year-old.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:29 AM  

  • In less than a week, we can all breath again, knowing that William Garner will never again walk the face of the Earth. His final judgement will come in heaven... but his earthly judgement is fast approaching.

    To the family who have posted here, and the juror... my heart is with you.

    By Blogger AFSister, at 9:47 AM  

  • Heavenly Father forgive them,they know know not what they do.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:35 PM  

  • Let him burn the way they did. Poor children! How could anyone say he does not deserve the death penalty. You beleive in God so much you probably would forgive him if it were your own children that this happened to wouldn't you? God has nothing to do with this situation at all. It was this man's own doing and now he shall pay!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:01 PM  

  • Yes your rite if the shoe was on the other foot and these was your kids how would you feel????? The same way if someone took your love ones from you. You would want their life taking from them to. You can't speak on something unless you then been threw it because if you ask me nobody in their right mind would not say just let him spend the rest of his life look up come on now. Whatever he could of just took what he took and keeping moving but start a fire come on this kids never will get a change to see 37 like he did.but like I said if the shoe was on the other foot.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:17 PM  

  • I knew this guy as a child, and he was slower than the rest of us. But the crime was a sad one.At the time of the crime we stayed a couple doors down from where this happen at, and i remember my mom helping out and talkin to the kids mom. And to this day it still hunts my mom, 18 years later.Even tho death is harsh for William Garner, the kids never had a chance. So my heart goes out to they family, and hopefully Lil Rod find peaces in his heart. He truely wasn the blame for what William did. May God bless the 5 kids souls,and William Garners...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:18 PM  

  • Garner's back to his manufacturer.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:59 PM  

  • The fellow from Germany...had Hitler lived would you want him sitting in one of your prisons?

    There is redemption for drug sellers, users, pushers, pimps, prostitutes, muggers, thieves, arsonists, con-men, gamblers, drinkers, those who murder in passion, those who murder in defense, and maybe even those who murder because they have an honest mental disorder but there is no redemption for those who rape or murder children. If God forgives William in the afterlife, his soul will be saved. He deserves no forgiveness in this life and now will have none.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:26 PM  

  • I'm with you on this one. That bastard is dead now.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:25 PM  

  • The relief I felt at 10:38 AM this morning was overwhelming. Death is sad, but knowing William Garner is dead is a relief. I cannot thank those who worked to get the overturned conviction reinstated- including the death penalty enough. Justice prevailed.

    William Garner's earthly judgement and punishment has been carried out; his soul will be judged by St. Peter. I'm good with that.

    By Blogger AFSister, at 7:41 PM  

  • No matter what one thinks of the death penalty, and I have long been opposed to it, I cannot see how the state killing a man with an IQ of 76 - 76! - who says he did not intend his victims harm is either just, or morally correct.

    The fact that his actions resulted in the death of five children, whilst utterly tragic, is irrelevant to the question of how society should respond to his decisions.

    For punishment to be appropriate, it must take into account culpability. A man considered “borderline retarded” cannot, in any meaningful sense, be considered culpable.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:15 AM  

  • Tax payers are no longer paying for this murder to have three meals a day, a place to lay his head, and medical treatment as needed... things he should of never have after taking the lives of five innocent children.

    For those saying it's wrong... we should forgive... Sorry I am all for an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. In this case it's one miserable life for the price of five irreplaceable lives and the pain of those families.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:09 PM  

  • He didn't mean to kill the kids...God will forgive him and will also forgive the persons who executed him!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:32 PM  


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:44 PM  


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:49 PM  

  • The USA is being ruined by lawyers. The lawyers in black robes are unbelievable. Lawyers dont live in the same "world" as common people. They are all about money and not justice or safety.

    They live in Ivory Towers within gated communities. Had one or all of Garner's victims been lawyers kids, he would have been executed in a month.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:54 AM  

  • Just forgive William Garner

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:34 AM  

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