Summer of Terror

By: Jessica Moore and Brandan Johnson

Crimes

  • June 18, 1999 - fire was set to 3 synagogues (B'Nai Isreal, Beth Shalom, and Kennesset Isreal) (Sacramento, California) the brothers went in and set fire to all three of the synagogues and library in the B'Nai was the most damage done. The boys left behind Anti-Jewish newspapers in each of the synagogues, as well as oil cans
  • July 1, 1999 - Gary Matson and Winfred Mauder were an openly gay couple that were murdered in bed while they slept (Redding, California) the brothers stole Matson's car and credit card after they murdered the couple in their sleep
  • July 2, 1999 - Abortion clinic was set on fire (California) the brothers set fire to the abortion clinic and it was speculated that the owner of the clinic set the fire to get insurance money, but it was later found that the Williams brothers were the ones to do it

Evidence

  • Oil cans - the same type of oil cans were found at the Williams' home that were found at the crime scenes
  • Anti-Jewish newspaper clippings - were connected to the brothers because they were from the area that they lived and were found in the synagogues, also a hand print from on of the murder victims was found on one of the newspapers connecting the brothers to not only the synagogue burning, but also to the murder
  • Paint chips - some of the paint from one of the synagogues was found on the black pry bar found with the Williams brothers
  • Black pry bar - connected the brothers to the crime by glass fragments that were found in their possession and in the crime scene
  • Stolen credit card - the brothers stole the credit card from one of the victims and led the cops to them when they used the credit card to buy ammunition from Arizona

Daubert Ruling

In the Supreme Court you are permitted to call upon an expert witness to the stand to help prove a point in favor of your case. The Daubert Ruling is when the judge determines the validity of the witnesses that are considered experts by asking his/herself five questions.

1. Has the technique been tested?

2. Has it been subjected to peer review and/or publication?

3. What is its known or potential error rate?

4. Are standards controlling the technique in place and maintained?

5. Is it generally accepted in the relevant scientific community?



In the Williams brothers case the prosecution attorneys pleaded to have a Daubert Ruling for most of the evidence found during the crimes. They had to ask for it because most of the technology had changed and wasn't accepted in the scientific community at the time. If the judge had not granted them the right to show that evidence, then the Williams boys probably wouldn't have been convicted because most of the evidence was class evidence and not individual. But, because the attorneys did get the right to show the evidence, the Williams boys were convicted for all the crimes.