Billy Wilkins

Episode 19: True Believer

Biographies | Show notes | Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Other listening options

True Believer introduces Danny Jones, Frank Looper’s protege, and lets him explain what was happening behind the scenes with Frank Looper in the months before his death. For more, read the show notes or listen to the episode above.

Just discovering Murder, etc.? This story is meant to be heard in the order of episodes. Make sure you start with Episode 1.


Clint Eastwood’s Protege

When rookie Greenville City Police Officer Danny Jones met Lt. Frank Looper, he thought he’d found Greenville County’s version of Clint Eastwood. Jones spent the next 40 years doing what he could to live as Looper would have, both in an effort to help his community and preserve Looper’s legacy.

Below are photos of Danny Jones today and some of his favorite memories from his career in law enforcement.

If you want to research just like we did on Murder, etc., start with Newspapers.com.
Newspapers.com

Try Newspapers.com FREE for 7 days

BEFORE AND AFTER TABLE ROCK

Before 1971, Table Rock Laboratories had eight locations in Greenville County. The 45,000-square-foot facility just south of I-85 consolidated all of Table Rock’s operations into one very vulnerable building. The City of Greenville greased the skids to make the project happen and annexed the property.

To see a bird’s-eye view of the property before and after Table Rock, use the slider on the image below.

Join today for bonus episodes and more

Interested? Sign up today.

Support Murder, etc.

If you believe Murder, etc. is doing important work, please consider supporting its efforts with a donation to help cover the costs of research and production.

Donate any amount on PayPal or, if you prefer Venmo, you can quickly send your donation to @MurderETC.

If you’d prefer to offer your support while joining Amateurs ETC, visit the Murder, etc. Patreon page today to help the investigation continue.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screen-Shot-2019-03-05-at-12.14.27-AM-150x150.png


Show notes:

True Believer is an epic episode that explains the beginnings of the American War on Drugs that turned Lt. Frank Looper into one of its first soldiers. The episode then introduces Frank Looper’s protege, Danny Jones, who takes listeners behind the scenes to what was happening with Frank Looper in the last months of his life.

The episode also explores Looper’s other fellow narcs, their relationship with future Greenville County Sheriff Johnny Mack Brown, and Brown’s relationship with corrupt cop Carl “Bub” Skelton.

Fast Eddie Williamson returns with another phone call from prison and delves deeper into who he says shot up the Looper home not long before the murders.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screen-Shot-2019-03-05-at-12.14.27-AM-150x150.png

Featured interviews in True Believer

Episode 18: The Road to Six Mile

Fast Eddie Williamson opens up about the Dawson Gang, and more.

Episode 15: The Difference Between A and THE

Charles Wakefield may have been innocent of murder, but he was not 100% innocent of everything.

Episode 13: The Other Word on the Street

The police told you about one word on the street. The didn’t tell you about the other.

Episode 11: Love & Hate

Biographies | Show notes | Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Other listening options

Love & Hate reveals Arthur Edward Williamson, Jr. for the first time. Known as Fast Eddie, Williamson was likely the most notorious criminal from Upstate South Carolina in the 1970s. For more, read the show notes or listen to the episode above.

FAST EDDIE: IN HIS OWN WORDS

Murder, etc. producer Brad Willis has been corresponding with Arthur Edward Williamson, Jr. since autumn of 2018. Most of their correspondence has been off-the-record, but in the spring of 2019, Williamson agreed to go on-the-record about some specific topics related to his life and the criminal underworld of 1970s Greenville.

Below are some of Fast Eddie Williamson’s recollections, in his own words.

Fast Eddie Williamson circa 2016

EDDIE AND WOLF MATHIS

Wolf Mathis gave me this nickname when I managed the Hide Away for him on West Washington St. down next to the railroad station. It was then and probably now a “wino location” in Greenville for homeless men and women. That section of Greenville was a troubled area. Lots of fighting. When I managed the Hide Away, I stopped most of it.

However, due to my interest in gambling, fighting, and trying to learn to play pool — at which, I might add, I never got to be a great player — an old wino by the name of Nub Grains, who was at one time one of the best pool hustlers in our county, taught me at the Hide Away daily and helped me clean up in the morning when I opened the bar.

I did know, though, how to make a game so that I would win.

Wolf taught me to use a Whip Cup (a cheating device) for shooting dice. What I learned from Wolf and what I had learned from George Coker at the Hawaiian Eye on Old Easley Hwy 124 in West Greenville about dice and strippers, and working cards so you cut only tens up to aces, led to me winning so much that Wolf started calling me “Fast Eddie.”

Most believe it came from the Bank Robbery days of the 1970s but it actually came from 1967 to 1969. It came alive, though, in the 70s.

If you want to research just like we did on Murder, etc., start with Newspapers.com.
Newspapers.com

Try Newspapers.com FREE for 7 days

THE CHAINLINK FENCE CAPER

Billy certainly caught me in a lie that should never had been caught. I was out on parole on the (Tommy Pearson) manslaughter charge after serving 18 months.

Mr. Catoe owned and operated the Mack Truck and Trailer place on White Horse Rd. and had promised me that I could show I worked for him so my state parole would not be revoked. I did everything I told him I would, but at the first opportunity, he sold me out. People like that live miserable lives — bet on it. He turned out to be a lucky man — and he does not know how lucky. That is water over the dam now.

The Timeline

Keep track of all the important people, events, and when they happened in the interactive Murder, etc. timeline.

Max Courson’s Dixie Mafia Gangster

Fast Eddie is mentioned several times in Max Courson’s book. Read Dixie Mafia Gangster on Kindle or visit his website.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screen-Shot-2019-03-05-at-12.14.27-AM-150x150.png


Show notes:

Love & Hate introduces listeners to Arthur Edward Williamson, Jr., better known as Fast Eddie, who as a boy had the words LOVE and HATE tattooed on his fingers.

Williamson, a Greenville native, is in prison but has been communicating with Murder, etc. producer Brad Willis for the past six months.

Willis takes listeners back to Fast Eddie’s childhood, and through his life as a criminal, and then explains that Williamson has agreed to reveal things about the Looper murders investigation that no one has ever discussed publicly.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screen-Shot-2019-03-05-at-12.14.27-AM-150x150.png

Featured interviews in Love & Hate

Episode 10: Good Ol’ Boys

Master bank robber Foster Sellers knew his destiny, but he didn’t know how it would change Greenville, SC

Episode 9: Saint Christopher

What does it mean to be a good cop? Does it require justice?

Episode 7: Southern Railroad

Biographies | Show notes | Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Other listening options

Southern Railroad sets out to begin answering two questions. If one-time prosecutor Billy Wilkins knows things other people don’t know that convinced him Charles Wakefield, Jr. is guilty, what does he know? And if Charles Wakefield, Jr. wasn’t in the Looper Garage that day, where was he? For more, read the show notes or listen to the episode above. For more details, see the Charles Wakefield Jr. alibi map below.


Charles Wakefield, Jr. remembers almost every minute from January 31, 1975. He woke up at his estranged wife’s home. He planned to go to sleep there, too. He felt like he was getting close to repairing his relationship. He never got the chance.

Wakefield can recount every hour of his day from the moment he left his wife’s apartment that morning until the time she watched police lead him to jail that night.

After you listen to the episode above, use the interactive map below to trace Wakefield’s path around Greenville that day.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screen-Shot-2019-03-05-at-12.14.27-AM-150x150.png


Show notes:

Southern Railroad finds producer Brad Willis driving around Greenville, SC with one-time Death Row inmate Charles Wakefield, Jr. in a pick-up truck. Wakefield reminisces about better times in Greenville as he and Willis navigate through Fall for Greenville festival traffic.

Willis interviews 1975 prosecutor Billy Wilkins in which Wilkins describes Lt. Jim Christopher’s relationship with an informant that first tipped Christopher to Wakefield. Wilkins goes on to tell a story about information Christopher said he heard from one of Wakefield’s neighbors and how it served as good evidence of Wakefield’s guilt. Wilkins then explains why a jury never heard that story.

Wakefield guides Willis through Greenville along the path Wakefield says he took on the day of the murders, laying out his alibi one place at a time.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screen-Shot-2019-03-05-at-12.14.27-AM-150x150.png

Featured interviews in Southern Railroad

Episode 6: Unexpected Company

Unexpected Company begins Murder, etc.’s deep dive into the documents, pictures, and stories that Greenville County has never heard about the Looper murders. It includes an interview with one of the last people to speak to Frank Looper, new details of what Looper’s mother told police, a possible explanation for why some eyewitnesses weren’t called at trial, revelations about the crowded crime scene, and previously unrevealed report that supported the theory that a hit man killed the Loopers. For more, read the show notes or listen to the episode above. For more details not covered in the podcast episode, read KILLER below.

Episode 5: Bub

Carl “Bub” Skelton was an expert in catching crooks. It’s easier when you’re a crook yourself.

Top