Episode 26: 2020 Hindsight
A new closing argument for 2020
Bombshell admission of new evidence accusing a lawman of the Looper murders
A family secret, a hidden gun, and some of the most dramatic developments in the Murder, etc. story to date
The Looper Murders investigators never considered one man a suspect…even if generations of cops still do.
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.
Murder, etc. producer Brad Willis has been corresponding with Arthur Edward Williamson Jr. since the 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.
“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 Highway 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.”
“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 Road 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.”
Keep track of all the important people, events, and when they happened in the interactive Murder, etc. timeline.
Fast Eddie is mentioned several times in Max Courson’s book. Read Dixie Mafia Gangster on Kindle or visit his website.
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 during the six months before this episode was released.
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.
A Bunch of Amateurs is based on a quote from 1975 Greenville County Sheriff Cash Williams who, just a few weeks before Frank Looper’s murder, said his county didn’t have an organized crime problem. Sheriff Williams said his county only had to worry about a bunch of amateurs. For more, read the show notes or listen to the episode above.
A Bunch of Amateurs is based on a quote from 1975 Greenville County Sheriff Cash Williams, who said his county didn’t have an organized crime problem.
It begins with a bungled drug crime that took place four weeks before Frank Looper died, and it introduces the infamous Greenville drug thief and drug dealer behind it, Jackie Delk.
Listeners are then introduced to Ivan Nachman (aka Ryan Quade Emerson), the internal affairs investigator hired by Greenville County Sheriff Cash Williams. Listeners learn just how damaging it can be for a lawman to hire someone to investigate his own department.
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.
Southern Railroad finds producer Brad Willis driving around Greenville, South Carolina, with one-time death row inmate Charles Wakefield Jr. in a pickup truck. Wakefield reminisces about better times in Greenville as he and Willis navigate through Fall for Greenville festival traffic.
Willis has a conversation with 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.
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.
Carl “Bub” Skelton was an expert in catching crooks. It’s easier when you’re a crook yourself.