Vanessa McKinney is Charles Wakefield, Jr.’s sister and the daughter of Charles Wakefield, Sr.

McKinney worked as an advocate for her brother during the 35 years he was in prison. She also spent that time caring for her ailing father as he dealt with his own regret over his son’s sentence.

In Motherless Child, the episode that profiles her brother’s biography, McKinney and family friend Rev. Harry Mansell provide the voices for the song for which the episode is named.

McKinney is married and lives in neighboring Pickens County with her family.