I could only manage to find two sources for The Willett Case:
George Oullett and Jean Pourier are two French-Canadian immigrants who run a barbershop on Main Street in Glens Falls, NY in the year 1880. Because the names “Oullet” and “Pourier” sound a little bit too much like fancy brands of water, everyone in the area calls them George Willett and John Pair.
Willett is not only partners with Pair, but he is also married to his sister. Mix business partners, brother-in-laws, Upstate New York winters, and barbershop scissors together, and it’s just a matter of time before things get ugly.
Willett appears in court, up against testimonies from a few gun experts and two people who say they saw a “French-Canadian” type with a revolver the night of the murder. What does a French-Canadian type even look like exactly? Would you describe Celine Dion as a “French-Canadian type”? I think there was a little bias in the courtroom.
Regardless, unlike O.J., the glove did fit in this case and Willett was sentenced to death by hanging. I guess the detailed description (not) was enough to sentence him to death.
While George was sitting around, waiting for his demise to come, he decided to build a model church out of a cigar box. Much like the recent “Hot Convict” Jeremy Meeks, word spread about this felon FAST. George became the Michelangelo of Death Row, he gained quite a following. His miniature church sold for $450… if he had made it with popsicle sticks, he probably could’ve gotten $500. Regardless, it was enough to fund a retrial.
This apparently made perfect sense to the jury who found Willett not guilty of the crime.
So what have we learned?
- TurnItIn.com made my life way harder than my parents’ generation.
- It’s hard to find French-Canadian fast food chains in Glens Falls.
- Eye witnesses are completely reliable.
- It didn’t take much to get the death penalty back in the day.
- If you go to jail, just make some Sunday school-style arts and crafts (hey, you never know).
- The justice system responds pretty well to the Silent Treatment.