Being someone who is unapologetically pro-life, I am often asked if I am for or against the death penalty. I always say ‘for’, and this is the reason why. Robert Lee Willie

It was a little more than 30 years ago, so details are long forgotten. I was 5 years out of high school, and had been married for about a year and half. Some of us girls went down to the river; it was early summer in southeast Louisiana. We didn’t know the danger we were in. Down at the river that day, we ran into Robert Lee Willie and Joseph Vaccaro, among one or possibly two others. I think I remember who one of the others was, but I can’t say for sure, so I won’t name him. I will tell you that he was involved with Willie and Vaccaro, but was vindicated of murder. He committed suicide by hanging, probably 15 years ago or more. I guess his demons won the battle.

It seems like about a week after that day at the river (not sure of timeline) is when Faith Hathaway’s body was found at Fricke’s Cave. She had been kidnapped, brutally raped, and murdered by Willie and Vaccaro. What I remember feeling after the execution of Willie, was complete and total relief. For that reason, I will ALWAYS support the death penalty.

I’ve read more today on this subject than I ever have. If you have NetFlix access, the movie ‘Dead Man Walking” is on instant play. I watched it today. The movie is not an exact representation of Willie, but rather a composite of two murderers that Sister Helen Prejean counseled. The movie even left me feeling sorry for the main character, go figure. But a movie is a movie. My feelings and emotions about Robert Willie are real.

For more information on this real life true crime, please visit The Dead Girl that got the Dead Man Walking. Also, PBS has an excellent website with insights, interviews, and the like.

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