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[00:00:00]

This podcast is intended for mature audiences, listener discretion is advised. For me, the live in history means something. That's why today is so important. You've got to get these stories on tape. You've got to get this area because these types of crimes are going away.

[00:00:30]

People like to say there's organized crime and they like to say they understand how things happen. I have no reality, I really don't. So these stories to me are living history. This type of thing or me needs to be in the Smithsonian.

[00:00:46]

Over the past several weeks, we have been retracing Billy Byrd's footsteps on the Jackson farm, trying to find the spots he had marked with Xs on a map drawn while he was in prison and hidden for Stony to find later. We had also been searching for the unidentified woman, Burton Davis, killed and supposedly buried near Otis Rieslings shallow grave on the banks of the Mulberry River. Stony is dead set on finding that woman for one reason. It is my descendants.

[00:01:17]

I don't want them thinking the blood that runs through their veins comes from a cold blooded murder. Torture. So this son of a bitch.

[00:01:30]

The truth is bad enough. Who my father was, who he chose to be. What he's done is bad enough. It don't need Charles Manson or Ted Bundy to deal with it. So that's it. I've got to live what he did. It's my hope and prayer that my grandchildren don't have to live with what he did because I've had to. And I tell you, it's been tough. Stony is absolutely certain.

[00:02:00]

His father did not commit the Flemyng murder and was framed by Davis with the help of Jim West in an elaborate plan to get Burt behind prison bars for the rest of his life. His father maintained his innocence of this particular crime until the day he died. But after everything that bird had been through in his time on death row, the near executions, losing an eye and a knife attack and ultimately finding his own redemption during a secret baptism orchestrated by one of the very men that helped to put him in prison.

[00:02:32]

Hadn't this been enough for Stoney to. Why keep pursuing this, his father's dead. What's going to change? But it seems while these things provided some sort of salvation for Billy Burt Stoney's obsession with clearing his father, the Fleming murder might be the only thing that gives him closure.

[00:02:54]

My daddy pretty well confessed every damn thing he'd done and even the ones he didn't he would not elaborate on, he just left it alone. I asked Stoney what he would say to Davis if he could have five minutes to sit and talk with him about this.

[00:03:11]

I would talk to him from the horror show and I can't tell you what will come out of it, but it would come from the heart that you and I will talk to him just like you right now. And I will try to get in there five minutes. I will try to get it through to him what it would mean to his soul and his, for lack of a better word, his future, whatever it may be, if he would come clean and just tell the whole truth and take that one crime.

[00:03:34]

The Flemming's off my dad's shoulders and put it on his shoulders, because unless he confesses to his saying he has no hope for redemption.

[00:03:45]

But I would give Swor as much as I know my job is not over on this Earth and as much as my baby's name, but my wife, my grandchildren, I would you know, I have to negotiate and put out would give part of my life if he would come clean.

[00:04:11]

For now, we have to find evidence to back up Stoney's claims that his father wasn't a part of the murder in Ren's so far, with the exception of stony finding a shotgun buried nearly a half century ago by his father. We've come up empty handed. We realized that if we wanted to find anything, we needed to take more drastic measures. Enter the cadaver dogs. My name is Tracy Sargent.

[00:04:39]

A lot of folks call me Trace. I'm known as a canine search and rescue expert. I specialize in finding missing persons both dead and alive. My dogs have been working since they were about 10 months old and they have found remains from a few hours old, up to about three hundred and fifty years old. The dogs themselves are what we call a human remains detection dogs, a lot of people know them as cadaver dogs, but they do so much more than that.

[00:05:09]

We say human remains that could be from a full sized body down to skeletal remains and everything in between, including body fluids.

[00:05:18]

Stony chimes in on the information this expert in her field provided.

[00:05:23]

I just don't believe a cadaver dog for want to call it now to find something for you. I just don't believe the impossible that she said she'd know. So I believe you do. She says she knows the kid. Then I believe her.

[00:05:41]

It's interesting that these are dogs. Drug dealers have been trying to hide scent from drug dogs for many, many years. And it's very, very difficult, if not impossible, to hide it from dogs. So when we have resources like this, especially in a large area like this, they they can really narrow it down for us, even in these cold cases that are 30, 40, 50 years old.

[00:06:04]

On a hot July day, we met Tracey and her dog's chance and Draco at the old Jackson farm. Stoney's son Stone had worked for days with the landowner to clear a wide path with a tractor so that we could easily traverse the area along the riverbank, which had been covered in thick undergrowth and was nearly impassable. We were joined by law officials from Barrow County and retired Sheriff Joe Robinson. Tracy gave us a rundown on what to expect from the cadaver dogs.

[00:06:32]

Dogs do not find bombs, drugs or people. They find scent. So we have to work and look at the topography, the age, the size, all of these different factors, the weather and how we can put scent in our favor so the dogs can respond to it. Because unfortunately, this time of year is absolutely the worst set conditions for anything. It has happened. But it's rare that we go and search and a few minutes later we find something that's kind of Hollywood.

[00:07:09]

Draco, a beautiful jet black German shepherd, hopped out of Tracy's SUV and immediately began canvassing the area. Every few feet, we would stop and lower his head to get a closer smell of something and would quickly move on in an almost erratic pattern crisscrossing back and forth over the land. Tracy let Drakula acclimate himself for a few minutes and then let him in the direction of the river, walking along the freshly cleared path.

[00:07:37]

I'm looking what we call a Kobe, a change of behavior. Yes, they're trained alerter indication is a set. But more importantly for me is what is their natural change of behavior that I've seen in these dogs over the years. So based upon their natural change behavior, that's an important thing for me to look for and to observe.

[00:08:01]

Our group gave Tracy Andraka space and waited anxiously off to the side, stony faced nervously and chain smoked cigarettes with the dogs.

[00:08:10]

Actually find something or have we been simply wasting our time out here, whether it be a body or make money or jewelry, go and whatever is get rid of the rule of thumb was 20 to 30 feet off the bank unless he played within three feet that I had to go for for the length of time they've moved to. Right to the path of where you wouldn't if you did hit you thought you drive saying you'd have total at you. And within minutes, Draco's behaviour changed, he paced much more quickly across the land, jumping in and out of the tall weeds off the side of the path, and then stopped suddenly and raised his nose towards the trees, taking in many short, rapid sniffs.

[00:08:56]

We barely made a sound as we watched. And then Draco's sat down and looked directly into Tracy's eyes, staring intently at her, Tracy led Draco out of the area to sort of recalibrate, and he immediately headed back to the same spot and again, SAT, which was a sign that he had found something so much for this only happening in Hollywood. Draco was led back to the SUV and chance was brought out if Chance went to the same spot, sat as well.

[00:09:30]

It would almost certainly indicate we had found something. And that's exactly what happened. We need to show this right. So I just wanted to explain what the dogs are doing and what they're telling us here. Again, they tell us two things were something else and we're something isn't. When we started Draco over in that area, what I saw is that they told me there was no scent in that area over here. But when they got to this tree right here and that big one, this one right here, this little small sapling.

[00:10:12]

Yes. And then the big one right there. And this area right here, they had a change of behavior. Both dogs did. Draco's is when he gets to sit, just stop, stand and stare at me. He did that several times and I worked him out into what we call a negative area and then brought him in in a different direction just to see if the scent he would be able to pick it up in a different way or stronger or weaker every time I brought him into this area.

[00:10:45]

He had a change of behavior. He was obvious in that he did. You see how his head was rising up and he was smelling the air. The reason for that is because vegetation is like a sponge, like sponges. So if you think about different fluids, they're absorbed into plant life and that scent actually comes out of the leaves. And the plant life itself, the dogs will typically indicate to trees and vegetation because the scent is stronger, because it's been dormant to the plant like.

[00:11:22]

So what I can tell you is that in that area, negative in that area, negative in this area, there is a change of behavior and positive response with the dog in this area.

[00:11:37]

Tracy used her knowledge to give us a search area roughly 30 feet by 50 feet that, in her words, deserved further exploration.

[00:11:46]

But before we could even put a shovel in the ground, Tracy, once again with Draco, began searching further on down the riverbank toward the second X on the map.

[00:11:55]

And this is when something astounding happened a few days before we arrived with the dogs.

[00:12:02]

When Stoney's son Stone had been clearing out the brush with a tractor, he heard a very defined whistle as if someone was trying to get his attention. He cut the tractors engine off and listened intently. Again, he heard a whistle. He looked around and he was alone. Stone called his father to see if he was on the Jackson farm property, but he was back at the distillery miles away, making whiskey. It's spook stone enough that he quit for the day and left.

[00:12:32]

And as we walked along the riverbank, Draco and then Chance once again sat down and Stone's face turned white as if he'd seen a ghost. Yes, Stone, or were you it. Is that why you stopped? Who were you when you heard the whistle? It. I was on the same set right here. Right here. And you stopped playing because the tell tale about what happened, what you told me this morning when I was writing it the first time listening, I thought I heard a loud voice around, make sure no one around me said stop.

[00:13:09]

That's why I called you where you was. I hung up the phone and that's when I heard that loud whistle sound like was coming from rather behind that thing. And that's my tape machine back out here to the front, scared and didn't tell me to do the whistle first. Whistle signal first whistles I can't really good, but I can try to get my attention. But this is the second one is like a slower as I know they don't come once again.

[00:13:40]

What were you. Is that why you stopped here? Why didn't clear no more. OK, do you hear that man when you heard the whistle right here, Wahidi, the more you got out of here this morning and the whistle he does is my daddy's whistle.

[00:13:59]

Stone making this claim was out of the ordinary. I've gotten to know him fairly well over the past year and a half and there's no showmanship in him like stone. He has. He's quiet, reserved. Both dogs had sat on the exact spot that Stone had parked the tractor and turned off the engine after hearing several ghostly whistles.

[00:14:22]

Tracy had no idea of this until after the fact. Is there something to this? I don't know.

[00:14:30]

But it's certainly intriguing, given that we are searching for potential murder victims of Billy Burt.

[00:14:36]

And while we had Tracy and her cadaver dogs with us, we headed to the spot where Otis Redding had been buried to see if we might be able to locate Davis's mistress as well. Since 1993, thousands of women have been murdered or disappeared along the border in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. My name is Lydia Cacho and I am here to tell you the true story of the femicide. Sing Juarez, listen and subscribe to the red note right now on Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts, you can also listen in Spanish.

[00:15:23]

Just search for LANATA rocka in the same podcast app you are listening in now. True features the often weird but always true stories of strange events and unforgettable moments. Each episode explores unusual, obscure, sometimes funny, sometimes creepy stories, stories that are so bizarre that you won't believe that the real. But they are because, yeah, they're true.

[00:15:53]

Listen and subscribe to True right now on Apple podcast or wherever you get your favorite shows. As we arrive at the second location, Sony begins to put the charm on a bit and makes drinks for everyone out of a cooler in the back of his truck.

[00:16:13]

Now, when you get my age, you stay prepared for women around. Well, thank you. Stare at it and tell me how you like the concoction. And I'll tell you what you're going to do if you're going to be in the river.

[00:16:28]

Now, I got a purchasing girl in town. I've been married 43 years and I will first date for most of his wedding. Well, you know what? I can respect that.

[00:16:38]

He seems to be acting very casual about all this. And it makes me wonder if he isn't just stalling for some reason, maybe because he was having trouble processing the fact that we might just find this poor woman's body after all. And if we do, what then with no map to go on here? We were going solely on archival news footage and the memory of a man who was there around the time they found Otis.

[00:17:04]

His name is Jimmy Tarryl. I was the investigator from January 1st, 1975 until 1980.

[00:17:16]

I was really excited and I called a friend of mine who worked for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. And I said, Hey, Jerry, Jerry, I got a job this year. Where are you going? I said, I'm going to wonder as an investigator and just want to hear you doing it. I kill people over there. Oh, well, I put a different light on it, but but I kept a job and came over for the next five years, worked a lot with the federal agencies.

[00:17:47]

The FBI was in and out here. It's been five years.

[00:17:55]

I asked Jimmy why he was trying to help Stoney find the missing woman. It will bring some closure to a couple of cases, to some people, I think missing persons, always cold case is always good for them and you bring some closure and you know, there's nobody to prosecute. That's OK. We're still fighting the case if we can find the missing person. And there's some closure in that. And I'm trying to bring in a year or two in here.

[00:18:31]

Sometimes it's all about closure. We walked up and down the riverbank in the hot midday sun while Tracy ran with Draco ahead of us, as we began to approach a bridge that crossed over the Mulberry River, Draco hit on something her other dog, Chance, was brought out and immediately sat on the same spot Draco had.

[00:18:55]

I could not believe it. The reality began to set in that we might have just located three different victims of Billy Birte in one day. In this last point of interest, according to audio, Stoney has of his father, might be the location where Davis's mistress was buried.

[00:19:17]

We immediately notified the Hall County Sheriff's Department investigator who was assigned to be with us on this day that the dogs had alerted us to something just as we had done at the Jackson farm with Barrow County law officials. Crime scene investigator Sheryl McCollum took soil samples we collected from each of the three locations to send for forensic analysis at the state crime lab. It was nothing more we could do today without a warrant. And now we wait. And wait. Weeks would go by and still no word on the soil samples that were taken, no warrant had been issued or even pursued by authorities.

[00:19:57]

We were at a complete standstill. We were anxious. Even Tracy, who does this for a living, was so intrigued by this story. She called several times to check in and see if we made any progress. She was certain that given the situation, we would find something. After all, it's not often you have a map to go by. And during one of these calls, she mentioned we might be able to get results much faster if we sent soil samples to an independent lab she regularly uses located in Canada.

[00:20:32]

The only problem with that, we would need new samples and the collection process must be strictly adhered to in order to avoid contamination. I called the lab to find out exactly what it was we needed to do. I am Steven Petrow, I'm the technical manager of Lakehead University Taleo DNA Laboratory. Our laboratory specializes in getting DNA from ancient and degraded material, but we also work with modern material as well. We specialize.

[00:21:06]

Stephen goes on to tell me that his lab has collected human DNA from bone fragments dating back hundreds of thousands of years. We were looking at samples less than 50 years old. I called Tracy Sargent and asked if she would be willing to bring Chance and Draco back out to the three sites to properly collect new samples and run the dogs through the grounds again to see if they came up with the same results.

[00:21:32]

She agreed, and on the day we all met up, we finally had our first stroke of luck, the weather was perfect for the dogs.

[00:21:43]

At seven a.m., it was cool and raining lightly, which allowed for the scent to really come out of the soil and vegetation, giving the dogs a better chance of narrowing down their search field.

[00:21:54]

No matter how many times we check in area, we always start the dogs in what we call a clean, negative area. We don't take them to the hot area. We let them take us to the hot area. And this case, we actually brought them in a completely different direction, a different environment. They didn't even know that they were in the same place.

[00:22:14]

We knew that Tracy got her samples and we headed back to the site where Otis Redding had been found. And yet again, the dog sat at the exact same spot they had before, which we think could be where Davis's mistress was buried. Tracy took a sample there, too. We packed up for the day and headed out. And again, we would have to wait because the rest was out of our hands at this point. Audible is the leading provider of spoken word entertainment and audio books ranging from best sellers to celebrity memoirs, news business and self development.

[00:22:57]

Every month, members get one credit to pick any title to audible originals from a monthly selection. Access to Daily News digests from the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post and guided meditation programs in Audible launched a special website, Stories Audible Dotcom, where you can stream hundreds of our titles completely free, no strings attached, for as long as the quarantine lasts, especially for parents, educators and caregivers. A good night's sleep is essential for keeping our mind and body strong.

[00:23:27]

But it's not always an easy thing to get, especially now. Visit orrible dotcom sleep for soothing audio experiences to let you meditate. Also free right now for everything audible, go to audible dotcom ears or text ears to five hundred five hundred. That's audible dotcom ACARS or text SARS to five hundred five hundred. There's one family name that is synonymous with American culture. The Kennedys. They became a quintessential symbol of the all-American family of the twenty first century.

[00:24:00]

But as they cemented their place in history, the pressure to remain picture perfect became undeniable. And in the end it proved to be deadly. As a young senator, Ted Kennedy mysteriously drove his car off the road and into a lake. He survived the crash. Those passenger did not. Fearing his presidential bid would be tarnished, Ted waited 10 hours to report the fatal incident. As the investigation progressed, his story about the events leading up to the crash started to fall apart.

[00:24:34]

And word of the deadly incident spread quickly. Soon, he faced accusations not even the Kennedys could overcome. Subscribe to even the rich on Apple podcast Spotify. Or listen ad free on the Wonder rap. By now, the first several episodes of this podcast had been released, and that's when I got a very strange message on Instagram, of all places. It was from a family member of the Flemming's. We started communicating through direct messages, and I was told that for the first time since the murder and Billy Byrd's death penalty for it, there were a few family members that started to think that maybe there was more to this story than they were told.

[00:25:25]

Maybe Billy Burt really wasn't guilty of this murder. Either way, they were open to talking about it with me and Stoney. I made the two and a half hour drive to a small town called Evans, just outside of Augusta on a Sunday morning to meet with Cindy Sylve and her two sisters, Wanda and Sonya. The Flemming's where their great aunt and uncle, the Southern hospitality, once again was on full display as they welcomed me in to a full spread of meats and cheeses.

[00:26:00]

And the women were already hard at work on the mimosas. And I'm not a drinker.

[00:26:04]

But all three women were a bit nervous to meet Stoney, which is understandable. This is something their family never would have thought might happen, welcoming a Burt of all people into their home.

[00:26:20]

My stomach is in knots. Yeah, because again, if anybody ever told me I would meet him or anybody with the last name Burt spelled out, I would have I would have said, you're crazy. No, no, I wouldn't do that.

[00:26:38]

Cindy paints a picture of what life was like for them in the early 70s before all of this happened.

[00:26:46]

Growing up, my sisters and I and all of my cousins, we would go to church every Sunday here in Augusta and then we would go straight to Ran's after church every Sunday and we would go and play with our cousins. And we did that every Sunday, our whole life.

[00:27:03]

Cindy begins to tell me what she remembers about the murder of her great aunt and uncle in the cheerful vibe in the room quickly dissipates.

[00:27:11]

One day in December of nineteen seventy three, we get news that there's been this horrific murder of my mother's aunt and uncle. It was my great aunt and uncle and it was shocking. It was unbelievable. It was so surreal. It was traumatic.

[00:27:39]

I can't even tell you. I mean, it scared us to death. We didn't know who had done it at the time because the people who had done it weren't caught.

[00:27:46]

The murder affected the entire family, but the children seemed to take it especially hard. We were terrified.

[00:27:53]

I can remember I was 13 years old and I had to start sleeping with my parents again. I would go curl up from the end of their bed at thirteen. I would have died if my friends I did that. But every closet in my house, I kept thinking when somebody opened the closet, a man was going to come out. I didn't know who this man was, what he was going to look like, but I was scared to death.

[00:28:16]

We didn't know who had done this horrible thing and. It was awful to me this was an immediate reminder that when someone is murdered like this, it's the family who's left to carry the weight of the crime.

[00:28:31]

Gosh, who would have ever I mean, there's never been a crime like that before or since. And rainstorms. I mean, like just doesn't happen.

[00:28:42]

I mean, the whole town had to be terrified. But it was a double funeral, and that was I'll never forget it. I mean, we remember it. We remember going to the funeral home. There were two caskets, only double funeral, and there have been two in it. I mean, it was just it was an open casket and it was very I mean, it's etched in my mind, probably my sisters, too. And my cousin will never forget it.

[00:29:11]

It was a huge funeral. And everybody in the town and probably every town around remembers how big it was. I mean, people were outside. Nobody could even get in the church. Probably the biggest funeral princess ever had because they were just good people and they didn't and never did hurt anybody do anything.

[00:29:33]

They were, you know, fine, upstanding citizens. They were born and raised there and been there forever. Everybody knew them.

[00:29:41]

I was really curious to find out how the Fleming family felt about the birth family as a whole. Clearly, you don't ever get over something like this. It just gets easier with time. But I can only imagine that they must harbor deep feelings of hatred or resentment for the Berts if we hated them.

[00:30:02]

I keep going back to terror, but I was scared to death of them. I just always thought this answer because Billy Sandy Berger was the name that always said first, I don't know why, but it was like it was he was the ringleader by on it. So I just pictured this monster of a man.

[00:30:26]

I asked why Cindy and her family decided to reach out to me to talk about this and why they were finally willing to meet Stoney.

[00:30:34]

I stumble upon your podcast and I heard the first episode and it was like, Oh, my gosh.

[00:30:47]

I was in the beginning when I heard the word coat hanger, because that had been one of the ways they used to murder the Flemons, they used coat hangers that they wrapped around their necks.

[00:31:01]

I had heard of standing before, I had heard that he was holding to the fact that his dad did not do that particular murder, that he did all the other things, but he didn't do that. And but I'm pretty much took that with a grain of salt. This is a man who loves his dad, of course. You know, I just didn't get all that into it. But when I heard the podcast, it was like, OK.

[00:31:28]

Maybe there's something to this that was the first time in my life that I even had a shred of doubt that maybe he was not involved in it.

[00:31:41]

Cindy came to question this on her own. She's an intelligent woman, the psychologist. In fact, she even did her own research into the murder when she was in college.

[00:31:52]

I'm seeing patterns. I'm seeing things that could possibly say that he wasn't there. I don't know. And I don't know if we'll ever know. Cindy poured through the crime scene evidence while doing her research. She pulled out the grainy photocopies to show me. She interviewed GBI agent Bob Ingram and she even wrote to Billy Byrd in prison, but never got a reply. But still, she didn't have the answers she was searching for.

[00:32:21]

We know he was in the town that was established. He admitted he was in the town. So if if that's what they're going on and it seems to me that's pretty much what they're going on, that he was seen in the town that we already knew he was in the town and he admitted he was in the town. The pattern I'm seeing is that when Billy Burke didn't think it was smart to do a murder, he would not do it. But there's all this back like that.

[00:32:46]

We had no clue, like when I was doing my research and I would never come across that. All the whole thing with Jim West, where he had this vendetta, you know, he he didn't like being made to look like a fool. You know, he felt like Billy was making him look like a fool. There was that and then the whole Billy Wayne Davis, I had no idea that he you know, that there was some started to be some bad blood.

[00:33:10]

And then he goes and turns on him and says it was him that he was there and all this. And the fact that the labor in court, he said, you know, yeah, me and him, we did we did some bad stuff. We did all these things that I didn't do this. I just don't understand why he would not admit to this. All that information, by the way, about how Jim West and Sheriff Lee used Davis's wife to get him to make a deal, as well as how Davis had multiple murder charges dropped in exchange for his testimony against Byrd, came directly from Sheriff Lee.

[00:33:52]

Lee told this not only to Billy, but to as well. This might be Stoney's only chance to present his case to Cindy and her extended family. When he arrives, Cindy and her sisters again begin to get nervous and have another drink while I meet Stoney out front. I'll go out and fly him down and we'll be back in just a minute.

[00:34:18]

Immediately, I can tell he is terrified, his whole body is practically convulsing.

[00:34:25]

He's so nervous, so weak of the that I couldn't sleep. I just I was nervous.

[00:34:32]

As we make our way to the front door, Stoney hesitates and finds any excuse to cause a delay for getting his wallet in the car, checking each car door individually to make sure it's locked, smoking yet another cigarette.

[00:34:45]

I don't think I've seen this Nooristani show. Now, I don't think I don't have the words to walk in. They're all very friendly and there's no she she's got no ill will. Give me a minute. Yeah, OK.

[00:35:10]

I give Stoney a minute to himself before we walk into Cindy's house, he struggles to work up the courage to knock on the door.

[00:35:23]

Ladies, I guess I got a guest here for you.

[00:35:28]

You know, we don't he won't let me.

[00:35:36]

That's no man with that stone.

[00:35:40]

He brought a case of whiskey and brandy as a gift. And after everyone gets acquainted over a drink, he begins to tell his father's side of the events surrounding the Fleming murder. But before he does this, he tells Cindy and her sisters that he doesn't want the Fleming son Hugh, who found his parents the morning after the murder to know of their conversation. He's elderly now, and Stoney doesn't want to cause the man to go through the emotional trauma of this all over again.

[00:36:08]

I'm not here, to my knowledge, ever bring this to you. Watch their every move. Right. But will manage even if you are walking, you know, 100 percent why they didn't do them. Why she's not telling you her beliefs. Yeah. Is that OK? My break is not the end of the world. I get it with you.

[00:36:37]

Over the next several hours, he pulls files, newspaper articles, letters and video interviews of his father out of several tightly packed suitcases he brought along.

[00:36:47]

Ask me to say, ma'am, I'll just tell you what I know. Tell you what I think. What I'll tell you so far, what I know.

[00:36:56]

Stoney paints a picture of what he believes really happened that night.

[00:37:00]

So he was he did the Hayman house with Charlie rerate and they left town.

[00:37:06]

No, they will go straight to hell.

[00:37:10]

He recounts conversations he had with his father in later years while he was on death row and explains that even Sheriff Lee didn't necessarily believe Purt committed the murder, but went along with it for the greater good. They had to keep Byrd in prison at all costs, and that's something that even Billy Byrd understood. After hours of talking, it seemed the women had come to their own conclusions.

[00:37:35]

You know, before I heard the podcast, I only pictured your dad. I just thought he was a monster. He was. He was. But when I listen to the podcast, it made me see the human side of him. He was the father. You know, the stories you tell about him, it made you a real person to me. I don't feel that way anymore. Feel what? What? I don't feel like he was a monster, but he was I mean, I don't feel like I have doubt that he killed my.

[00:38:13]

The reality here is that we might never know what really happened that night, but the important thing to Stony is not to prove this in a court of law. It wouldn't change anything. It's to have the Fleming family hear his father's side of the story and make up their own minds when I think about it.

[00:38:30]

I mean, it's only because I've heard him. I feel like I sort of know him from his stories and it's like he didn't do it. You know, nobody's really mad at him or anything. I love Jesus.

[00:38:49]

And he forgives me every day for, you know, all of everything I do every single day, you know? So what am I if I if I can't forgive or, you know, I just feel like we have to give each other some grace sometimes.

[00:39:06]

And it sounds like he needs some grace right now. It's not just him. It's not just on story. You know, there are people in things that back up what he's saying. So but we had never gotten that close to the other side either. This is a lot for all of these people to take in. And I felt like at some point I shouldn't be there with a recorder. This was about more than a podcast. It was real life.

[00:39:37]

Stoney's stayed for several more hours. He called me when he left. And it was really heartwarming to hear the joy in his voice. He said that they all hugged as if they were old friends. What a difference a day makes, huh? But for now, it would seem that the weight that Stone had been carrying on his shoulders all these years might finally have been lifted, his obsessive quest to clear his father's name of the Flemyng murders might be a thing of the past.

[00:40:07]

But a ghost from that very same past might have the final word.

[00:40:13]

Well, almost four years now, suddenly everybody is on the verge of a verbal.

[00:40:33]

I'm going to leave what should happen to, you know, get everything out and then you throw.

[00:40:45]

But it just keeps popping up in the stock market. In the red clay is a production of imperative entertainment. It was created, written and reported by me, Sean Qype and I wrote and created the original music score. Executive producers are Jason Hoak and Jeno. Falsetto story editor is Jason Hoak, produced and engineered by Shane Freeman, Jason Hoak and myself, cover art and design by Gina Sullivan. Voice Sessions recorded at three Sound Studios in Atlanta, Georgia.

[00:41:40]

Archival footage licensed courtesy of Brown Media Archives, University of Georgia in WSB TV in Atlanta, Georgia. In the Red Clay is a 12 episode series with new episodes available every Tuesday. Follow us on Instagram at in the Red Clay podcast. Have questions. Email us at podcasts at Imperative Entertainment Dotcom. If you like the show, tell your friends and leave us a review. Thanks for listening.