In the end, the killer was someone both of the dead men knew well, had worked with, and who held
“This case was unprecedented in the United States, two prosecutors
On paper, Eric Williams seemed like a most solid citizen. An Eagle Scout and respected CPS caseworker in Kaufman County, he worked his way through law school at night to become a family law attorney. He also served as a Captain in the Texas State Guard. When he won a longshot election to unseat a popular local Justice of the Peace, his future certainly looked bright.
But there were many troubling signs. Williams was very thin-skinned and held deep grudges for seemingly minor infractions. Some found him creepy. A vain man who was proud of his Mensa-level intellect, he also collected guns, ammo, and accessories by the scores.
The incident that started the tragic chain of events seems benign.
Williams was caught on camera taking $600 worth of computer monitors from the county’s IT storage room one night. It seemed an odd move since he could have simply filled out a form for them with no issue. It led to an internal investigation.
“Eric should have just filled out the requisition forms,” Casey says. “He was kind of full of himself and he did walk out with those monitors without authorization, so it was a theft. But I believe he intended them for county use.”
When it was later discovered that he also ordered office supplies and electronic equipment for the county’s law library – but it ended up in his house –
“Eric was locked and loaded. He built up this animosity, this ego, and he was striking out at people in emails. There was a building anger there, and after the theft charge, they took everything away from him,” Casey says. “And that was the final straw…Mark thought it was penny ante, he wanted to appoint a special prosecutor to [distance the case] from Mike. But Mike ran on this ‘clean up Kaufman County’ platform.’”
After the three murders – and still not arrested, though many began to suspect him – Williams began to give interviews protesting his innocence. This included one to KPRC Ch. 2’s Phil Archer. Archer even got a follow up thank you letter. Williams
Finally, a search on a storage unit yielded enough evidence for a trial and guilty verdicts that put Eric Williams on death row and saw Kim get a 40-year sentence, pending appeals. Kim testified against her husband, but according to Texas law was equally guilty for her participation.
“It was all over the place. Some people when I went there were waiting to talk to me because they had read other books of mine. They wanted someone to put the whole thing in context,” she says.
“On the other hand, others were very suspicious of me. It took a while to meet people and introduce myself. I got amazing cooperation and I got nearly 100 interviews for the book, though some people I wanted to talk to would not speak with me.”
“It was a little daunting when you realize you’re going
What ended up surprising Casey most between the time she first had the idea for the book to the moment she typed her last word on the manuscript was just how intense and how far back the animosity between Mike
Casey is currently working on the latest in a series of mystery novels. But for her next true crime effort, she says she’s intrigued by the recently-concluded Leon Jacobs trial in Houston. The murder for hire case also included the suicide of Jacob’s girlfriend, the popular Montrose veterinarian Dr. Valerie McDaniel.
“That one is very interesting to me,” Casey offers. “But we’ll see.”
Kathryn Casey will sign and discuss In Plain Sight Friday, April 6, 6:30 p.m. at Murder by the Book, 2342 Bissonnet.713-524-8597 or murderbooks.com.
For more on Kathryn Casey, visit kathryncasey.com.