Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Biloxi Confidential

Pre-Trial Posturing

Gillich was not about to go down easy. Not only did he continue to strut and swagger and go about his business as though nothing were happening, his demeanor now took on a surly and defiant tone. To the crush of reporters who swarmed around him looking for comments, he made obscene hand gestures and belched loudly into microphones pushed into his face. Those were the only public comments he would offer on the case. Nicknamed "The Dixie Don," he seemed determined to live up to his tough reputation. He also, befitting a man with money, hired the best lawyers. One of them was Albert Necaise, a former district attorney who, two decades earlier, had received reports on Gillich's illegal activities but never acted on them.

On the other extreme, Nix, ever the publicity hound, seemed to revel in the attention being paid to him after his long absence from the public spotlight. He gave long, detailed interviews to reporters and impressed them with his "refined manners, wicked wit, and brilliant mind," according to comments quoted by Humes in his book. He also took the opportunity to go public with appeals for his freedom that had been kept under wraps for nearly twenty years. He even paid for a polygraph test, the results of which, he claimed, would exonerate him of the charges in the Sherry case. The veracity of the testing procedure, however, was questioned by authorities and they ignored his efforts to have the test results considered in his favor. And, all the while, he continued to publicly deny any involvement in the deaths of the Sherrys, even though the indictment never specifically named a triggerman.

And so it went, for more than four months. The case stayed in the headlines throughout the summer, with speculation on the outcome running rampant. Lists of witnesses for both sides were filed with the court and lawyers for both sides prepared the arguments they would make in court. When the trial finally convened, the prosecution and the defense were fully ready.


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