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Old 05-24-2012, 10:22 AM   #136
TheCars1986
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killarney Rose
My mind is trying to wrap around all this... it's plausable, but I'm still not convinced.

So how does TZ taking Mays and Felton down Daniels road and into the orange grove and trying to get them to fire the guns, and making the trip between the store and his house fit into your theory?
It didn't happen. There was no orange grove trip to fire the guns. It was made up so there was an explanation as to why GSR was found on Mays and Felton Thomas. I know there are other "Zeigler supporters" who believe that the orange grove trip did happen, and that Felton Thomas was under the impression that the man he was with was Zeigler but it was in fact the "mastermind" behind the whole thing. But I think the trip was just made up, IMO. If this trip did in fact happen, neither Mays or Thomas felt the need to question Zeigler as to why he would want to take them out to an orange grove to fire off guns? Wasn't Mays there for a TV? Why wasn't he pressing Tommy to simply let him pick up his TV and leave? It was Christmas Eve after all!

Another thing I just thought of, Mays's van was found parked behind the furniture store being visibly hidden by a large tractor. Again, I don't see how a man who's there to innocently pick up a TV for Christmas would feel the need to hide his van and park it nowhere near the furniture store entrance? AND there was even further evidence of a coverup in the store that night. The two cheap RG revolvers were found in one of the store's desk drawers, AND Zeigler's personal weapon was fired into both Perry and Virginia Edwards. Why on Earth would Zeigler dump the RG's in his desk drawers and then go around and shoot more rounds (from his own gun) into the Edwardses? Wouldn't this just implicate him that much more?
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Old 05-24-2012, 12:37 PM   #137
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I understand that you have studied the evidence both old and new and made your decision based upon that. And that your opinion, unlike mine is unbiased and based on the evidence.

I lived there, grew up around the Zeiglers, etc. And that kind of knowledge will skew your opinion. Based on the new information, I would certainly not want to have to make a decision on his guilt or innocence. It is one thing to sit back and discuss a case on a forum, and another all together to have to make a decision that affects a person's life.

I do believe that TZ took those guys down Daniels Rd to fire the guns. I believe this was a botched attempt by TZ to set them up. Why you ask did they not just refuse to go with him? As I've said earlier- this was a different time. TZ was a white, authority figure to them. And you did not stand up to that. It was 10 years after the Civil Rights movement but WG was still Old South back then. Also, Mays was in debt to TZ, TZ was letting him have the TV on credit anyway for his family's Christmas. I'm sure he didn't want to risk making TZ mad and having him change his mind.

I believe that TZ's motive for the murders was greed- pure and simple. If he and Eunice were to divorce, then he would have to split everything with her and he did not want to. I also believe there is a strong chance that she knew things on him that he did not want made public and that he was worried if they divorced that these things might come out.

I knew too many people that were involved in this case or were on the periphery of it. And that is why my feelings are what they are even though the trial was unfair and evidence might have been manipulated that he is guilty.

Here is a little sketch I drew up of how that 1 block area looked back then. It's very different today, but i remember the detail so well because this is the WG I grew up in and this is how it still looked when I moved away just over a year after the murders. maybe this will help you as you look over the evidence and hone your theory.

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Old 05-24-2012, 02:48 PM   #138
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Thanks for the drawing! Hopefully it helps others in their visualization of the case. I'd like to touch upon a couple of things in your response, and I want you to know that I am not trying to change your opinion on the matter, just how I've interpreted the evidence presented in the case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killarney Rose
I do believe that TZ took those guys down Daniels Rd to fire the guns. I believe this was a botched attempt by TZ to set them up. Why you ask did they not just refuse to go with him? As I've said earlier- this was a different time. TZ was a white, authority figure to them. And you did not stand up to that. It was 10 years after the Civil Rights movement but WG was still Old South back then. Also, Mays was in debt to TZ, TZ was letting him have the TV on credit anyway for his family's Christmas. I'm sure he didn't want to risk making TZ mad and having him change his mind.
I get that the times were different, and even in the book "Fatal Flaw" it's mentioned how Winter Garden was still very much segregated well into the seventies. However, Charlie Mays was there to pick up a television for his family for a Christmas present. Why on Earth would he have parked his van in the parking lot of the Winter Garden Inn, which just so happened to have a full chain link fence blocking any access to Zeigler's store? And he even went out of his way to hide his vehicle by parking behind a large tractor. This was never discussed by Felton Thomas, and he never said, "That's where Zeigler told Charlie to park." He could have easily parked at the front of the store, which is where any customer there to pick up a TV would have parked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killarney Rose
I believe that TZ's motive for the murders was greed- pure and simple. If he and Eunice were to divorce, then he would have to split everything with her and he did not want to. I also believe there is a strong chance that she knew things on him that he did not want made public and that he was worried if they divorced that these things might come out.
I don't think Zeigler and Eunice were having any problems in their marriage at that point. If there were problems, don't you think it would have been an awkward moment to convince Eunice and her in-laws to come down to the furniture store on Christmas Eve? Especially if Eunice really was planning on divorcing Tommy? Not to mention the both of them were going to attend a Christmas party together that night. And according to Curtis Dunaway (who was the last person to see everyone alive), everything was normal at the Zeigler residence when he went there to switch cars. Eunice baked a cake, Zeigler was in a normal temperament, and there was no sign of any tension between anyone in the house. I don't believe the "homosexual" angle to this story at all...it's never been verified and no one named any names in open court. Everyone clammed up when pressed by Zeigler's attorney's to name some of Tommy's "boyfriends", but everyone would simply say, "oh well I heard this from so and so so I can't verify it."
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:17 PM   #139
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The placement of the van is one of the things that has opened my mind to the possibilty of his innocence....opened it, not convinced me!

But I do believe that Eunice and her parents could've been carrying on with Christmas as usual....for several reasons.

Perhaps she was planning to divorce TZ and wanted to get through the holidays without any drama. Perhaps she was afraid of his reaction and planning to have have everything in place- all plans made before she told him and left.

Then there is the matter that Eunice's brother is certain TZ is the killer. There had to be things he knows about TZ that make him so sure of it. If my sister or brother were to be murdered and their spouse blamed, I would have to be privy to personal matters in order to believe they were the killer- as Edwards must be. Otherwise I wouldn't believe they were the killer.

Many people of that generation( of which my DH is a member!) tend to not want to make waves or create scenes....so perhaps they were hiding what was going on so as to keep family problems private and out of the public eye. That circle of people were very concerned with keeping marital problems and scandal private. They were very concerned with, "what would people think". I grew up in that First Baptist crowd- I know from association with them.

TZ as an only child was set to come into a sizeable estate, and I'm sure had access already to enough money to live quite comfortably. I'm sure he could have not wanted to share any of this in any divorce settlement. People have been killed for much less.

I know you're not trying to convince me. I'm enjoying our discussions on the case even if I am not as well read on it as you are.
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Old 05-25-2012, 01:42 PM   #140
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Maybe I'm just being dumb, but what does "DH" stand for?
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Old 05-25-2012, 04:47 PM   #141
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Message board abbreviation for Dear Husband.
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Old 05-25-2012, 08:03 PM   #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCars1986
Maybe I'm just being dumb, but what does "DH" stand for?
no, you are not dumb at all. I blame texting and the internet for "dumbing" down our society by making it fashionable to not know how to spell.

LMFAO
LOL
OMG
ROFL (honestly just found out what that meant last week, had no clue)
sic (okay maybe I am dumb, but what in the world does that even mean?)

then the "winks" and such. I don't mind the emoticons we have on here because it actually expresses an emotion but it took me a long time to figure out what meant among others.
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:47 PM   #143
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I've been trying since way before the internet to figure out what sic means and I still don't know!
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:51 PM   #144
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LOL- I should've googled it years ago! But I never think of it unless I happen upon it when I'm reading. Here ya go-I knew it had something to do with an error...

The Latin adverb sic ("thus"; in full: sic erat scriptum, "thus was it written") added immediately after a quoted word or phrase (or a longer piece of text), indicates that the quoted words have been transcribed exactly as spelled or presented in the original source, complete with any erroneous spelling or other presentation. The usual purpose is to inform the reader that any errors or apparent errors in the transcribed material do not arise from transcription errors, and the errors have been repeated intentionally, i.e., that they are reproduced exactly as set down by the original writer or printer. It may also be used as a form of ridicule or as a humorous comment, drawing attention to the original writer's spelling mistakes or emphasizing his or her erroneous logic. Sic is generally placed inside square brackets, or in parentheses (round brackets), and traditionally in italic, as is customary when printing a foreign word
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:38 AM   #145
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Quote:
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Message board abbreviation for Dear Husband.
Oh ok, duh!

Just curious, did you or your husband know or ever hear about the alleged loan sharking scheme going on in Winter Garden around the mid-70's?
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Old 05-31-2012, 06:25 PM   #146
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My husband isn't from FL, didn't meet him till I moved away. I was only 19 when this happened and was much more concerned with teenage activities. Everything I heard about the case I heard mostly from my aunt who was friends with the senior Zeiglars. I think I mentioned she attended the trial. One of my earliest memories as a very young child is going to the Zeiglars store with them when it was still downtown. They had the most gorgeous dolls there!

I think there is some irony in the fact that even though she thought so highly of his parents, that she was still solidly convinced of TZ's guilt. I believe that has to do with the fact that she had known TZ all his life.
I so wish I could talk to her about the case but she's been gone almost 20 years now. I used to listen to them talk about the case and I never once heard her mention the loan sharking. Or any of the other activities or cover ups. She was a local and grew up in Winter Garden. She knew everybody.
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:42 PM   #147
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This is one of the strangest cases I've ever seen, even on UM. Putting aside whether he killed anyone or not- the prosecution's case is flimsy at best.

The motive they came up with was weak, the way they claimed the murder went down was insane and unlikely, their witnesses were either in on it or biased making their testimonies worthless, and the missing evidence is almost creepy in how it points away from Zeigler.

Whether he did it or not, being put to death for such hearsay and conjecture is abominable. I have no idea whether he committed the crime, but that's the prosecution's job to convince me that he did and they completely failed in their job at doing so. But throw in the death penalty and you have one awful, terrible, case that screams for a retrial.
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:38 AM   #148
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Quote:
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I have no idea whether he committed the crime, but that's the prosecution's job to convince me that he did and they completely failed in their job at doing so. But throw in the death penalty and you have one awful, terrible, case that screams for a retrial.
I agree 100%. This man deserves a new trial.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:09 PM   #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spark Of Spirit
Whether he did it or not, being put to death for such hearsay and conjecture is abominable. I have no idea whether he committed the crime, but that's the prosecution's job to convince me that he did and they completely failed in their job at doing so. But throw in the death penalty and you have one awful, terrible, case that screams for a retrial.

And this was a jury trial where the jury were responsible for deciding the proper punishment after determining his guilt. They voted for life in prison (can't remember if it was with or without possibility of parole) and the judge, who HATED Ziegler, had negative personal business/legal problems with him, and forced a doctor to prescribe valium for one female juror who didn't seem to want to convict Ziegler, overruled the jury and handed down the death sentence.

That judge should have never been involved in this case due to his history with Ziegler and he definitely should not have overruled the jury's decision and put Ziegler on death row.
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:08 PM   #150
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All that business with the judge is even more suspect.

I mean, usually when I look up both sides of a case I can come to a decent conclusion based on what both sides present to the case. While Zeigler's personal account might not be true at all it is still believable on a base level.

When hearing what the prosecution considers what really happened that night I don't get the same impression. It is completely half-thought out and it precludes things happening that are based on hearsay from unreliable sources. I even recall someone in the segment saying they knew he did it when they went in the store and saw him bleeding to death and didn't buy his act for a second. Now, who jumps to that conclusion from someone who was shot point blank with a magnum and is near death? But putting aside the segment (and in most Final Appeal cases I tend to think 'guilty') which when I watched it their description looked eerily similar to clearly fake stories like whatever Chad Noe or Paul Pollis made up which is bad enough on its own, but the real case doesn't look much better outside the TV light. In fact, it looks worse.

If Tommy Zeigler can come up with a more believable story than the prosecution, then I almost feel like my hands are tied in this case.

What this leads me to believe is that either he did it and the prosecution has no idea how it was done, or he didn't do it and the prosecution needed someone to convict.

Either way, it isn't good enough for a conviction and certainly not death.
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