West Virginia Law Review Online


The fire moved quickly through the house as Cameron Todd Willingham screamed for his children from the front porch. Inside the blaze were his three children. Firefighters arrived, uncoiled hoses, and aimed water at the raging fire. However, all three Willingham children died that night from smoke inhalation.

News of the December 23, 1991, tragedy spread throughout Corsicana, Texas. Meanwhile, investigators sought to determine what caused the fire. The investigators “toured the perimeter of the house, taking notes and photographs, like archeologists mapping out a ruin.” In the kitchen, they found smoke and heat damage—signs the fire had not originated there—so they proceeded to other parts of the shambled home.



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