In 1970, one of Mississippi’s more colourful weekly newspapers, The Ford County Times went bankrupt. To the surprise and dismay of many, ownership was assumed by a 23-year-old college drop-out, named Willie Tray or. The future of the paper looked grim until a young mother was brutally raped and murdered by a member of the notorious Padgett family. Willie Tray or reported all the gruesome details, and his newspaper began to prosper.
The murderer, Danny Padgett, was tried before a packed courtroom in Clanto , Mississippi. The trial came to a startling and dramatic end when the defendant threatened revenge against the jurors if they convicted him. Nevertheless, they found him guilty, and he was sentenced to life in prison.
But in Mississippi in 1970, ‘life’ didn’t necessarily mean ‘life’, and nine years later Danny Padgett managed to get himself paroled. He returned to Ford County, and the retribution began.