On Thursday Oct 27, Florida Circuit Judge Patricia L. Strowbridge brought William Thomas Zeigler a step closer to proving that he is innocent.
The 77-year-old has said so from the start. The preserved evidence pieces of guns, victim fingernail clippings and clothes will prove that he did not kill four people in 1975.
Modern DNA testing may even shed a light on who did.
State officials denied Zeigler these tests at least five times. Zeigler has been asking for DNA testing with modern technology since 1994.
The State cannot use as argument the costs for the Florida taxpayers. The Zeigler Defense Team has always said that they would bear the costs.
Florida State Attorney General Ashley Moody is opposed to these DNA tests.
One aspect that might be more difficult after testing is an investigation into other suspects. If DNA found does not match either Zeigler (or the four murdered people) we still have an open case.
As it is from 1975, there is a good chance that the key players have passed away. However, having his name cleared is what is dearest to Zeigler. He did not kill his beloved wife, his parents-in-law, and a customer.
In 2001, DNA testing was done by Mr. Paul Kish. You can read all about that on my website. The test results showed an absence of the other victims’ blood on Zeigler’s pants and shirt he wore that night. Had he bludgeoned these four victims to death, he would have had their blood on his clothes. No further DNA testing was ever allowed.
Judge Strowbridge did not immediately sign the order. She wishes to see a step-by-step protocol. Who transports the evidence and how, who unpacks and who supervises, where will it all be stored, etc. before she does. As you can imagine preserving the evidence that is still here, is crucial. This protocol needs to be in place by December 2022.
For a compete overview of all the posts that I wrote about this case, click here.
For reading about the suppressed evidence in this case, click here.
For the only blood tests done in this case by Mr. Paul Kish, including photography and parts of the report by Paul Kish, click here.
For the reasons why the winds are finally changing for Zeigler, click here.
I hope to update the case soon with the details about the protocol. And then we wait again. However, this time we have more hope in our hearts than ever before.