The Fifth Estate A Death in the Family

The Fifth Estate A Death in the Family

A Death in the Family is the story of William Mullins-Johnson, his wrongful first-degree murder conviction, and how that guilty verdict shattered his family. In Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, on June 27, 1993, four-year-old Valin Johnson was found dead in her bed. She had been sick overnight and her family thought she had died after choking on her vomit. Within 12 hours, however, her favorite uncle, Bill Mullins-Johnson, would be arrested for the rape and murder of the little girl. Mullins-Johnson was charged and tried for first-degree murder. A jury found Bill guilty and he was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years. With little hope after two failed court appeals, Mullins-Johnson sent his case to the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted. They agreed to look into it and 11 years to the day after his conviction, Bill was released on bail awaiting a new hearing. Two years later, on October 15, 2007, Bill was acquitted. Crucial pathology evidence given at his original trial was flawed. In A Death in the Family, Bill, his brother and their family share what it's like to be torn apart by suspicion and hatred for more than a decade, and to discover one day that it was all a mistake. For the first time, the family makes public the story of their suffering as victims of the judicial system.

  • 2009
  • 00:41:39
  • 15-17
  • Added on: 04/15/2014 users can access content from outside their institution. You must find your access code and then create an account.


Murder -- Ontario -- Sault Ste. Marie [LCSH] Trials (Murder) -- Ontario [LCSH] Judicial error -- Canada [LCSH] False imprisonment -- Canada [LCSH] Compensation for judicial error -- Ontario [LCSH] Murder victims' families -- Psychological aspects [LCSH] Social sciences [LCSH] Law -- Study and teaching [LCSH]
William Mullins-Johnson (Subject), Gillian Findlay (Journalist), Kit Melamed (Producer), John Chipman (Producer), Angela Gilbert (Producer)
Closed captioning
MARC Record
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