Wrong Man episode 4 recap: ‘Curtis Flowers: Death Again’


Episode 4 of Starz’ Wrong Man digs deeper into the Curtis Flowers case, finding an ample amount of reasonable doubt and alternate suspects.

Near the beginning of Wrong Man’s 3rd episode, it was easier to assume Curtis Flowers could be guilty. He had links to the victims, there was some evidence against him (even if mostly circumstantial), and he had a possible motive — being recently fired by the victims.
However, as The Wrong Man shows, someone else may have done it as well, and the case is tainted with racism.

Now, some skeptics will say: “Sure, racism can happen in the judicial system, but any black man can claim racism.” It’s obviously a debate we can have. However, it seems that — despite having 6 re-trials and possibly a 7th — this case has had shockingly little interest in pursuing other suspects! On top of that, Wrong Man shows a case that’s riddled with bad judgment and possible corruption.

Related Story: Wrong Man episode 3 recap: ‘Curtis Flowers: Trial and Error’

More from Recap

So, if new evidence emerges showing reasonable doubt or non-guilt, how will the justice system react? Could the wrong man be freed here? In a normal case, this important question has an easy answer: Yes! However, this isn’t exactly a normal case.

Prosecutor Doug Evans – After Curtis Flowers for 21 Years!

Wrong Man‘s Joe Kennedy says Doug Evans should have recused himself already. It would make sense. Going after Curtis Flowers for 21 years may demonstrate an agenda, and not be fair. It could be that, for whatever reason, Doug Evans feels it’s his job to convict Curtis, at the expense of investigating other suspects. Moreover, if they really want to prove Flowers’ guilt, why not put the matter in new, more impartial hands. Why not get a fresh set of eyes, ears, and feelings toward the case? Obviously, the Prosecutor would still have a job to do, but it would just make sense to hand it to someone else.

When offered a chance to discuss this, Evans speaks briefly on the phone with Wrong Man. However, he emphasizes that he wants to wait until a new Supreme Court ruling. Of course, it may just be an excuse not to talk. As Civil Rights Lawyer Ron Kuby notes, “If people want to talk to you, they’ll talk to you.”

As It Turns Out, There’s a Lot to Talk About

Sue Ann Robinson and Ron Kuby. (Wrong Man, Starz)

Lots of weird stuff happened (and is happening) in the Curtis Flowers case. Here’s a numbered list!
1. During one of the trials, a Juror was actually charged with perjury for believing Curtis innocent! Strangely, the court dropped the charges, with little explanation. Oliver Diaz, a former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice, says it’s highly unusual to prosecute a Juror. It seems equally unusual to just drop the matter like it was nothing.

2. Lawyer Sue Ann Robinson notes another quirk: During Jury selection, white and black Jurors who gave the same answers to screening questions were treated differently. Black Jurors were stricken!

3. A big revelation happens in this episode: An informant claims he lied! A Prosecution witness for the first trial, Frederick Veal, says he was promised money for testimony, but they didn’t give him any. Specifically, Veal was placed in a cell with Curtis, with the objective of gleaning a confession from him. Veal claims he was given a script, and told to memorize what to say. His possible reason for doing such a thing? He was thinking about money and getting out of jail, of course! If true, this greatly harms the case against Flowers. Legally, the state is not permitted to put informers in with accused people. Obviously, an informant can act as an agent for prosecutors!

4. The Hollmans. First, there is Patricia Hollman. She’s a key witness, as the only person who claims Curtis wore Fila shoes. Then you have her brother, Odell Hollman, who originally claimed Curtis confessed to the murders. The obvious question, though: Why would someone who’s maintained their innocence confess to a total stranger? Also, Odell has since retracted these claims, boosting doubts about his credibility.

5. What about Jeffrey Armstrong and the missing gun? A neighborhood resident, Mr. Armstrong claims he found a .380 caliber gun under a house near the Tardy Furniture store, where the murders originally occurred. He claims he gave it to Officer Vincent Small, but nothing ever became of it.  Although Wrong Man‘s Ira Todd doubts his credibility — and there’s no evidence of the gun existing — it is certainly a matter for further investigation.

Also, like so many others in the case, Officer Small declines an on-camera interview. To his credit, he does meet with Ira Todd in person. Nevertheless, Todd remarks, “Remind me not to get killed in Winona, [Mississippi], because they’ll never solve it.”

6. Another interesting consideration? The absence of Mr. Tardy on that fateful day. Some say the wheelchair-bound Mr. Tardy was at the furniture store almost religiously. They find his absence a bit suspicious. This prompts Ron Kuby to remark, quite humorously, about an unassuming, small-town furniture store morphing into a conspiratorial, quadruple murder drug den overnight.

7. One week before the murder, the Tardy’s store was actually burglarized through the skylight, and a key was stolen. An obvious question: How did burglar know where the key was?
Also, quite unbelievably, police decided the burglary and murders were unrelated incidents!

8. In 1996, in the neighboring state of Alabama, a criminal gang was going on a murder-robbery spree, using .380 caliber pistols (similar to what was used on the Tardy victims). One of those men, LaSamuel Gamble, testified in Alabama that he was wearing Fila shoes. Also, another gang member, Marcus Presley, says Gamble did a few crimes in Mississippi around the time. If that’s not enough, Presley’s photograph appeared in the photo lineup used to convict Curtis Flowers! Did witness Porky Collins select the wrong man?

9. Flowers’ uncle, Doyle Simpson, is a plausible suspect. In Joe Kennedy’s theory, Doyle had reason be involved in the murders. Kennedy thinks Curtis complained about being fired, and Doyle overheard and may have gone in to rob the place — but the robbery went bad. In fact, Doyle’s sister thinks he may be guilty.

Next: Wrong Man season 1, episode 5 recap

In any case, like Ira Todd says, other things should have been investigated rather than ignored. There’s too much reasonable doubt, and everything doesn’t point to Curtis. Todd, who was himself falsely accused of murder, probably identifies with people like Curtis Flowers.
Sue Ann Robinson says Curtis should be out, due simply to prosecutorial misconduct.
Ron Kuby thinks flowers should be released on bail if the case goes to trial. The reasoning? Flowers has already served time under a number of overturned convictions.

What do you think? Is Curtis Flowers innocent? Let us know in the comments!