Yesterday, Sun Herald reporter Anita Lee did a “subsequent event” update of those still living that were involved in the murder conspiracy involving Circuit Court Judge Vincent Sherry and his wife Margaret way back in 1987. The echos of this Dixie Mafia inspired hit still reverberate across the Mississippi Gulf Coast and New Orleans to this day. For those of you with an interest in this subject, which inspired several books and at least one documentary, Anita’s story is a must read along with the reader comments as the descendants of the felons involved remain firmly in denial. This comment sums the whole deal up save for Margaret Sherry IMHO, who paid with her life for her husband’s prior legal associations. That said, with the descendants of Pete Halet proclaiming his innocence in the story’s comments, I thought this comment was most appropriate to highlight here on Slabbed:
The Sherry’s had children too…
Indeed they did and daughter Lynne Sposito’s son Thomas commented on my last post on this topic taking umbrage with me terming his granddad “dirty as the day is long”. While it was not my intent to inflict emotional pain on the family of the victim I stand by my assessment. The story is out there and by “story” I don’t mean Mississippi Mud, the Sherry family sourced book which unfairly IMHO impugned former Biloxi Mayor Gerald Blessey due to his prior history of locking horns politically with Margaret Sherry when she was on the city council. In hindsight Mississippi Mud is the literary equivalent of a blog as it was published when events were still unfolding and before everything became known. Locals that remember the events real time such as myself often wonder why it was never updated. I think I figured that one out after my last post.
The Mississippi Gulf Coast and the Dixie Mafia spawned a story over 2 decades ago that is still discussed to this day in the contract murder of Circuit Court Judge Vincent Sherry and his wife Margaret, who was serving on the Biloxi City Council at the time of the hit. For our off coast readers I’ll add the Dixie Mafia is separate and distinct from the ethic based criminal organizations in NOLA though there has certainly been occasion for cross-pollination.
I’m not going to rehash the events here, which netted former Biloxi Mayor Pete Halet a lengthy prison sentence for his role in the murder conspiracy of his law partner Vincent Sherry. Halet has served the bulk of his sentence and is due to be released from the federal pen in less than a year. That said and for the benefit of our out of town readers there are two books that are worth reading on the topic with the following caveats:
The Dream Room was written by Gillich’s Gulfport based lawyer Chet Nicholson. It is a great book and if you know the lay of the land, you can decipher the fictionalization of events, which was purposeful to protect the identities of those still living. Anita pumps that book in today’s story on Gillich’s passing for good reason IMHO.
Mississippi Mud was written by Edward Humes with the help of Lynne Sposito, the Sherry’s daughter. Released back in 1995 it is also very good but it only tells around 40% of the story as the fact Judge Sherry was as dirty as the day is long was omitted from the text.
Gillich’s passing is the story today here in Mississippi with press reports surfacing in all the major papers here along with a few blogs. And interesting side story from the Biloxi sex trade with NOLA based roots can be found on Slabbed here.
I was up almost all night finishing Kathie Koch’s upcoming book, Rising from Katrina but I noted a couple of blog entries from Anita Lee’s blog which I need to highlight.
First up is Magistrate Walker again protecting his buddies at State Farm by letting State Farm’s legal team lie and stonewall about which documents they have in response to subpoenas. The trick is you let all the depositions occur and then drop subpoenaed documents on the plaintiffs right at the discovery deadline so as to prevent salient questions from ever being asked. This is a time-honored tactic that State Farm could not pull off in non magic jurisdictions which take the federal discovery rules seriously. Anita boils down the larger issues in Walker’s ruling in a recent blog entry:
Walker has decided State Farm should not be required to turn over the reports to former insurance adjusters Cori and Kerri Rigsby, who filed the lawsuit alleging State Farm committed fraud in adjusting Hurricane Katrina claims. The company denies minimizing wind losses by blaming damage on tidal surge covered through federal flood insurance. Continue reading →