In 1995, James Washington brutally killed Joyce Goodener in Nashville, Tennessee. He stabbed her neck, smashed her head and burned the body. And he would’ve gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for the meddling of…himself.
The police had no leads, and Goodener’s daughter “Didn’t have any trust in the system.” Until 14 years later, when Washington had a heart attack. On his deathbed–what he thought was his deathbed, anyway–Washington told a hospital guard, “I have to get something off my conscience and you need to hear this. I killed somebody. I beat her to death.”
To Washington’s surprise, the heart attack wasn’t fatal. He faced trial for the crime, and–after a jury convicted him last week–he’ll spend the next 51 years in prison.
It’s a good lesson in the inevitability of criminal justice, but it’s also a good lesson for aspiring psychopaths: be sure to take your secrets to the grave… and be sure that you’re actually headed there.
Marty Beckerman (@martybeckerman) is the Associate Editor of Guy Code Blog