A Guide to the Joseph Bailey Jr. Collection, 2008, 2010
Joseph Bailey Jr. graduated from the University of Texas School of Law and began working as a cinematographer and sound recordist in Austin. After finishing a postdoctoral fellowship at the law school in 2009, he enrolled in Steve Mims’s Production 2 course. Bailey’s first feature-length film, Incendiary: The Willingham Case, is a 2011 documentary film that explores the conviction and execution of Cameron Todd Willingham for arson murder. The film covers efforts to review Willingham’s case-by the Texas Forensic Science Commission and within the Texas court system-and immerses audiences in contemporary struggles over the case.
Cameron Todd Willingham was convicted of murder, and executed in 2004 for the deaths of his three young daughters by arson at the family’s home in Corsicana, Texas on December 23, 1991.Willingham's case gained renewed attention in 2009 when an investigative report by David Grann in The New Yorker, drawing upon arson investigation experts and advances in fire science since the 1992 investigation, suggested that the evidence for arson was unconvincing, and that had this information been available at the time of trial, Willingham would have been acquitted. His case remains controversial.
The Joseph Bailey Jr. Collection comprises printed material relating to Bailey’s recent documentary film, Incendiary: The Willingham Case, an examination of the conviction and execution of Cameron Todd Willingham for arson murder. Included are newspaper articles covering Texas Forensic Science Commission’s examination of the case, copies of reports by the TFSC and the Innocence Project, and documents from the Texas Attorney General’s Office as well as the Texas Fire Marshall’s Office and the Corsicana Fire Department. Other materials include a copy of Willingham’s 1992 trial transcript and documents relating to the recantation of the testimony of Johnny Webb, a jailhouse informant who testified against Willingham.
This collection is open for research use.
Joseph Bailey Jr. Collection, 2008, 2010, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Stefanie Lapka, 2012.
Detailed Description of the Papers