Cecil Padgett, the prosecution's chief witness against Chief Deputy Sheriff Albert Fuller who was convicted and spent about 9 or 10 years behind bars for the murder of Albert Patterson, suddenly appeared again in Phenix City visiting and gossiping in a local attorney's office around late 1964 or early 1965, and perjured himself in relation to his testimony against Arch Ferrell and Albert Fuller both. (The trials were almost identical in terms of the witnesses called to testify from both defense and prosecution.)
I don't know who the attorney was who heard or read the original perjury from Cecil Padgett, but shortly thereafter the state parole board under Gov. George Wallace granted parole to Albert Fuller. Likewise, Attorney Arch Ferrell was reinstated before the state bar and again began to practice law in Phenix City. This was due to Padgett's gossiping and perjuring himself to a certain local attorney, now shared openly with all Phenix City attorneys even into the new century.
This perjury is still accepted as legal fact in the Alabama state courts today, and among most or all Phenix City attorneys in 2017.
I found this old newspaper clipping in a box of really old things. I had never seen it before in my whole life. I think I found it back around 1996 or 1997 before the books about Phenix City popped up in the late 1990's.
Someone confessed to the murder of Albert Patterson on Dec. 11, 1958 though it appears the person was not considered reliable. But here it is anyway:
Note that this person in state prison in Virginia who confessed, is not the same one mentioned below released from Federal prison just to commmit the murder, then returned to the prison.
My own opinion from talking to one of the accused quite often when he was alive, my own uncle, and from reading everything I can, and doing some logical inference, I came to the following conclusions:
- Gov. Folsom, Gov. Persons, Arch Ferrell, Albert Fuller, and Sy Garrett were all part of the same general political group that are associated with re-legalizing alcohol in Alabama at the end of prohibition there. The bootleggers in the Phenix City/Columbus Georgia area were all put out of business when alcohol became legal in all respects by 1951.
So despite what the Ledger-Enquirer after 1951 is always stating falsely about "Phenix City bootleggers", that was no longer a big problem there by 1954, when Patterson was shot. However, perhaps alcohol was smuggled out of there into dry counties???
Not sure who the newspaper were referring to in terms of "bootleggers" after 1951 when the last vestiges of prohibition were repealed and mixed-drink alcoholic beverages became legal again.
The next step there would've been legalizing and taxing gambling, but I don't think that was politically posssible in Phenix City in 1950, so the outcome would always have been some shut down of the vices in Phenix City eventually.
- Garrett, Fuller and Ferrell were innocent of the crime of murdering Patterson, had nothing to do with it. I think that Ferrell, Garrett, and Fuller were framed and punished for allowing the enemies of gambling and other vices to succeed in getting all of that shut down in Alabama, etc., after Patterson's murder, so they were punished for losing the accounts and mutually profitable business for both in and out of state gambling interests by becoming the fall guys for the actual murderer; at least Fuller took the fall for an assassin sent from out-of-state. Patterson was about to try and bring the whole thing down in Phenix City, but some of the losers would be out of state corporations who were being kicked out anyway after the National Guard, martial law, and so forth.
These are some of the same powerful gambling industry interests who were involved in both legal and illegal gambling around the USA at that time, and who were routinely paying off everyone to keep their own names out of any such scandals as what occurred in Phenix City. The political powers in Alabama, closely associated with the Phenix City political powers, were fully aware of the problems created by all the illegality, but would rather tax and control it rather than shut it down.
- Arch Ferrell told me he had learned the assassin was released from a Federal peneteniary to commit the murder, then returned to that prison where he resided. (This is not the one from the state prision in Virginia as shown above!!!)
- There were no movie theatres in Columbus, Georgia at that time; all the movie theatres and night entertainment for Columbus and Phenix City were all in Phenix City at that time as this was also considered "sinful". I'm sure the ultra-puritans in Columbus also considered legal alcohol to be worse than bootleg. Phenix City was where everyone in the area went to have fun; Columbus was the working city.
The loose political group that ran Phenix City including Arch Ferrell and Albert Fuller were already doing everything openly and publicly. They were routinely and openly fining and otherwise regulationg many aspects of the "vice" businesses. There were no "secrets" or hidden things in Phenix City. There was a lot of "semi-legal" gambling and other vices remaining in 1954. But everything was pretty much on main street, fully visible, and always had been.
- The position of Cicruit Solicitor was rotated among Phenix City lawyers. Eventually, it would be Patterson's turn to be the "D.A." Patterson was the only "rogue" lawyer in Phenix City.
- RE: photos of National Guard destroying evidence.
Notice that most of the slot machines, and some other gambling equipment seized by the National Guard, was destroyed, burned up, sent to the scrap processors, etc., and was never identified in terms of who manufactured it. This is in the movie also. This was equipment built and sold by out-of-state gaming corporations, most still in business in 2017. The books written about the scandal falsely claim that all the slot machines and other gambling equipment seized in Phenix City were manufactured in Alabama! This is FALSE!!!! They were paid to make those false statement to avoid trouble for the corporations who manufactured the equipment, and so forth.
There was no attempt to indict out-of-state gambling interests in the Phenix City scandals, though this was a major part of it.
- Arch Ferrell was an alcoholic at the time of the murder, but was luckily not drunk or impaired the day and night of the murder. So he was able to give strong testimony which was believed by the jury. He was actually on the phone with Attorney General Sy Garrett at the moment the murder took place. And law enforcement from Federal, Georgia, and Alabama at both state and local levels all testified that Albert Fuller was at the county jail at the moment of the murder.
- Despite numerous out-of-state connections, the entire scandal was pretty much kept within the borders of Alabama. This was very carefully controlled indictment process for only those involved in the State of Alabama.
- At the time of the murder, Arch Ferrell was Commander of the American Legion for the State of Alabama. Albert Fuller also held that position either before or after Ferrell. Arch Ferrell served in U.S. Army during WWII starting out as a private, winding up a captain, and Fuller was also a veteran of WWII as was Albert Patterson.
- There is a photo of Arch Ferrell while drunk published on the internet. This is a photo of Ferrell being arrested and taken away by M.P.'s while extremely drunk. This photo was actually taken in 1943 when Arch was in the U.S. Army attending OCS, Officers' Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georiga during World War II. He graduated from OCS and attained the rank of Captain, so the use of this photo to represent his arrest and indictment in the Phenix City scandal, is malicious and misrepresents the facts.
- Incidentally, Arch quit using alcohol for the rest of his life beginning in May 1962, and lived a long and happy life among friends, family, and clients in Phenix City.
- While Arch Ferrell continued to live in Phenix City for the rest of his life, John Patterson left the city and never returned except to visit.
- Some of the witness's depictions of Arch's personality and other traits in both of his trials, where he was acquitted of all charges in both trials, was so false and distorted that I think this destroyed the credibility of the prosecution's entire case for both indictments.
I read the books that have parts of the transcripts of the Fuller and Ferrell trials both, and almost the precise same witnesses and stories were presented to both of the juries, where Fuller was found guilty, and Ferrell not.
- I think Garrett, Fuller and Ferrell were all totally innocent of the murder of Albert Patterson and should not have been indicted, and Fuller should not have gone to prison. But they were part of the old group running the city.
- Fuller had just killed a bootlegger in the line of duty not long before the murder of Patterson took place, so there could've been some revengeful attitudes working against him and Ferrell both, though it was Arch Sr. as Circuit Solicitor (D.A.) that was present at the murder of the unfortunate bootlegger, along with a large group of other law enforcement people who all backed up Fuller's story that he shot tbe bootlegger in self-defense.
The local law enforcement was pretty lax in terms of all of this, and were heavily criticized for that. But when they strictly enfoced the law by indicting and attempting to arrest this bootlegger who was ultimately killed while being arrested, a backlash occurred. So they couldn't win either way.
- The two surviving Ferrell attorneys in Phenix City met with John Patterson at a public function related to legal matters a few years before the Ferrells passed away, and exchanged pleasantries. Pelham told me that John Patterson was very polite and genuinely kind to him and Arch. This was a major "break-through" in historical relations between the two families after the murder and scandal, and so forth.
Note that neither the Ferrells, nor the Pattersons, nor I, actually know who killed Albert Patterson as far as I know. Joe Mathews who died in 2009, the nephew of the impeached Sheriff from during the scandal, told me a few years ago that he might be able to find out who did it. But I told him I didn't want to know who did it, as I was not even born yet at the time of the murder.
In we look at photos of Albert Fuller taken before and after the murder, scandal, martial law, and total cleanup, he looks like a crook before Albert Patterson died. I mean Albert Fuller looks wicked in all the photos taken of him prior to the death of Albert Patterson.
But if we look at photos of Albert Fuller taken after Patterson's death, he looks saintly in all of them, as if he had a halo over his head. I'm referring to the convicted murderer of Albert Patterson who was granted parole after Padgett's perjury. But looks can be deceiving.