“The Innocent Man”
This letter was written to Dinker (Harold Davey Cassell#73885) by Helen Vanlandingham. The story of McLaughlin and Jimmy Renton’s murder of an Arkansas policeman is told in “Like a Thief’s Dream”.Copies are available direclty from bleakbeauty.com. Dinker has just filed his last appeal. Helen is Don McLaughlin’s sister. Dinker has been in prison for thirty years.
“Dinker — I am Don McLaughlin’s sister and I just wanted you to know how sorry that I am that you have spent all of this time in prison for a crime that you did n do. I have been reading the book by Danny Lyon and it brings back a lot of unpleasant memories. I know that I should have said more at your trail. I knew that you were not there the night of the killing as Don had said that it was only him and Renton but I had already testified at Renton’s trial and could not say more for implicating Renton and his attorney has told me that he was going to appeal. I have wished so many times over the years that I had just said everything that Don told me . Also Bessie told me about what she knew about it before she died. Don had told her that it was just him and Renton there. Bobby Chumley said that Renton still had a lot of friends on the outside and I should not go into details as to all that I was told. I am glad that you have a wife that has stood by you…
Let me know if I can do anything for you. My daughter is a criminal attorney here in Fort Worth and she will be happy to help if there is anything that she can do. My grandson is in high school and he is doing a term paper on the book “Like a Thief’s Dream”. He is naming his paper “The innocent man” and it is about you. I will let you now what kind of grade he gets for it.
If you ever want a friend to visit you, let me know as I am retired and have time on my hands and I do a lot of traveling.
I live on the outskirts of Fort Worth and we have had really cold weather here and a lot of snow. I hear Arkansas has snow now. It is fun to see all of the neighborhood kids out playing in it though. Take care of yourself and if you have time to write I will be happy to write you back.
H.D. Cassell (Dinker) #73885
can received mail at PO Box 500 #2 Blks.
Grady, Arkansas 71644-0500
Books and magazines may be sent to him
but must come directly from the publisher or book store.
People in Arkansas are encouraged to publicize this
in newspapers, news outlets, and the web.