Presumption of Innocence, Part Two

If you did not read part one of this unbelievable story, click here. You don’t want to miss it

While Ruth and Penny were gathering evidence, Virginia convinced unsuspecting individuals for fork over their hard earned money. She also went to Memphis and convinced a Cadillac dealer to hand over eleven brand new cars. After all, her billions of dollars would be in her hands by the end of the week, she said.

As a token of good faith, Virginia gave the cars to several who coughed up their cash, a bonus for trusting her and helping her out in her time of need. With brand new Caddy’s in the driveway, many of these folks sold or gave away their old cars. After all, who needs an old car when they are sporting around in brand new Cadillacs, right?

The two amateur detectives finally gathered enough evidence to go to the police. The whole story was so outlandish, at first even law enforcement did like everyone else: they presumed Virginia’s innocence. After all, Virginia was now almost seventy, was a pillar of the community and would not hurt a flea. She was the grandmother everyone dreamed about.

Undeterred, Ruth and Penny went home and gathered more information. They contacted individuals who’d given money and obtained their statements. Virginia was also busy getting a team mate. She solicited the help of Pat Wilkerson, a customer service representative at a bank in Memphis. When folks would get suspicious of this so called billion-dollar estate, Wilkerson would set their minds at ease, convincing them the outlandish story was absolutely true.

Finally, after years of putting together pieces of the puzzle that strung across the nation, Volner was arrested and convicted of defrauding more than thirty people out of over 3 million dollars in Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Nebraska and Florida. Decent, hard working folks had been fooled by a plain-Jane woman everyone described as Aunt Bee on the Andy Griffith show.

The last place on earth that you would expect such an elaborate scheme is Parsons, Tennessee. And anyone would presume Virginia was innocent. Her husband had to step down from his pastorate. An 80 year old man had to come out of retirement because he could not afford to live with all his money gone.

Dozens of lives were changed forever by a woman who was crafty enough to look unsuspecting people right in the eye and lie, while teaching others in Sunday school how God hates liars. She was a mastermind. A very successful crook. But thieves always get caught in the end, especially if they have Ruth and Penny, amateur detectives on their tail.

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