The killing took place inside Williams' historic mansion, the Mercer House. Williams claimed self-defense, hired the owner of the University of Georgia bulldog mascot Uga as his defense attorney, and consulted with a voodoo priestess who works in the graveyard at midnight.
After four murder trials over eight years, Williams was finally acquitted.
John Berendt spun the murder, the Southern city and its collection of characters into the best-selling 1994 book. "Midnight" spent a record 216 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list.
Williams died in 1990.
-- Scott McCabe