New Book Goes Behind Scenes of Notorious Savannah Murder Case

A former lawyer and assistant district attorney dissect a famous murder case later turned into a best seller and motion picture in this new book soon to be released by Dog Ear Publishing.

Los Angeles, CA, December 09, 2015 --( Awakened in the middle of the night and called to the scene of a killing at a historic Savannah mansion, Chief Assistant District Attorney Dep Kirkland would be responsible for the decision to arrest antique dealer and Savannah aristocrat James Williams for murder for killing young Danny Hansford in an alleged gun battle with World War II German Lugers. This new book details the epic battles between the state and Williams’s defense lawyers during the four trials and eight-plus years that followed.

The subtitle of “Lawyer Games: After Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” references the book inspired by the crime, which spent more than 200 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and became a major motion picture directed by Clint Eastwood. This new book, which Kirkus Reviews calls “A meticulous, intuitive, and riveting nonfiction work,” reveals the truth about the crime, including evidence never presented in a courtroom, told from the perspective of the author, who was at the scene and co-chaired Williams’s first trial.

The book covers trial testimony, tactics, and evidence from all four trials, including crime scene photographs and numerous illustrations and diagrams new to this analysis. The narrative unfolds along the original timeline, with only occasional glimpses into future events. Readers get a firsthand look at the case, beginning with the discovery of the bloody body of Hansford and Williams’ claim of having shot his young lover in self-defense. Although admitting that hindsight brings a perspective not available during trial, the author provides expert analysis of lawyer tactics far beyond what is generally perceived by the public. In the process, he relates the tactics of Williams’ lawyers to those in other high-profile criminal cases. The author not only reveals the true story of the murder case, which reached into the highest levels of Georgia politics, but also sheds light on the underbelly of the American criminal legal system, revealing the unpleasant reality of what can happen when vast sums of money and lawyers lusting for the “W” intersect.

Author Dep Kirkland left the legal world behind and pursued his dream of acting and writing, moving to New York City to study acting for several years before he moved to the Los Angeles area. He now acts, writes, directs and produces for the stage and film. The University of Georgia School of Law graduate was a member of the Georgia and District of Columbia bar associations, was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and was named a Lifetime Fellow of the Georgia Bar Foundation. Dep served as chairman of the State Bar Prison & Jail Committee, headed various subcommittees of the ABA Criminal Justice Section, and was a graduate of the National District Attorney’s Association Career Prosecutor Course. He also designed and directed an anti-piracy task force for the Satellite Broadcasting & Communications Association, a task force composed of more than 60 former FBI agents.

For additional information or interviews, please visit or contact the author by e-mail:

Lawyer Games: After Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Dep Kirkland
Dog Ear Publishing
ISBN: 978-145753-945-9 412 pages Paperback $22.95 US
ISBN: 978-145754-199-5 412 pages Hardcover (DJ) $39.95 US

Available at Ingram,, Barnes & Noble and fine bookstores everywhere.

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