This documentary by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky details the murder trial of Delbert Ward. Delbert was a member of a family of four elderly brothers, working as semi-literate farmers and living together in isolation from the rest of society until William's death. A police investigation and Medical Examiner's autopsy suggested that Bill may not have died from natural causes and Delbert was arrested on charges of Second-Degree Murder. Under questioning by police, Delbert appears to have waived his rights and signed a confession, but this film suggests that he may not have been competent to do so. The film explores possible motives for the crime, from 'mercy-killing' (Bill was ill at the time) to progressively more bizarre hypotheses. It also shows how residents of the rural community of Munnsville, NY rallied to the support of one of their own residents (previously considered a social outcast), against what they felt were intrusive 'big-city' police and District Attorney tactics. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
Did You Know?
Picked by Entertainment Weekly magazine as one of the "50 Greatest Independent Films" in a special supplement devoted to independent films that was only distributed to subscribers in October 1997. See more
Dedicated to the memory of David C. Maysles (1932-1987) For your inspiration See more
References In the Heat of the Night