Down 2,036 this week

Incendiary: The Willingham Case (2011)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 39 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 20 critic

In 1991, Cameron Todd Willingham's three daughters died in a Corsicana, Texas house fire. Tried and convicted for their arson murders, Willingham was executed in February 2004 despite ... See full summary »

Watch Trailer
0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 172 titles
created 08 Jun 2011
a list of 600 titles
created 01 Sep 2012
a list of 75 titles
created 10 months ago
a list of 163 titles
created 9 months ago
a list of 108 titles
created 7 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Incendiary: The Willingham Case (2011)

Incendiary: The Willingham Case (2011) on IMDb 7.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Incendiary: The Willingham Case.
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Kids for Cash (2014)
Documentary | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Kids For Cash is a riveting look behind the notorious judicial scandal that rocked the nation. Beyond the millions paid and high stakes corruption, Kids For Cash exposes a shocking American... See full summary »

Director: Robert May
Girlhood (2003)
Documentary | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Documentary chronicling America's justice system. Follows two female inmates - victims of horrific violence and tragedy - who are serving time in a Maryland juvenile detention center.

Director: Liz Garbus
Documentary | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Feature film examining the existence of films in which people are murdered on camera and the culture surrounding them. Through interviews with former FBI Profilers, Cultural Academics, and ... See full summary »

Director: Paul von Stoetzel
Stars: Larry C. Brubaker, Todd Cobery, Linda Flanders
Documentary | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

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 ... See full summary »

Directors: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky
Stars: Delbert Ward, Roscoe Ward, Lyman Ward
Captivated (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A small-town murder in New England became one of the highest-profile cases of the twentieth century. As the first fully televised court case, the Pamela Smart trial rattled the ... See full summary »

Director: Jeremiah Zagar
Stars: Eric Trautmann, Dan Pelletier
Documentary | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Oklahoma Cop Deanna was kidnapped by Robbie, her estranged husband, and beaten in the cab of his truck over a harrowing four-day journey. They were pulled over by police and she was taken ... See full summary »

Director: Cynthia Hill
Stars: Kit Gruelle, Deanna Walters
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Documentary on the Friedmans, a seemingly typical, upper-middleclass Jewish family whose world is instantly transformed when the father and his youngest son are arrested and charged with shocking and horrible crimes.

Director: Andrew Jarecki
Stars: Arnold Friedman, Jesse Friedman, David Friedman
Love Child (2014)
Documentary | Crime | News
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

LOVE CHILD is a documentary following of the first tried case of Internet Addiction the world has ever seen. Filmed over two years in Seoul, Korea, the film follows the story of a young ... See full summary »

Director: Valerie Veatch
Stars: Caitlin Mehner, Alexis Rhee
Documentary | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

'What kind of house does a man who has been imprisoned in a six-foot-by-nine-foot cell for over 30 years dream of?' This film captures the remarkable creative journey and friendship of ... See full summary »

Director: Angad Bhalla
Stars: Herman Wallace
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A gripping, emotionally charged film that follows wrongfully convicted men freed by DNA evidence after decades in prison as they struggle to transition back into society.

Director: Jessica Sanders
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Chatham, Ontario, 1998. Eighteen-year-old Jennifer Jenkins is brutally shot to death by multiple rifle rounds in her family home. The main suspect: her brother, Mason Jenkins, who fled the ... See full summary »

Director: John Kastner
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

All shy everyman Barry Weiss wants is to go to the prom with his dream girl, Julie Morris. But getting her to say yes is just the first of many hurdles he has to clear including date cops, ... See full summary »

Director: Steve Mims
Stars: Jeremy Fox, Alicia Corbett, Benjamin Pascoe


In 1991, Cameron Todd Willingham's three daughters died in a Corsicana, Texas house fire. Tried and convicted for their arson murders, Willingham was executed in February 2004 despite overwhelming expert criticism of the prosecution's arson evidence. Today, Willingham's name has become a call for reform in the field of forensics and a rallying cry for the anti-death penalty movement; yet he remains an indisputable "monster" in the eyes of Texas Governor Rick Perry, who ignored the science that could have saved Willingham's life. Equal parts murder mystery, forensic investigation and political drama, INCENDIARY documents the haunted legacy of a prosecution built on "folklore." Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Politics in Texas can be murder. See more »



Official Sites:



Release Date:

7 October 2011 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

1 August 2011 | by (Austin, TX) – See all my reviews

Here's a brief overview of the case that is the subject of this documentary: Cameron Todd Willingham was convicted of murder by arson of his three daughters in 1991 and put to death in 2004. Since then, a number of death penalty advocates have claimed his innocence by criticizing the evidence presented in 1991.

Before watching the film, I had been following the case very closely and read everything I could about the case. As such, I knew at the conclusion of this film that the filmmakers had presented only one side of the story.

Notably, the entire film is based on, and only on, interviews with Todd Willingham's defense - the most notable interviews are with Willingham's defense attorney at trial, David Martin, and the expert, Gerald Hurst, who claims the state's arson is flawed (based on over 10 years of hindsight). What is absent is an interview with a prosecutor, judge, witness, jury member, state expert, or even a neutral expert to balance the audience's perspective. Instead, the film represents the state with some choice footage which appears to be intended to cast current state politicians (no one who was actually involved in the trial, mind you) in a bad light.

At one point the film cuts to "The State's Case" (or something like that). Who presents "The State's Case?" Not the prosecutor (or any prosecutor for that matter). Rather, the state's case is presented by the same guy advocating for the defense, Gerald Hurst, the expert who calls Willingham "innocent" based on retrospective findings that the arson evidence was inconclusive (Calling someone innocent based on inconclusive findings seems contradicting in itself but the filmmakers never seem to question Hurst's declarations).

This one-sided presentation leaves Martin, Willingham's defense attorney at trial, to defend the state's case because Martin has no doubt that Willingham is guilty. Since when does the defense attorney become the best guy to defend the state's case? Even so, Martin makes a couple of points that strike home - for instance, he points out that Willingham's fire took a very unnatural 90-degree turn into the three girls' bedroom. This point is never refuted. Also, the filmmakers present footage of Willingham's ex-wife (and mother of the dead children) making a public declaration in 2009 or 2010 that Willingham told her he did it. And finally, the most interesting footage of the movie involves Martin stating that there may be other reasons why he believes Willingham is guilty but those reasons are protected by attorney-client privilege...

Despite a few interesting parts like that, I found myself very disappointed in the objectivity of this film. The film never addresses the confession that Willingham supposedly made to a jail-house snitch, Willingham's violent and drug-riddled history, the fact that Willingham kept changing his story as to what happened, Willingham's incriminating behavior during and shortly after the fire, or aspects of the fire that indicated arson (other than Martin's point). Instead, the film seems focused on presenting Willingham's detractors as the bad guys.

The film's unilateral presentation is disappointing because this case could have made for a very educational and interesting case study.

7 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
can this be watched online? craig-msn
Rick Perry ewayne61
Discuss Incendiary: The Willingham Case (2011) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page