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DANIAL J. WILLIAMS

Danial J. Williams planned to make a career in the Navy, but his plans were destroyed and his military career ruined when, less than 4 hours after Michelle’s body was discovered, the police jumped to the conclusion that Danial, an innocent man who lived in the apartment across the hall from the victim with his new wife Nicole, had committed this heinous crime. 

Danial’s Character and Background

Danial Williams is, in every respect, the polar opposite of the kind of person the police should have suspected in this case.  At age 27, he had never before been accused of any crime. A cub scout, a paper boy, and a member of his high school marching band, Danial was a shy boy and a kind, deferential young man who cared about other people.  He enlisted in the Navy immediately after graduating from high school to follow the tradition of military service that his maternal grandfather and uncle, and paternal great-grandfather and cousins, had established, and he reenlisted in the Navy when his initial tour of duty ended, planning to make a career as a sailor.  Danial married his wife, Nicole, after dating her for three years; they married just eleven days before Michelle Bosko was raped and murdered and were, by all accounts, very much in love.

In June 1997, Danial Williams learned that Nicole had ovarian cancer and requested leave from the Navy to care for her during and after her surgery.  Doctors operated on Nicole and removed the cancerous tumor a week before Michelle Bosko’s death.  Danial spent every day with Nicole in the hospital and brought his sick wife home to their apartment on Sunday, July 6, 1997 –the day before Michelle Bosko was last seen alive. 

On Monday, July 7, Danial and Nicole socialized with Danial’s parents (who were visiting from Michigan that weekend), went to dinner at Cracker Barrel, and then returned home and went to sleep.  While the couple slept, Omar Ballard knocked on Michelle Bosko’s door and, after gaining entry to the apartment, Ballard raped and murdered Michelle Bosko.

Danial’s False Confession

Despite his innocence, Danial was targeted by police within hours of the discovery of the crime, based solely on a hunch from one of Michelle’s friends.  When police asked Danial to come to the station to answer some questions, hoping to help, he willingly agreed.  Upon learning he was a suspect, Danial willingly submitted DNA samples and took a polygraph test, which he definitively passed.  Despite the lack of any evidence against Danial, police engaged in a combative interrogation section, rife with pressure and peppered with lies – including false claims that a witness had seen Danial coming out of Michelle’s apartment late at night after she had last been seen alive and that Danial had failed his polygraph test.

After nine hours of interrogation, Danial Williams caved under the unrelenting police pressure, pressure that culminated with a forceful interrogation from Detective Ford—a police officer with a history of coercing false confessions.  Despite the fact that none of the details that Danial Williams concocted in his false confession matched the obvious facts revealed by Michelle Bosko’s wounds, police continued to pressure Danial, feeing him facts and urging him to change his story to match the physical evidence, which he did.  Only after falsely confessing to the crime to the satisfaction of the police, was Danial Williams finally relieved from their coercive and badgering tactics.

Danial Williams’s undeserved fate was sealed from the moment he relented to Detective Ford’s pressure and falsely confessed to a crime he did not commit.  He is now serving a sentence of life in prison without any possibility for parole for a crime that a three-time violent offender, Omar Ballard, unleashed on his own during the midst of a three-week crime spree. 


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