Did Bill tell Gentry Shelton that he had ‘seen hundreds die under machine gun fire and wouldn’t mind seeing another dead man’.
1. During the trial, the prosecutor asked Bill if he had made the above comment to Gentry Shelton.
2. Although the prosecution subpoenaed Shelton, he didn't come forward to testify (for reasons of self-protection). This means that no one could verify whether or not Shelton said such a thing to the prosecutor. Defence Attorney Carson should have objected to its introduction and, if he had done so, the judge should have upheld the objection.
3. The statement bears a marked similarity to the statement Bill reportedly made in Tancrel’s presence: ‘I’ve seen a lot of dead men and one more won’t make a difference’. Tancrel was shown to be lying (see post 5).
4. Bill was never in the trenches, according to military records, so he never saw ‘hundreds die under machine gun fire’.
5. Bill had hoped that Shelton would testify because he thought he would be a favourable witness.
6. But it seems unlikely that the prosecutor would blatantly lie in such a way (or is this just naive).
It is impossible to determine with certainty whether Bill made such a comment or not.