The assassination of Albert Patterson two weeks after he won the primary election for attorney general of Alabama shocked the state and nation. He had been shot four times on a busy street on a Friday evening in Phenix City. Many suspected that gangsters had killed him because he had announced his intention to clean out the mob that ruled the town. But suspicion soon shifted to politicians who had tried to steal the election and now were being investigated by a grand jury in Birmingham. Albert Patterson had damaging evidence against state attorney general Silas Garrett and Russell County Solicitor Arch Ferrell for vote fraud and had announced his intention to testify before the grand jury on the following Monday. Reporter Bob Ingram recalls being with Garrett and Ferrell two nights after the murder.

John Patterson rushed to the scene of his father’s shooting and saw his father’s open car door, a stunned crowd and a dense pool of blood.   Rushing to the hospital, he found his father dead and city officials, including Solicitor Arch Ferrell and deputy sheriff Albert Fuller – the latter known to have killed six men ‘in the line of duty’ -- gathered in the room.

Patterson recounts the sad case of Lamar Reid, a young, well-connected Birmingham lawyer who as chairman of the county Democratic Party allowed Si Garrett and Arch Ferrell to involve him in their scheme to steal the election from Albert Patterson -- ruining Reid's own life and career in the process. It was the discovery of their failed vote fraud that gave Ferrell and Garrett the motive to kill Albert Patterson and thus allow Patterson's opponent Red Porter -- their ally -- to take office and protect them from indictment.