|"Terri's Fire" is the product of dozens of interviews, hours of document
review, four trips to Columbus County, and one to Austin, Texas, over nine
Reporter Anne Saker interviewed Terri Hinson Strickland at length in person, over the telephone and by e-mail. Saker also interviewed Terri's husband, Rodney Strickland; her mother, Bernice Prince; and her daughter, Brittany.
Among those also interviewed in person, over the telephone or by e-mail: Jennifer Baldwin, then a worker for the Department of Social Services in Columbus County; Denise Barrett of White Springs, Fla., Terri's friend since fifth grade; Assistant District Attorney Lee Bollinger; Tony Cafe, a fire investigator in Sydney, Australia; James Coman, director of the State Bureau of Investigation; Assistant District Attorney Sarah Garner; fire investigator Ken Gibson of Arlington, Texas; Kathleen Shannon Glancy, Terri's civil attorney; Tabor City Police Lt. Michael Glenn; Superior Court Judge William Gore Jr.; Faith Holt of Whiteville, Terri's friend; chemist Gerald Hurst of Austin, Texas; fire investigator John Lentini of Marietta, Ga.; Steve Mangini of Raleigh, investigator for the insurance company USF&G; Larry Moore, head of the DSS in Columbus County; Jane Smith Patterson, secretary of administration for Gov. Jim Hunt and a Tabor City native; Patricia Sanderson, head of the pretrial release program in Columbus County; Terri's sister Linda Smith of Monroe; electrician Wyman Sox of West Columbia, S.C.; Durham lawyer Mary Ann Tally; Tabor City Fire Chief Jerry Watts; Special Agent Matt White of the State Bureau of Investigation; O. Richard Wright, a landlord of 101 Wall Street in Tabor City; and Tabor City Police Chief Robert Wooster.
Mike Jones, the head of the Jones department store chain who owns 101 Wall Street with O. Richard Wright, did not return repeated telephone calls. Terri's attorneys T. Craig Wright and William Wood declined to be interviewed, as did Christopher Elrod, the first fire expert for the defense, and Michael Sutton, an engineer with Accident Reconstruction Associates in Raleigh who also looked at the scene at USF&G's request. Officials of USF&G, now called The St. Paul Cos., refused to comment. Bondsman Bruce Sellers died in August.
Anne Saker can be reached at 919-829-8955 or email@example.com