Eliminating the Competition | 2001
Nestled in the Smokey Mountains lies the rural area of Putnam County, Tennessee. Here, men like hog farmer turned State Senator Tommy Burks are revered. In October 1998, newcomer Byron Looper challenged the incumbent for his seat in the upcoming election. Looper faced an uphill battle against Burks, whom most pollsters favored to win in a landslide. When Tommy Burks was eliminated with a single bullet to the head, Republican challenger Looper was suspected. When Looper vanished, investigators dug into his past to find a man consumed with a lust for power. When Looper finally surfaced, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to life without parole. Yet, to this day, Looper proclaims his innocence, arguing that he was framed by Democrat District Attorney General Bill Gibson.