This is a travesty! This is one of the most heartbreaking stories I have ever watched unfold and it deserves to be heard! Its bad enough when a mother has to endure a mothers worst nightmare but what follows is nothing short of horrific and is something I'll never forget and neither should you! I am writing this on behalf of this family that was silenced by our so called Alabama "Justice" system! I stumbled on that website and it talks much about the injustice of the Marion County Justice system. It is not this families situation but it is truthful but you have to select all to see the hidden text. Anyway, this Hamilton family may have been silenced from speaking the truth, but I wasn't!! I write this with a very heavy heart and my heart goes out to this woman and her children. I don't know how anyone could have just sat by and watched this family get torn apart after their lives were already just shattered, let alone helped or facilitate it after what they have gone through. And anyone who knows the Alabama Justice System in Marion County knows how corrupt it is and will completely agree that it is in serious need of some honest, respectable people in the offices. Not people who get in trouble for drugs and remain on the bench or authorities who continuously break the law, take advantage of people and still remain in office. Don't believe me.. do your homework and see it for yourself! Google it, its not that hard! Here.. You can start HERE (click on the yellow tape at the bottom of the page) or here how Judge Cashion protects the guilty! If I found it that easy, so can you!
Here are the facts:
Shirl Weaver, a mother of 6-children lived in Hamilton, Alabama. This woman and her children were a God-fearing family who were abandoned by her husband, Thomas Edwin Hendricks of 4 and a half years of marriage for an older woman by the name of Tammy Miller Floyd who is the daughter of a pentecostal preacher and a very religious family out of Mississippi. She moved in only 2 doors down in September of 2001 who was engaged to another man at the time of their meeting.
Shirl, Thomas and her children were involved in Churches bringing people to Christ. God blessed them by giving them favor and ended up doing a weekly television program with the church they belong to which was "Christ Mission Chapel" and her children formed and headed up a drama team with the other members of the church called "CMDT" Which stood for "Christ Mission Drama Team.
One November evening of 2001, Shirl and her children were told by Thomas that he was leaving them because he felt more love from Tammy's two children then from the 6 who loved him dearly. It later came out that Thomas later admitted that he left because was tired of feeling guilty while being in the ministry with Shirl and her children because there were other things he wanted to do with his life, such as joining the original Klu Klux Klan group that is headed by Pastor Thomas Robb in Harrison, AR, (Thomas made it clear he actually wanted Thomas Robb's position), Thomas was feeling guilty because he wanted to get high but the bottom line is when he admitted that he had actually fallen in love with their new neighbor, Tammy Floyd. Shirl and Thomas Divorced.
Thomas told her since it was his fault for the breakup, he would pay for the divorce. Shirl agreed, hired an attorney and Thomas skipped out without paying the attorney. Shirl's friends pitched in and helped her pay for the divorce because they felt what he did was wrong and were happy to give her the money just to see Thomas out of their lives and what they thought would end their pain.
Tammy and Thomas moved across town into a home with Tammy's two children, Scotty and JJ. Shirl's children's names were as follows: James Keith, Jeremy Alan, Zachariah William, Christian Lee, Jessie Joe and Harley Marie. Harley was the youngest and the only girl of the 6-children and the only child that was born between Thomas and Shirl.
On May 12, 2002 Shirl and her children moved to the outskirts of town onto County Highway 73, where Shirl wanted her children to have a better life and not have to deal with the everyday pain of seeing the only man they considered "Daddy", living with another woman and other children whom he now considered his children. Instead of the ones who loved him so dearly and it was too hard for Shirl to see the man she was married to with her supposed to be new best friend, Tammy Miller Floyd.
Why Shirl was ever nice to Thomas and Tammy, God only knows but she was! Shirl said she didn't feel the children should suffer because of his stupidity. June 19, 2002 Thomas asked Shirl if she would be willing to watch Tammy's children for one week until the 26th while Tammy joined Thomas on the road for an escorting job where they drove escort for wide loads and such. Shirl agreed and took care of Tammy's children. On June 25, one day early, Thomas showed up for Tammy's children saying they made it back early. Thomas asked Shirl if she had money so he can feed Tammy's children claiming they had nothing to eat. Shirl told him she didn't have any money at that point because she had just paid the bills and bought groceries but offered to help him with $50. worth of food, which Thomas agreed to. All was well that evening as Shirl and her Children went to sleep.
June 26, 2002
About 1:00 am in the morning the Children woke Shirl up saying there was a lot of rain coming in through the window fan and a lot of lightning. Shirl took out the fan, closed the window and they prayed for God's protection from the storm and fell asleep. At 3:00 am they were awaken to hearing a man's voice in the distance that Shirl said sounded loud and deep yelling for her son, James to wake up. The house was consumed in smoke and flames. According to the Fire Marshall, lightning had hit the home and 3 of Shirl's children died of smoke inhalation as a result of the fire, stating how any of them lived at all was a miracle. The fire made a bee line straight for Shirl's bedroom and exploded, which Shirl found out later the explosion had done some damage to her hearing.
While Shirl and the children were being admitted into the hospital, people were searching for Thomas. He didn't show up at work as scheduled and he wasn't at home. Pastor Larry Johnson of "Christ Mission Chapel" on Bexar was U.S. Hwy 78 at the time which was located in Hamilton Alabama at the time had went to where Thomas and Tammy lived and he said there was no answer at the door and no car in the driveway. He said he pounded on the door for 15 minutes and there was no answer. Pastor Larry Johnson told Shirl that night in the hospital that tragic morning that it was God's punishments upon them for splitting up with Thomas. It later came out Thomas called in to his Job at 1:30am stating he would be running late because he had to drop off Tammy's children at Shirl's house and he would be in late, which Shirl said never happened. According to three of Thomas's coworkers, when Thomas did show up for his job at 5:30 am, they asked him about his whereabouts during the time of the fire and Thomas became enraged and immediately quit his job on the spot!
Shirl sustained injuries trying to get her children out, such as 2 fractured ribs, and a broken wrist. Two of her children died at the scene and her other child was life flighted to Birmingham Medical Center Burn Unit where he passed away 3 days later. Shirl ended up having to go in to emergency surgery immediately following the burial of her children because her wrist was not only broke, but the bone was kicked out 30 degrees. The doctors told her without it, she would lose all use of her arm. With the surgery she would have limited use and the chances of playing guitar again were slim to none.
It still breaks my heart when I think of how she held the picture of her children close to her breast crying uncontrollably the whole time saying her babies were gone and she wanted to die too while the hospital was preparing her for surgery. We told her she had to hang on because she had three other children to think about and how she can't give up but she was too devastated and still in shock to listen to anything we had to say. Seven days after Shirl's surgery It came out that Shirl's now ex-husband Thomas lied to obtained a loan stating it was his children that died in the fire, (in which they were not his children) and Shirl no longer had a stable home. The people in the loan office were shocked and devastated by the slanderous remarks Thomas had made stating she was a bad mother and he needed to hire Alabama State Senator Roger H. Bedford, to gain custody of the only child between them.
It came out later the loan officers who gave Thomas the loan found out that Thomas not only lied about his ex-wife Shirl to obtain the loan but Thomas also made it clear he will never repay the loan that he obtained to hire Senator Roger Bedford that he used to destroy this woman even more. The loan officers were furious with Thomas. The loan officers stated the only reason they believed him in the beginning was because he had his daughter Harley at his side and he made them feel sorry for him and they didn't know the facts at the time stating they literally cried in remorse when they found out that Thomas lied about this woman to destroy her more and knowing they were used part of the process. To this day, they regret giving him the loan and not looking into the facts first.
When the loan officers found out that Thomas lied to obtain the loan, One of the loan officers, Tabitha called Shirl crying on the phone apologizing to her for being a part of what Thomas had done and told her if they had known sooner they would have never grated him the loan. One of the loan officers, Tabitha showed up at court to testify that they learned Thomas lied to them to obtain the loan but they also said that by law, they couldn't reveal the amount that was given but they could testify about the slanderous accusations he made to obtain the loan and how they learned the slanderous statements were false.
An entire team of investigators came to see Shirl on August 10, 2002 and asked her what she remembered from that night and asked Shirl if Thomas had been to the house that previous day, how did he act towards her, did they have an argument, did he threaten her, did he act differently toward her and was there anything she remembered that was unusual. Shirl told them everything she remembered. One month later Thomas came to Shirl yelling at her because he was being followed and watched by investigators but Shirl had no idea that was even taking place because although they asked her several questions regarding Thomas, she didn't realize at that time they were suspecting him of doing anything. Apparently they didn't find enough evidence to change the circumstances from lightning to anything else.
So the following Sunday morning, Thomas showed up at the Christ Mission Chapel in Hamilton Alabama and stepped up to the pulpit and slammed papers down saying, "I got her, I got her!! I'm guaranteed to win because my attorney is the State Senator and he is friends with Judge James C. Cashion. He has guaranteed me that I will win and get custody of Harley!!" (Thomas made this statement before the first court date was ever set.) He stated to the people in the church that he had filed for emergency custody of their daughter Harley, saying Shirl was an unfit mother because she no longer had a stable home. When Shirl got wind of the news she immediately sought help. No one wanted to get involved when they learned of who Thomas's attorney was. Shirl was taken to Birmingham, AL by a friend and the lawyers there told them they could not get involved. Shirl finally found an attorney who she found out later was a "Bedford" Supporter.
ON THE SURFACE ROGER BEDFORD SEEMS LIKE A NICE GUY
You think that's bad... wait.... This is only the beginning of the evil this man had done to this family before and after the fire and no one would help that girl and I just can't keep quiet any longer. When Shirl sought help telling the authorities and children services what was spoken in the church, she was told she had to keep it quiet. She was given instructions to keep silent or she would be arrested and just to allow Thomas hang himself by his own tongue, which never happened.
People had donated several items to Shirl including, clothes, food, a place to live, a van and money to help pay for the funerals and help her get on her feet. All the items that was offered was taken by Thomas and his friends and the only thing Shirl received was 3 garbage bags which contained kennel soiled blankets, broken glass and garbage, literally. I remember seeing her cut her hand when she reached in the one of the bags. I couldn't believe it! It was bad enough Thomas was very abusive physically, emotionally, spiritually and verbally to Shirl and the children while they were together before he left, before the fire, stating he was the "priest and head of his house and he had to follow God's word and keep his house in order!!" It was later discovered later Thomas went to the bank that the donation fund was at for Shirl and he withdrew the money stating it was her fault for the fire and he needed the money since he had the daughter.
I remember seeing the relief on Shirl's face and the children's face when they moved away from Thomas and Tammy. They were excited about their new life without Thomas. The children began referring to Thomas and Tammy as "Satan and Darth Vader in a dress" because of what he done. When ever anyone questioned Thomas for what he done to the family or put Shirl through his first response to that person was he would go after Shirl to hurt her again.
Shirl and Thomas went to court and it was like a three ring circus. People in the court room were enraged to see what Thomas was trying to do and the people were more enraged when he won custody! Thomas blamed Shirl for everything and wouldn't allow her to testify hardly at all. Shirl set up another court date just so she can expose the truth and be heard. The Judge, Thomas's Attorney and Thomas along with Tammy just laughed in the courtroom when Shirl exposed everything he done. Including facts about the abuse, the KKK, logs she kept, they only allowed her to show one page out of several notebooks which had times, dates and everything that took place that was logged as instructed by her attorney. Shirl's Attorney also on the day of court forgot to bring in the video of her first visitation with her daughter Harley after not seeing her for 8-months when she was covered in head lice. The attorney asked Tammy if she would say anything just to hurt Shirl and Tammy laughed on the stand, and said, "well...." and thought for a moment and said, "not just anything" The reason Shirl couldn't see her daughter Harley is because when Thomas obtained custody, he had it set up for supervised visitation and when she called to set up an appointment:
This was their entire conversation:
Shirl: Hi, Is Tom there?
Tammy: No, what do you need?
Shirl: I just wanted to set up a visitation to see Harley...
Tammy: Oh! Well, we don't want her upset!
Tammy hung up the phone.
Shirl immediately called her attorney and he told her, not to worry about it and that it would be handled in court. The following day, Tammy went and put a warrant out for Shirl's arrest stating she was harassing them. Shirl had to turn herself in because she found a note on the door from the sheriff's dept. Shirl was in and out within 30 minutes, all she had to do was sign herself out but when she came out to my van, she was humiliated and shamed for just wanting to see her daughter!! Shirl tried getting help from the judge, the authorities and yet nothing...
Thomas went as far as spreading so many rumors that there was no church she was able to go for prayer without people putting her down for the rumors they heard from Thomas. Instead of listening to the voice of God for the truth, they took Thomas at his word. By the time the churches and pastors found out the truth it was too late and the damage was already done! Two of Shirl's son's tried to call Thomas out on what he had done and his first response to her children was that he would go after their mother again to hurt her. What kind of human being is that?? What kind of monster do you have to be to take such advantage of horrific situation and make up stories to take the woman's child away after she loses 3 of them in a tragedy like that and to threaten the mother when her remaining children try to speak out?
Although in court it was ruled there was no harassment committed on Shirl's part and she was only following court orders so she can see her daughter and that charge was dropped they stripped her of everything!! NEVER live in Marion County, Alabama and if you're still here... GET OUT NOW before they do it to you!! Shirl and her family is just one of the Hamilton families this county has done this too! That is a God forsaken state and all those things you hear about southern lawyers and judges have proven to be true! They hide behind the term of "Bible Belt" to corrupt justice. Just because their in the bible belt doesn't mean they follow the bible. Judge Jimmy Cashion ruled in favor of Thomas stating the court didn't want to disrupt the child's life since she was in a routine with Thomas by putting their daughter where she belongs, with her mother!
Read Isaiah 10
You can visit the children's memorials online. Jeremy's memorial, Christian's memorial and Jessie's memorial. Shirl's husband adopted the children and gave them a respectable name as well as putting them into his very prestigious family tree, which is why their last names are now different from the markers. It was his way of letting the children know there is a daddy here on earth that really loves them for all eternity. After what Thomas had done to Shirl and the children before and after the fire Shirl's husband did not want them to be associated with that type of a heartless human being known as Thomas Hendricks.
After the ruling, Shirl filed a suite against Judge James C. Cashion the court system itself stating the ruling was unlawful and unjust but once again, the court ruled against her. The following 5-years this woman went through hell at the hand of her ex-husband Thomas with torment, blackmail, stating she wouldn't see her daughter if she didn't do what he said and much more and with the court on Thomas' side, they wouldn't talk to her, churches wouldn't help her and the police wouldn't assist her when she was threatened and blackmailed by Thomas. Shirl called the Judge James C. Cashion asking for help and he told her he didn't want to be bothered with it and never call again and hung up on her.
Thomas played her surviving children against her and to Thomas's knowledge they went along. As the saying goes, keep your friends close and your enemies closer. They pretended to be in agreement with Thomas just to know his next move or to keep him at bay so he wouldn't strike their mother (Shirl) again as he had already done and threaten to continue to do. Thomas told her oldest son, that his mother was nothing but a monster and a snake because she wouldn't take him back after everything he had done. Thomas told the Mother, her children never behaved while they were alive and when they did it was all an act. Which was wrong because anybody who knew this family knew how well mannered, behaved and considerate her children were to everyone. How dare him mistreat this family and put down the children who have passed away and then laugh while the mother cries in agony while trying to defend her children!!! Who is the real monster here??
Thomas would tell Shirl that if she had sex with him, he would write child support receipts and leave them next to the bed and when she refused to have sex with him, he would show up at all hours of the day and night demanding child support from her. She was constantly having to pay him! He would make advances towards her and when Shirl sought help from the police, none would help her. When she went to church for prayer, she was put down and told it was punishments from God and was told God turned his back and such things like that! She was completely on her own! Shirl went as far as going to Karen Wheaton and the Ramp in Hamilton, AL for prayer but unfortunately Shirl was shunned and treated very coldly and Shirl was devastated, left in tears and never returned.
Only one church was kind to Shirl for a little while and that was Pastor Jeff Norris and New Life Fellowship in Winfield, AL. Then after a couple months, Jeff Norris was still kind to Shirl but rumors hit that church and when Shirl went up for prayer she was not only shunned and treated coldly but was told by members of the church that God abandoned her and turned his back on her and her family.
It wasn't until a couple years later that some of the churches learned that Shirl did nothing wrong and the things they were told about her were lies but unfortunately for Shirl, the damage was already done! One of the pastors of a church came to Shirl's Apt. and apologized to her for believing the lies and rumors and for mistreating her. Although Shirl did forgive them she never returned to their church. Shirl told a mutual friend that she felt that if the people of God, especially Pastors could believe such horrific things before seeking the Lord for answers and the truth, then she felt they couldn't be trusted to seek God in the future if so easily persuaded by rumors.
I know for a fact that Shirl wrote a book called "Broken But Not Bent" and Bless her heart, she tries to tell her story and encourage people that no matter how bad their situation is, not to lose hope. She always warns people to stay clear of people like Thomas. Although she couldn't mention too many names in her book and had to use altered names instead, its quite clear who's she is talking about and it's clear she cries out for justice on behalf of her children who passed, her surviving children and for herself! Shirl's husband Robbi Spencer has connections in the entertainment industry and some of his friends have a missionary group called OLD MAN SPITFACE and they have created a song called, "You're Gonna Pay" and you can watch the video above, if you haven't already done so.
Shirl's daughter would scream, cry, beg literally on her knees and pleading with Thomas to be with her mother and Thomas literally stood there laughing while that poor child used her body to block the car door from being put inside the car. Thomas over heard Shirl and Harley praying and Thomas used that prayer against Shirl saying God heard her prayer and if she wanted Harley she would have to go back to Thomas, knowing that Thomas was still with the other woman. Thomas went as far as renting an empty trailer, furnishing it to use to tell Shirl he had split up with Tammy to lure her over there. Thank God she never went because his plans were to gain her confidence then completely destroy what was left of her. Thomas even went as far as dying Harley's hair bleach-blonde, to match Tammy's, to convince the world Tammy was her mother and he told the schools and the press that Tammy was her mother, even though Harley is the spittin image of her mother Shirl. I'm happy to report her hair eventually grew out and is now its natural color.
I know I couldn't have gone through such atrocities without wanting some kind of revenge, going insane and most anyone would have killed that man. But Shirl always said to "Leave him to God" but I like most people, I couldn't be that nice if someone did that to me and my family! Personally, I think she was terrified of Thomas and that's why she never struck back at him or it could have been because of her daughter or maybe a combination of both. Who knows?
But that is why I am writing their story about them I'm Speaking for those who have been silenced! I have recently spoken with Shirl and she is doing very well now, remarried to a record producer and living out her dream of doing music and making videos and carrying on the legacy that her now deceased children (Jessie-7, Christian-9, Jeremy-15) made her promise that she would do, no matter what. Shirl prays for people to have spiritual discernment and to know a wolf in sheep's clothing when they see it and for God's protection for those who encounter such people. She also prays for wisdom and guidance to know how to deal with such a person.
Shirl and her family were put through hell on earth because of Thomas Hendricks, with NO JUSTICE, NO ONE to help her and that alone is a crime!! But that has drastically changed and things have turned in her favor and now, after the release of her new book "Broken But Not Bent", people have actually taken her seriously, including attorneys, filmmakers, and other wealthy entrepreneurs. A special thank you to the attorneys at Alabama Justice, Inc. who have a graciously handled Shirl's legal affairs during the process of rebuilding her family and bringing together all that was lost, including her daughter Harley, who still resides in Alabama with Thomas Hendricks.