The story of Timothy Coggins, a young black man who was lynched in 1983 in Georgia, examining the deep-rooted racism that impacted the case and the long fight for justice.
Nominated by the Georgia Film Critics Association for the prestigious Oglethorpe Award for Excellence in Georgia Cinema, In the Cold Dark Night takes viewers on a journey that starts with a Black man, Timothy Coggins, being murdered in 1983. At the time, the Sheriff’s office doesn’t investigate the murder and we watch as African-American law enforcement officers are side lined when they try to pursue the investigation.
However, in 2016, Darrell Dix is elected Sheriff of Spalding County. He vows to clean up relations with the African-American community, as well as improving relations with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. When the Coggins case resurfaces in 2017, both the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office and Georgia Bureau of Investigation devote significant resources to tracking down the killers.
The film features a 360-degree view of all people involved within the case including the Coggins family, the family of the accused men, and two Black former sheriff’s deputies who were thwarted from investigating Coggins’ murder in 1983. The documentary follows prosecutor Marie Broder as she mounts a murder case against two white men, Frankie Gebhardt and William Moore. Cameras are rolling when detectives excavate a well behind Frankie Gebhardt’s home, looking for evidence. The film follows the dramatic courtroom proceedings that lead to a murder conviction of Gephardt and a guilty plea to manslaughter by Moore. But is justice delayed by 35 years truly justice?