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Douglas Pfeiffer was the man that John Fitzgerald Byers and Jimmy Bond entered Death Row to save. His mother, Alberta Pfeiffer, had claimed he was an innocent man (and his sudden unwillingness to appeal his execution was strange) but in truth he was completely guilty.
Byers got himself beaten up so he could go to the infirmary and convince Pfeiffer to reveal why he gave up on the appeals process. Pfeiffer threatened Byers and refused to tell anything.On the outside, Melvin Frohike and Richard Langly figured out that Pfeiffer was a hitman who worked for a businessman who wanted to put up a downtown highrise. A few people who refused to sell were dealt with by Douglas Pfeiffer. This businessman turned out to be Pfeiffer's own defense attorney, Jeremy Wash. Frohike and Langly were overheard discussing this with Yves Adele Harlow by Wash himself. He decided to contract Lowry to kill Pfeiffer early, less than two days prior to the execution.
After Lowry's attempt on Pfeiffer's life, Byers taking down of Lowry with a bedpan to the head, and Byers' appeals to Pfeiffer's good side, Pfeiffer decided to turn on Jeremy Wash. Wash had been supporting Pfeiffer's mother financially and intended to do so after Pfeiffer's death but he had clearly doubted Pfeiffer's ability to stay quiet. This doubt ironically led to a series of actions that actually caused the taciturn Pfeiffer to decide to rat him out. He confronted him at Death Row before rangers arrested Wash.
Doing so made Pfeiffer more like the man his mother believed him to be as it freed the innocent man (Wallace Crendell Atherton) he had framed. Pfeiffer marched past his own former lawyer (Wash) as he headed off to his execution for the murders of Wally Spinelli and Michael Culey.