Episodes
In 1999, Yvonne Layne was found murdered in her Ohio home while her two children were upstairs and one hid under the dining room table potentially watching the crime. Her ex-boyfriend David was instantly a suspect as the father of one of her children, but he had a solid alibi. So the police found Joe Wilkes, a friend of David’s, and a vulnerable kid whom they threatened with the death penalty if he did not confess to a murder for hire. In 2000 with Joe’s testimony, David was sentenced to life...
Published 10/15/20
On Halloween night in 2001, Columbia Tribune Sports Editor Kent Heitholt was brutally murdered in the Tribune parking lot. Two years later, Charles Erickson read a memorial in the paper about Heitholt and was convinced he and classmate Ryan Ferguson committed the murder. Despite blacking out from partying that night and having no memory of the murder, besides what he called “snapshots," Charles took a plea deal to testify against Ryan. Ryan’s conviction was overturned in 2012 based on a Brady...
Published 10/08/20
In 1998, JJ was sentenced to life for the murder of a police officer in Harlem, New York. The twenty-one-year-old father had an alibi that day, yet was placed in a lineup and identified as the shooter despite the alibi disparity between the appearances and race of the witness descriptions and JJ. Since then, identifying witnesses have recanted their testimony that JJ was the shooter and there is no evidence placing JJ at the scene. In fact, new evidence points away from JJ. The real killer is...
Published 10/01/20
In 2005 Rosa Jimenez was sentenced to life for the murder of a three-year-old child in her care. Twenty-year-old Rosa was babysitting twenty-one-month-old Bryan Gutierrez at her house when he came into the kitchen choking. Bryan was choking on a paper towel and at Rosa’s trial experts said it was impossible for him to get it lodged in there himself. A re-trial for Rosa has been granted, but the process will take months or years and she has developed stage four kidney disease and is starting...
Published 09/24/20
March 31, 1991 Easter Sunday. Eighteen-year-old Bill Little was shot dead while working at the Clark Gas Station in Bloomington, Illinois. Almost a decade later, despite no physical evidence, a solid alibi, and passing a lie detector test, Jamie Snow was arrested and convicted of the murder of Bill Little. Jamie was sentenced to life without parole and has been in prison for almost 20 years. But recent investigations have shown that the witness testimony, the only evidence used to convict...
Published 09/17/20
In 1996 Jermaine Smothers was sentenced to 29 years to life for the murder of Ernesto Flores. He was convicted despite passing a polygraph examination prior to trial and despite the exceedingly unreliable eyewitnesses who claimed that they saw him shoot Flores. In fact, multiple people there that night admitted to knowing who the real shooter was. In 2001 detective Kelly Deveney was investigating another case when she stumbled upon evidence of Jermaine’s innocence as well as witnesses who...
Published 09/10/20
In 1976 Concord, NC, a man broke into the home of a prominent white widow and violently beat and raped her. Ronnie Long, a 20-year-old black man, was given consecutive life sentences for rape and burglary. In a mostly segregated town, Ronnie was convicted by an all white jury, with no evidence linking him to the crime, an alibi, and only a shaky witness ID from the survivor. Since then, it was revealed that the prosecution witheld exculpatory evidence for Ronnie. There is also DNA evidence...
Published 09/10/20
Published 08/14/20
From journalist Maggie Freleng and the Obsessed Network The Innocence Project estimates that there are currently over 20,000 innocent people locked away in US prisons. These cases remain unsolved. Each week, Investigative Journalist Maggie Freleng tells the story of one of those people and takes a deep dive into the crime they were convicted of. Through her original interviews with the convicted, their lawyers, families, and friends, Freleng chronicles each inmate’s fight for exoneration and...
Published 08/14/20