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  • At 6 AM on September 7, 1988 17-year-old high school senior Marty Tankleff found both of his parents brutally murdered; stabbed and beaten. Almost two years later, Marty was convicted and sentenced to fifty years to life for their murders. Marty did 17 years behind bars before his conviction was overturned. In this Thanksgiving special, Maggie talks to Marty, her hometown exoneree from Port Jefferson, NY, about his conviction, exoneration and the system that put him there.

    For more information and a complete list of sources for this episode, visit:
    https://www.unjustandunsolved.com/

    Join us on Patreon to support the show and access exclusive content:
    https://www.patreon.com/unjustandunsolved

  • On March 10, 1991 Nikki Zinger's mother Linda Holley was found dead in her Magnolia, AR, home. The crime was brutal. She was stabbed 12 times, bludgeoned and left for dead. A month went by with no arrests, and then out of the blue 28-year-old Nikki and her boyfriend 24-year-old Daniel Rischer were arrested and convicted for her mother's murder. The prosecution said the motive was Linda's $90,000 life insurance policy. However, decades later new DNA evidence busts holes in the prosecution's theory. And circumstantial evidence is brought into question. It also turns out there was a similar murder that happened five days after Linda's that could point to the real killer.

    For more information and a complete list of sources for this episode, visit:
    https://www.unjustandunsolved.com/

    Join us on Patreon to support the show and access exclusive content:
    https://www.patreon.com/unjustandunsolved

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  • On December 20th, 1990 26-year-old John Brookins went to his friend Sheila Ginsberg's house to help her clean. Sheila was an older woman, 58, and actually the mother of his on and off again girlfriend Sharon. When John arrived he says he found Sharon standing over her mother's dead body, stomping scissors into her chest. The crime scene was brutal. Sharon fled and then John, a young black man standing over a dead white woman, panicked and also fled the scene. Months later he was convicted for the murder of Sheila Ginsburg, based on Sharon's statements. But multiple people came forward saying Sharon actually confessed to the murder and was known to have a violent history with her.  The case is also riddled with police misconduct, ineffective council, and DNA that still needs to be tested.

  • On February 1, 1997, Charles Newsome was shot while driving his car in a parking lot in West Memphis, AR. Newsome was a known gang member and according to witnesses there was gunfire between him and people in the parking lot. A passenger in his car, Frederick ‘Tyrone’ Ellis, gave a statement about the shooters. He changed his statement multiple times until he said the three defendants who were there: DeMarco Wilson, Antonio Williams, and Kendric Gillum. Ellis was facing criminal charges at the time and they were dropped with his testimony. Two jailhouse informants also got lesser sentences for their testimony. One has recanted and said the prosecution forced him into it. DeMarco also had a solid alibi. The three were convicted in Judge David Burnett’s courtroom who also presided over the infamous West Memphis 3 case. Jason Baldwin, one of the WM3, is working to help secure DeMarco’s freedom with his organization Proclaim Justice.

  • On February 21, 2002 Jeffrey Havard was babysitting his girlfriend’s baby, Chloe Britt. Jeff was bathing her when she accidentally slipped from his hands and hit her head on the toilet. He put her to bed and everything was fine until she was later rushed to the hospital and died. Jeff was arrested, charged and sentenced to death in Mississippi for the sexual assault and murder Chloe. Changes in science behind “Shaken Baby Syndrome” caused an evidentiary hearing for Jeff in 2016. The original medical examiner in the case said that he specifically told prosecutors on more than one occasion prior to trial that he could not support a finding for sexual abuse. This information was withheld from the defense. He has also changed his initial findings and believes that this was indeed an accident, agreeing with many new experts. In September of 2018, Jeff's death penalty sentence was vacated, and he was re-sentenced to life without parole, but is still fighting for his freedom.

    Learn more about Jeffrey's case and how to help:
    http://www.freejeffreyhavard.org/

    For more information and a complete list of sources for this episode, visit:
    https://www.unjustandunsolved.com/

  • "Crimes of the Centuries" is a new podcast from the Obsessed Network featuring award-winning journalist (and crucial "Unjust and Unsolved" collaborator) Amber Hunt.  Each episode tells the story of a case that might not be remembered today, but was huge when it happened.

    The first two episodes are out today, and we're presenting a special preview of Episode 1.  Subscribe to "Crimes of the Centuries" wherever you get your podcasts. 

  • On December 29, 2009 two cars pulled up to a Detroit intersection. In one was J.B. Watson, his girlfriend LaRita Thomas, and his cousin Phillip Reed. In the other, two black men. One got out and fired multiple shots at the trio, killing Watson. The shooting was claimed to be gang related and Darrell Ewing and and his co-defendant Derrico Searcy were convicted of the murder. However, Darell had a solid alibi at a family funeral and Tyree Washington came forward repeatedly to confess to the murder, including under oath. In 2017, Darrell and Derrico were ordered a new trial based on jury contamination and lack of overwhelming evidence of guilt. Again in 2019 a judge ordered a new trial, but the prosecutor Kym Worthy has fought every decision and appeal. They have been in prison for almost a decade for a crime they did not commit.

    Learn more about Darrell's case and how to help:
    https://actualinnocentprisoners.com/darrell-ewing

    For more information and a complete list of sources for this episode, visit:
    https://www.unjustandunsolved.com/

  • 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 without parole. A year later Joe recanted his testimony and since then it appears evidence was planted and it was revealed that Yvonne was possibly a sex worker and had intimate relationships with multiple members of the police department. David has been in prison for twenty years.

    Learn more about David's case and how to help:
    http://www.linktr.ee/freedavidthorne

    For more information and a complete list of sources for this episode, visit:
    https://www.unjustandunsolved.com/

  • 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 violation and recanted witness statements, including Charles's. Ryan now sits on the board of the Innocence Project. Even though his co-defendant is free, Charles has been in prison for sixteen years.

    Learn more about Charles's case and how to help:
    http://www.freecharleserickson.org/

    For more information and a complete list of sources for this episode, visit: 
    https://www.unjustandunsolved.com/ (https://www.unjustandunsolved.com/)

  • 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 still out there and JJ has been in prison for twenty-three years.

    Learn more about JJ's case and how to help:http://freejonadrianvelazquez.org/

    For more information and a complete list of sources for this episode, visit:
    www.unjustandunsolved.com (https://www.unjustandunsolved.com/)

  • 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 dialysis this month. The DA can release her now but they won’t. Rosa has been in prison for seventeen years.

    Learn more about Rosa's case and how to help:
    https://www.innocenceproject.org/free-rosa-jimenez/?p2asource=pc_09242020

    For more information and a complete list of sources for this episode, visit:
    www.unjustandunsolved.com (https://www.unjustandunsolved.com/)

  • 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 Jamie, was coerced. And new leads turn up suspects who could be the real killer.

    Learn more about Jamie's case and how to help:
    (http://freejamiesnow.com/) FreeJamieSnow.com (http://blog.freejamiesnow.com/)

    For more information and a complete list of sources for this episode, visit:
    www.unjustandunsolved.com (http://www.unjustandunsolved.com/)

  • 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 said they lied during his trial. She has been helping to overturn his conviction since. Jermaine has been in prison for 24 years.

    Learn more about Jermaine's case and how to help:
    Freejermaine.org (http://freejermaine.org/)

    For more information and a complete list of sources for this episode, visit www.unjustandunsolved.com (http://www.unjustandunsolved.com/)

  • 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 Ronnie is trying to get tested to prove who the real attacker was. Ronnie, now 64, has spent 44 years in prison; however, major updates happened during this case while we were reporting it.

    Learn more about Ronnie's case and how to help:
    https://freeronnielongnow.org/

    For more information and a complete list of sources for this episode, visit www.unjustandunsolved.com

  • 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 their hope that justice can still be served.

    This preview features portions of Maggie's interview with J.J. Velasquez whose story will be featured in Season 1.

    Full episodes of "Unjust and Unsolved" premiere on September 10, 2020