Links to Other Cases in

Eastern United States

of Suspected or Known Innocents

48 Cases

Links to Other Cases


Location:   AL   DE   FL   GA   IL   KY   MD   MI

MS   NY   OH   PA   SC   VT   VA   WV   WI




Date of Alleged Crime


Etowah County, AL Garner & Johnson July 15, 1905
Vance Garner and Will Johnson were convicted along with Jack Hunter of the murder and criminal assault of Mrs. S. J. Smith near Gadsden.  (In Spite of Innocence) (Gainesville, FL Daily Sun)


Delaware Jerome Waterman Convicted ~1990
According to wrongfully convicted DE inmate Mark Kirk (2-3-08 Letter):  "I personally read the lab results and reports in Jerome Waterman's case.  He was convicted of rape 18 years ago. ... DNA testing exonerated Mr. Waterman 4 or five years ago, yet he still languishes in prison while courts are mired in judicial red tape and hand wringing.  I don't know any more specifics of Jerome's case, because shortly after his test results came back, he was transferred to maximum security??!!"  (Website author could not find anything on the Internet about the case)  An appeals court document filed by Kirk's lawyer also mentions Waterman's case.  [2/08]


Gadsden County, FL Sie Dawson Apr 14, 1960
(In Spite of Innocence)  (Dawson v. State)


Hillsborough County, FL Brett Bachelor May 31, 1979 (Tampa)
(In Spite of Innocence) (Testimony)


Hillsborough County, FL Mitchell James Nov 29, 1999

Mitchell Houston James was sentenced to life imprisonment for three counts of DUI manslaughter.  At 1:15 a.m. on Nov 29, 1999, James was driving westbound on Fletcher Ave. in Tampa, FL.  As he approaching the intersection of Bruce B. Downs Blvd, he noticed a single signal fly towards him and he slammed on his brakes.  A car, with headlights off, ran a red light, at least 20 to 30 seconds after it changed red, and James collided with it in the intersection.  The car was occupied by four college students, high under the influence of narcotics.  The driver, Leanna D.,19 , had only been licensed for two months and was speeding without wearing her prescribed lenses.  The driver and another student, Majid T., died instantly while a third, Jaclyn A., died in a hospital.  Majid's aunt, Tami Sbar, was a Florida State Attorney.  The fourth student, David S., 20, survived and, according to the Tampa Tribune, had told his mother, he was the only one wearing a seat belt.  However, a sheriff's report stated that all four occupants were wearing seat belts.

At the scene, James was questioned about the accident on videotape and it was evident that he was sober, communicating and responding to all questions while suffering from a crushed pelvis.  At trial it was claimed that tests revealed he had a .234 to .237 alcohol level in his blood, which is nearly three times the legal limit under a .08 standard.  James' alleged blood sample had been improperly stored and was destroyed by the state 5 days after the accident, preventing it from being tested for his DNA.  Deputy Candace Fishel, the lead investigator, did a faulty accident reconstruction. She held no degree in physics, and was not an expert in the field of accident reconstruction.  Fishel allowed both vehicles to be destroyed long before James' trial.  James says, "I am not guilty of DUI manslaughter, because I was not drunk or impaired at the time of the accident, nor was I at fault."  (IIPPI)


Palm Beach County, FL Jesse Dean Sept 18, 1994
(Federal Case tried in West Palm Beach)  Jesse Jerome Dean, Jr., a Bahamian native, was convicted of drug trafficking.  (IIPPI)


Saint Lucie County, FL James Adams Nov 12, 1973 (Fort Pierce)

James Adams, a black man, was convicted of murder and sentenced to death.  His alleged victim, millionaire rancher Edgar Brown, was beaten with a fire poker in the course of an alleged robbery in his home.  Brown died in the hospital the next day as a result of the beating.  Adams was executed in the electric chair on May 10, 1984.  (Equal Justice USA)


Suwannee County, FL Roy Minton 1991-92
Roy Wilford Minton was sentenced to life imprisonment with 25 year minimum for child sexual abuse.  (IIPPI)


Chatham County, GA Melvin Griffin Feb 23, 1992
Melvin Jerome Griffin was sentenced as a juvenile to life imprisonment plus 45 years for murder, aggravated assault, armed robbery and possession of a firearm.  (IIPPI)


Lake County, IL Robert J. Kubat Nov 2, 1979
Robert J. Kubat was sentenced to death for the kidnapping and murder of Lydia Hyde.  Hyde, a bartender, was kidnapped from a restaurant and bar named "The Coffee And," near Kenosha, WI.  Her body was later found along the shoulder of old Route 41 in Illinois. She had been shot in the back of the head.  (JD13)


Rockland County, KY Ronnie Lee Bowling Jan - Feb 1989
Ronnie Lee Bowling was arrested for a crime in Rockland County and then also charged with two unsolved crimes in adjoining Laurel County.  He was given two death sentences plus 100 years for two counts of burglary, two counts of robbery, two counts of murder, and one count of attempted murder.  (IIPPI)


Baltimore City, MD Edward Kimball June 10, 1926
Edward A. Kimball was convicted swindling $15,000 from Michael Funicielo.  (CTI)


Wayne County, MI Vance Hardy May 4, 1924
(Argosy) (St. Petersburg Times)


Wayne County, MI Louis Gross Nov 17, 1932
Louis Gross was convicted of the murder of Mortado Abraham, a Highland Park rug merchant.  Gross was freed following 16 years of imprisonment after receiving help from The Court of Last Resort.  (NY Times) (In Spite of Innocence) (CLR)


Wayne County, MI Charles Lee Clark Convicted 1938 (Detroit)
(In Spite of Innocence)


Leflore County, MS Sara Ruth Dean Aug 6, 1933
Dr. Sara Ruth Dean was convicted of murdering her married boyfriend, Dr. John Preston Kennedy.  (In Spite of Innocence) (Greenwood Commonwealth)


Bronx County, NY Manuel Vega Aug 18, 1999
Manual Vega was convicted of murdering his wife, Johana Vega, by strangulation.  After being interviewed by police about the murder, Manuel was released.  He was not arrested until nine months later when police discovered a history of uncharged domestic violence in the years prior to the homicide.  (IIPPI)


Erie County, NY Grzechowiak & Rybarczyk July 27, 1929
Stephen Grzechowiak and Max Rybarczyk were convicted with Alexander Bogandoff of the murder of Ferdinand Pachter, a payroll clerk of the Chevrolet Motor Company and Fisher Body Corporation.  Pachter was shot three times and robbed of the $8396 payroll he was carrying.  Bogandoff insisted that neither Grzechowiak nor Rybarczyk were involved in the crime and that the eyewitnesses who identified them were mistaken.  He refused to name his true accomplices.  At the executions of the three on July 17, 1930 in Sing Sing prison, Grzechowiak and Rybarczyk maintained their innocence and Bogandoff again declared the two were innocent.  (ISI) (NY Times)


Kings County, NY Frank Davino Oct 31, 1938
(In Spite of Innocence) (New York Times)


Kings County, NY Miguel Arroyo Sept 19, 1964
(New York Times) (In Spite of Innocence)


Kings County, NY Jeffrey Collins Dec 19, 1991
Jeffrey Collins was convicted of the shooting murder of Darryl Smith.  Smith's body was found laying on the floor inside a store at 627 Blake Avenue, Brooklyn.  (IIPPI)


Nassau County, NY Everett Appelgate Sept 27, 1935
(In Spite of Innocence) (Wrongly Convicted)


New York County, NY Becker & Cirofici July 16, 1912
(Wrongly Convicted) (The Execution of Officer Becker) (Murder Incorporated)


New York County, NY Thomas Bambrick Sept 24, 1915
Thomas Bambrick was convicted of murdering police officer George Dapping.  (Wrongly Convicted) (New York Times)


New York County, NY Jalil Muntaqim May 21, 1971 (Harlem)
Jalil Abdul Muntaqim (aka Anthony Jalil Bottom), a member of the Black Panther Party, was convicted of murdering two New York City police officers, Joseph Piagentini and Waverly Jones.  (IIPPI)


Queens County, NY John Wesley Griffin Jan 31, 1994
John Wesley Griffin, Jr. was convicted of the murder of Octavious Wilson.  Six years before the murder, Griffin had been shot and robbed.  Wilson was later found with the gun that shot him.  Following Wilson's murder, eyewitnesses to the crime failed to pick Griffin's picture out of a photo lineup.  Several weeks into the investigation, after checking a computer crime file of Wilson's previous incidents, police Detective Lally said he knew Griffin had to "be the one."  (IIPPI)


Rockland County, NY Victor Pulecio July 12, 1989
Victor A. Pulecio was convicted of attempted murder for allegedly shooting New York State Troopers Christopher Elg and Noel Sanchez.  (IIPPI) (NY Times)


Cuyahoga County, OH John Pudelski Mar 29, 1999
John Pudelski was convicted of murdering his daughter, Elly, who died 12 days after her birth.  Medical evidence showed Elly died from complications and injury during labor and birth.  (IIAO)


Cuyahoga County, OH Grady Krzywkowski Nov 1999 - Apr 2000
Grady M. Krzywkowski was given three sentences of life imprisonment for child sexual abuse.  (IIPPI)


Guernsey County, OH Skip Roberts May 17, 1997
Clarence Dean Roberts (aka Skip) was convicted of the robbery and murder of Leo Sinnett.  (IIPPI)


Trumbull County, OH Anthony Cioffi 1991, 1995
Anthony Cioffi was sentenced to 10 to 25 years of imprisonment for sexual abuse of children.  Evidence indicates that the allegations of abuse arose from a custody dispute.  (IIPPI)


Allegheny County, PA George Rahsaan Brooks Sept 30, 1975
George Rahsaan Brooks was convicted of the murder of Michael Miller.  Miller had been assaulted during a robbery of Schwartz Supermarket on Sept. 30, 1975.  Brooks was arrested for the robbery and released.  After Miller died on Nov. 5, 1975, police Detective Spozarski claimed Brooks made a confession to the robbery more than a month earlier for which no record exists.  (IIPPI)


Allegheny County, PA Michael Day Aug 10, 1994 (Turtle Creek)
Michael Day was convicted of murdering his four-year-old daughter.  The child's mother has since confessed to the crime.  (Justice p20)


Cambria County, PA Kevin Siehl July 13, 1991  (Johnstown)
Kevin Siehl was convicted of the murder of his wife, Christine.  (Justice p16)


Dauphin County, PA Gary W. Rank Mar 22, 1979 (Gratz)
Gary W. Rank was tried for the murder of 78-year-old Helen Elizabeth Horn.  Horn was found strangled and beaten to death in her Gratz, PA home.  Rank was acquitted after NYU professor Salvatore Nicosia demonstrated how plastic fingerprint impressions taken of Rank were transferred to Horn's property.  A Harrisburg Patriot article indicated that Rank was preparing lawsuits against Sgt. Joseph Van Nort and Trooper John J. Holtz for planting the fingerprints, as the two had investigated the crime.  State policeman Cpl. John Balshy, a fingerprint expert was also accused with them.  Reportedly a jury found Van Nort guilty of planting fingerprints and his estate was ordered to pay Rank $50,000.  The planting apparently was performed with Sirchie fingerprint pads.  (Main Source:  Joseph Wambaugh and the Jay Smith Case, Chapter 23)


Dauphin County, PA Lorenzo Johnson Dec 15, 1995
Lorenzo Johnson was convicted of the murder of Taragai Williams.  (IIPPI)


Lehigh County, PA Patricia Rorrer Dec 15, 1994
Patricia Rorrer was convicted of the murders of her ex-boyfriend's wife, Joann Katrinak, and the woman's four month-old son, Alex.  The victims disappeared from their home in Catasauqua and their bodies were found four months later in a field 15 miles away.  Rorrer said she was almost 500 miles away in North Carolina on the day of the disappearance.  (Justice p26)


Philadelphia County, PA Arnim Evans Mar 22, 1997
Arnim Darryl Evans was convicted of the murders of Rose Ann Youngblood and Pam Blue.  (IIPPI)


Westmoreland County, PA Eugene Williams June 1998
Eugene Williams was convicted of the stabbing murder of Kevin Golden.  (Justice p12)


York County, PA Noel Matos Montalvo Apr 19, 1998
Noel Matos Montalvo was sentenced to death for the murders of Manuel Santana and Miriam Ascencio.  (IIPPI)


Marlboro County, SC C. D. Cooper Convicted 1921
C. D. Cooper was convicted of the murder of Nick Dulico.  (In Spite of Innocence) (Google)


Windham County, VT Vito Russo Nov 17, 2002 (Brattleboro)
Vito Russo was found guilty of chasing John McKay's car down Marlboro Road in Brattleboro, VT while firing shots from a sawed-off shotgun.  Russo was sentenced to 15 to 21 years in prison.  His conviction was overturned in 2008 though he faces possible retrial.  ( (IIPPI)


City of Alexandria, VA Alexander Cameron Nov 28, 1986
Alexander Cameron was convicted of rape, abduction, robbery and breaking-and-entering.  He was given two life sentences plus twenty five years.  (IIPPI)


City of Alexandria, VA Miguel Velasquez 2000
Miguel Velasquez was charged with felony child abuse and neglect in regard to his daughter Liliana.  Velasquez and his wife had brought Liliana to a medical exam, and at the couple's insistence, X-rays were taken of Liliana which showed she had five rib fractures in various stages of healing.  Medical personnel reported the fractures as suspected abuse.  After the couple watched a news program, 20/20, that featured a story about Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), a brittle bones disease, they realized Liliana showed symptoms of the disease such a having blue tint to her eyes.  The couple insisted tests be done on Liliana, and the results showed she had a mild form of OI.  The couple still faced a long battle in getting criminal charges against Miguel dropped and regaining custody of Liliana from Child Protective Services.  (PWN)


Henrico County, VA Herbert Bassette Nov 24, 1979
Herbert Russell Bassette was sentenced to death for the murder of 16-year-old Albert Lee Burwell, Jr., a gas station employee.  (JD15)


City of Richmond, VA Russell Gray June 30, 1986
(Innocence Commission) (In Spite of Innocence)


City of Virginia Beach, VA Craig H. Bell Oct 5, 1986
(In Spite of Innocence) (Free-Lance Star)


Mingo County, WV Clyde Beale Convicted 1926
(In Spite of Innocence) (New York Times)