Category Archives: False-Confession

A false confession ( not coerced )

Jens Söring

In March 1985, Derek and Nancy Haysom  were murdered in their home in Bedford County, Virginia.

Jens Söring ( age 18, the son of a German diplomat ) was studying at the University of Virginia, and was in a romantic relationship with Elizabeth Haysom, the victim’s daughter.

Six months later Jens and Elizabeth fled to Europe, and subsequently Jens confessed to the crime, claiming at trial it was a false confession to protect Elizabeth.

However relatively recent DNA tests show that two unknown men left blood at the scene, and lead to the conclusion that Jens was not present.

A full-length documentary film about the case, Killing for Love , was released in October 2016, and in June 2019, the case was covered in podcasts by Amanda Knox.

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Bobby Montaque

Bobby Montague was wrongly convicted of a 1999 murder based on informant testimony and a false confession. Bobby, age 18, was with his girlfriend at the time of the crime.

According to an appeal ruling, the defense argued that “the trial court erroneously admitted his confession in violation of Miranda v. Arizona, refused to instruct the jury it could request read back of testimony, admitted anonymous handwritten rap lyrics and a photograph album found in appellant’s room. He also argues the prosecutor’s late disclosures of a witness’s background as a police informant violated appellant’s constitutional and statutory discovery rights”, however the appeal was denied.


Joseph Giarratano

In February 1979 in Norfolk Virginia, Joseph Giarratano awoke to discover the bodies of two women with whom he shared an appartment. Michelle Kline had been strangled in her bed, and her mother Toni Kline, was in the bathroom, her carotid artery severed.

Giarratano, who had no memory of the night before, fled to his home state of Florida, and as soon as he arrived, turned himself in and confessed. He was 21, a suicidal alcoholic who suffered frequent delusions, hallucinations and blackouts.

The state’s psychiatrist warned that he had no actual memory of the night, and the confession could have been the product of mental disorder.

Even though his multiple confessions were confused and contradictory, both internally and with the forensic evidence, after proclaiming his own guilt, waiving his right to a jury trial, and asking to be executed, he was convicted of murder and sent to death row.

After trial a forensic expert said Toni Kline was stabbed from behind by a right-handed person, whereas Giarratano is left-handed and handicapped by a severe neurological weakness on his right side.

There was other exculpatory forensic evidence not submitted at trial : numerous unidentified fingerprints and nine hair samples that did not belong to Giarratano or the victims.

While in prison Giarratano advocated for Earl Washington Jr., who was later exonerated and given a full pardon.

In 1991, on execution day, under intense pressure from both conservatives and liberals, Governor L. Douglas Wilde commuted Giarratano’s death sentence, to life in prison, with parole possible after 25 years.

All appeals have been denied for procedural reasons, and Joseph remains in prison.


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Cathy Woods

Woman found guilty of murdering teen nursing student in 1976 gets a new trial after DNA links convicted rapist to the killing… and deaths of FIVE other girls Cathy Woods, 64, was convicted of killing University of Nevada student Michele Mitchell in 1976.
However, new DNA evidence connects an Oregon inmate named Rodney L Halbower to the murder Woods’ attorney believes she confessed to the murder in order to get a better room at the mental hospital where she was being treated at the time
Now 64, Woods is set to be released from prison this week to await a retrial.

Daily Mail Article September 9, 2014 | Report at National Registry of Exonerations

Note: Another Edward Edwards case? Apparently not, even though it is claimed by Cameron.

Exonerated March 6, 2015: DNA frees woman after 30 years locked up for murder

Rodney Halbower, 66, was serving a 30-year sentence for attempted murder in Oregon when he was extradited to San Mateo County, California, and charged in January with murder in the 1976 deaths of Paula Louise Baxter, 17, and Veronica “Ronnie” Anne Cascio, 18, near Pacifica.

Halbower had been arrested for the rape of a 33-year-old woman in Reno in November 1975 — three months before Mitchell was killed not far away. He was released on bail and barely a month later, the series of “Gypsy Hill” murders began. Cascio’s body was found Jan. 8, 1976, and Baxter’s on Feb. 4. Mitchell was killed Feb. 24.


George Stinney Exonerated

A 14-year-old South Carolina boy who was quickly convicted of murder and then executed in 1944 has been posthumously exonerated.

Judge Carmen Tevis Mullen vacated George Stinney, Jr.’s conviction on Wednesday, stating that the boy’s prosecution was marked by “fundamental, Constitutional violations of due process.”

Frances Newton should be next.

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