One in 25 prisoners in the United States is incarcerated for crimes they didn’t commit. Starz’ Wrong Man will make its opening statements on its third case this Sunday: Christopher Tapp, an Idaho man who experts say was coerced into a false murder confession. The six-part documentary series from Paradise Lost and Judgment Day: Prison or Parole? director Joe Berlinger examines cases of possible wrongful conviction.
Wrong Man dropped an exclusive clip on the Tapp case. You can watch it here:
“On June 13, 1996, Angie Dodge was found brutally murdered in her Idaho Falls apartment,” reads the official synopsis. “She had been stabbed multiple times, sexually assaulted and ejaculated upon postmortem. A dogged search by detectives yielded few clues. They took DNA samples from dozens of males in the weeks and months following the murder but found no match. Finally, after six months without leads, the police believed they got a break when, a friend of Angie’s, was arrested in Ely, Nevada, for a rape at knifepoint. Convinced of his guilt, they questioned his friends, among them Christopher Tapp.”
Police questioned Tapp for 28 hours. The “grueling interrogation and their leading questions led to Tapp confessing to the crime,” according to the synopsis. Trapp was tried, found guilty, and sentenced to 30-years to life in prison.
Tapp claims he is innocent. Wrong Man gave the case to former LA County homicide detective, Danny Smith for a second look.
“The videotapes of Tapp’s confession show his story varying wildly from interrogation to interrogation, until finally he confesses,” reads the synopsis.
“They just mentally broke this young man,” we hear in the exclusive Wrong Man clip.
“There is no physical evidence that puts him there,” we hear in the clip. “Even the victim’s mother, Carol Dodge, no longer believes Tapp murdered her daughter,” reads the synopsis. Carol’s tenacious search has yielded new leads and multiple persons of interest that Danny examines while simultaneously conducting his own investigation to try and apprehend the real killer.”
You can watch an exclusive clip here:
The last installment of the series covered Curtis Flowers, who was tried six times in Mississippi for the July 16, 1996, shooting deaths of four people inside Tardy Furniture store in downtown Winona. The prosecutor sought the death penalty in five of the trials. Charlie Saums, Ira Todd and Joe Kennedy are on the ground in Winona, Mississippi, re-investigating the Curtis Flowers case. The investigators “turn the spotlight on the state’s investigation, as they start to realize that the police and prosecution may not have been as thorough as they should have,” according to the statement.
Flowers was convicted of murder at the first trial, but the verdict was overturned because of prosecutorial misconduct. He was convicted in another two trials but each verdict was overturned by the Mississippi Supreme Court, one for prosecutor misconduct and one for racial bias in the jury selection. Two further trials ended as mistrials.
District Attorney Doug Evans prosecuted Curtis in all six trials. “In spite of repeated attempts to reach Evans, he refuses to be interviewed, pending a state Supreme Court decision, and a possible seventh trial,” according to the Starz press. “The investigators take to the streets, trying to learn what they can about how the prosecution was conducted.”
In this exclusive clip, homicide detective Ira Todd talks about his own experience as a wrongfully convicted suspect.
Flowers had been fired from Tardy Furniture 13 days before the bodies of the owner, Bertha Tardy, and three workers were found shot. Flowers also owed Bertha Tardy $30 for a cash advance on his paycheck. Eyewitnesses saw Flowers sitting in a car in front of the store on the morning of the murders. No gun was ever found, but bullets from the scene were determined to be the same caliber to a gun Flowers’ uncle said had been stolen.
The first trailer shows that even the Wrong Man team of investigators, criminal defense and civil rights attorney Ronald Kuby, former prosecutor Sue-Ann Robinson, retired NCIS investigator Joe Kennedy, and Detroit Homicide Task Force member Ira Todd, doubt Flowers’ innocence when they first pick up the case.
Wrong Man airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. on STARZ.