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Old 04-28-2020, 08:01 PM   #1
BDR
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Default BIG NEWS!!!! DNA Evidence has identified the Killer in Swain Murders!!!

https://www.ajc.com/news/crime--law/...C328aeOOQpZiM/

Dennis Perry was innocent after all. Damn!!!! I always thought that the evidence against him was flimsy.

They got the DNA match from the suspect's mother. I live in Georgia and this just broke today.
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Old 04-29-2020, 08:24 AM   #2
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I really hope this case is actually solved this time, but I do remember reading through one of Dennis Perry's appeals a few years ago, and it mentioned an ex-girlfriend of his saying that Perry had a buddy of his who had a relative who wore distinct safety glasses and that the glasses left behind at the murder scene looked identical to those. Apparently someone stole the glasses (or were misplaced and never found), but the implication was that Perry could have stolen them and still been the one wearing them even though the hairs did not match him. If Perry can be connected to this guy with a DNA match somehow, I don't think it 100% exonerates him just yet.
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Old 04-29-2020, 08:27 AM   #3
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An interesting development, especially since Unsolved Mysteries LOST the original glasses.
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Old 04-29-2020, 12:12 PM   #4
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I believe it absolutely 100 percent exonerates him because the DNA matches another suspect that police looked at early on and bungled the investigation. There is no way in 1985 Dennis Perry thought to plant glasses at the scene to implicate another person with mitochondrial DNA from a hair. By all accounts Dennis Perry did not wear glasses.
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Old 04-29-2020, 06:23 PM   #5
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Eyewitness testimony fails again.
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Old 04-29-2020, 09:51 PM   #6
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Someone refresh my memory which case was this and when was it on? Can't even remember it right off.
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Old 04-30-2020, 07:34 AM   #7
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Someone refresh my memory which case was this and when was it on? Can't even remember it right off.
Season 1, Episode 6

Black pastor and his wife are murdered by a scruffy looking white man who left behind a pair of glasses at the scene. IIRC, UM lost the glasses.
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Old 04-30-2020, 09:33 AM   #8
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IIRC, UM lost the glasses.
Yep. And it was a big deal back in Georgia. Bill Smith, the sheriff of Camden Co who is interviewed in the segment, made a unilateral decision to mail off the glasses when they were requested by UM, and apparently didn't follow a proper chain of custody. Joe Gregory, the GBI agent assigned to the case and also interviewed in the segment, was pretty pee-oh'd about it:

https://www.denverpost.com/2007/07/2...hurch-murders/
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Old 04-30-2020, 01:12 PM   #9
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Yep. And it was a big deal back in Georgia. Bill Smith, the sheriff of Camden Co who is interviewed in the segment, made a unilateral decision to mail off the glasses when they were requested by UM, and apparently didn't follow a proper chain of custody. Joe Gregory, the GBI agent assigned to the case and also interviewed in the segment, was pretty pee-oh'd about it:

https://www.denverpost.com/2007/07/2...hurch-murders/
That lady sure was on a mission to get that reward money, huh?

Running around town showing pictures to witnesses, tainting everything. Yikes.
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Old 04-30-2020, 01:26 PM   #10
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That lady sure was on a mission to get that reward money, huh?

Running around town showing pictures to witnesses, tainting everything. Yikes.
Yeah, I think so. And I also think she has a grudge against Perry, presumably because she believes he fathered one of her grandchildren but is no longer involved in her daughter's life and hasn't been for decades.

I don't blame either Cora Fisher or Vanzola Williams for incorrectly identifying Perry. They were unfairly primed to do just that. And it's not the first time at least Williams was, I think, pressured into identifying a suspect. After all, she herself ultimately concedes on the UM segment she wasn't "really sure" about picking Donnie Barrentine out of a lineup.
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Old 04-30-2020, 03:53 PM   #11
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It's bizarre to me to think that a case had 2 semi-promising suspects, both with shaky alibis, both with witnesses who say they confessed to the crime, and BOTH of them being identified by the witnesses in the church...to have nothing to do with the crime. I can't think of another case like that.
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Old 05-05-2020, 12:10 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by TheCars1986 View Post
Season 1, Episode 6

Black pastor and his wife are murdered by a scruffy looking white man who left behind a pair of glasses at the scene. IIRC, UM lost the glasses.
Okay gotcha. Now I remember. For some reason I thought this one was solved awhile back. Maybe I am thinking of another one.

Glad it was resolved.
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Old 05-05-2020, 02:46 PM   #13
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Okay gotcha. Now I remember. For some reason I thought this one was solved awhile back. Maybe I am thinking of another one.

Glad it was resolved.
No, your memory didn't fail you. There's been a 'Solved' update to this segment for several years. Dennis Perry has been in prison for the murders since the early '00s, but his conviction has remained somewhat controversial due to the evidence being largely circumstantial in his case. The DNA from the hairs doesn't belong to him, but to this new suspect, Erik Sparre. His name is totally new to me, as I have pored over this case for years and have never once seen him mentioned as a suspect.

I became pretty confident it wasn't Perry and a little less certain it wasn't Donnie Barrentine, either. But I never expected something like this to unfold.

Like Cars said, I can't think of another case in which two different suspects carrying just enough suspicion about them were both identified by witnesses as the perpetrator, and the testable physical evidence doesn't identify either of them as such.
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