Thursday, March 27, 2014

Tommy Zeigler; Private investigator Lynn-Marie Carty hopes that withheld evidence will secure his release from death row - 39 years after the murders which put him there took place. Tampa BayTimes.

STORY: "Local investigator hopes withheld evidence will help death row inmate," by reporter Leonora LaPeter Anton, published by the Tampa Bay Times on February 22, 2014; (Thanks to Radley Balko for drawing our attention to this story through his Washington Post column "The Watch." HL);

GIST: "Giant poster boards covered with mug shots, crime scene photos and yellowed newspaper articles overwhelm private investigator Lynn-Marie Carty's tiny living room in Treasure Island. Carty, a one-time Mrs. Florida contestant, has spent the past three years trying to figure out what happened one Christmas Eve 39 years ago when four people were murdered inside a furniture store in Central Florida. Tommy Zeigler, now 68, was convicted of killing his wife, his in-laws and a citrus crew foreman. Zeigler's case has always attracted skeptics: a former Orlando Sentinel newspaper editor; civil rights activist Bianca Jagger; a former chief deputy who worked on the original case and his brother. The case was the subject of a 1992 book called Fatal Flaw. None of their efforts resulted in a new trial for Zeigler. Zeigler's New York attorneys hope that Carty's work is different. This past week, they appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The motion relies heavily on Carty's assertion that Orange County sheriff's detectives and prosecutors not only withheld evidence when they tried Zeigler back in 1976, but they also lied about key details......... In 2011, Carty read an article about Zeigler in the Tampa Bay Times. The article mentioned efforts to seek more DNA testing of blood on Zeigler's shirt. Prosecutors had argued at the trial that Zeigler's shirt was covered with his father-in-law's blood. In 2001, sections of the shirt were submitted for DNA testing, which had been unavailable at the time of the trial. No trace of the father-in-law's blood was found. Only Mays' blood was detected. Zeigler's attorneys asked to test the whole shirt; that request was denied. Carty was outraged. Why would the prosecution thwart attempts to figure out the truth?A private investigator of 13 years, Carty specializes in reuniting long-lost relatives. She approaches each case with an almost fanatical obsession. She quickly compiled a list of other facts that pointed to his innocence: a key witness' story didn't add up, Zeigler passed lie detector tests and was even interviewed under the influence of truth serum.........Back in Carty's living room, Rice, the former sheriff, acknowledged the complexity of the case."But you have a lead detective who admits that an armed robbery occurred across the street about the same time and there's a police report about it and the defense knew nothing about it, but he says it has nothing to do with the case?" Rice says. "That's a jury question. If that had been known at the time, the case might have had a different result." With so many victims and so much blood, Rice said, the case cries out for a fresh DNA analysis. "With what we know today," Rice said, "there's a huge amount of reasonable doubt.""
 The entire story can be found at: 

  Dear Reader. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog. We are following this case.
I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:
I look forward to hearing from readers at:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;