Blood and Truth

Blood and Truth
Tommy Zeigler has been on death row for 42 years and for more than half that time, he’s been trying to convince the state of Florida to allow for DNA tests that might help exonerate him. But the state continually refuses. About 20 other men are in a similar situation, imprisoned in Florida since the 1970s or ’80s and arguing that it’s inherently unfair to deny them access to 21st century science. Leonora LaPeter Anton, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the Tampa Bay Times, and photographer Cherie Diez have followed the case for years. In 2018, they traveled around Florida and into Georgia to interview dozens of people, some involved in the police work or prosecution, others who believe in Zeigler’s innocence.

nine: A Q&A
Feb 19 • 56 min
Listen to Pulitzer Prize winner Leonora LaPeter Anton talk about what didn’t make it into this series, what’s happening with the Tommy Zeigler case and thoughts about his guilt or innocence.
eight: Finality versus fairness
Feb 12 • 35 min
Florida’s judicial system is designed to support a jury’s verdict, whether it was right or wrong.
seven: On the row
Feb 5 • 33 min
Tommy Zeigler has spent more than four decades living in a 6-foot by 9-foot cell and trying not to get angry.
six: Poking holes in the case
Jan 29 • 34 min
Tommy Zeigler’s supporters have spent years chasing clues and re-investigating the murders. Listen to what they’ve uncovered.
five: DNA denied
Jan 22 • 31 min
The advent of modern forensic science gives Tommy Zeigler hope, but prosecutors and judges keep rejecting his requests for DNA testing.
four: A split jury
Jan 15 • 20 min
One juror struggles to make a decision and feels badgered by others who think the evidence is clear in Tommy Zeigler’s case.
three: Trial and errors
Jan 8 • 29 min
Prosecutors present the case against Tommy Zeigler, as his defense team scrambles to vet witnesses and get evidence tested.
two: Murder near the Magic Kingdom
Jan 1 • 21 min
Winter Garden, Fla., a rural town in central Florida, is rattled by the slayings at a furniture store, and the police investigation zeros in on Tommy Zeigler.
one: Could he be innocent?
Dec 25, 2018 • 30 min
A man who has spent 42 years on Florida’s death row says DNA testing can prove that he’s innocent. The state refuses to allow it.
Coming soon: Blood and Truth
Dec 18, 2018 • 1 min
This is the trailer for the podcast Blood and Truth.