Wrongful Convictions

Nov 18, 2020, 12:30 PM
When Kathleen Schroll called her mom late one night in the spring of 2008, her voice shook with fear. She said that a man named Ollin “Pete” Coones was in her house. He’d stolen her lawn mower, and now he planned to kill Kathleen and her husband, Carl. Kathleen told her mom that Pete said “he has his tracks covered where no one will know who did it.” When police arrived at the Schroll home, it was too late. Carl and Kathleen were dead. So… Pete did it. Right?

In that same vein, Kristin tells a story that starts bad and gets so much worse. In 1913, Atlanta was rocked by the murder of 13-year-old Mary Phagan. Mary was killed at the National Pencil Company, where she worked long hours for little pay. The crime scene was littered with evidence, including bloody fingerprints, footprints, human feces, and two notes -- presumably written by Mary as she lay dying. Atlanta police rushed to solve the case, but didn’t go where the evidence led them. They went to Leo Frank, the factory’s superintendent.

And now for a note about our process. For each episode, Kristin reads a bunch of articles, then spits them back out in her very limited vocabulary. Brandi copies and pastes from the best sources on the web. And sometimes Wikipedia. (No shade, Wikipedia. We love you.) We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the real experts who covered these cases.

In this episode, Kristin pulled from:
“Leo Frank,” famous-trials.com
“Leo Frank case,” New Georgia Encyclopedia
“Star witness in Frank case arrested here,” The Atlanta Constitution, October 21, 1941
“Frank case witness to be freed Nov. 15,” The Atlanta Constitution, November 5, 1941
“Jim Conley admits attempted at burglary,” The Atlanta Constitution, January 17, 1919
“Leo Frank,” entry on Wikipedia

In this episode, Brandi pulled from:
“Did His Dad’s Caretaker Frame Him for Her Own Murder-Suicide?” By Rachel Olding, The Daily Beast
“Kansas man was framed in ‘Machiavellian’ murder-suicide scheme, lawyers argue” by Luke Nozicka, The Kansas City Star
“Olin “Pete” Coones v. State of Kansas, Motion To Vacate” Midwest Innocence Project
“KCK man goes free after 12 years in prison” by Luke Nozicka, The Kansas City Star
“Olin ‘Pete’ Coones Exonerated” Midwest Innocence Project