Murderville

Murderville

Harris County, Texas, has sent more people to death row than any jurisdiction in the nation. Among them is Charles Raby. He confessed to the grisly murder of an elderly woman in Houston in 1992. But the evidence tells a different story — one in which the state went after the wrong man. In the second season of Murderville, Intercept reporters Liliana Segura and Jordan Smith explore faulty forensics, the fallibility of memory, and a system ill-equipped to acknowledge its mistakes. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Episodes

April 23, 2022 51 min
Intercept Senior Editor Andrea Jones speaks with Jordan Smith and Liliana Segura — the reporters behind Murderville, Texas — on The Intercept’s podcast Intercepted. They discuss how they learned about Charles Raby’s death penalty case and his innocence claim and the investigative reporting that ensued, such as talking to key individuals involved, including detectives. They also talk about how they met Linda McClain, the daughter of...
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A homicide detective reveals something unexpected about the practices of the Houston Police Department. He says he cleared the alternate suspect in the murder of Edna Franklin — but it turns out the suspect’s alibi was a lie.


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March 22, 2022 41 min

Charles Raby’s early life was defined by abuse and neglect. His own behavior later took a toll on the people who knew him, many of whom remain certain that he killed Edna Franklin. No one is more convinced than his ex-girlfriend, who has a surprising story about Charles that she says proves his guilt. Charles is adamant the story isn’t true. But memories are complicated things.


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March 15, 2022 44 min

Charles Raby says he confessed to protect his girlfriend, Merry Alice Gomez. Some people don’t believe this — as they understand it, Charles had only known Merry Alice for a few weeks when Edna Franklin was murdered. Why would he lie for a woman he barely knew? But it turns out this premise was incorrect. And there’s a lot more to Merry Alice’s story.


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March 8, 2022 45 min

Linda McClain has always believed that Charles Raby killed her mother. But when she finds out about the evidence concealed at trial, it raises new questions. And she has insight into the death penalty that most people don’t: Charles isn’t the only person she’s known on Texas’s death row.


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March 1, 2022 51 min

Foreign DNA is found under Edna Franklin’s fingernails. And in the wake of a scandal within the Houston police crime lab, Charles Raby’s lawyers discover that forensic evidence was hidden from the defense at trial.


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February 22, 2022 39 min

A lot of people swear they’d never confess to something they didn’t do. They just can’t conceive of it, especially when the stakes are so high. But it happens — a lot more than you’d think. And as far out as it sounds, sometimes people come to believe in their own guilt.


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February 15, 2022 49 min

Charles Raby is tried for the murder of Edna Franklin. The murder weapon is missing, and no physical evidence ties him to the crime. But he’s up against a powerful prosecutor’s office, and his attorneys call no witnesses. The jury sentences him to death.


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February 8, 2022 32 min

Crime is surging in Houston, and homicide detectives are given free rein as they race to close cases. Investigators are certain that Charles Raby is guilty of Edna Franklin’s murder — and that DNA evidence will prove it. But once Charles confesses, the forensic investigation stops.


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February 1, 2022 33 min

A Houston grandmother named Edna Franklin is found stabbed to death in her living room. Charles Raby, a friend of Franklin’s grandsons, is swiftly arrested. He confesses to the crime. But from the start, things don’t add up.


Learn more at https://theintercept.com/podcasts/murderville/ If you’d like to support our work, go to theintercept.com/donate — your donation, no matter what the amount, makes a real difference.


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Season two takes Intercept reporters Liliana Segura and Jordan Smith to the death penalty capital of the country, where they investigate a disturbing crime, a startling confession, and a story that doesn’t add up. A production of The Intercept and First Look Media, Murderville, Texas drops February 1.


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January 7, 2022 36 min

Devonia Inman’s exoneration was the culmination of decades of work, first by the Georgia Innocence Project, which secured DNA evidence pointing to another suspect, and then by former Georgia State University law professor Jessica Cino and bro bono attorneys with the Atlanta firm Troutman Pepper. After spending most of his adult life behind bars, Inman, now 43, faces a long road to realizing a future that was derailed by his wrongfu...

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August 2, 2021 43 min
A long-awaited hearing reveals bombshell evidence buried in the files of Devonia Inman’s former attorney. After 20 years in prison for a murder he insists he did not commit, Devonia returns to court for an evidentiary hearing that could finally help him prove his innocence. Testimony reveals that the state hid evidence tying Hercules Brown to the 1998 murder of Donna Brown, and that Devonia’s trial lawyers dropped the ball — sittin...
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In an extraordinary ruling issued last week, the Georgia Supreme Court denied the state’s latest effort to prevent Devonia Inman from proving his innocence in a murder that sent him to prison for life.

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More than eight years after DNA evidence revealed the state of Georgia sent the wrong man to prison for murder, Devonia Inman may finally have a chance to prove his innocence in court. In an order released last week, a judge ruled that Inman’s challenge to his 2001 conviction could move forward. 

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April 23, 2019 8 min

We'd like to introduce you to Running from COPS -- a new podcast from our sister company Topic Studios and the team behind Missing Richard Simmons. COPS is the longest-running reality show in history. For 18 months, host Dan Taberski investigated how the show gets made, how much control police departments have over the final product, and what happens to the people who end up on camera.

This is a sneak preview of the first episod...

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January 31, 2019 25 min

After the new evidence comes to light, we look back at the investigation into the murder of Donna Brown. And share some information we didn’t quite know what to do with. Information about some key players who we know shaped the outcome of this case. Players we still have questions about. One is an elusive police detective with a bad reputation. The other is a witness we’ve talked about before. Or maybe she’s a suspect. It’s hard to...

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January 24, 2019 35 min

Jessica Cino is a dean at the Georgia State University law school — and Devonia Inman’s biggest advocate. His plight has shaken her faith in the criminal justice system. She’s poured hours into his case, trying to help him clear his name. But the odds are stacked against him, and she knows it. But then new evidence comes to light, something the cops should have known about all along.


https://theintercept.com/2019/01/24/murderville-p...

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January 17, 2019 27 min

Hercules Brown grew up in a well-respected family in Adel. Residents remember him as a good kid. But then something changed. He became violent and mean. And he had several run-ins with the law. But when he got in trouble, nothing seemed to stick. Until the murders of Bennett and Browning raised new questions about the Taco Bell and the Patel murders too. When DNA comes back as a match to Hercules on a key piece of evidence, will it...

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January 10, 2019 20 min

William Carroll Bennett and Rebecca Browning were beloved in Adel. There was no reason anybody would want to hurt them. Then they were savagely beaten in broad daylight at a popular lunch spot. Thanks to the actions of a couple of customers, their assailant was quickly apprehended: 20-year-old Hercules Brown. But the question quickly arose, was this the only murder Hercules was responsible for?


https://theintercept.com/2019/01/10/mu...

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