Who killed Katherine Lynch if Floyd Brown didn’t?

“Mentally challenged man freed 14 years after false confession.”

The title of the CNN article immediately caught my attention.

Floyd Brown had been confined to a North Carolina mental institution for 14 years.

The allegation: that he murdered 80-year old Katherine Lynch.

The evidence: There was no physical evidence, but there was a six page confession that Brown dictated to North Caroline State Bureau of Investigation Agent Mark Isley. That’s what Isley apparently said.

The problem: Brown lacked the capacity or communications skill to dictate such a statement. According to Mark Hazelrigg, one of Brown’s doctors, Brown wouldn’t have been able to dictate the six-page document. “This statement is not made in a language that is typical or even possible for Mr. Brown to make spontaneously on his own,” Hazelrigg testified.

But it was enough to have him committed to a mental hospital in Raleigh . . . for fourteen years, until his lawyers secured his freedom.

Isley is under investigation by the North Caroline Department of Justice, and an innocent man is back on the street.

But if Floyd Brown didn’t kill Katherine Lynch, who did?

Confessions are powerful pieces of evidence. They are accused’s own words. When there isn’t any other evidence against someone, a confession is usually enough to send them away.

When there isn’t any evidence against a suspect but the investigator knows the suspect did it . . . you fill in the blanks.

I’m guessing that’s what happened here.

And if that is the case, two terrible things have happened.

An innocent man has had a large portion of his life taken away,

and the murderer of an 80 year old woman remains free.

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