Listen to ““IMPRISONED INNOCENCE” #WeirdDarkness” on Spreaker.

IN THIS EPISODE: In 2007, a sixteen-year-old boy was tried and convicted as an adult for the assault and murder of a woman in Wisconsin. But is it possible that Brendan Dassey isn’t guilty as we were all led to believe? (Is Brendan Dassey Innocent?) *** After a night of bar-hopping, Ozzy Conde and girlfriend Kimberly Long got into an argument that ended up with Ozzy laying on the floor – dead. Kimberly was sent to prison. At least that’s the story the prosectors told. But Kimberly fought for years to try and convince people she was not a murderer. But was she? (Kimberly’s Long Struggle to Prove Her Innocence) *** The idea of someone breaking down and confessing to police that they committed a crime – when in actuality they did not do it – seems ludicrous to us. But it happens all the time. Why on earth would someone ever do such a thing? We’ll look a bit closer at how it happens. (Why Do The Innocent Confess?)

“Is Brendan Dassey Innocent?” by Colleen Conroy” for Unspeakable Times: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/yfvmdf9c
“Kimberly’s Long Struggle To Prove Her Innocence” by Maggie Clancy for Ranker: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/36dwdcuy
“Why Do The Innocent Confess?” by Lea Rose Emery for Unspeakable Times: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/bjtvenfv
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Originally aired: August 04, 2021


DISCLAIMER: Ads heard during the podcast that are not in my voice are placed by third party agencies outside of my control and should not imply an endorsement by Weird Darkness or myself. *** Stories and content in Weird Darkness can be disturbing for some listeners and intended for mature audiences only. Parental discretion is strongly advised.


Welcome, Weirdos – I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness. Here you’ll find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, legends, lore, the strange and bizarre, crime, conspiracy, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained.

Coming up in this episode…

In 2007, a sixteen-year-old boy was tried and convicted as an adult for the assault and murder of a woman in Wisconsin. But is it possible that Brendan Dassey isn’t guilty as we were all led to believe? (Is Brendan Dassey Innocent?)

After a night of bar-hopping, Ozzy Conde and girlfriend Kimberly Long got into an argument that ended up with Ozzy laying on the floor – dead. Kimberly was sent to prison. At least that’s the story the prosectors told. But Kimberly fought for years to try and convince people she was not a murderer. But was she? (Kimberly’s Long Struggle to Prove Her Innocence)

The idea of someone breaking down and confessing to police that they committed a crime – when in actuality they did not do it – seems ludicrous to us. But it happens all the time. Why on earth would someone ever do such a thing? We’ll look a bit closer at how it happens. (Why Do The Innocent Confess?)

If you’re new here, welcome to the show! While you’re listening, be sure to check out WeirdDarkness.com for merchandise, my newsletter, enter contests, to connect with me on social media, plus, you can visit the Hope in the Darkness page if you’re struggling with depression or dark thoughts. You can find all of that and more at WeirdDarkness.com.

Now.. bolt your doors, lock your windows, turn off your lights, and come with me into the Weird Darkness!



Is Brendan Dassey innocent? This has been the hot question since 2007, when the then-16 year old Dassey was convicted (along with his uncle, Steven Avery), of the murder and sexual assault of photographer Teresa Halbach.

The conviction of Brendan Dassey was based off of an infamously suspicious confession – which many people believe he was coerced into, given the conditions under which it was conducted – along with additional controversy surrounding facts and evidence in the case.  It was general knowledge that Dassey had limited mental capabilities, and the sudden confession didn’t seem to sit right in the big picture.

Tried and convicted as an adult, Dassey was sentenced to life in prison, and had been incarcerated for 9 years when, in July of 2016, his conviction was overturned. Like other people who were wrongfully convicted, Dassey once again became a popular subject in the news, as the world waited to see if he would walk for a crime many believed he did not commit.

However, in December of 2017, a Seventh Circuit court panel upheld his original conviction, and dashed the hopes of any chance at freedom. No crime is easy to solve, especially with the technicalities of the law, but the Dassey case continues to stump juries and create conversation, ultimately leading up to the million dollar question: Was Brendan Dassey coerced into giving the confession that cost him his life in prison?

The crime the Wisconsin resident Dassey supposedly “confessed” to involved the murder of 25-year-old photographer Teresa Halbach. Encouraged  by his uncle, Steven Avery (who was also convicted), Dassey confessed that he partook in the assault, stabbing, and eventual dumping and burning of the body on the family’s auto salvage lot.

Before Dassey’s confession, nearly all evidence in the case pointed towards Avery. Avery has his own troubled past with the law, having infamously served 18 years out of a 32-year-sentence when he was wrongly convicted of the brutal assault of a jogger only to be exonerated nearly two decades later by updated DNA technology. Once a free man, he proceeded to file a law suit against the county for $36 million.

In 2005, after she’d been reported missing by her parents, police found Halbach’s car on Avery’s property (where Dassey also lived), and the following search turned up her charred remains on the land, as well as her personal belongings. A controversial trial ensued, and four months later, Brendan Dassey confessed to helping with the crime. The two were convicted separately, and sentenced to life in prison.

Perhaps the most glaring concern regarding Dassey’s confession is the fact that the police interrogated him entirely alone. He had no lawyer or parent present, despite the fact that he was only 16 years old.

Overall, the interviews, which are videotaped and can be viewed on Youtube, come to over eight hours of footage. Eight hours of a solitary teenage boy getting grilled aggressively by multiple police officers.  In the videos, one sees a young, shy boy who seems nervous and awkward as he hesitantly recounts the events, often replying, “I guess.”

One of his strongest defenders and attorney, Laura Nirider commented, “The moment I watched that tape, I wanted to jump into that TV screen and get between that child and the officers who were interrogating him.”

To be interrogated without representation is often bad news for any suspect, but many think this to be the precise situation that enabled law enforcement to coerce Dassey into giving the confession that they wanted to hear.

Another key element in the possible coercion of the then-teenage Dassey is the fact that he has a below average I.Q., placed somewhere between 69-73 points on the intelligence quotient scale. In general, a score of 70 is used as the cutoff mark for intellectual disability.

All of this was known prior to the confession, as Dassey was placed in special education classes at his local high school. It was with this knowledge that police proceeded in interrogating him alone, despite the fact that he was likely nowhere near mentally equipped to fully grasp the implications and scope of what was being asked of him.

Experts in false confessions criticize what is known as the Reid Technique, the style of interrogation that was used on the 16-year-old Dassey.

Steven Drizin is the co-founder of Northwestern University’s Center for Wrongful Convictions of Youth, and said, “the interrogation tactics used by detectives violated core principles of the Reid technique.”

The Reid Technique is an exhaustive, nine-step process in which a suspect is interviewed prior to interrogation, in order for the authorities to determine whether an interrogation is justified. Allegedly, the technique wears down suspects until eventually, confession is often easier than battling accusations.

Not only would this be taxing on a mentally limited teenager, but videos of the interview show that the police officers steered away from general Reid protocol, and fed Dassey specific information, eventually even asking him outright who shot Halbach in the head.

This setting of the scene and feeding of facts makes it very easy for suspects to inadvertently agree with a story that has been designed by the authorities, and is not necessarily the truth.

All of the forensic evidence involved in the case, be it the DNA, the bullets, the car, or the fingerprints, was associated entirely with Steven Avery. Dassey’s conviction is based solely on this controversial confession, made after a grueling series of interrogations.

As Mark Fremgen, the lawyer who later represented Dassey said, “All of that was the Steven Avery case… so [Dassey’s] case was purely a circumstantial evidence case.”

Dassey’s entire life came down to what he said in those rooms, on those tapes. Yet he received the same sentence as his uncle, whose blood and sweat and fingerprints placed him physically at the crime.

During trial in 2007, Dassey chose to recant his confession, claiming that he had been pushed into confessing to a crime he didn’t commit. When asked why he made up the confession, he continually responded, “I don’t know,” and hardly displayed any emotion. He went on to explain that he’d gotten the idea from a book called, Kiss the Girls, which he claimed to have read three or four years ago.

In conversations with his mother after the first interrogation session, Dassey remarked that they “got to his head.” Part of his overturned conviction was due to the fact that, during interrogations, investigators said, “he would not be punished if he admitted participating in the offenses” and that “he had nothing to worry about.”

Those who believe in Dassey’s culpability often harp on this question: why would he confess if he wasn’t guilty? Why make up such a detailed story?

The answer is, it is not unheard of for innocent people to confess to crimes they did not commit. For example, take the case of Juan Rivera, who was convicted of rape and murder three times in 1992, despite DNA evidence excluding him. He served 20 years in prison, until the state of Illinois finally overturned his conviction.

His attorneys eventually accused police of coercing him into falsely confessing. Authorities interrogated him repetitively over the course of four days and allegedly “took advantage of his low IQ, his difficulty with English and a psychological breakdown he suffered while in custody.” Sound familiar?

The Innocence Project, founded in 1992, is an organization devoted to exonerating those who are “wrongly convicted through DNA testing and reforms the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.” According to their data, out of 225 wrongful-conviction cases that were eventually cleared by DNA evidence, 23% were based on false confessions. Comparably, in a study on juvenile cases, out of 340 exonerations, 42% involved false confessions.

In a study conducted by The Psych Report on false confessions involving minors, they found that teens and children being interrogated are often “falling prey to high-pressure, manipulative, and deceptive interrogation techniques more often because they have less sophisticated reasoning abilities and are more susceptible to social influence.”

Brendan Dassey fits into these categories, as well as the added handicap of his low I.Q., making him, according to these studies, a prime candidate for a false confession, a widely-held opinion given the fact that there was even an attempt to overturn his conviction.

It was no secret that Steven Avery had a rocky past with the law, having served 18 years for a wrongfully convicted rape/assault case. In 2003, Avery filed a $36 million civil law case against Manitowoc County, its former sheriff, and former district attorney for the wrongful conviction and imprisonment… the same county in which he was convicted for murdering Halbach. Needless to say, relations between Avery and local authorities were poor at best.

In 2015, Netflix’s series “Making A Murderer” helped to cast doubt on the evidence used to convict both Avery and Dassey. They pointed out several incidents in which it appears as though there were slight holes in the investigators’ protocol, be it laziness or more glaring offenses, like the suggestion that Manitowoc County planted evidence at the crime scene to incriminate Avery. (Such as showing off the vial of Avery’s blood that had been tampered with, from Avery’s 1985 wrongful conviction case).

But long before the Netflix series, tension had been building between Avery and the authorities regarding the investigation – that is until, four months in, Dassey made his damning confession, which conveniently, confirmed Avery’s presence and execution of accused events.

It’s clear from the videos that the interrogations led against Dassey were aggressive and swift in clinching his confession; but was this part of a larger plan to ensure Avery’s conviction?


Coming up… After a night of bar-hopping, Ozzy Conde and girlfriend Kimberly Long got into an argument that ended up with Ozzy laying on the floor – dead. Kimberly was sent to prison. At least that’s the story the prosectors told. But Kimberly fought for years to try and convince people she was not a murderer. But was she? That story is up next on Weird Darkness.



On the evening of October 5, 2003, California emergency room nurse Kimberly Long got into an argument with her boyfriend Oswaldo (Ozzy) Conde. The two had been drinking throughout the day, and after things got heated, Long left her and Conde’s shared home to go cool down. When she returned to her home later in the evening, she found that her door was unlocked. She entered her home and found Conde slumped over, already deceased.

Conflicting evidence and ineffective counsel landed Long in prison for seven years, prompting the California Innocence Project to take on her case.

According to Long, she and boyfriend Ozzy Conde got into an argument late at night on October 5, 2003. The two had been bar-hopping with their friend Jeff Dills earlier in the evening. They returned home at around 11 pm, which is when Long says the argument started. According to Long, Conde was not happy with the way she was acting in public: “I think Ozzy said I was running around at the bar we were at; I wasn’t paying attention to him, and I was talking to everybody else, and I think that’s what the argument started out as. By the time we got home, I was really agitated and just wanted him out of the house. I said a bunch of horrible things and told him to get out. I think the argument was about me being drunk and a flirt.”

Friend Jeff Dills spoke to investigators and told them more about the couple’s fight, saying: “She started hitting him with her helmet… she had her helmet and her purse… and she swung at him a couple times and he just went like this [covered himself in defense]. She hit him on the shoulder and stuff. He had a big motorcycle jacket on so I know it wasn’t bothering him, you know? And he was just trying to calm her down.”

He told investigators that she only hit him in the face “one time” and that’s when he “stepped in between them. Because she hit him in the face and I saw his expression change like, ‘I might hit you back.'” Dills then claims he broke up the fight and told the couple to either finish it inside or get some space from one another. He said if they didn’t do this, he would call the cops. Long then went with Dills to cool off.

In order to cool off from their fight, Long decided to go hang out with Jeff Dills. She left the house she shared with Conde, where Dills said the argument was happening, and went with Dills. Dills dropped Long back off at her shared home with Conde, although the time is not exact. Long claims Dills dropped her off at 2:00 am, but Dills remembered dropping her off at 1:30 am. Unfortunately, Dills perished in a motorcycle accident shortly after Conde’s demise, so investigators were not able to confirm the time discrepancy with him.

When she returned, something felt off. She recounted the evening to the Coachella Valley Independent, saying: “I remember walking through the door, and it was unlocked when I came in. I saw a light on in the back. I kicked off my shoes, and I saw Ozzy on the couch, and I called his name… I walked over to the light to turn it on, and when I did that, I turned around, and I saw a big blood stain on the couch. I saw him and I realized that something went wrong… I thought maybe he had gotten into a fight. I don’t remember what I did first, to be honest. I think I ran outside and tried to get Jeff. I ran through the house, and I can’t really remember. I do remember that I got real close and I looked at him, and I realized with what I saw, there was nothing I could do to help him.”

As authorities started questioning potential suspects, including Long, the then-emergency room nurse believed she knew who the real culprit was: one of Conde’s exes, Shiana Lovejoy. Lovejoy shared a child with Conde, and the two dated up until late 2001 or early 2002.

Long alleged that Lovejoy sent her a malicious letter meant to intimidate Long. According to Long, the letter alleged that Lovejoy had relations with Conde while Long and he were dating. Long told authorities that neighbors had seen “two men” sent by Lovejoy “outside her house” a month before Conde’s demise. Friends of Conde told the California Innocence Project that Lovejoy could easily be the offender: “You know we never thought that it would actually go this far, but it has. I mean, it makes sense, I mean, the way she is. It took, I’m sure it was her. I mean, I’m positive. There’s nobody else… she was gonna [end] him all the time. I mean, it’s only obvious you know.”

Since Long admitted to having an argument with Conde hours before his demise, authorities had no choice but to consider Long a suspect. When Long was brought in for questioning, they administered a polygraph test. Long passed the polygraph test when she claimed innocence. Police apprehended her in the clothes she claims she had been wearing out that night, and there wasn’t a drop of blood on them.

Still, authorities were suspicious of Long, especially after the couple’s friend, Jeff Dills, told them that Long had hit Conde in the shoulder during their heated argument earlier in the evening.

After Long and Conde got into an argument at their front door, Long left with Jeff Dills to cool down. Originally, she told police that the two just hung out, but later, she revealed that she and Dills were intimate. The two went back to Dills’s residence, where they got into the spa. According to Dills, Long continued to complain about Conde and how he was not carrying his share financially.

According to the case’s statement of facts, Long ended the encounter “abruptly” and lied, saying that her ex-husband was supposed to swing by and drop off her kids. Dills said that as she was preparing to leave, Long mentioned that she could, to clean it up a bit, kicks Ozzy’s butt.

Eric Keen, who acted as Long’s public defender in the immediate aftermath of the incident, believes that Long’s ex-husband, Joe Bugarski, could be a suspect. During the first trial, Keen pointed out that a stereo went missing from Long and Conde’s shared home while Conde was being targeted, suggesting someone else was present.

According to ABC News, Long started dating Conde when she and Bugarski were still married. As their marriage dissolved, Long kicked Bugarski out of their shared home, and Conde moved in. Keen, along with other defenders of Long’s innocence, believed that this could serve as motive for Bugarski.

Kimberly Long’s first trial started at the beginning of February 2005, and as the trial came to a close, jurors were split. The prosecution painted Long as a party girl with a temper and questioned why she didn’t try to administer first aid when she first found Conde, citing her profession as an emergency room nurse. Public defender Eric Keen reiterated that Long’s ex-husband had a history of verbal threats and that he used to live in Long’s home, making him a potential suspect.

The jury was torn. After three days of deliberation, they were deadlocked. Nine jurors were in favor of acquittal, while three wanted to convict Long. The court was forced to declare a mistrial. Judge Patrick F. Magers put Long on a $100,000 bond and ordered her not to have any contact with any attorneys or witnesses who were part of the case. He even said that he would have found her not guilty, had this not been a juried case: “To make a perfectly clear record in this matter, if this was a court trial, if the Court would have heard the evidence in this case, I would have found the defendant not guilty. I would have found that the evidence was insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. That is my trial court decision in this case. Obviously, it was not a court trial. It was a jury trial.”

Ozzy Conde perished after being hit in the head, but no weapon – or evidence directly linking Long to any such object – was found by authorities. Forensic scientists were able to determine that Conde had been hit between three and eight times, and he may have been asleep at the time. Prosecutor Gerald Fineman believed Long was responsible for Conde’s demise, citing her growing frustration with him – despite the fact that no weapon was found and her clothes were clean.

“She was upset because she wasn’t living the dream lifestyle she wanted to live,” Fineman said, suggesting this was motive enough for her to take her boyfriend’s life.

In December 2005, Long was tried again, and this time, the prosecutor was able to convince the jury of her guilt due to timeline discrepancies.

Jeff Dills claimed he dropped Long off at her home around 1:30 am, roughly 40 minutes before Long made the 911 call. He was one of the case’s key witnesses, and unfortunately, he perished in a motorcycle accident before Long’s trial took place. Other witnesses, like Long’s neighbors, presented conflicting timelines. One said that they heard Dills’s loud motorcycle exhaust leave just minutes before Long entered her home and ran out crying. Public defender Eric Keen presented a timeline that placed a different offender, such as a jealous ex or a burglar, at the scene.

“She doesn’t call the police until 2:09 in the morning and… she tells them she just walked in the door… The point that (the jury) focused on was… that all her statements didn’t match the timeline,” prosecutor Gerald Fineman explained. Long was convicted.

Long started serving her sentence in March 2009. She originally failed to turn herself in after all her appeal processes had been exhausted; she turned herself in to police 10 days late. Soon after, the California Innocence Project took on her case in hopes of exonerating her. The organization cited a lack of evidence, saying that Long’s case was an example of “wrong place, wrong time.” Justin Brooks, the Director of the California Innocence Project, explained: “This is one of those classic cases where the person who finds the dead person ends up becoming a suspect. Her case was paper thin when it went to trial, and now when you consider what we know since then, it’s absolutely a certainty that she’s innocent.”

Long was released in 2016, and she compared her time in prison to “torture,” since she had to be separated from her children as they grew up: “I’m a mom, so anybody else who’s a mom, who misses out on that time, like they get it. They understand that one day is too long but seven years and three months? That’s torture, and it’s wrong.”

The California Innocence Project enlisted two time-of-death experts to take a closer look at Conde’s demise. Dr. Harry James Bonnell, who had worked as chief medical examiner in San Diego, determined that Conde’s “time of death is more consistent with 11:00 pm.”

He also said that the state of Conde when paramedics arrived suggested early stages of decomposition, meaning he had perished sometime before Long returned home.

Dr. Zhongxue Hua also testified, saying that Conde passed “long before 1:20 am,” given the rate of decomposition.

In June 2016, Long was released. Judge Patrick F. Magers overturned Long’s conviction due to her ineffective counsel argument. Her original defender, Eric Keen, had neglected to prove that she had not changed her clothes during the night – which would have likely had some blood on it if she was responsible – and to provide forensic evidence determining the time of Conde’s demise.

In February 2018, the California DA announced that it would appeal her release. However, in November 2020, the California Supreme Court upheld her release.


The idea of someone breaking down and confessing to police that they committed a crime – when in actuality they did not do it – seems ludicrous to us. But it happens all the time. Why on earth would someone ever do such a thing? We’ll look a bit closer at how it happens when Weird Darkness returns.



There are more innocent people who pleaded guilty than you might think. It seems mind-boggling that anyone would confess if they haven’t actually done anything wrong. So who are these innocent people who confessed to crimes, and why do people confess to crimes they didn’t commit?

Arrested individuals make false confessions for a variety of reasons, though unfair circumstances and abuse figure in many cases. If you’re vulnerable and being treated inhumanely while being questioned, there’s a good chance you’ll say anything just to have it all be over. But that’s the problem – it’s not over. False confessions often lead to years in prison and even the execution of guiltless parties. So why do innocent people confess to crimes? Usually because they’re forced to, because they feel like they have no other choice. But once that admission of guilt is out there, it’s hard to take it back.

One of the biggest arguments against torture – besides the fact that it’s inhumane – is that the information and confessions received during torture are often unreliable or untrue. For example, Mohamed Ramadan, a police officer at Bahrain International Airport, was arrested in 2014 under suspicion of attacking other officers. He was innocent, but was tortured until he made a false confession. The torturers even admitted that they knew he was innocent, but they were angry with him for attending pro-democracy rallies.

Ramadan was convicted, and is sentenced to be executed.

Sometimes, an innocent individual can become so convinced of their own guilt that they actually believe they committed a crime.

Peter Reilly discovered this firsthand when he found his mother dead in their home in 1973. He was brought in by the police, who told him he had failed a lie detector test (he hadn’t). Between that lie, and hours of questioning, investigators essentially bullied him into believing that he had killed his mother. He even wrote a confession, saying, “I remember slashing once at my mother’s throat with a straight razor I used for model airplanes.”

Reilly was eventually exonerated – but only after he spent time in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

Sometimes, confessing is presented by the authorities as the easy way out. Stefan Kiszko was accused of the brutal murder of a young girl, Lesley Molseed, in 1975. He was told there were two options: if he confessed, he would be eligible for parole; if he didn’t, then he would spend the rest of his life behind bars. So, he confessed, knowing that his confession was false. Kiszko assumed that the police would look into his story, find out it wasn’t true, and let him go.

They didn’t. Despite recanting as soon as he was given a lawyer, Kiszko spent 16 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

In 1934, three black farmers, Arthur Ellington, Ed Brown, and Henry Shields, were accused of murdering white planter Raymond Stuart. They had confessed to police, but only after an extremely violent interrogation that included brutal whippings. They were convicted and sentenced to be hanged, but appealed.

In the resulting landmark case Brown v Mississippi, the Supreme Court ruled that confessions obtained through violence undermined the right to due process. The men’s sentences were reversed, though they ended up serving time for manslaughter.

After 14 to 30 hours of interrogation, you’d probably confess, too. That’s exactly what happened to the Central Park Five. Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, and Kharey Wise confessed to the rape of a female jogger in Central Park in 1989. They later recanted their stories, saying that they had only confessed because they were worn down and forced to by the police. In fact, a serial rapist was later found guilty of the crime with the help of DNA. The wrongfully imprisoned men received a $41 million settlement because of their treatment.

Plea bargains can tempt false confessions. In 1990, Michael Phillips was misidentified in a photo line up for the rape of a 16-year-old girl. But because he was black and the victim was white, he worried that a jury wouldn’t believe his innocence. Rather than risk a longer sentence, he plead guilty and received 12 years in prison. Phillips ended up serving 24: he was finally exonerated when another man’s semen was matched to the rape kit in 2014.

Some cases really catch the public eye, and that makes them magnets for false confessions. Maybe people want to become famous for being associated with the crime, or perhaps they’re just obsessed.

Whatever the reason, crimes like the infamous Black Dalia murder in 1947 led to multiple false confessions. One of the men who confessed, Daniel S. Voorhees, insisted he was guilty of the murder. But his story fell flat when he couldn’t pick the victim, Elizabeth Short, out of a lineup of photographs.

Children are sometimes put in incredibly tense situations, and they don’t always understand the consequences. When 16-year-old Felix was brought in for the 2005 shooting of Antonio Ramirez and questioned without a lawyer, he slowly went along with interrogators. He picked up pieces of what they said had happened and used them in his confession, even claiming to have left the gun at his grandfather’s (though he didn’t have a living grandfather).

Studies have shown that children are more likely to give false confessions than adults. They are also more likely to think that going along with the interrogators will lead to them getting released, while maintaining innocence and disagreeing will lead to them getting jailed.

Some people will go much farther to protect their loved ones than they will to protect themselves. The show trials conducted in the USSR under Stalin included many false confessions. Some were obtained through violence, but others involved threats against the families of those involved. Authorities would say that they were just as guilty as the accused individuals, and could also be executed. Many people confessed to save their families from that fate.

Floyd Brown spent 14 years paying for a murder he didn’t commit. Why? In part, because of a lengthy confession he supposedly had written, detailing how he had killed an 80-year-old woman in 1993. But his lawyers maintained that he has the mental capacity of a seven-year-old, and was only able to speak in two or three word phrases. He was put in a mental hospital to await trail, but was left in purgatory for over a decade before he was released.

The mentally handicapped have been shown to be vulnerable to producing false confessions.

And finally… here’s a reason to cut back on your drinking and drug use. False confessions are more likely to happen when someone is drunk or under the influence of drugs. But in many cases, being drunk alone won’t get you off the hook – or get the confession thrown out.


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