Blood and Truth

Tampa Bay Times

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. 

All Episodes

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. Tampa Bay Times reporter Leonora LaPeter Anton and photographer Cherie Diez have followed the Zeigler 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.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Dec 2018

1 min 33 sec

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.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Dec 2018

30 min 14 sec

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.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jan 2019

21 min 51 sec

Prosecutors present the case against Tommy Zeigler, as his defense team scrambles to vet witnesses and get evidence tested.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jan 2019

29 min 36 sec

One juror struggles to make a decision and feels badgered by others who think the evidence is clear in Tommy Zeigler's case.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jan 2019

20 min 27 sec

The advent of modern forensic science gives Tommy Zeigler hope, but prosecutors and judges keep rejecting his requests for DNA testing.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jan 2019

31 min 11 sec

Tommy Zeigler's supporters have spent years chasing clues and re-investigating the murders. Listen to what they've uncovered.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jan 2019

34 min

Tommy Zeigler has spent more than four decades living in a 6-foot by 9-foot cell and trying not to get angry.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Feb 2019

33 min 13 sec

Florida’s judicial system is designed to support a jury’s verdict, whether it was right or wrong.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Feb 2019

35 min 47 sec

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.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Feb 2019

56 min 48 sec

Will prosecutors give Tommy Zeigler another chance at DNA testing?  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Feb 2020

28 sec

Tommy Zeigler waited on Florida’s death row last year with hope that there would be another chance to test the evidence in his case. Listen to what happened.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Feb 2020

31 min 10 sec