The State v Dennis Perry

Season 3 of the podcast that originally started by investigating the conviction of Adnan Syed in Baltimore, MD is now covering the case of a murder of Harold and Thelma Swain at Rising Daughter Baptist Church, (Waverly, GA) on March 11, 1985. Unsolved Mysteries featured this case in 1988 opening the door to new leads and theories about the perpetrator. In the church’s foyer, only buttons and glasses were recovered as part of the physical evidence in this case. Turns out the glasses had been repaired with tape; three blonde hairs were stuck to the glue.

Early in the investigation, Dennis Perry had been cleared by detectives. There was no motive for this white boy to kill the African American couple, plus his alibi checked out. He was living in Atlanta where he was a construction worker. With no car or vehicle accessible, he was too far away to have left work and circle back to commit the murders. It was understood that Deacon Harold was the primary target because witnesses state he got called out of the sanctuary to talk to a man who was looking for him. Thelma was shot when she went to aid her husband after hearing shots fired. Hence it became more pressing to find justice for these two pillars of the community. Politics lead a new set of detectives loose on the case who decided vetted person of interest Perry was their guy. He was found guilty in 2003 and has been in jail ever since.

Listen to Rabia, Colin and Susan discuss the case via Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and other streaming serviced. Also on board are the Georgia Innocence Project, and moderator of the Addenda John Cryer.

Happy sleuthing!

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