74 Minutes

Letters from Sing Sing

20-02-2023 • 42 mins

JJ Velazquez claimed he had an alibi: a 74-minute phone call on a landline with his mother, Maria Velazquez, that overlapped with the time of the crime. So Dan visits Maria. She lives in a town in New York on the Hudson River directly across from Sing Sing, the maximum security prison where her son is incarcerated. Maria talks to Dan about JJ’s childhood. And she recounts in detail her memory of January 27th, 1998, the day of Al Ward’s murder.

Meanwhile, Dan is still familiarizing himself with JJ’s case file. There are thousands of pages of documents that sit in a box by his desk. He starts to work his way through the trial transcript. Immediately, it’s clear to him that the trial was strange. As Dan unpacks what happened in the courtroom, he’s left with more questions than answers. Prosecutors say five people identified JJ as the man who killed Al Ward. Dan decides to find them.

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