Chapter 6: “Bad Documentation”

Whistleblower Gina Demas wasn’t the only one with concerns about Mary Jane Burton. Tessa Kramer sits down with two former lab employees whose careers soared following Gina’s fight with the lab. What do they remember about Mary Jane’s work? And what kept them from speaking up?

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Tessa Kramer: Previously, on Admissible:

(intro music begins)

Gina Demas: They should have retired her when we found that one case. They didn’t have to fire her. I didn’t care about that, but she needed to go away. 

Shirley Patterson: They did bring Pete Marone in.

Gina Demas: And he told me that I shouldn’t be worried because he was checking all of Mary Jane’s work.

(intro music ends)

Gina Demas: Think about all the important disappointing people. Think about all the people that lived with that for all those years. The head of the health department, Paul Ferrara – think of all the years he lived with it, knowing all that stuff was cooking in his records department. “Well at least Gina’s gone, now nobody will talk about it.” Doesn’t mean it’s not sitting there! 

Tessa Kramer: There are a lot of people who were aware of the allegations – and the lawsuit – Gina Demas brought against her boss, Mary Jane Burton, in the late 70s.

Gina Demas: This is not about me. This is about a problem that you have that you need to fix. They all covered all that up knowing it was wrong. If you want to do that? There’s mafias for that. You know? 

Tessa Kramer: I would really like to sit down with all the higher-ups who were involved. Unfortunately…

Tessa Kramer (to Gina): Paul Ferrara’s dead, Warren Johnson’s dead…You know, all those guys–

Gina Demas: All those people are dead. What about Deanne? 

Tessa Kramer: Yeah. I mean Pete Marone knew.

Gina Demas: Pete Marone knew all of it.

Tessa Kramer: And he became the Director of the Department.

Gina Demas: Yes.

Tessa Kramer (VO): What did Pete Marone know – and when did he know it? Did Deanne also “know all of it”? Deanne was actually one of the first people that reporter Sophie Bearman and I ever got on the phone, before we’d heard about any issues with Mary Jane Burton’s work. At this point, we were just curious to find out more about this pioneering, female scientist who’d saved all this evidence.

Sophie Bearman: So we’re doing a project on Mary Jane Burton and her work…

Deanne Dabbs: On whose work?

Sophie Bearman: On Mary Jane Burton.

Deanne Dabbs: Oh yes, uh-huh.

Tessa Kramer: Right off the bat, the conversation feels like pulling teeth.

Tessa Kramer (to Deanne): What can you recall about, sort of her as a person, as an individual? 

Deanne Dabbs: Um…You know, really, I just don’t really have a lot of thoughts about it, I guess. I, um…I don’t really think she was a real good mentor. 

Tessa Kramer: Mhmm. Just maybe not a natural teacher or just…reserved?

Deanne Dabbs: Yeah, I would say, I would say, well…Yeah, I would say that’s probably a pretty…pretty good, um, description.

Tessa Kramer: It sounds like you’re holding back.

Deanne Dabbs: Well I…When I came to the lab to work, I came from an accredited hospital; I was a supervisor. We had written protocols for everything and when I came to work at the forensic lab, that was not the case. There were no written protocols. There was no inspections, by anybody, for anything. There were no quality control measures in place for a lot of the testing procedures. So, I guess I didn’t have a lot of respect for her as a supervisor.

Tessa Kramer (VO): I bring up how, in the press, Mary Jane’s been described as “an angel” –

Deanne Dabbs: No that is not – no, she was not.

Tessa Kramer: A few months later – after we’d heard Gina’s story – we meet up with Deanne in person, in Virginia Beach, where she’s retired.

Deanne Dabbs: So did you say you drove up from Georgia today?

Sophie Bearman: No, not today. Yesterday we drove from Roanoke here. Yeah.

Deanne Dabbs: Who did you see in Roanoke? 

Sophie Bearman: Um, Gina Demas.

Deanne Dabbs: Oh, Gina is in Roanoke? I haven’t heard from her or knew anything about her in years.

Sophie Bearman: Yeah…

(Admissible theme plays)

Tessa Kramer: This is Admissible. I’m Tessa Kramer.

(Admissible theme ends)

Tessa Kramer: We’ll get to Gina in a bit. But first, we ask Deanne to walk us through her long career at the lab.

Deanne Dabbs: I started out as a forensic scientist trainee, and I was in training I think it was from March of 1977 ‘til maybe May of 1978. 

Tessa Kramer: She was transferred to the Northern lab…

Deanne Dabbs: …and set up the serology section there. 

Tessa Kramer: She stayed there for ten years.

Deanne Dabbs: Ultimately, I became the supervisor. And when Mary Jane decided to retire, I applied for her job, and got the job, and moved back to Richmond…

Tessa Kramer:  …overseeing all the regional labs in the state. Deanne would stay on for another 18 years.

Sophie Bearman: So when did you first notice or get wind that Mary Jane was making clippings and swabs of materials?

Deanne Dabbs: When I was in training.

Sophie Bearman: Because she taught you to do the same thing?

Deanne Dabbs: Yes. In the central lab, that’s what we did.

Tessa Kramer: A lot of people have the impression that Mary Jane was kinda going rogue by saving clippings – but it’s actually the opposite. Saving clipping was standard procedure in the serology lab, because Mary Jane was the boss, and Mary Jane said so. As soon as Deanne was transferred to the Northern lab, she put the kibosh on the clippings.

Deanne Dabbs: And the reason was because contamination is a huge issue. These pieces of cotton swabs were not put in Ziploc bags and labeled properly. They were exposed to air, handling, whatever. As I recall, when the swabs were taped down, they were still wet. So…[laughs

Tessa Kramer: At first I didn’t get what was so funny about this. But to a scientist like Deanne, a wet sample is a recipe for bacteria growth.

Deanne Dabbs: They were put on worksheets with tape. Like, tape you would wrap a package with. Plus those worksheets were stored in the case file. So anybody who was authorized could pull those case files out and look at the worksheets. So there was really no chain of custody on that evidence.

Tessa Kramer: Chain of custody – the meticulous documentation of each person who handles evidence.

Sophie Bearman: So when Dr. Ferrara discovered in 2001 the case file that had the swabs of Marvin Anderson. Do you remember what your reaction was?

Deanne Dabbs: I was wondering how it all came about without a proper chain of custody. I mean, it’s like, how can this – how can this be? I mean, obviously proper controls were run on the DNA, so we knew that those results were reliable. And of course it would have been up to the court to determine admissibility.

Tessa Kramer: To be clear: for the 13 exonerations from the Mary Jane files, the state decided that the DNA evidence was admissible. I’m not trying to suggest that there’s anything sketchy about the clippings being used as evidence – the results really speak for themselves. 

Deanne Dabbs: With regard to the cases that got exonerated from those clippings, it was pretty much a miracle, really.

Sophie Bearman: There’s a lot of people who think or speculate that Mary Jane saved those because she had an idea of future technology– 

Deanne Dabbs: No. I do not believe that at all. No. When she would go to court to testify, she would hold up that worksheet and say, “Here’s the pieces of swabs that I tested.”

Sophie Bearman: Why would you do that?

Deanne Dabbs: I don’t know why. Show and tell?

Tessa Kramer: We heard this from someone else – the office secretary, who told us that Mary Jane was called “The Show and Tell Girl.”

Sophie Bearman: Yeah It seems like if this idea that she was saving them for some future testing you would preserve them in a better way 

Deanne Dabbs: Exactly.

Sophie Bearman: Another thing that we’ve picked up through our conversations with others is that perhaps she saw herself as sort of working for the prosecution? And I’m curious whether that was something that was consistent with the lab or unique to her.

Deanne Dabbs: It definitely wasn’t consistent throughout the lab. We did work which was predominantly submitted by law enforcement agencies, but it could just as easily exonerate somebody. I would say she was partial to the prosecution. Perhaps she felt like if the police agencies submitted the evidence then it was good evidence to point towards their suspect. Which it doesn’t always do, of course.

Tessa Kramer: This was not the only issue with Mary Jane’s work that Deanne observed.

Deanne Dabbs: I mean, she wasn’t doing things properly, as I saw. I don’t think Mary Jane’s notes were very good, very complete. I’m rather much of a perfectionist when it comes to things like that. And Mary Jane I don’t think was. You know when I was mentored by Joan, I could see that there was a distinct difference in what they were doing. And Joan got along with Mary Jane, but it was still tension always in the air. 

Sophie Bearman: Related to Mary Jane.

Deanne Dabbs: Yeah, right. Among – well, especially when Gina was there of course. She did not like Mary Jane at all, I’m sure you found that out…

Tessa Kramer: Yep, that rings a bell.

Deanne Dabbs: I tried to stay out of it as much as I could because I was in training too. We got dragged down to the Director of Consolidated Labs and pretty much said, “She’s the supervisor, you do what you’re told, da de da de da.” And that was the end of it.

Sophie Bearman: Was the meeting that you’re referencing with Dr. Tiedemann?

Deanne Dabbs: Yeah, it was Dr. Tiedemann. That’s right.

Sophie Bearman: Were you there, um, silently or were you vocally sort of saying–

Deanne Dabbs: No, I wasn’t vocal. I didn’t want to lose my job and I wanted to get my training done.

Sophie Bearman: Did you agree with Gina’s concerns? 

Deanne Dabbs: Yeah. I pretty much, I would say yeah I did agree with her concerns. I just didn’t want to go as far as filing grievances and going…because it doesn’t…that doesn’t benefit the Department – or at that time the Bureau – it doesn’t benefit you as an employee. It just doesn’t help anything. You know, I feel like it’d be better worked out more internally but she didn’t see it that way, so that’s the way it was. You know?

Sophie Bearman: I’m curious how you sort of reconciled working at the lab with her when she – or, Mary Jane was always there not doing a good job–

Deanne Dabbs: Well, I wasn’t in charge of Mary Jane. I wasn’t her supervisor and her supervisor, who was Pete Marone, knew what she was doing. So I really wasn’t involved in that. I mean once I got trained, I got trained and I was away from her. And it was his responsibility to oversee what she was or was not doing.

Sophie Bearman: I guess, when you look back at Gina’s story, do you feel any, like, regret about her departure? Maybe the wrong person left?

Deanne Dabbs: Well, I think that was sort of a really sad situation because she and Mary Jane really didn’t get along. I mean, when I came she and Mary Jane were at odds. And it’s unfortunate that it happened when it did because if it had been later, then I think many of Gina’s concerns would have been properly addressed and I don’t think they were.

Tessa Kramer: I call Deanne later to press her on this point.

Tessa Kramer (to Deanne): I guess my question is whether you think, given the concerns that there were, whether Mary Jane should have been allowed to continue working until 1988.

Deanne Dabbs: Ah, good Lord. My personal opinion would be no, she should not have been allowed to continue working. At the very least, I think a more in depth look at what she was doing would’ve been appropriate. What she was doing or was not doing.

Tessa Kramer (VO): The lab did hire someone to take a closer look at what Mary Jane was – or was not – doing: Pete Marone. After the break… 

Tessa Kramer (to Sophie): Okay… two minutes away…

Tessa Kramer (VO): …we’re headed to Pete’s house. 


GPS: Your destination is on the right.

Tessa Kramer (to Guard): Wait, sorry. Hi! We’re going to Peter Marone’s house.

Guard: And what’s your last name? 

Tessa Kramer: Kramer, with a K. 

Guard: Okay, one moment. 

Tessa Kramer (to Sophie): I doubt she needs to know that it starts with a K…

Tessa Kramer (VO): What you are about to hear is the one and only on-the-record interview we had with Pete Marone. This was early in our reporting – we didn’t yet know if we could believe Gina’s story. We didn’t understand the scope of the issues with Mary Jane’s work. Once we had corroborated Gina’s story, I called Pete for a follow-up interview. He declined.

But I find this interview illuminating. Pete had a long career at the Department of Forensic Science – or the DFS – about 35 years. 

Sophie Bearman: What was your – the job that you understood that you were tasked to do? 

Pete Marone: Paul was, uh…new in the forensic science, if you will. And he needed some help with disciplines that he was not familiar with. And I guess I kind of fit that bill.

Tessa Kramer: Gina had said that Pete was hired to oversee Mary Jane specifically – Pete says it was about improving procedures throughout the serology lab. In any event, being hired to supervise the department that Mary Jane supervised…was a bit awkward.

Pete Marone: She was the supervisor, which was a Forensic Scientist C. I was brought in as a Forensic Scientist C. So you had two equal positions, one of which was the supervisor, one of which started out as the technical advisor. So she was supervising me, and I was advising them. So that’s what the awkward part was. You know, she’d try to supervise and say, “I don’t want you to do it that way.” I’d say, “You know, Mary Jane, I’m sorry, that’s the way we’re going to start doing it.”

Tessa Kramer: OK – what kind of procedures are we talking about here?

Pete Marone: For example, if you’re reading results, before, you’d read the plate, you’d write the results. Well now, I said, “You read it, you verify it, your name goes on the sheet too.” Those kinds of things that weren’t there. Uh…not anything technically wrong but, you know, you don’t take your notes in pencil, you take them in pen so that it’s obvious if somebody writes something down, it’s not easy to change it. Whereas pencil you just kind of erase it and move on.

Tessa Kramer: Erasing test results…we’d heard about this kind of thing from Gina. But at this point, we’d only had one phone call with her. We weren’t sure what to make of Gina’s story, so Sophie brings up Gina’s name.

Sophie Bearman: Do you remember her?

Pete Marone: Oh, you went back.

Sophie Bearman: Well she didn’t have a lot of good things to say about Mary Jane. And she felt like Mary Jane was changing results. And I’m curious what you remember about her and what to make of her claims.

Pete Marone: I came in after her. She was already gone. But that issue was still there. I found more an issue of sloppy note-taking – wasn’t filled out totally, that kind of stuff.

Sophie Bearman: That issue meaning she – Mary Jane was changing results?

Pete Marone: No, that – that it wasn’t – the notes weren’t as complete as they could be.

Tessa Kramer: Pete says he never talked to Gina directly. Gina told us she had a “lengthy conversation” with him on the phone after leaving the serology lab. Either way, Pete acknowledges that he was aware of Gina’s concerns about Mary Jane.

Pete Marone: I kind of think that’s one of the reasons why I was…I was brought in.

Sophie Bearman: What do you mean by that? 

Pete Marone: Well, along with bringing everything else up to speed, they wanted to review the cases and see: do we have an issue here?

Sophie Bearman: And…did you find anything?

Pete Marone: I found, again, not complete note-taking.

Tessa Kramer: Pete keeps chalking this up to bad note-taking. In other words: nothing wrong with the actual evidence handling or testing. It just wasn’t well-documented in the notes. I try to clarify one thing.

Tessa Kramer (to Pete): You said that one of the issues was people using pencil instead of pen. What was the issue exactly there? That to me seems like it might be an issue that people would be able to change things, is that not…

Pete Marone: You can erase them. Okay? You do it in pen – it’s there.

Sophie Bearman: Why would someone erase something? 

Pete Marone: Did you ever write with pencil and say, “Oh shoot! I don’t want to do that.” So the point is, if there’s an erasure there, there’s no question that you made a change, but you’re trying to show that it’s not a nefarious change. You can see what I wrote, I misspelled it, I didn’t want to say what I wanted to say. So it’s not that particular situation of cooking the books.

A lot of the things that they put in from a documentation standpoint were to alleviate the issue of somebody trying to take it where it didn’t go. Also if somebody – making a change. You know, that’s there too. I’m not saying everybody is an angel.

Tessa Kramer (VO): Even though we didn’t get to do a follow-up interview with Pete – a chance to go through Gina’s concerns point-by-point – in this one and only interview, we did ask him about Mary Jane’s habit of saving clippings…

Pete Marone: I don’t know why, but I do know she always liked to be able to show the clothing to the jury—big on demonstration, right? Show the clothing to the jury and say, “See this hole here? These are the cuttings that I took from that piece of clothing.”

Sophie Bearman: What was the purpose of that? 

Pete Marone: You bring the jury in. Any time you’re doing those kinds of, you know, you get them interested. Oh yeah, I can see that, right? I understand! Even if they don’t, they understand.

Tessa Kramer: Wait, is it a good thing for juries to think they understand something they don’t actually understand? But Pete’s concern was something else. 

Pete Marone: There are issues with evidence being stored not with other evidence. There are issues with chain of custody, documentation of it, storage of it. If we’re going to say that evidence must be sealed – and that doesn’t mean just put scotch tape over the edge – that means putting tape over, sealing it, and initialing over the tape and all those things. And then you look at the cuttings that were just kind of taped on a piece of paper and stuck in a case file.

Tessa Kramer: Keeping clippings in this kinda haphazard way – this just isn’t how you handle evidence. Not to mention, having thousands of swabs, covered in blood and semen and saliva, floating around in the State Records Center is not exactly sanitary, either.

Pete Marone: I mean, those are the kinds of things that aren’t good practice, and that’s why we sort of got rid of them.

Sophie Bearman: When did she start to, I guess, phase out the clipping practice, or did she ever–

Pete Marone: When she retired.

Sophie Bearman: Oh.

Pete Marone: What we were able to accomplish is we got all the other people to stop. People that she had trained we kinda got them and they could see the value of not doing it. Any time you’re making a lot of changes like that, the younger people are more willing to change and they can see the argument where somebody has been doing it for 20 years, you know, it’s very difficult to do that. That was kind of one of the things that kept us from applying for accreditation was we knew we couldn’t apply until we got rid of that function and a few other things that we were doing, changing documentation and changing a lot of other things.

Tessa Kramer: Accreditation. Starting in the 80s, an outside group started inspecting crime labs, to make sure their practices were up to snuff. Which makes sense, because when DNA entered the field, labs had to be way more buttoned up to avoid contamination. Pete played a big role in getting the Virginia crime lab accreditedin 1989. One year after Mary Jane left the lab.

Sophie Bearman: So, maybe it’s not a coincidence that accreditation came right around the time that Mary Jane left…You’re nodding your head.

Pete Marone: Yeah, yes! Because we knew we couldn’t do it before then. All the other ducks were in a row.

Sophie Bearman: Ok.

Pete Marone: She was…due to retire anyway.

Tessa Kramer: Deanne put it more bluntly:

Deanne Dabbs: Ultimately, as I recall, if she had not resigned, she would have been fired because we would not have been able to pass inspection. Pete had known for a while that things were not as they should be. And as I recall, because she was not properly documenting things or doing things…I think I recall him saying that if she had still been there, we would not have been accredited.

Tessa Kramer: Shirley Patterson – the secretary – was still at the lab in 1988 when Mary Jane retired. And she saw this the same way.

Shirley Patterson: They probably wanted her out before they got accredited. I mean they knew she was doing wrong, they just covered it up. They knew it. It’s like black and white on a piece of paper. And I guess in order for them to get accredited, you know, that was even more important not to let that information out. Cause needless to say they would not be accredited.

Tessa Kramer: Everyone knew that Mary Jane was a problem. Enough of a problem that her work would not pass basic accreditation. Not just Pete and Deanne. Dr. Tiedemann, Warren Johnson, Bob Edwards, Paul Ferrara…Again, I really wish I could ask them about this. For that matter, I wish I could ask Mary Jane. But I wonder if – like Pete Marone – they’d chalk it all up to “bad documentation.” A possibility I put to Gina…

Tessa Kramer (to Gina): I think the defense that people have given for this kind of thing is like, “Oh, it’s just bad documentation. It wasn’t well documented in the notes, but that was the extent of the issue.” Basically that’s what Pete Marone said.

Gina Demas: What does that mean? Does that mean I didn’t cover it up well enough that I didn’t do the test? Or that I did the wrong test, or I erased it and you couldn’t find a…that’s bullshit. That’s not what we’ve been talking about. What we’ve been talking about is dishonesty, fraud, forging somebody’s name on stuff, going into court and testifying that something is something that it could never have been. 

So poor documentation is the biggest line of bullshit I’ve ever heard for anybody to say about a forensic report. You just blew my mind. “Oh it was just poor documentation.” What else is there? You’re going to go to court and say, “Yeah, I did this test.” “Let me see your lab notes.” “Oh, I forgot to write it down. I forgot to write that down. I’m sorry. But I remember doing it! Let’s send this guy to jail. Or no, better yet, let’s just fry him.” “It’s okay you forgot to write it down and document it.”

Tessa Kramer (VO): Deanne tells us she knew nothing about Mary Jane erasing and changing any test results. So at the end of our interview, we offer to show her the copies of the record books that we got from Gina..

Sophie Bearman: So like, Evidence 33 was typed as B 2-1. This is the same worksheet and Evidence 33 is BA-1.

Deanne Dabbs: Wow. Um…Are you asking me for an explanation? I can’t give you an explanation, because I don’t understand. I mean if the results were changed, it should have been documented as to why. Or if they were re-tested, you know, it should be in the notes that the re-testing was done. And actually if it was re-tested, there should have been documentation here, like highlighted, circled, or something, and notated that, “This result is going to be re-tested because…” and “see results on such-and-such and such-and-such a date.” I don’t know. I cannot explain this at all. I mean, it just makes no sense to me. None.

Sophie Bearman: I think we’ve been trying to come up with, you know, a reasonable explanation but–

Deanne Dabbs: No explanation. Uh-uh. No reasonable explanation. I can’t speak to the fact that she was erasing and changing results, because I don’t know that, but I can tell you that this just represents a prime example of just really bad documentation. Really bad. I mean, if nothing more.

Tessa Kramer: The independent serologist who reviewed these same documents for us didn’t see this as “bad documentation.” She said it looks like evidence tampering. Even if Deanne won’t go that far, she admits that, considering all the issues with Mary Jane’s work…

Deanne Dabbs: Well, I think the implications are huge. I mean, if she wasn’t running proper controls, she wasn’t following the procedures that should have been followed, then I think the implication is huge. I think it calls into question the cases that she worked. I mean all the cases. And she worked a lot of cases. A lot of cases.

Tessa Kramer: The kicker here is that if the lab had intervened back in the 70s – say, quietly removing Mary Jane from her post – she would not have continued working case after case, year after year, for over a decade. And that might have been the end of her story.

But as we know…this story has a second act. About 25 years later – only a few years after she died – Mary Jane’s files would resurface. 13 men would be cleared through DNA testing on clippings of evidence. I’d learn about that, and start investigating Mary Jane’s story – which would lead me to Gina.

And so – knowing all that we know now – all this raises a question for me. A question I bring up with both Deanne and Pete.

Tessa Kramer (to Deanne): Why didn’t anyone ever come forward, after DNA testing had become a part of the forensic field, to say there’s this trove of evidence that we could retest before 2001 when Paul Ferrara eventually decided to go look?

Deanne Dabbs: To tell you the honest truth, I don’t think anybody really even thought about it. I mean the lab is always very busy. We always have backlogs and were just trying to get the work done and I don’t think anybody gave it another thought. 

Pete Marone: Like you said, a limited number of people knew that they were there. When the Innocence Project made the first request to Paul, it was a standard form letter from them: “Do you still have ‘the evidence’?” That’s quotes, you know, “the evidence.” And what we would routinely do when you get a request for evidence is you look and say, “Oh yeah, that case was signed back to police department ABC on the 27th of whatever.” And that would be it. We didn’t have it anymore. We got rid of it.

Tessa Kramer (VO): Pete is pointing to a key distinction here. The difference between the official evidence associated with a case – evidence that’s carefully preserved and tracked on a chain of custody form. Which is different from, you know, any evidence that might be useful. 

So, when people reached out over the years – often from prison, often in desperation – asking if the lab had any evidence left in their case, the lab said no. Because the clippings were not technically part of the “official evidence.” When I bring this up with Gina, she has a different perspective.

Tessa Kramer (to Gina): It’s just interesting to me that when DNA had entered into the field and was being used to exonerate people – Deanne, Pete, Joan – nobody ever thought to say–

Gina Demas: Oh yeah, I bet you they did. I bet you they thought, “Oh no, what if somebody goes back and tests all those old cases?” If I had been in their position, I would’ve sure thought of it. And I’d have thought, “Ooh, maybe we didn’t bury that deep enough.”

Tessa Kramer (VO): A lot of the bigwigs at the time Gina raised the alarm were long gone by the time DNA came around – by the time Mary Jane’s files resurfaced. But some people – Dr. Paul Ferrara, Pete Marone, Deanne Dabbs, Joan Faunce – they were all still around. And they knew about the concerns that Gina raised about Mary Jane’s work… 

(dramatic music begins)

Gina Demas: It’s like having a ticking time bomb sitting under your desk. If anybody finds out what happened, boom boom boom boom boom here it comes.

Tessa Kramer: In the second half of this season, we’re going to fast forward to when that bomb went off…and the state of Virginia reopened “The Mary Jane Files”…

Peter Neufeld: We found evidence sometimes stuffed in a brown paper bag, wedged behind the prosecutor’s desk. And so it was sitting there next to an old ham and cheese sandwich.

Winston Scott: When they did blood tests I should have been released right there on the spot. 

Marilyn Miller: That’s lights and sirens, there’s a problem. You cannot give conclusive results. 

(dramatic music ends)

Tessa Kramer: All that is coming up on Admissible.


Admissible is produced and hosted by Tessa Kramer. Our executive producer is Ellen Horne.

Original reporting by Tessa Kramer and Sophie Bearman, with additional reporting by Ben Paviour and Whittney Evans. Our editor is Danielle Elliot, with additional editing by Ellen Horne.

Our production team is Dana Bialek, Chloe Wynne, Gilda di Carli, Leslie Neigher, Kristin Vermilya and Kim Nederveen Pieterse.

Gavin Wright is VPM’s Managing Producer for Podcasts. Meg Lindholm is the Director of Podcast Production. 

Sound design and mix by Charles Michelet. Music by Del Toro Sound and Story Mechanics, and with additional music by APM. Our theme music is by me, Bryan J. Howard of Del Toro Sound. 

Admissible, season 1: Shreds of Evidence is produced by Story Mechanics and VPM, Virginia’s home for public media. We are distributed by iHeart Media.

Admissible is a co-production of VPM and Story Mechanics