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Why That Case? Carol Costello Interviews The Ohio Innocence Project

Why That Case? Carol Costello Interviews The Ohio Innocence Project

“Psychologists call them, ‘Triumphant Survivors’, but Phyllis Cottle was more than a survivor, she used this crime to better herself and the world around her.”

In the realm of true crime, some cases truly resonate on a personal level and are hard to forget.

For Carol Costello, one such case is the brutal attack on Phyllis Cottle in Akron, Ohio, in 1984. This sets the stage for a deep exploration into her story in the series, Carol Costello Presents: Blind Rage. Carol revisits this pivotal case, her first major assignment, to unravel why some stories fade from public memory while others remain embedded in our consciousness.

In recent episodes, "Update: The Unthinkable" and "Update: DNA Results | 'I'm a Gun Man" Carol revisits the case of Samuel J. Herring, who was tried and convicted for the attack on Phyllis Cottle. Despite working with the Ohio Innocence Project to challenge his conviction, a forensic review and DNA retesting confirmed his guilt. Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh and forensic scientists reported a conclusive 1 in 1-trillion DNA match to evidence on Cottle’s clothing, reaffirming Herring as the assailant.

Why did The Ohio Innocence Project choose this case to invest time and resources? In her most recent episode, "Why That Case? An Interview with The Ohio Innocence Project" Carol gains insight into Samuel Herring's bid for exoneration from the man who heads Ohio's Innocence Project, attorney Mark Godsey. Despite the initial intrigue, DNA evidence led to a perplexing ending: Herring's guilt was confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt. Godsey, a former prosecutor turned innocence advocate, explains how and why the organization took up Herring's case, reveals how DNA evidence was discovered, shares the history of the nationwide effort to overturn wrongful convictions, and addresses the emotional toll on victims' families.

The episode also addresses the emotional and ethical challenges these cases present, especially the impact on the victims' families, while underlining the necessity of the Innocence Project's mission. Godsey details the stringent vetting process his team uses and the pivotal role of DNA evidence in determining innocence. Concluding with thoughts on the moral imperative to pursue truth and justice, this episode articulates the delicate balance required to secure justice for the wrongfully convicted while honoring the experiences of victims and their families, highlighting the deep emotional toll of such cases.

To explore the full story and hear the latest developments, listen to the recent episodes here:

Tune into Carol Costello Presents: Blind Rage on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your preferred platform. For additional insights into the podcast’s research and a written forum, visit Carol Costello Presents. Stay updated by following her on Facebook and Instagram.

Carol Costello currently serves as a Special Advisor and Ambassador at Loyola Marymount University (LMU). In her role at LMU, Carol teaches a broadcast journalism course within the university's journalism program. Additionally, she is the creator of Project Citizen, a program established in 2019 at LMU, providing resources and mentorship for student journalists with a core mission to bridge the partisan divide in the country.

With a distinguished career spanning three decades, Carol's commitment to journalism extends to her contributions to the journalism professional advisory board at Kent State University in Ohio, where she mentors journalism students. Her work at LMU reflects her dedication to fostering journalistic talent and addressing societal challenges through educational initiatives.

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