He Spent 20 Years In Prison For A Double Murder He Didn’t Commit. DNA Evidence Exonerated Him.

He Spent 20 Years In Prison For A Double Murder He Didn’t Commit. DNA Evidence Exonerated Him.


On March 11, 1985, Harold and Thelma Swain were leading a bible study at the Rising Daughter Baptist Church, a predominantly black church where Harold was a deacon, in Waverly, Georgia. At some point during the study, a white man entered the church and murdered the Swains. Witnesses were able to briefly see the murderer, but their descriptions were not that helpful to law enforcement.

Three years later, lead investigators Georgia Bureau of Investigation Agent Joe Gregory and Camden County Sheriff Deputy Butch Kennedy were still trying to figure out who murdered the Swains. The name Dennis Perry was among the hundreds of suspects in the shooting, but the investigators were able to rule him out as a suspect because he had an alibi: He was working in the Atlanta area at the time of the shooting. A key witness was also unable to pick Perry’s photo out of a lineup to identify him as the shooter.

The murders went cold

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