3 For the Crime of One: The Wrongful Convictions of John Kogut, Dennis Halstead, and John Restivo

    • Season 9
  • 42:31
  • 29 January, 2020

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On December 5th, 1984, the naked body of Theresa Fusco was pulled out of a wooded area in Lynbrook, NY - the 3rd in a string of recent disappearances, putting pressure on police to find the monster among them. The medical examiner determined that the presence of semen implied that a rape had occurred and the cause of death was ligature strangulation. Dennis Halstead had been linked to one of the victims, and in a police interview about Halstead, John Restivo inadvertently mentioned an occasional employee John Kogut. When police interrogated Kogut for 12 hours, during which interrogators lied to him about his failing a polygraph, Kogut signed a confession that was hand-written by one of the detectives and contained all of the information authorities knew at the time, looping in the 3 men as the perpetrators. With the false confession, a coerced and flipped alibi witness, evidence tampering, and the victim’s hair said to have been found in Restivo’s van, the trio were convicted and sentenced to 33 and a half years in prison. Despite years of obstruction, DNA testing would later exclude all three men and repeatedly implicate a still unknown assailant. John Restivo and Innocence Project Senior Staff Attorney Nina Morrison joined Jason at the Atlanta Innocence Network Conference to tell this amazing and terrifying tale.

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