DNA testing could bring Rodney home for Christmas. A national organization of private investigators identifies St. Louis serial killer Tommy Lynn Sells as the prime suspect.
Please contribute here to help pay for DNA testing that may free Mr. Lincoln
Rodney Lincoln has been incarcerated since May 23, 1982. He was convicted of the murder of a young mother and the brutal attack of her two little girls. The problem with this is he is innocent.
We created this website to bring awareness to the horrible injustice that was done to Mr. Lincoln and his family as well as the family of the victim. Additionally, if there is anyone out there that knows who committed this horrible crime we hope that they read the information here and contact the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to report what they know. We would love nothing more than to see the true perpetrator of this horrible crime brought to justice.
Rodney Lincoln was arrested almost a month after the attack based on a composite sketch created in a very unconventional manner and a biased photo line-up followed by an extremely unfair physical line-up that contained him and three people all more than 15 years younger than him who looked nothing like him.
Mr. Lincoln readily agreed to speak with the detectives, go to the police station, answer all their questions, provide hair, blood, and saliva samples, submit to a body search and participate in a line-up because he had nothing to hide. Because of his willingness to help, he has spent the last thirty+ years behind bars.
His first trial in August 1983 ended in a hung jury with a 7-5 split on the verdict. In a second trial in October, 1983 the state brought in more experts to testify that a critical hair at the scene was his. That trial ended in a conviction for manslaughter and two counts of 1st degree assault. He was sentenced to two life terms plus 15 years.
He has always maintained his innocence!!
In June, 2003 the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's office launched a “Justice Project”, a review of old cases to see if DNA could be used to prove innocence or guilt. Out of over 1400 cases reviewed, Rodney's was one of the six chosen. Though this review was eventually closed by the Circuit Attorney's office with no testing being done, it had caught the attention of Rodney's daughter who began an earnest fight to find justice for her father.
This search for justice eventually led to the doorsteps of an investigative reporter known for his work in researching and fighting wrongful convictions. Steve Weinberg agreed that Rodney's was a very plausible case of an innocent man in prison. He used Rodney's case for a class project for his investigative reporting class. This project unearthed a wealth of new information that pointed to Rodney's innocence and culminated in a feature length article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch in October, 2005.
During the time that Steve Weinberg and his class were beginning their investigation of the case Rodney's family also contacted the Midwest Innocence Project. They also agreed that there is an innocent man sitting in a prison cell for no reason at all. They have been fighting hard to prove Rodney's innocence and gain his release since January, 2005.
The most important thing they have accomplished on Rodney's behalf is that in January 2010 they finally got the circuit attorney's office to agree to DNA testing and in June, 2010 preliminary results were received followed by the final report in November 2010. The hair that was portrayed as his at trial is not his! Not only that but another hair found on one of the victims also yielded a DNA profile that is not his! Not only are these hairs not Rodney's but they also do not belong to any of the victims and in fact these two hairs yielded two different DNA profiles, mutually exclusive of each other.
Based on these exculpatory DNA results, MIP filed a motion to have him released in November, 2010. The circuit attorney's office opposed that motion, stating that the evidence was not conclusive proof of innocence. Since that time the Midwest Innocence project has identified additional evidence and conducted further testing after gaining agreement from the circuit attorney's office. The results of this additional testing did not reveal any male DNA on any of the evidence.