Beatrice Six

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The "Beatrice Six" were Joseph White, Thomas Winslow, Ada JoAnn Taylor, Debra Shelden, James Dean and Kathy Gonzalez who were falsely found guilty of the 1985 rape and murder of a woman in Beatrice, Nebraska. The conviction was won on forensics done by Joyce Gilchrist (who was later discredited as playing a role in multiple false convictions), and five confessions which were obtained under threats that they would be given the death penalty if they did not. Dr. Reena Roy, the Nebraska State Patrol forensic scientist that did the original blood and semen analysis, was never called to the stand to testify during the case, despite her analysis determining that none of the defendants on trial were a specific match to blood or semen found at the scene. Her findings were over-ruled by those of Dr. Gilchrist, and the case was tried on the basis of that evidence analysis instead.[1][2] [3]In 2008 DNA evidence implicated in the murders Bruce Allen Smith, an original prime suspect, and all of the Beatrice Six were exonerated the year later.[4]

White died in 2011. The remaining are engaged in a lawsuit against Gage County, Nebraska which went to trial in January 2014.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Nebraskans Mark a Year of Freedom". Innocence Project.
  2. ^ Strauss, David L.; Steven A. Drizin (2010). "Afterword". Barbarous souls. Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press. p. 256. ISBN 0810126710.
  3. ^ Bureau, Joe Duggan / World-Herald. "Beatrice Six trial: Even in 1989, forensics didn't point to men and women who went to prison for crime". Retrieved 2018-07-24.
  4. ^ Chris Dunker (November 25, 2013). "Beatrice Six ask judge to limit suggestions they were guilty". Beatrice Daily Sun.
  5. ^ Chris Dunker. "County asks Beatrice Six trials to be separated". Beatrice Daily Sun.

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