Parents Falsely Accused: Lynn

Falsey Accused and Convicted

Ten months after her 13-year-old daughter, Crystallynn, was strangled, Lynn was indicted on murder charges. 

 

"They came and arrested me for the murder of my daughter while I was pregnant with twins," Lynn recalls. "You just want to scream at the top of your lungs, ‘What are you people doing? I didn't do this! You're letting a murderer go free, while you're doing this to me!'"

 

The public made nasty comments about Lynn, once she was indicted. "Hearing what everybody had to say was very shocking," she remembers, "To be falsely accused of the murder of your own daughter " it's like taking your hand, and just grabbing inside my chest and ripping my heart out."

Four months later, on April 20, 1994, Lynn was convicted of the crime and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. "Being shipped off to prison for the crime, you just cannot believe what is happening, because you know that you're innocent," she says. "Prison was horrifying. I was called a baby-killer. I was told not to go to sleep at night, because if I did, I wouldn't wake up in the morning. I was beat up. I was picked on constantly. You don't sleep." Fighting back tears, she continues, "You keep trying to figure out ways to prove your innocence, and you'll talk to anybody, anybody who will listen. You'll talk to them, and try to get them to do something for you, anything, because you know you're innocent."

 

Dennis Delano, a cold case detective, investigated Lynn's case after she was sent to prison. "We had four people in the cold case unit at the time that reviewed the file, and it just didn't add up. We came to the conclusion that Lynn could not have, it was impossible for her to kill her daughter," he says. "There was not one shred of physical evidence that connected her with the crime ... There's no question in my mind that she was wrongfully convicted, and there's no question in my mind that the person who did the murder will never be charged."

 

Lynn was finally released after 13 years behind bars. "Somebody finally heard me after all these years, that I didn't commit this crime," she says.

Lynn is the first woman in United States history to ever be cleared by DNA evidence. She joins Dr. Phil along with detective Dennis Delano, whom Lynn says is her hero, her oldest son, Ed, and her husband Chuck.

"How did you find out, after 13 years, that something was going on? That there was some hope for your case," Dr. Phil asks Lynn.

Pointing to Dennis, she says, "He called the prison and asked if I would speak with him, and upon speaking with him, he turns, and he said, ‘I believe, 100 percent, that you're innocent.' That was my first ray of hope that somebody was finally listening to me."

Dr. Phil asks Dennis how he discovered Lynn's innocence after she had been in prison for more than 12 years.

"We were investigating another cold case, and in that case we came across a name of who we thought was the perpetrator, and that name matched a name in her file," he says. "His DNA was discovered inside Crystallynn, mixed with her blood on a wall, and underneath her, on the mattress."