Fort Collins, Colo., February 1987
On his way to school, 15-year-old Tim Masters discovered the bloody body of a woman. Police were convinced that he was the one who had raped her, stabbed her to death and mutilated her. They interrogated him for 10 hours without a lawyer present.
Despite a total lack of physical evidence, Tim Masters was convicted of murdering Peggy Hettrick and sentenced to life without parole. During his third appeal of the conviction, DNA samples on the victim's clothes were tested. The results pointed, not to Masters, but to the victim's boyfriend. After more than nine years in prison, Masters was released and all charges were dropped.