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A common thread

A detective searches for answers to a series of murders in Buffalo, N.Y. Could the wrong woman be in prison?
The first woman exonerated by DNA evidence, Lynn Dejac had her prison sentence reversed in November 2007.
The first woman exonerated by DNA evidence, Lynn Dejac had her prison sentence reversed in November 2007.Photo: Karen Sterling

He seems uncomfortable, somehow, this burly Buffalo cop in the heart of wintry Manhattan.

He's still not used to being the center of positiveattention.

And yet, way up high in a New York City hotel conference room, the sleek crowd, the lawyers, the judges are here to honor him for his work with the Buffalo Police Cold Case Unit. The unit solved a string of rapes and murders that stretched back more than 20 years and, in the process, freed an innocent man from prison.

But Dennis Delano is in no mood to spout the usual banalities of a grateful cop clutching his big award.

Dennis Delano: I'm speaking to you as lawyers. I'm just an average person, average intelligence. I just happen to be a person with a lot of experience in police work.

And this gathering of the cream of New York law can hardly mistake the tone of an angry man.

Dennis Delano: Surely people with law degrees have to be able to address and see that there's a flaw in the system. Something has to be done with the system. I don't know what. I just know something has be changed.

Yes, and right here, even as he is speaking, he knows his own future as a cop is very bleak indeed.

It’s a very dangerous moment in the remarkable story you're about to hear.

Here is where it began, months earlier; a simple service in a modest church. Buffalo, N.Y.

Detective Dennis Delano was at his usual Sunday post - a member of the church band.

It was just a fluke, really, when Trish Radzikowski learned that the man helping with the service...was actually a detective, a specialist in cold cases.

Trish Radzikowski: I just thought I gotta talk to this guy because he's the one that can look at my sister's case.

Her sister's case? Well, that would be the dreadful business of what happened to Joan Giambra 13 years ago.

Trish Radzikowski: Sometimes I still find myself not totally, you know, absorbed it after all these years.

Joan Giambra was 42-years-old the night her attacker raped her, choked the life out of her, left her naked and dead in the living room.

A monstrous crime. Moreso because whoever did it also assaulted Joan's 11-year-old daughter.

And when the police came they found that little girl also naked and sprawled, unconscious, across her mother's dead body.

The girl, Kathleen, was breathing but in a catatonic state when her brother Don Cormier saw the ambulance take her away.

Don was Joan's eldest son; he lived just around the corner. He'd been at his mother's house just the night before.

Don Cormier: I got out of work and I stopped over before I went home. and, normal. Kathy was awake.

Kathy: I was.

Don Cormier: And I'm trying to get her to go to bed. And my mom on the phone, talking to one of the siblings, as usual. And it was nothing out of the ordinary.

And the next morning...

Don Cormier: One of my mom's friends came and knocked on my door and told me that there was a problem.

Keith Morrison: A problem.

Don Cormier: I ran down to my mom's house. And that's when I saw Kathy on a gurney, and my mom was covered up. And I just couldn't believe what I was seeing.

Difficult even now for Don to remember. Just as, for Kathleen, the lack of memory is tormenting.

Kathy: It ate me up inside for 15 years almost that I can't remember. Trying to remember every day. And there's a reason why I don't remember maybe it was too hard

But all the initial horror -- and it did grip the city for a time -- seemed gradually to fade away as interest shifted elsewhere. And the investigation of Joan's fate just died.

Trish Radzikowski: Our family had to pretty much make our own closure for this. We just have to, you know, count on, you know, God to provide the justice, you know, that we may never see.

And so, when she learned that man in her parish was a detective, her deeply religious heart skipped a beat.

Trish Radzikowski: I was meant to be there. I believe that all that was not an accident.

Detective Delano, it should be said, did not gush enthusiasm. He has heard far too many entreaties that wound up going nowhere. Still, she was a church member.

Dennis Delano: I pulled the file, located the file, starting re-investigating it. My squad did.

Sam Giambra: At first, it looked, frankly, obvious. One more case among many of an angry husband, a woman who wanted to leave.

Dennis Delano:: She was going to serve divorce papers on her husband a week prior to her death. After reading the file, the most likely suspect seemed to be her husband.

Sam Giambra was not charged, though.

There wasn't enough evidence for that back then. But, there is one investigative tool that's come a long way since 1993, and of course that would be DNA.

Dennis Delano: The clippings from the fingernails indicate that there was a struggle, and that she had scratched her attacker.

The latest DNA technology could identify even a few stray skin cells left under those fingernails by the assailant.

Now they could know for certain if the killer was Joan's husband. If the DNA was his, he must have been the murderer.

Dennis Delano: When we went looking for the husband to talk to him, we found out that he was deceased.

Sam Giambra, it turned out, committed suicide in 2000.

Dead end again? Not quite. At the time of the murder, the coroner had preserved a crucial piece of information -- a sample of Sam's DNA. What if that new DNA technology was applied to the old sample?

Dennis Delano: We tried to match his DNA with this DNA found at the Giambra crime scene. And it turned out that it wasn't a match.

So the murderer wasn't the husband. Couldn't have been. Now the mystery was irresistible. Delano and his team went to work in earnest.

Dennis Delano: My partners and I, began taking DNA samples from everybody that we could find that was associated with that case. Everything was negative.

But DNA of course is not the only thing a good investigator has at his or her disposal. Often it's simple chatter that will break a case, remembered stories.

Like the story another of Joan Giambra's daughters told about a local bartender, who, in the weeks after Joan left her husband, took her stepping out on a date or two.

Dennis Delano: That he had called her a few times after her mother's death, asking her how she was. And he felt bad because he used to go out with her mother, and all of this stuff.

A bartender? Who was this man? Maybe -- if he was still feeling bad all these years -- he might help solve the crime. Of course, as it would turn out, there was much more to it than just a courtesy call.

Joan Giambra, a mother of three, was found strangled and naked on her living room floor, her 11-year-old daughter unconscious, naked, and draped over the dead body.

And now, all these years later, Detective Delano and the Buffalo Cold Case team encountered a very curious story.

Another of Joan's daughters told them about a mysterious phone call she'd received after the murder from a man who claimed he dated her mother, pumping her for information.

Jackie Giambra: Told me he was a friend of my mother's. And you know, if they found out what happened to her.

The daughter vaguely remembered a name: Dennis. Dennis Donahue.

Weirdly similar to the detective's name, Dennis Delano. Though two more dissimilar lives would be hard to find.

Thirteen years after the murder, Donahue still hadn't gone far from the gritty watering holes on Buffalo's south side where he'd once tended bar.

A man who'd lived life on the opposite side of the law from Detective Dennis Delano.

He was unemployed now. Living with relatives.

Time for a visit.

Lissa Redmond: We decided to go and swab him.

Lissa Redmond is a member of Delano's Cold Case team.

Lissa Redmond: He seemed very surprised that after all these years we were there knocking on his door.

Why get a sample of DNA? Well, if he'd dated Joan Giambra, and then checked up on events after the murder, he had to be considered a suspect.

Dennis Delano: And when Detective Redmond asked him for a DNA sample, he agreed to give a DNA sample. Go figure.

Keith Morrison: The swab was sent off to the lab. A long wait ensued. And then?

It was him.

Dennis Donahue's DNA matched the skin cells found under Joan Giambra's preserved fingernails.

Another mystery apparently solved, thanks to the wonders of DNA.

Don Cormier: I was in disbelief.

But a funny thing can happen when you start to pull the loose thread at the end of a long and ragged case.

Detective Delano and the Buffalo Police Cold Case investigation began to turn up something else: Strange similarities to two other Buffalo murder cases, one in the 1990s, another going way back to the 1970s.

And in each case, the common denominator was the name.

Dennis Delano: There was a lot of similarities in the crime scene photos with two of our prior cases that had looked at earlier.

One of those cases was the rape and murder of a middle-aged woman named Carol Reed on Sept. 9, 1975.

Her body, naked and strangled, was found on the living room floor, in this apartment complex in Buffalo.

Lori Krug: I was in shock, you know, just didn't know what to do.

Carol Reed's daughter, Lori Krug, is  still picking up the pieces after more than three decades.

Lori Krug: It was very difficult. But I think I kind of used, "Oh, I'll think about it tomorrow. I'll just get through today."

Keith Morrison: You saw the blood stains on the carpet. That couldn't have been easy.

Lori Krug: Washing the kitchen floor was hard.

Keith Morrison: The thing of it is, that nothing ever happened.

Lori Krug: Never heard.

Dennis Donahue, it turned out, was a person of interest in the Carol Reed Case. He lived just down the hall in her apartment building. But there was no way then to test the minute bits of evidence in and around the body for DNA. And and no other evidence turned up, so the investigation died. But now, all these years later, Detective Delano began to get that gut feeling cops are famous for.

Dennis Delano: Carol Reed was murdered -- left nude, face up on her apartment floor -- in 1975. 9/9/75, OK? Joan Giambra was murdered on 9/9/93. Dennis Donahue's birthday is 9/9/52. So both of them homicides were committed on his birthday. And it was more than a coincidence.

Keith Morrison: Two murder cases. Same month and day. One M.O.: Rape, strangulation, nude corpses.

Who was this Dennis Donahue?

Was there even more in his past?

About then, in fact, Detective Delano got another tip on another homicide, and once again, like a bad penny, the name Dennis Donahue popped up.

Dennis Delano: So I hunted that file down. That was from 1993. I read that file, and I said, "Sure enough, it's the same Dennis Donahue."

Donahue had been questioned in the 1993 Valentine's Day murder of a 13-year-old girl named Crystallyn Girard.

Now we had him at three homicide scenes. All three victims female. All three victims left to be found nude, lying face up.

It all looked so similar. Again, that distinct method of killing. Again, Donahue was a suspect, but not charged.

But in one way, the murder of young Crystallyn Girard was very different indeed.. in that case, someone else had been convicted. And that someone had been in prison for it for more than a decade.     

Dennis Delano: When I first read the file and I saw somebody was convicted of it...

It should by rights have been enough to make Detective Delano stop pulling that thread. But it wasn't.

And thus began a strange and dangerous struggle between a cold case cop and the system he was sworn to uphold.

They called it the Queen City once. Buffalo, N.Y., was a place bursting with steel and trade and high paying jobs.

But times changed. This is Buffalo's first ward.

Now it's just a workingman's town. Back then, there was a bar on every corner, just about.

This was the neighborhood where Joan Giambra was murdered. And it's where 13-year-old Crystallyn Girard grew, lived and died her dreadful death on Valentine's Day 1993.

Killed, a jury decided, by her own mother, Lynn Dejac.

Dennis Delano: We came to the conclusion after pouring over and over it again, that mostly likely she didn't commit the crime.

Instead, believed Detective Delano, the murderer was Dennis Donahue, Dejac's jilted boyfriend, the same man now charged with killing Joan Giambra.

But, to convince the D.A., Delano and his team needed hard evidence.

Andrew Lotempio: I'm gonna sit down with Detective Delano and help him in any way I can.

Lotempio had always believed Donahue committed the crime, and thus an unlikely alliance was formed: The detective and the defense attorney set out to free Lynn Dejac and find convincing evidence against her daughter's killer.

Andrew Lotempio: I had directed them as to what evidence might have been in the evidence boxes that could be re-tested for DNA using the current DNA technologies.

Detective Delano and the Buffalo Police Cold Case squad dug up the evidence box. Was there enough material in here to produce a sample of DNA?

Why yes, there was.

Dennis Delano: There was blood on some type of fluid. There was male DNA found in that mixture.

That male DNA was found in three places in and around the body of Crystallynn.

The police, remember, also had a sample of Dennis Donahue's DNA.

The samples were compared, and they matched.

It was a slam dunk at that point.

Dennis Delano: Absolutely. He should have been the main suspect at the time.

Now that, it seemed to Delano, was evidence a D.A. would have to listen to.

But then again, maybe not.

Frank Clark, District Attorney: The issue is whether that fact indicates that somebody other than Lynn Dejac was the person who killed her daughter.

And D.A. Clark was of the view that the matching DNA did not necessarily indicate another killer.

Now, by rights, the D.A. was the boss, after all, and he made the call.

Dennis Delano: We were told to lay off of it.

And so that, pretty much, was that. Time to quit.

Except, well, you've probably already gathered that Detective Delano wasn't about to do that.

He did not quit. He went over the boss's head again, and made his case to the public on T.V.

To which Frank Clark shot back, also in public, a not-so-veiled suggestion that Donahue might have been having consensual sex with 13-year-old Crystallyn, and that her mother may still have been the killer.

Frank Clark: Let's take a hypothetical. If somebody has sexual relations with somebody else, and that somebody else turns up dead two days later. Is the fact that they had sexual relations evidence of the homicide?

Well, those, as far as Detecitive Delano was concerned, were fighting words. The D.A., he said, had impugned the character of an innocent, murdered girl. The very idea she'd been having sex with that man...

Dennis Delano: That's absurd. And it's disgusting. None of the investigators came up with anything even remotely close to that scenario. And for him to publicly state something like that, I think it's totally unconscionable, and irresponsible.

It was an unequal battle, of course. Detectives aren't supposed to take on the D.A., especially on television.

But all of a sudden, the odds changed quite dramatically.

A judge had been looking at the new evidence Detective Delano had found -- and issued an order to release Lynn Dejac from prison.

And just like that, Lynn walked out of the courthouse into the cold Buffalo air.

But to what? Freedom? Not quite.

The D.A. had an option now. He could drop all charges against Lynn Dejac. Or, he could try her all over again.

Frank Clark: The question of guilt has not been determined.

The decision was quick. Re-trial. For murder. Really? In spite of that new exonerating DNA evidence?

Now, again, Detective Dennis Delano was having trouble keeping his mouth shut.

It was just before Christmas when, after 13 years in prison, convicted of murdering her own daughter, Lynn Dejac was released -- but not quite free.

Lynn Dejac: Because they're still trying to say that they're going to retry me. When they retry me, and I hope and pray to god that they do, then I'll be vindicated.

Keith Morrison: Here, as she sat with us, she was still waiting to learn her fate.

With her, for support, was her husband and the father of her twin boys.

She's been getting reacquainted after all that time.

As for what happened to her daughter, Crystallyn, well, that was quite a story.

Keith Morrison: She was your little buddy.

Lynn Dejac: She was my heart. She was considerate. She was compassionate. She looked out for me, more than I looked out for her.

And often it fell to Crystallyn, at 13, to mother her 8-year-old brother Eddie while Lynn was out working at the bar.

She was sort of the grownup in this relationship, in some ways.

Lynn Dejac: In some ways, yes she was.

And then, Valentine's Day 1993. Crystallynn spent the evening at home, alone, while her mother attended a friend's wedding with Dennis Donahue -- a man she admits she was dating not for love, but for help in starting a business.

Lynn Dejac: Truth of the matter, I was playing him. And I don't know what I was gonna do at the end, but I knew I was playing to try to get this business outta him so I could be on my own.

Keith Morrison: But she soon noticed odd things about Donahue. For one thing, she says, he was very possessive.

Lynn Dejac: He hired somebody to follow me on a girls' night out.

Keith Morrison: He's a stalker.

Lynn Dejac: Yes. I had told myself, after the wedding, that I was going to break up with him. And that's exactly what I did.

Thus a night of drama. Donahue, she says, wouldn't take no for an answer. Says he followed her here to her mother's bar. It's been closed for years now.

And when she fled the bar, he followed her home, about six doors down the street.

Around midnight, she said, a screaming, drunken fight ensued. And still, Donahue refused to leave. Crystallyn helped her mother call 911.

Lynn Dejac: He slapped the phone out of my hand, and I proceeded to, again, pick up the phone and call the police. Because the police are coming, he now leaves.

And then Lynn Dejac made what may have been the biggest mistake of her life. She turned to her daughter, and said:

Lynn Dejac: "Don't answer the door when the police come. I don't wanna get in any trouble for leaving you home alone."

That's right. She left her daughter alone in the house and headed back down the street to her mother's bar. She rationalized, she says: Crystallyn was an accomplished babysitter, she could look after herself.

At the bar, Lynn once again encountered Donahue.

Lynn Dejac: He comes into the bar and he starts chasing me all around the bar.

The night spiraled from bad to worse. Lynn met up with an old boyfriend at the bar and left with him, ditching Donahue -- who then stalked the pair of them throughout the night, jealousy fueled by alcohol, drugs and rage.

Lynn Dejac: We got out of the car and Dennis Donahue came out of nowhere. Grabbed Michael from behind and put a knife up to his throat. I happened to be in front of the car at this time. And he was asking me, "Is this what you want? Is this what you want?" And I said, "Yes it is."

Lynn says she slipped back to the house to check on her daughter one more time at about 4:30 a.m. Her story is supported by the former boyfriend, who says he went with her.

Lynn Dejac: And she was fine. I breathed a sigh of relief.

But then she left again.

She and her male companion went back to his place, where she spent the rest of the night. And it was after noon by the time she arrived home again.

Lynn Dejac: When I came in, I just knew something was wrong. I'm, you know, "Krista Lynn, where are you? Are you up?"

No answer.

She stepped into the bedroom. And there was Crystallynn.

She was lying on the bed, naked but for some red socks she had worn for Valentines Day.

Lynn Dejac: You just-- you-- you-- just-- I don't know how to explain it. You just don't wanna believe what you're seeing.

Lynn Dejac: I went down for questioning anywhere from three to five days in a row, for many hours each day. And I think around the first day, toward the end, it started-- I started feeling like, "Wait a minute. Wait a minute. This is not going like I feel that it should be going-- questioning-- the questions that should be brought to a grieving mother." It just didn't. And I started feeling it then.

Keith Morrison: They suspected you.

Lynn Dejac: Mm-hmm. I felt it. They never came out and said it. But I felt it.

Keith Morrison: Did you ask them, you know, "Have you talked to this Donahue person?"

Lynn Dejac: Oh yeah, I kept telling them, "You need to go get Dennis Donahue."

Keith Morrison: And the police did contact Donahue.

That was when he passed a polygraph and was eliminated as a suspect.

And then the rumors started. Before long, almost everybody in the neighborhood had a theory about what happened to that little girl. But it was months later when a tip finally broke the case wide open.

That was the two-time felon who told police that Lynn had admitted to him one night at a bar not far from here that she killed her own daughter.

Eight months after her daughter's death, Lynn Dejac was charged with second-degree murder.

By that time, Lynn was pregnant with twins. Her 8-year-old son Eddie was taken to foster care right away, the twins right after they were born.

Lynn Dejac: There are no words in the English language to describe it.

A little more than a year after Crystallyn's death, Lynn was tried, convicted and sentenced to 25 years to life.

Lynn Dejac: Oh, I don't think they thought I was a very good person at all. So I feel it was more my lifestyle that got me convicted, not the actual crime itself.

And in the 13 years of prison that followed, she had lots of time to think.

Keith Morrison: It's true what they say that the pain never really goes away, does it?

Lynn Dejac: It never goes away. Never. And you never stop playing the what if game.

Keith Morrison: How do you play the what if game?

Lynn Dejac: I play it all the time. "What if I wouldn't have played this man?" "What if I would've stayed in school?" "What if I wouldn't have left her to baby sit her brother, baby sit herself?" So, every day, all the time. "What if?" If only.

Keith Morrison: And you can't bring her back.

Lynn Dejac: No.

And then, just a few days after this interview, in February 2008, the D.A. had an announcement. A new medical examiner was brought in to review the evidence. The famous Michael Baden had reviewed the evidence and pronounced death by cocaine.

Michael Baden: Abundant amount of froth that was present around the nose and mouth which indicates a drug overdose...

The D.A. dropped all charges against Lynn Dejac.

Frank Clark: "We are up here saying that the system was wrong and made an error...:"

Victory! Or was it?

Because now the D.A. was saying Crystallyn wasn't even murdered.

Dennis Delano: What an insult to the victim. It's is not a cocaine overdose.

While cocaine was found in Crstallyn's body at the time of her death, the original pathologist says the amount was too small to be lethal. And he still stands by his original conclusion -- Crystalllyn died a violent death by manual strangulation. And then, of course, there's the new DNA evidence linking Donahue to the scene.

Dennis Delano: Everything tells me that this is a homicide.

To make the point that it was a homicide, the detective again went over his boss's head to the media. He took his evidence -- and a reporter -- to a convention of forensic scientists in Washington, DC.

Dennis Delano: They finally agreed that the death was most likely not a cocaine overdose, and their reasoning was that you could not ignore all the other evidence in the case and rule it a cocaine overdose.

And that is when the Buffalo police, said enough is enough. Detective Dennis Delano was suspended without pay.

It was still winter, when Lynn Dejac channelled Rip Van Winkle.

She had her first internet experience.

Lynn Dejac: I'm computer illiterate...

First time on a cellphone, a call to her eldest son...

Lynn Dejac: I miss you. It's a homecoming but it's not the same without you...

She was even a guest on the Today Show.

Lynn Dejac: The neighbors are much nicer now...

Lynn Dejac: My boys were still babies to me. And I'm coming home to grown men. You know? And I want to be hugging them and kissing them and taking them into my arms and, you know?

Keith Morrison: Treating them like little babies.

Lynn Dejac: Just be affectionanate and because they haven't had female interaction like that, female touch. They would jerk away from me. And it would stab me right in the heart.

Her youngest, the twins born as she went to prison, are teens now. Her eldest, Eddie, served two tours in Iraq, and has a wife and kids of his own.

The twins' father is Chuck Peters. He married Lynn in prison, and stuck with her all these years.

She listened, as the state claimed her daughter had died of a cocaine overdose.

Lynn Dejac: My daughter wasn't a drug user. My daughter didn't use drugs. My daughter was on the honor role.

Then her hero, the man whose investigation freed her, was suspended without pay.

And finally Dennis Donahue, once briefly her boyfriend, went on trial for second-degree murder for killing Joan Giambra. That's the cold case that started it all.

As Lynn Dejac waited for Donahue's trial to end, she celebrated mother's day for the first time in years. She replaced her prison Polaroids with a real family portrait.

Dennis Delano: And a day later...after seven hours of deliberation, the jury reached its verdict. Dennis Donahue was guilty of murdering Joan Giambra.

Lynn Dejac: "He can't hurt nobody no more."

Finally, something that felt like justice.

Don Cormier: It will never bring my mother back, but it was -- she finally gets some peace and her case finally being solved after all these years.

Kathy Giambra: That day was very gloomy and rainy that day. And then the day after it was so sunny and beautiful outside. It was like you knew your mother -- my mother -- was shining down on us. Like she was in her glory and finally can rest in peace.

But for Detective Delano it wasn't enough. There were still those other two cases. Carol Reed, who was killed in 1975.

Dennis Delano: She was killed in '75, and the evidence was destroyed in '78.

Isn't that supposed to be kept until a case is closed?

Dennis Delano: It's supposed to be kept forever, yeah. I've never heard that, of that being done before.

Perhaps the biggest outrage, for Delano, is that Dennis Donahue -- whose DNA was linked to 13-yeard-old Crystallyn Girard's case -- can never be brought to trial in her death.

Why? Because, back in 1993, Dennis Donahue testified before the Grand Jury that indicted Lynn Dejac, Crystallynn's mother. It turns out that testimony, under New York state law, gave him automatic immunity from prosecution.

And now? Even after Donahue was found guilty of murder in the Giambra case, the detective was still furious that the D.A. had allowed Dennis Donahue to escape prosecution for the murder of Crystallyn Girard. Still furious at Clark's suggestion that Crystallyn wasn't murdered at all, but overdosed.

Dennis Delano: You wanna know how many pills I take for blood pressure and stuff?

Detective Delano, knowing it might cost him his job, had defied his own boss's gag order by going public to force the Crystallyn Girard case forward.

Keith Morrison: Here you are, battering your head against the district attorney, for God's sake, and getting to the point where you're suspended.

Dennis Delano: Yeah. Without pay.

Keith Morrison: Why does it matter so much?

Dennis Delano: Because it's not the truth. I mean, they covered up a homicide. And that's not acceptable. I don't care who it is. I don't care if it was the president of the United States that told me that this is a cocaine overdose. It's not a cocaine overdose. It was a homicide. Her mother was falsely imprisoned. She was in prison for 13 years for something she didn't do. Shame on them. It's a 13-year-old little girl. And she didn't deserve to die like that.

The end of the road for the cop who took on the D.A.? Well, not quite.

Detective Dennis Delano had become something of a folk hero around Buffalo.

(WBEN radio)

"The thought that there's a cop out there who really cares about me ... if I'm in trouble, there's a cop out there who would say that's not a good enough answer, I don't believe that to be true and actually get you out of jail..."

A fundraiser was organized. The two innocent people he'd freed from prison were there.

Keith Morrison: When we recorded you getting that award in New York City, and you said to those people, "Something has to change, something has to be done--"  What are you gonna do about it?

Dennis Delano: I think I may be getting more involved in the system than I was willing to get involved in before.

Keith Morrison: In May, ex-detective Delano announced he is running for a seat in the New York State Legislature.

Dennis Delano: I just cannot sit for things that are wrong to keep on being wrong.

As for D.A. Frank Clark: Despite our repeated requests, he declined the opportunity to offer his point of view.

Then, the very day the jury found Dennis Donahue guilty, the D.A. held a press conference. A Dateline producer was forcibly ejected.

And Frank Clark announced he was retiring for health reasons.

Frank Clark: This is the time that I have to say goodbye.

There are some new parishioners these past Sundays at Detective Delano's Church.

Dennis Delano: Yes. Yes, she comes. Her whole family, they come every Sunday.

Justice finally freed Lynn Dejac. Now she prays, she says, that justice will also be done in the name of her daughter Crystallyn Girard.

Detective Delano is still suspended from the Buffalo Police department pending a hearing, but his pay has been reinstated. Last year, New York state passed a law designed to expedite the release of those wrongfully convicted.