In December of 2002, NBC News producer Dan Slepian got a letter from a New York state prison. It was from a man serving 25 years to life for murder. And it ended with a desperate plea: look into my case.
Jon-Adrian “JJ” Velazquez had been convicted of killing a retired New York City police officer, but he insisted he didn’t do it. Dan was skeptical. Prosecutors said five eyewitnesses had sworn JJ was the killer. Could five people be wrong?
So Dan began to dig. What he discovered went far beyond just JJ’s case. And 20 years later, it’s still unfolding.
Letters from Sing Sing tells the story of a man convicted of murder, a journalist, and the letter that changed both of their lives. New episodes drop every Monday through March 27, 2023.
Dan Slepian receives a letter from a man in prison. He’s been convicted of murder, but he insists he’s innocent. He even challenges Dan to prove him guilty.
Dan checks out JJ’s alibi and pours over the 2,000-page trial transcript. It’s clear to him the trial was strange and he’s left with more questions.
Police said five people identified JJ as the man who killed Al Ward. Dan sets out to find them.
Dan talks to two jurors from JJ’s trial and tracks down the alleged accomplice. JJ’s story finally goes public.
The Manhattan DA’s office reinvestigates JJ’s case. A tip surfaces about Mustafa and Dan follows it to Seattle.
JJ turns 40. Jon gets in trouble. Dan receives a mysterious envelope with missing police reports.
This deserves a sequel
True crime lovers who appreciate a win for the “bad guys” HAVE to listen to this. I was sure of how I felt and what I KNEW. This story 180, and my brain turning! I sympathize with the time it had to take to make this, but can appreciate the efforts!! Good listen!! ….I need a sequel. 🧡
I almost never write a review. This podcast moved me. Thank you for taking the time to share this man’s fight, heart, and struggle. He is an inspiration
If you haven’t listened to this, you need to. An absolutely brilliant and caring journalist and JJ, a man we all can aspire to be.