12 episodes

In 1982, JoAnn Tate and her two young daughters, Melissa and Renee, are savagely attacked in the middle of the night. JoAnn dies; the girls barely survive. One month later, Melissa identifies Rodney Lincoln, one of JoAnn’s ex-boyfriends, as the killer. Two trials later, Rodney is found guilty and sentenced to two life terms plus 15 years. In 2015, thirty-two years after Rodney is convicted, Melissa recants and says Rodney didn’t do it. So who is the real killer? Follow true crime TV writer, producer, and director Leah Rothman as she maps the story from its gruesome beginnings to new bombshell revelations that could expose a miscarriage of justice and a killer still on the loose.

The Real Killer iHeartPodcasts and AYR Media

    • True Crime
    • 4.8 • 638 Ratings

In 1982, JoAnn Tate and her two young daughters, Melissa and Renee, are savagely attacked in the middle of the night. JoAnn dies; the girls barely survive. One month later, Melissa identifies Rodney Lincoln, one of JoAnn’s ex-boyfriends, as the killer. Two trials later, Rodney is found guilty and sentenced to two life terms plus 15 years. In 2015, thirty-two years after Rodney is convicted, Melissa recants and says Rodney didn’t do it. So who is the real killer? Follow true crime TV writer, producer, and director Leah Rothman as she maps the story from its gruesome beginnings to new bombshell revelations that could expose a miscarriage of justice and a killer still on the loose.

    Something Stinks in Missouri

    Something Stinks in Missouri

    With an estimated 60,000 innocent people sitting in prison today, many believe it’s particularly challenging to free the wrongfully convicted in the state of Missouri. But why? Who is fighting for justice and who isn’t? The answer is both shocking and disturbing.

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    • 30 min
    Memories… and Misidentifications

    Memories… and Misidentifications

    How did the focus shift from Melissa’s initial statement that, “Bill did it,” to Rodney becoming the prime suspect? Experts break down the police procedures which may have altered the course of the investigation, as well as the science behind how memories work and change over time.

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    • 32 min
    Wished Her No Harm

    Wished Her No Harm

    JoAnn’s neighbor, Steve Yancey, is currently serving time in a Kansas prison for a heinous crime. For the first time publicly, he shares his memories of JoAnn, Melissa, and Renee, the day of the murder, and his interview with police. Will anything Yancey says reveal he’s the real killer?

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    • 45 min
    36 Years and 10 Days

    36 Years and 10 Days

    Rodney Lincoln has now spent more than three decades in prison and his legal options are running out. But, there is a glimmer of hope when the new St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner says his case deserves another look. Then, a scandal at the highest level changes everything.

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    • 52 min
    Tommy... or Who?

    Tommy... or Who?

    Melissa is convinced serial killer Tommy Lynn Sells is the one behind the sadistic attack on her family. Crime writer Diane Fanning, who interviewed Sells at length, says the JoAnn Tate murder has his name written all over it; however, Sells’ whereabouts at the time of murder is hotly debated. But, there is someone else, someone much closer to home, who many say may have done it… and even confessed.

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    • 51 min
    I Need To Go Back

    I Need To Go Back

    In 2015, Melissa is interviewed about her story for a syndicated true crime show. On the program, she is adamant that she knows, with every fiber of her being, Rodney Lincoln is the one who murdered her mom and viciously attacked her and her sister, Renee. But after the show airs, something unexpected happens which changes the lives of those closest to the case and jumpstarts a legal battle of epic proportions.

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    • 40 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
638 Ratings

638 Ratings

"Nagale" ,

Sad story with an amazing story teller!

This is a rly sad/ horrible crime! It’s rly heartbreaking to think of the amount of innocent people in prison. I hope the host does a second season on a new case.

EmojiLojiy ,

Is it Steve Yancy???!

In the first episode you literally said we will find out who the real killer is? I’m confused 🤔

AgreeMikeBites ,

Commercials & dramatization overshadow a good story

The heart of this story is a powerful one, and would shine through more strongly if it weren’t for the insanely long, frequent and grating commercials, and the occasional sound effects and dramatizations. I really feel for Melissa, Rodney snd their loved ones, and that’s what deserves unencumbered center stage here. Cut the minor theatrics - god, and the commercial style/tone/layout/timing - and you have a more powerful podcast.

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