“Letters from Sing Sing” investigates a 1998 murder case in seven episodes. In the series, NBC News investigative producer Dan Slepian dives into Jon-Adrian “JJ” Velazquez’s story, a man who maintained his innocence for the 20 years he has spent in prison for murder.
Slepian began his investigation in 2002 after he received Velazquez’s letter from Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York. Velazquez was sentenced to 25 years to life for murdering retired police officer Albert Ward in 1998. This occurred during an alleged robbery at an illegal gambling enterprise in Harlem, New York. To this day, Velazquez says he did not commit this crime. Velazquez’s letter begged Slepian: “Look into my case.” He also challenged Slepian to prove he is guilty.
Velazquez’s letter was met with skepticism. Five eyewitnesses said JJ was indeed the killer – but were they wrong? Velazquez wanted Slepian to investigate his case since over the years, Slepian’s investigations have helped exonerate innocent people. Velazquez hopes to be exonerated and continues to search for info that could prove his innocence.
In this podcast, Slepian shares what he has uncovered, speaks with Velazquez in real time as he attempts to search for freedom, and explores the criminal justice system. Slepian pores over Velazquez’s alibi, examines the 2,000-page trial transcript, and explains the questions he had about the trial.
Stream NBC News’ series from the beginning to hear the full story unfold with new episodes on Mondays until March 27, 2023. All episodes run less than an hour on average.
In addition to “Letters from Sing Sing,” Slepian also produced Dateline NBC’s “13 Alibis.” We recommend this series for fans of true crime shows dealing with possible wrongful convictions like “Proof” and “In the Dark.”
Check out new episodes over the next few weeks wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.