Joe Jones and Joel Russell both went to Topeka High School, missing each other by a few years. When Jones was convicted of a 1986 rape, lawyers speculated Russell may have been responsible. "They could have been brothers," is how one put it. Jones was released in 1992 after DNA evidence showed he wasn't responsible. But until now, there was no proof connecting Russell with the case. A Journal-World investigation found that DNA was still stored in a refrigerator in California, prompting Topeka police to reopen the case. Russell was charged with the crime in April 2012.
Photo by Kevin Anderson
Joe Jones was exonerated in 1992 of a 1985 Topeka rape after DNA showed he wasn't the assailant. Two decades after his release, a DNA match has identified a suspect, though police are withholding the name until the DNA testing is confirmed.