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 Nick Krug
Topeka chief of police, Ron Miller, discusses the events that led to the exoneration of Joe Jones and discovering that Joel L. Russell is the true suspect in the 1985 rape case.