Raymond Lee Jennings is the subject of another episode of Dateline NBC. Back in 2015, Inquisitr brought you the story of Michelle O’Keefe, a California teen who was found murdered in her car 16 years ago. Dateline’s original episode on the story titled, “The Girl In The Blue Mustang,” left viewers asking more questions than there were answers. It took investigators years to solve the case, and the Dateline episode ended with the conviction of Raymond Lee Jennings. But the story didn’t end there. In Friday night’s updated episode titled “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” the story of Jeffrey Isaac Ehrlich’s connection to the case will be revealed, and how his connection led to the release of Raymond Lee Jennings.
Dateline NBC: “The Man Who Knew Too Much”
Dateline NBC’s coverage begins with the 2000 death of 18-year-old Michelle O’Keefe, who was found dead in her favorite car, a blue mustang. The college student had been shot multiple times and seemed to have been a victim of a botched carjacking. But police didn’t have evidence to prove that theory. Their investigation eventually led them to Raymond Lee Jennings, who worked as a security guard in the parking lot, where O’Keefe was found, according to the LA Times.
His arrest was based solely on the fact that he seemed to know too much about the murder. Jennings’ fate was also sealed after a tip from psychic Sylvia Browne, who stated that a uniformed man named Lee did it, also seemed to line up.
Jennings has gone to trial three times. The first two ended in deadlocks. The third ended in a conviction and a 40-year sentence but even that one was thrown out earlier this year.
- Side Note: Psychic Silvia Brown, who is now dead, was wrong about another case (if you believe in Raymond Lee Jennings’ innocence). Read about that one here.
He Didn’t Do It!
Many viewers who watched the original Dateline episode about the case came away with the feeling that Raymond Lee Jennings was not guilty in the death of Michelle O’Keefe. And they weren’t the only ones who doubted Raymond Lee Jennings’ guilt. As Inquisitr reported in a previous article, Justice For Raymond Lee Jennings, a Facebook page dedicated to Raymond’s story, has over 200 supporters who fought to have him released from prison.
But one more person made Raymond Lee Jennings’ release possible. According to Dateline NBC’s preview, Clinton Ehrlich turned on his computer and watched a six-year-old episode of Dateline, which was available online. That episode was “The Girl In The Blue Mustang.” Immediately, Clinton was drawn to the story in a way that can’t truly be explained.
There was just something about Raymond Lee Jennings that stimulated his interest, making him want to go deeper. Clinton Ehrlich even consulted with Jeffrey Isaac Ehrlich, his attorney father, about the case. One thing that stood out immediately was the lack of evidence to convict this man. A 2016 article in the Los Angeles Times gives an even more detailed explanation.
“From behind bars, Jennings, now 42, filed an unsuccessful appeal and later learned that California’s Supreme Court had declined to look into his case. But his conviction had already grabbed the attention of Ehrlich’s son. The appellate attorney’s son had stumbled across the “Dateline” special on the case and told his father he was struck by what he perceived as weak evidence. In October 2015, Ehrlich wrote a 34-page letter to the district attorney’s conviction review unit, arguing for Jennings’ release, saying he’d found “direct proof” of innocence and multiple flaws in the prosecution’s case.”
His questions led to a re-examining of the cases, which ultimately led to Raymond Lee Jennings’ release. To understand the twists and turns in the story, tune into Dateline NBC this Friday, November 11, at 9/8 p.m. Central.
What do you think of this story? Did Dateline and the investigators get it right the first time or does Raymond Lee Jennings deserve to be free?
[Featured Image by Justice for Ray]