In the ongoing Maine case of Anthony Sanborn, the man who served 27 years for a 1989 murder he may not have committed, the most recent twist is that a profiler has linked that murder, of Jessica Briggs, to another in 1987 in Vermont. That murder, of Barbara Agnew, was the last in a string of New Hampshire and Vermont killings that may have been done by one killer.
The Connecticut River Valley serial killings have never been solved. There may be many more victims; there may be many killers; Briggs may have been the victim of a serial killer who wasn’t tied to those murders at all. How does it all fit together? We try to make sense of it.
When 16-year-old Jessica Briggs was found dead under the Maine State Pier in Portland in May 1989 — stabbed, beaten and eviscerated — police quickly narrowed their focus to her fellow street kids. They arrested her sometime boyfriend Tony Sanborn in 1990, he was convicted of her murder in 1992 and an appeal failed in 1994. In April, after 27 years behind bars, Sanborn was let out on bail after attorneys spent more than a year combing through police and prosecution files that show a trail of lies and constitutional violations.
The star witness? 13 at the time of the murder? Turns out she was legally blind and couldn’t see what she’d claimed she’d seen, something the prosecution didn’t share with the defense. Another important witness? Police had threatened to pursue the adult man’s sexual assaults on underage girls unless he testified that Sanborn told him he’d killed Briggs. The defense didn’t know about that, either. And that’s just the beginning.
Sanborn’s release was a first for Maine, but what lead to it will blow your mind.
Join us for Episode 22! And keep an eye out for Episode 22.2, with important updates on this ongoing case.