In an exclusive two-part series titled “Snitch Work,” Philadelphia’s City Paper explores the possible innocence of Pennsylvania death row inmate Walter Ogrod. Investigative writer Tom Lowenstein describes Ogrod’s first trial, which resulted in a mistrial when 11 of the 12 jurors voted for acquittal. In Ogrod’s second trial in 1996, the state employed a notorious jailhouse snitch, John Hall, to strengthen their case against Ogrod, who continued to maintain his innocence. Lowenstein’s “Snitch Work” series examines Ogrod’s case, including an alledged coerced confession and police misconduct, the failure to find any physical evidence linking Ogrod to the 1988 murder of 4-year-old Barbara Jean Horn, and the possibility that tests on DNA evidence from another child-murder case could exonerate Ogrod. The articles also provide a closer look into the methods of jailhouse snitches, including comments from John Hall about how he helped to send Ogrod to death row.


Tom Lowenstein, Snitch Work, Philadelphia City Paper, June 17 & 24, 2004.