Retired Suffolk County Judge Stuart Namm is considered a hero--"The Serpico of Judges"--to many Tankleff supporters. It was his 1985 letter, three years before the Tankleff murders, to then Governor Mario Cuomo that led to the NY State Investigation Commission's uncovering of mind-boggling corruption in Suffolk County law enforcement. Among the SIC Report's findings was perjury in the '85 Diaz case by Detective James McCready, who would go on to take Marty's unsigned, recanted "confession."
For his whistleblowing, Namm's career suffered in Suffolk County, as you might imagine.
Namm would become fascinated by the Tankleff case--he attended the trial--and in 1998 he produced a 56-minute documentary on the case: "A Question of Guilt."
While so much has happened and so much new evidence has come to light since the piece was produced in '98, it's a great reminder of how much was known and how fishy Marty's conviction was even then.
Here are two trailers on YouTube...
...that contain some remarkable sound bites, including:
McCready on Steuerman: "The problem he created for us was not that we had to prove that he's now the murderer, okay, the problem he created for us was that we had to do ten times the work to prove that he wasn't the murderer." Say what?
Marty's half-sister Shari on McCready and the Digger O'Dells business: "My ex-husband went into business with Jim McCready. Yeah, actually it was my money, but that was my husband at the time, and, I did what I felt I had to do to salvage my disintegrating marriage."
Marty's Aunt Marcella on how she said Steuerman threatened Seymour just weeks before the murders, and Marty's cousin Ron Falbee on the loan-payment demand note from Seymour to Steuerman. This note, lying right on top of Seymour's desk and sprayed with Seymour's blood when he was stabbed and bludgeoned, was ignored by police and retrieved by Falbee when the police were finished with their "investigation" of the crime scene.
And Marty, how right he was as he foreshadowed what was to come: "I'm innocent, and there's somebody out there or some people who know the truth...."
Judge Namm financed "A Question of Guilt," but it has never been distributed. He is now producing a limited quantity of DVDs, expected to be ready to ship sometime in February. They will be available for $29.95 plus $4 domestic shipping. To pre-order, visit his website and scroll down for ordering information.