5: The Fairytale Ending

T.J. Jimenez
Thaddeus “T.J.” Jimenez and his mother Victoria in 2009 after he was awarded a certificate of innocence. Brian Jackson / Chicago Sun-Times
T.J. Jimenez
Thaddeus “T.J.” Jimenez and his mother Victoria in 2009 after he was awarded a certificate of innocence. Brian Jackson / Chicago Sun-Times

5: The Fairytale Ending

It’s a cruel sociological experiment. Lock up a 13-year-old boy for a murder that he swore he didn’t commit. Release him as a 30-year-old man. Then, give him $25 million. New from WBEZ Chicago, Motive is a true crime podcast hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Frank Main, with original reporting from the Chicago Sun-Times.

After spending 16 years behind bars, T.J. Jimenez has his conviction overturned. He is believed to be the youngest person in United States history to be wrongfully convicted and later exonerated. Jimenez enjoyed his freedom. He went skydiving, he went to Wrigley Field, and he got his driver’s license. But he soon ends up back in prison … and then the mysterious emails start coming.

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For photos, video, court documents and more visit the Chicago Sun-Times.