Today, Diane Fanning is a well-known creator specializing in true crime. But a few years prior, her correspondence with a serial killer on dying row proved to be instrumental in proving one other lady’s innocence in a court docket of legislation. Julie Rea was convicted of killing her son, solely to be exonerated a number of years later.
ABC’s ’20/20: Julie Rea’ delves into the various factors that helped Julie alongside her journey to freedom. Diane’s conversations with the serial killer introduced renewed curiosity to the case on the time. So, let’s discover out the place she is likely to be immediately, then, we could?
Who is Diane Fanning?
Diane was born in Baltimore, Maryland. When she was simply 9 years previous, she reportedly had a brush with a assassin who tried to kidnap her. Soon, her curiosity within the prison thoughts set her on a path that led her to develop into a author. Before that, she graduated in Chemistry from Lynchburg College in Virginia. Diane did some freelance writing in her early years aside from writing for varied radio and tv exhibits in addition to an promoting company. She began engaged on her first e-book, ‘Through the Window,’ when she lived in Texas.
The e-book was in regards to the killing spree of Tommy Lynn Sells, a serial killer who claimed to have killed about fifty folks. During that point, Diane got here throughout a ’20/20′ episode about Julie Rea in May 2002. Julie was convicted of murdering her son, Joel, of their residence in Lawrenceville, Illinois, regardless of claiming there was an intruder in the home that she struggled with. After watching it, Diane felt that Julie was harmless.
Diane knew that Tommy had dedicated comparable crimes earlier than. So, she wrote to him however didn’t point out something particular. Part of the letter read, “The other night, I was watching a story on TV about a woman who was in jail for killing her son. She claims someone broke into her house and killed him. You could say, ‘Yeah right, lady. We’ve heard that story before.’ But then you listen to the law enforcement guys and the prosecuting attorney, and they are so full of stupid opinions…”
The response Diane acquired from Tommy was surprising. He requested, “About that woman claims someone broke into her house? Was that like maybe two days before my Springfield, Missouri, murder? Maybe on the 13th?” Sure sufficient, Joel was killed on October 13, 1997. Just two days later, Tommy was confirmed to have kidnapped a 13-year-old woman and murdered her. She believed that Tommy had no approach of realizing about Julie or the episode that lined her case. Eventually, there was a full confession to the police from Tommy in 2003.
Where is Diane Fanning Now?
Diane later mentioned, “There had been corroborating evidence to place [Sells] in Lawrenceville. When I found out that, then I believed 100% not only in Julie Rae Harper’s innocence but in Tommy Lynn Sells guilt.” Tommy’s confession was used as proof at Julie’s retrial, ending together with her acquittal and a proper exoneration in 2010.
Diane mentioned that it was fulfilling to have the ability to assist Julie in her quest for justice. The creator went on to put in writing 26 books that included true crime tales, thriller novels, and anthology collections. She lives in Bedford, Virginia, together with her husband and their pet canine. She is a grandmother now, spending high quality time together with her household and having fun with her travels.
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