The Phyllis Cottle Story

Veteran journalist Carol Costello revisits the first big assignment she covered as a rookie reporter. In March of 1984, Phyllis Cottle was kidnapped as she left work in downtown Akron, Ohio, brutally assaulted, and left to die. Except, against all odds, she survived.

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Update: DNA Results | "I'm a Gun Man"

| S:1 E:16

Carol shares the results of DNA testing on newly recovered evidence in the case of Phyllis Cottle’s brutal assault.

The results are infuriating and…baffling.

The Ohio Innocence Project prompted a forensic review of evidence, raising the possibility that Samuel J. Herring, the man convicted of the crime, may be innocent.

Herring, now 67 years old and wheelchair-bound, has spent nearly 40 years behind bars. He has maintained his innocence.

Today we know the truth.

And while it leads to a man who is definitely guilty, it also raises questions.


Host - Carol Costello

Producer - Chris Aiola

Audio Engineer - Sean Rule-Hoffman

Production Director - Brigid Coyne

Executive Producer - Gerardo Orlando

Original Music - Timothy Law Snyder

Cleveland Channel 5’s story on Samuel Herring:

The Marshall Project’s story on Samuel Herring:

For additional information about Phyllis Cottle’s case, please visit our newly-launched website (, Carol’s Facebook page ( and Instagram page (

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Why That Case? An Interview with The Ohio Innocence Project

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