Questionable conviction gains more attention

In 2005, I edited and published the book Who Killed Sarah? about the questionable murder conviction of Penny Brummer in Madison, Wisconsin. Co-authors Sheila and Doug Berry make a strong case in the book that Brummer didn’t commit the 1994 murder of Sarah Gonstead for which Brummer was sentenced to serve at least 50 years in prison. They also show that prejudice against Brummer because she is a lesbian had a lot to do with her becoming a suspect, defendant and ultimately an inmate.

A few months ago, the Berrys asked if I would allow them to republish Who Killed Sarah? as an e-book as a way to raise money for DNA tests that might help prove Brummer’s innocence, and I happily said yes. The e-book is now available online at, and it has gained the attention of David Protess, who writes about wrongful convictions for The Huffington Post. Protess quotes Sheila Berry as saying, “The most important evidence that led to Penny’s conviction was that she is a lesbian. If she had been straight, she wouldn’t have been a suspect at all.” You can read the whole Protess piece here.

2 responses to “Questionable conviction gains more attention

  1. Docile Jim Brady – Columbus OH 43209

    Sad that any person would be convicted because of their sexual orientation or lack thereof .

  2. mark p. lipton former deputy

    i am a former tn deputy sheriff convicted of agg assault despite passing a polygraph saying i am innocent.
    f.b.i calls it retaliation for turning in a dirty sheriff.
    want more info contact me at
    also a key evidence item has never been tested for d.n.a and still exists. thank you mark p. lipton

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s