Book about Martin Tankleff case claims he was framed

In a new book, a former Newsday reporter and private investigator involved in the Martin Tankleff case claim the detective who arrested him may have framed Tankleff. Tankleff was jailed for 17 years

News 12 Staff

Jan 9, 2009, 12:54 AM

Updated 5,675 days ago

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In a new book, a former Newsday reporter and private investigator involved in the Martin Tankleff case claim the detective who arrested him may have framed Tankleff.
Tankleff was jailed for 17 years after he was convicted for the 1988 murders of his parents. His conviction was overturned in December 2007 by an appeals court, which said new evidence suggested someone else might have killed the Tankleffs.
The authors hope their book, ?A Criminal Injustice: A True Crime, a False Confession, and the Fight to Free Marty Tankleff,? will shed new light on the case and bring attention to new evidence. Richard Firstman has been following Tankleff?s case for four years and used to report for the Long Island paper. The other author, Jay Salpeter, worked on behalf of Tankleff as a private investigator.
Salpeter says much of the new evidence he uncovered led to Tankleff?s release last year, but is being ignored by officials. The authors say now-retired Detective James McCready set Tankleff up for the murders.
?It's my belief that Detective McCready was a participant in the crime,? Salpeter tells News 12 Long Island.
Salpeter and Firstman cite an unaired comment McCready made during a taping of Dr. Phil as evidence of his involvement. They say McCready said he was paid to keep quiet about the real killers. The former detective, however, says his comment was taken out of context.
The book also cites two other people who say they saw McCready talking with Jerry Steuerman prior to the killings. Tankleff supporters believe Steuerman, a business associate of Tankleff?s father, was actually behind the murders. They say McCready also said a Selden man named Joseph Creedon was paid $50,000 to kill the couple.
McCready maintains he had no involvement in the crime and says Martin Tankleff was the only one responsible.
A New York State appellate court ruled more than a year ago that Tankleff deserved a new trial. However, both Suffolk County and the state Attorney General's Office decided not to re-try him or prosecute anyone else.
Salpeter and Firstman claim that?s because Attorney General Andrew Cuomo doesn't want to prove that Suffolk prosecutors were wrong in convicting Tankleff. They say Cuomo is seeking higher office and needs the support of the county's political establishment.
Click for the latest on the Tankleff case
To see extended interviews with Salpeter and Firstman, go to Channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.
Attorneygeneral drops charges against TankleffInvestigatoraccuses lead detective in Tankleff caseTankleffsoaks in freedom, contemplates futureSuffolkDA to drop murder charges in Tankleff caseMartinTankleff set free on $1M bailMartinTankleff granted new trial


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