On the heels of Adnan Syed, the subject of Serial’s first season, walking out of jail this week with questions about whether he will face a new trial for a 1999 murder, the company behind the Wrongful Conviction series is launching a new podcast. Bone Valley, produced by Lava for Good as part of a new partnership with iHeartMedia, will focus on a controversial Florida murder– including what it says is “jaw-dropping new evidence” in the case.
In 1987, 21-year-old guitarist Leo Schofield was pursuing his rockstar dreams when his teenage wife Michelle was found dead in a phosphate mining pit in Lakeland, FL. Two years later, Schofield was convicted and sentenced to life in prison despite his claims of innocence.
Bone Valley is written and hosted by investigative reporter Gilbert King. As he looked into the case, King and researcher Kelsey Decker uncovered evidence that pointed to someone else as the killer.
Fifteen years after Schofield’s conviction, previously unidentified fingerprints from Michelle’s car matched Jeremy Scott — a troubled teen with an extensive history of violence who lived near the young couple at the time. Scott has since confessed to Michelle’s murder, yet Schofield remains behind bars.
“We spent four years of our lives investigating this case, and anyone who listens to Bone Valley is going to be shocked and outraged by what we’ve uncovered,” King said. “Above all, this series exposes how the wrongful conviction of Leo Schofield allowed Michelle’s real murderer to escape justice and kill more people in Florida.”
Bone Valley debuts today (September 21) and it is likely to get a lot more attention as the ABC News program “20/20” will air an episode on Friday (September 23) based on the podcast’s reporting.
“This truly is a case like no other. Leo Schofield maintains his innocence as he sits behind bars for this murder, while Jeremy Scott has credibly and voluntarily confessed but was never charged for it,” said Jason Flom, founder and CEO of Lava for Good. “The state of Florida believes neither of them. We hope that by revealing the parallel narratives of these two men, we will finally expose the truth and bring about the justice that Leo has awaited for over three decades.”
King is also the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall.” His research for that book led to the 2021 exonerations of the wrongly-accused Black men known as the Groveland Four who were accused in 1949 of raping a White woman.
Earlier this month Lava for Good announced it has struck a deal with iHeartMedia to develop new shows and distribute Lava for Good’s slate via the iHeartPodcast Network. Other upcoming releases from Lava for Good include a show called The War on Drugs, which takes a hard look at America’s drug policy. It debuts November 15. And in January, it will debut the second season of the hit series Wrongful Conviction.