"Cops have a feeling in their fingertips, a sixth sense. I teach them why and what they're picking up. Exactly what it is they're sensing - and how to use it to get to the truth." D. Glenn Foster

Terry Lee Wanzer:

In 1973, as a nineteen year old boy with double life plus forty years in prison, my life of freedom was over.  Being wrongfully accused and convicted of rape and aggravated sodomy, I was doing time for the two boys who actually committed the crime. 

During almost eight years in prison, prayer became a constant for me.  I was sure I was going home any day since I knew I was innocent.  At one point, I was released, free, only to be put back in prison, while the two real criminals enjoyed their freedom. 

The fight for my innocence was so strong that I found out who committed the crimes.  But, with no one to believe me, it did me no good. 

Doing four years on parole after being released was no picnic, either. 

Prior to being released from prison, my legal aide attorney convinced the Board of Pardons and Paroles of the State of Georgia to re-investigate my case. 

One day, after reporting to the Board of Pardons and Paroles, I found myself alone in the room with D. Glenn Foster and a polygraph machine.  As the interview began, I knew this was going to be the one opportunity for my innocence to be proved, if the machine really worked. The interview did not start out well, was my thought.  Although I had prayed hard for things to work out, Mr Foster did nothing but make me mad.  The questions were not the ones I thought would clear me.  However, his interrogation was strong, thorough and life changing.  When he got up, he stormed out of the room, slamming the door as he left.  I knew I was going back to prison, never to be free.  Me, an innocent man, with my final hope going quickly and almost violently out the door.  Then I heard Mr Foster, in a loud, stern tone, say, “I will stake my reputation that man is innocent.”  Mr Foster became my human savior.  I knew all the prayers I had prayed had been answered.  Even during the interrogation, Mr Foster told me that I was praying.

During my initial arrest and throughout my trial and imprisonment, I always told the truth and vowed to always do that.  When I came up for Parole interviews and was asked if I would go after the two boys, of course, I said I would.  That kept me from being released several times.

Finally, after the statute of limitations had run out, Mr Foster was given the opportunity to interrogate the two men I kept saying had committed the crimes.  With Mr Foster’s expertise, he got both men to admit they had committed the crimes.  Not one, but both men.  How incredible!  One even told Mr Foster that he “could not do the time that Terry did.”  Of course, the Justice System helped them out by the Statute of Limitations. 

So, in 1991, I, Terry Lee Wanzer, received a Pardon for Reason of Innocence, the first in Georgia legal history.  Then, on May 4, 2006, twenty five plus years later, I had the privilege of shaking Mr Foster’s hand and enjoying a real conversation with him.  The honor of sitting across from the man who let everyone know what I knew, that I was innocent of the charges made in 1973, is a feeling I’ll never forget.         

Terry Lee Wanzer
05/13/2006