Wrong Man episode 6 recap: ‘Christopher Tapp – Flawed Freedom’


Episode 5 of Starz’ Wrong Man concludes the Christopher Tapp case, highlighting a bright future for the newly freed man, originally incarcerated by a coerced confession.

When Wrong Man introduced the Christopher Tapp case, it was clear that there was no physical evidence whatsoever against him. In fact, Carol Dodge, the woman who did most to champion his innocence, was the mother of the woman Tapp was accused of killing.

Like others, she originally believed him guilty, but viewing the confession footage changed her mind. The big question is: If Christopher Tapp didn’t do it, who did commit the murder of Angie Dodge?

Related Story: Wrong Man season 1, episode 5 recap

Take a Penny, Leave a Penny

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Ron Kuby, a civil rights lawyer, says catching one suspect to free another is like “take a penny, leave a penny, only with human beings.” Indeed, catching the guilty person is the surest way to free the wrongly convicted.

Regarding that epic quest, Wrong Man‘s Joe Kennedy (a retired NCIS Detective) says investigators clearly overlooked the behavioral clues at the crime scene.  He and Detroit homicide detective Ira Todd have their own theories.

For example, they think the killer probably knew Angie, and that he likely simply entered the front door. In fact, they think it was someone in the service industry — an electrician, meter reader, or a repairman of some kind.  Private investigator Danny Smith takes initiative here, calling a phone repairman who had visited Angie’s place not long before the murder.

He was originally interviewed about the crime but was dropped as a suspect for unclear reasons. The man, known as “Herky” initially tells Smith he doesn’t recall being interviewed by police. Before long, though, he says his daughter knew Angie.

Interestingly, Herky also says that Angie complained to him about receiving strange, harassing phone calls. Herky’s probably not the killer, though.  He complies with a DNA test — showing that he’s either innocent or lacking fear.

Not satisfied with one or two results, Wrong Man keeps at it. What ensues is almost a DNA dragnet over Idaho Falls. Just about everyone they encounter complies, except for a sex offender (though Smith gets some DNA from him anyway).

More on the Flawed Investigation

Wrong Man elaborates on additional flaws in the initial investigation and trial. For example, they call it a Brady violation that polygraph materials weren’t given to the defense. Then, as if in a cartoonish demonstration of the haphazard case, the polygrapher, Steve Finn suggests he’s fed up with the whole thing.

Fed up or not, there were major procedural flaws here. Wrong Man shows footage of Finn telling Christopher Tapp where Angie was killed during the polygraph test. Then, when investigators brought him to the murder scene, Chris probably repeated the details they had already given him.

While it sounds like an implausible scenario, Wrong Man shoves the proof right in the viewer’s face. It’s definitely the most plausible explanation for what happened — more believable than him committing murder yet somehow leaving DNA evidence that wasn’t his! Also hard to believe: Jared Fuhriman, the detective in the case against Tapp, became mayor largely due to this case.

Chris is Freed!

Understandably, when Christopher Tapp is offered a deal to get out of prison, he wants to accept it. It is, of course, a flawed deal. He’ll still be legally known as a rapist/murderer, and be on the sex offender registry.

However, he courageously rejects the deal, not wanting to be considered a rapist. Then, amazingly, a second deal is forged where he’d be freed and cleared of rape charges, but still officially recognized as a convicted murderer.

FBI agent Gregg McCary calls the deal the last shameless manipulation of Tapp by the criminal justice system. Still, knowing it may be a once-in-a-lifetime deal, Tapp agrees and is freed. In a heart-warming moment, Carol Dodge expresses great regret over his incarceration and promises to keep looking for Angie’s killer — knowing there’s no evidence whatsoever against Christopher Tapp.

Another heartwarming moment? Not long after being freed, Chris reunites with his pal, Jeremy Sargis. Sargis says that he hated Chris for 17 years because he wrongly implicated him as an accomplice.

However, like with Angie Dodge, Jeremy changed his mind after seeing the shameful, coerced confession. Now Sargis feels bad for hating him.

Still, there’s an old saying: The more things change, the more they stay the same. Despite everything Wrong Man has shown, the Idaho Falls police are adamant that three people were involved in Angie’s death, including Chris Tapp.

According to Tapp, the police would never admit to being wrong.

Is this the Last of Wrong Man?

From the start, Wrong Man was promoted as a mini-series, and no information on a second season has emerged. However, if the first season is any indication, this is a series that could definitely continue. While not everyone in prison is innocent, it’s still far too easy to find cases that stand on flimsy ground, or that seem plainly manufactured.

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In other words (and I say this with some irony), this is a show that could hypothetically always return, if we’re not careful.

What are your thoughts? Was there evidence against Tapp, or was it right to set him free? Also, do you think the show could return? Let us know in the comments!