Blanchard Road: A Murder in the Finger Lakes

April 07, 2009

The story of Roy A. Brown’s conviction for a murder he didn’t commit was retold in the documentary film “Blanchard Road: A Murder in the Finger Lakes”  After the film, a discussion took place with Brown and Alex Dunbar, one of the independent filmmakers.

Brown is a former Cayuga County resident freed in 2007 after serving 14 years in state prison. Brown was convicted of the 1991 killing of Cayuga County social worker Sabina Kulakowski. Her body was found outside her home on Blanchard Road in Aurelius, N.Y. She had been beaten and stabbed. Bite marks were found on her body. Her house had been set on fire.

Brown eventually solved the crime himself while still in prison, studying documents he obtained from his case file. That evidence led him to suspect Barry Bench, the brother of Kulakowski’s former boyfriend. Bench committed suicide in 2003.

The event, which was free and open to the public, was co-sponsored by the Carnegie Legal Reporting Program at the Newhouse School, the College of Law and the Institute for the Study of the Judiciary, Politics, and the Media at Syracuse University.

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