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At UCD Smurfit School, you'll get more than a business master's or MBA. You'll get a transformative learning experience designed for your success. You'll gain new perspectives from faculty and classmates, and you'll benefit from UCD's Deep corporate connections. Explore your options at our Open evening on November 15 with programs suitable for business and nonbusiness graduates. Register at Smurfitschool IE events UC see Michael Smurf at Graduate Business School Empower.


Connect Create I'm Nancy Glass, host of the new podcast Burden of Guilt. We're excited to share this shocking but true story. We're also excited to tell you about how you can get episodes an entire week early and get access to exclusive bonus episodes through the iHeart true crime plus subscription available exclusively on Apple Podcasts. I Heart True Crime plus is the best place to get 100% ad free episodes of Burden of Guilt plus ad free episodes from other iHeart shows. Enjoy ad free access to other true crime shows like Murder in Miami, Atlanta, Monster, and sympathy Pains. Great new episodes are waiting for you. Open your Apple Podcast app and search for iHeart True Crime plus and subscribe today for instant access. Nearly two decades after her baby brother's death, Tracy Raquel Burns had finally captured the attention of law enforcement. Her fight was now their fight. And despite medical records that stated Mother says two year old threw baby out of crib and that's what led to his death. DeKalb county officials did not think Tracy Raquel killed the four month old baby. In fact, in December of 1996, they felt they had enough evidence to indict Tracy Raquel's father, Jan Barry Sandlin.


They unearthed Matthew's tiny casket from the grave 26 years after his death. They dug into the ground expecting dust. Instead, they struck gold. I'm Nancy Glass. This is Burden of Guilt episode four the Body keeps the score after four month old Matthew's casket was exhumed from the cemetery, it was driven to the medical examiner's office in Birmingham, AlabamA, where a new autopsy would be performed. Medical examiner Dr. Burton, his team, and the prosecutors were present. Former Assistant District Attorney Leanne Mangone I.


Remember Dr. Burton talking about Matthew using his name, and that really stuck with me, that there was a level of compassion about the experience and not just looking at what we were doing is exhuming a body, but looking at it as trying to find out the truth of what happened to Matthew.


Former DeKalb County District Attorney J. Tom.


Morgan Our protocol requires that when there's a death of a child. The prosecutor be present for the autopsy. It helps us understand what the doctor is going to testify to later. When the casket was opened, that petrid smell came out, and I distinctly remember.


It, and everyone was surprised by that smell because it indicated that human remains still existed. Because of that, there was hope that the exhumation would pay off. Lead Assistant District Attorney Jeff Brickman was there.


I remember Dr. Burton carefully opening the casket and remember seeing a little boy completely intact.


Medical examiner Dr. Stephen Dunton.


There was still hair on his scalp.


And he was dressed as an infant would be.


It was an unforgettable, horrible, unimaginable moment. I had to step away.


Dr. Burton gently lift the child out of the casket, took him to the autopsy table, and cut the clothes off with a pair of scissors.


The room was equipped to record the evidence.


The medical examiner has an X ray, unlike the ones in an emergency room, because it's on an autopsy table.


And as much as you wanted the evidence to be there, and this was good news, you can only imagine that for everybody in the room, it was just awful. He still looked like a baby frozen in time.


So there's this little infant on the autopsy table with the camera from the X ray machine looking down on it. As X rays are being taken, we can see on a large screen what those X rays are projecting. I had seen multiple skull fractures in babies before, and the first thing I noticed was bilateral fractures on each side of the child's skull.


There's one on the left and one.


On the right, and it was a very complex fracture.


Part of it looked like a backwards question mark.


Someone may have hit this child with his fist, which could have caused the question mark skull fracture.


Then they took a closer look at Matthew's foot.


Dr. Burton pointed out that there had been a burn on the left foot of the child. The discoloration was still there. How does a four and a half month old in a crib get a burn inside the foot unless it's put there by an adult, either by cigarette, cigar, or maybe even a lighter? After the autopsy, we were all ready to go forward with the prosecution. Not only were we 100%, but this child had been tortured before he had.


Been violently killed, based on the physical evidence and the fact that really this had to have been committed by an adult. And Jan Barry Senlin was the only adult that was left with Matt.


The original indictment of Jan was for the murder of Matthew Golder. But after the investigation, exhumation and autopsy, the prosecution expanded the charges.


Jan Sandlin was charged with malice. Murder, felony murder, cruelty to children, and aggravated assault. And we felt really good about him.


And now little Matthew would return to his place of rest.


Matt was taken back to the cemetery and got to go back to sleep. And then we went back to Atlanta and got ready for trial.


And while the prosecutor's office went to work, Matthew's father, Kathy's first husband, appeared.


Someone in my life at the time had sought Ted Golder out, thinking it would be beneficial to me.


Now, Ted Golder was listed on Tracy Raquel's birth certificate as her father. But Kathy was having an affair with Jan when Tracy Raquel was conceived. So she didn't know who her biological father really was. And frankly, she didn't even care that much. But she had taken Ted Golder's name because she didn't want to be associated with Jan Barry Sandlin. So tell me about Ted Golder.


Ted Golder was a very nice man. He really wanted to know if I was his daughter. He asked if I would do a paternity test, which, you know, he was in Atlanta, I was in Savannah. And we did that now while we were waiting for the results to come back. And we talked daily just about things and life and people, and it was a nice thing. The paternity test came back and he called and he said, you're not my daughter. And he said, you know what? You're a really nice woman. I wish the best for you, but I don't want anything else to do with you.


What was that like for you?


This is where it gets really hard to feel like there's not something wrong with you. And I had his name, so yeah, he know, I would appreciate it if you don't use my name. Golder. You're not my child. That was it. I never heard from him again.


The situation with Ted Golder was another heartbreak. But Tracy Raquel could not let this latest disappointment deter her. She had to focus on getting justice for Matthew. She knew even with a trial set, nothing about this would be easy. There were no guarantees.


At UCD Smurfit School, you'll get more than a business master's or MBA. You'll get a transformative learning experience designed for your success. You'll gain new perspectives from faculty and classmates, and you'll benefit from UCD's deep corporate connections. Explore your options at our open evening on November 15 with programs suitable for business and nonbusiness graduates. Register at Smurfitschool ie events. UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business school empower. Connect create.


The second autopsy of Matthew Golder had been a revelation. What they found out amazed everyone. And one of the things they learned was that there had been a first autopsy. When they exhumed the body, they saw the markings. So where did that report go? Well, apparently in 1971, it went home with the coroner. But this was still a very old case and there were no witnesses. So that created a lot of challenges for the prosecution. Former Assistant District Attorney Jeff Brickman.


While we had prosecuted some cold casEs, this was the coldest. This was frigid. And we knew when I say we, Leanne and I and Dr. Burton and J. Tom Morgan, our boss, knew there was going to be a hefty fight in front of us at trial, I.


Was pretty unwavering in my belief that there were only two people, two adults, who could have been involved in Matthew's murder. And it didn't make any logical sense that it would be Kathy.


We were going to have to recreate history. We were going to have to put that crime scene back together. It was not by any stretch a slam dunk.


And we knew that putting the crime scene back together started with Matthew's crib.


We contacted Sears and Roebuck. They did not have that crib, but they had the dimensions of the model. And we hired a carpenter to rebuild a crib just like that one so the jury could see how just unlikely, if not impossible, for a two year old to climb over in and then throw a four month old out.


It was critically important that the crib was on the second floor of their apartment, which Dr. Burton told me meant that there would have been some give to the floor because it would have been on a wood and a subfloor, as opposed to being on concrete on a concrete slab. And so there just was no way for the amount of force that would have been required for those injuries to have been generated by a fall onto a floor of that type.


There were several witnesses that had to be prepared for the trial, including Tracy Raquel's mother, Kathy Almond. She would turn out to be one of the state's key witnesses. Leanne Mangone was the person who prepared Kathy, and she had a lot of time to observe her behavior.


I remember that Kathy was quiet and passive. It was clear that Kathy was still.


Scared of Jan, and Kathy was sticking to her story.


She was very clear on the timeline of what happened the day that Matthew died.


She said that when she came home from running errands, she took Tracy Raquel into the apartment, and then Jan instructed her to get the laundry out of the car. When she came back upstairs, she found Matthew on the flOor, unresponsive.


I remember Kathy seemingly knowing what really had happened, but not being willing to admit that to herself. But I suspect on some level, Kathy always knew that that story didn't make any sense.


Jeff Brickman said earlier that the case wasn't a slam dunk. One reason for that was Sandlin's lawyer.


Corinne Mull was Janbury Sandlin's defense attorney. Corinne Mull was an incredibly effective advocate. In every trial where I faced her.


Leanne and I knew Corinne. We had had cases against her. She was very comfortable in this particular courtroom. She and Judge Fuller got along well. He respected her, as did other judges, but that was sort of like her home turf, and Corinne was a bulldog.


The media and the public were fascinated by the case. A little girl, a two year old who had been framed for her brother's death, grows up and realizes it's all a lie. The courthouse opened its doors on July 1997.


Everybody get your seats, please.


Tracy Raquel sat in the district attorney's office, waiting to be sworn in.


All right, good afternoon. BC, please.


Facing the bench was Jan Barry Sandlin. In a white Oxford shirt and patterned tie, he rocked back and forth in his chair with a wad of gum in his right cheek.


Counsel ready to proceed.


With his attorney seated next to him, Jan's appearance was confident, cocky, making direct eye contact with anyone who spoke to him or about him. So how do we know all those details? Well, the trial was recorded today. We're used to seeing court cases on television, but back in 1997, it was still relatively new. Judge Hilton Fuller Jr. Felt the public should be able to see the court proceedings in real time. The presence of a TV camera would have a major impact on the case. Because Judge Fuller gave clear instructions during the trial.


The rule of sequestration has been invoked. I expect the attorneys to make sure that all witnesses understand that they're not to discuss the case with each other.


Sequestration also meant that a witness could not watch the trial on television.


We're now ready for opening statements. Mr. Brickman, do you wish to make an opening statement? Yes, sir.


Thank you.


May proceed. Thank you, Honor. Matthew Stephen Golder was on death's doorstep when he arrived to Decab General Hospital on the evening of December 27, 1971.


Jeff Brickman opened the day by describing the injuries Matthew sustained on the day of his death and the efforts the medical team made to save him. He shared details about Matthew's original autopsy and original death certificate that had categorized the baby's death as an accident.


Jan Barry Sandlin, while alone and while in immediate control over Matthew Stephen Golder, a four month old child who literally was dependent completely on an adult, forcibly and intentionally killed.


He credited Tracy Raquel with being the one person who didn't believe the story that her mother told officials when Matthew died.


The evidence will show you, ladies and gentlemen, that Tracy Rame, as she gets older, starts asking questions, trying to find out what really happened, trying to find out the truth.


Brickman had to be explicit that there wasn't a witness or a smoking gun in a case like this. Instead, he previewed the expert and family witnesses the prosecution would present and then wrapped up with this.


And I'm confident and submit to you, ladies and gentlemen, that at the conclusion of this evidence, one verdict will be consistent with the evidence, one verdict will be consistent with the truth.


And then he directed his attention to Jan Barry Sandlin.


And that is, ladies and gentlemen, that on December 20, 771, Matthew Stephen Golder was killed by that man.


Then Jan Sandlon's defense attorney, Corinne Mall, made her opening statement.


Ladies and gentlemen, the only thing that is true that we do know is that indeed, that baby did not fall out of that bed, did not get pushed out of that bed, did not get stumbled in the night, and dropped on the floor.


So if the defense was saying that Tracy Raquel was not responsible for Matthew's death, where were they goIng?


Listen, ladies and gentlemen, for the story about Kathy Alman, who was so distressed that she told her daughter, I can't go talk to the police. I can't go talk to the DA. I can't do this all by herself. 26 years of lying is what you will hear about in the next few days. It is the best example of how a lie begins and how it will come to an end in this courtroom. Ms. Almond, I believe the evidence will show this is probably her worst nightmare come true. It is going to be difficult for her to testify.


It's true. Kathy did tell different stories over the years to Tracy Raquel, to social workers, to doctors, maybe even to herself. The defense would use that to sow doubt.


You will hear. State's version of events is but one of many. You will be asked to reconcile all these different stories and to determine which, if any, you believe.


And then the state called their first witness, neurosurgeon Dr. Ellis Keener. Jeff Brickman conducted the questioning. Dr. Keener walked the jury through Matthew's injuries and the treatment he gave him that winter night 26 years earlier.


We recommended that he go right to the operating room where he had to be prepared for surgical expiration. Though the situation looked very bad, Dr.


Keener explained that Matthew continued to decline even after surgery.


According to the notes, he had become terminal and an effort was made in the intensive care to give him artificial respiration. And there was also a note that he had cardiac massage, both unsuccessful.


Brickman asked Dr. Keener how Matthew got those injuries.


I was told that the child had been, I believe, thrown out of the crib by sibling.


But that wasn't the entire story. We did some research and learned that Dr. Keener didn't really believe the story that he was told in the hospital. When Matthew was brought in, Mrs. Camilla Taylor, a social worker for Decab Family and Child Services, documented an interview with Dr. Keener. This conversation took place about 15 days after Matthew died. When asked if he thought that the damage could have been caused by a fall from a baby bed, Dr. Keener said no. More notably, the social worker explicitly writes in her letter, he made the above statement after being assured that this report is confidential. Why would a doctor require his conversation to be confidential? Was it for HIPA compliance? No. That wasn't even a thing until decades later. Was it? Out of fear for his own safety? That important detail would never come to light in the courtroom, Brickman continued.


As far as you know, Dr. Keener, were the police notified? As far as I know, yes.


The defense was up at bat. Corinne Mull asked Dr. Keener about something else found in the autopsy. Bruising on Matthew's clavicle.


Isn't it true, Dr. Keener, that that bruising could have occurred at Northside Hospital in an effort to resuscitate the child?


I think your statement is not correct.


Okay. Correct me, then. Correct.


Dr. Keener explained that the placement of the bruising was right around the collarbone, which would not be because of resuscitation efforts. Maul then turned to the burn on Matthew's foot.


You called it an old, dry, ulcerated area.


That's correct.


Then she asked if anyone would have noticed the burn if they weren't a physician. He responded that it was obvious enough for him to put it in the record.


All that you can tell us is that it was old and that it could have been a burn. It could have been a blister. It's not quite clear, correct?


That's correct.


Mull is trying hard to minimize Matthew's injuries. The bruising, the burn mark, it was all evidence that Matthew was abused and tortured. It implied a pattern of harm, something Muell wanted jurors to lose sight of. And here's a really stunning question now.


You didn't do anything to that burn or blister. You didn't put anything on it or tend to it in any way, did you?


There's no record that I did anything to that.


Was she implying that the burn wasn't significant because Dr. Keener didn't put Neosporin on it? Matthew's skull had multiple fractures and a brain bleed. Life saving measures were being taken. It went without saying the priority was to save the child. The prosecution had to hope jurors were sensible enough to understand that.


Call your next witness, please.


They call Tracy Rain.


In 1997, Tracy Raquel Burns was going by Tracy Rame. Rame was the last name of her husband at the time.


Raise your right hand. You saw him swear from the testimony. Give the court juror on this opinion will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but true. Save your God.


Yes, I do.


This moment was a culmination of years of heartache and misery and pure tenacity. You're 27 years old. You get called to the stand. What was it like for you after you worked so hard to get to this place?


It was overwhelming and terrifying. And then, of course, I hadn't seen Jan since I was nine or ten years old, so this was going to be the first time I was going to see him face to face in all those years, so it was pretty intimidating.


Did you interact with Jan in any way?


I made a very conscious decision to look over at him just long enough to acknowledge that he was there and just honestly, so I didn't throw up because I was just so terrified.


Leanne Mangone questioned Tracy. Raquel.


Tracy, why did you work so hard to have Matthews death reexamined? Well, initially it was a search for truth. There were so many inconsistencies in the story. And then later I realized as I was older that something bad had happened, and it was to correct that bad thing. And then obviously, I realized just several years ago that it had been placed on me. So that too is part of it as well.


Leanne Mangone asked Tracy Raquel why she wanted to record conversations between her and her mother. Kathy Almond, you said that you've spoken.


With your mother on a number of.


Occasions to try to get information about what happened to Matthew.


Yes. At some point, did you record a.


Conversation between yourself and your mother?


Yes, I did. And why did you tape record a.


Phone conversation between yourself and your mother.


Several days prior to that? Actually, the night before, she had said to me that it was easier to say that I was responsible for Matt's injuries than it was to say that the man she loved was and watch him go to jail.


Leanne Mangone also asked about the push and pull between Tracy Raquel and her mother.


How old were you, if you remember, when you first asked your mother what had happened to your baby girl?


My first recollection of that is age seven. Did your mother give you any explanation.


As to why she was initially uncooperative with trying to find out what happened to Matthew?


Well, I think that she had originally said it was because she didn't recall and that it was a crazy time and there were crazy things going on and she just didn't remember. And later it was because she just didn't want to have to deal with it.


At UCD Smurfit School, you'll get more than a business master's or MBA. You'll get a transformative learning experience designed for your success. You'll gain new perspectives from faculty and classmates, and you'll benefit from UCD's deep corporate connections. Explore your options at our open evening on November 15 with programs suitable for business and nonbusiness graduates. Register at Smurfitschool ie events. UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School empower, Connect, create.


Tracy Raquel did well with the prosecution, and then defense attorney Corinne Mull started her cross examination.


When was the first time you were told you were to blame for the death of a child? In 1992. And at the time that you were talking to police, you did not realize that you were to blame at that point? No, I did not. In fact, Miss Rain, the person who has been hurt the greatest is probably you, wouldn't you say? I think that would vary in opinion. But basically, your mother has blamed you for the death of this child, correct? As I was informed by those medical records, yes. And your grandmother, her mother? I don't think that she blamed. I think she was passing on what was told to her. Isn't it true you used the words when you were talking to your motHer? Your mother said, ask your grandmother. And you said, I did. All she'll tell me is she did it. But that I did it. Yes. Were you ever astonished that anyone felt the need to tell you you were responsible? I don't understand that. Okay. Didn't you at one point in time express to your mother that a mother who cared about her children would seek to shield the child from blame, would not tell the child you're responsible?


Yes, I did. And that would be as true, if not truer, with regards to your grandmother, correct? I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean. I'll rephrase that. There was no need to tell you as a child or as a young adult, you're responsible for the death of this child. Her response was justifiable. I asked her a question and she simply answered it. But nobody said to you, oh, when you asked what happened to your grandmother, she said you did it. She didn't say, oh, it was an accident and I did it, or somebody else did it. She said it was an accident. You were responsible? Yes. Who else has said to you, Tracy Wayne, you are responsible for either the accidental killing, the accidental injuring, the accidental death, the purposeful injury, the purposeful death. Who else has laid responsibility on you has told you?


My mother, Corinne Mull, was anxious to question the next witness, Tracy Raquel's mother, Kathy Almond. She wanted jurors to think that Kathy was a liar.


Thumb the testimony. Give the court jewel.


As Kathy Almond took the stand, she appeared shaky and nervous.


Who said you got?


I do.


20Ft away sat the man who had betrayed her in so many ways. The love of her life, Jan Barry Sandlin.


Did you kill Matt?


No, I didn't.


Did you cause him to have skull fractures on December 20, 771?


No, I didn't.


Kathy described the errands she ran with Tracy Raquel. In the morning. She recalled their trip to the laundromat and visit to the pediatrician. Brickman asked about Matt's condition when Kathy left the apartment.


As best you could tell, as a mom back on December 20, 771, was he content?


Yes. He laughed out loud for the first time that day.


What a devastating piece of testimony from Kathy. The day of Matthew's death was a joyful milestone. He laughed. Before Kathy took the stand, Tracy Raquel was dismissed. She now had to think about her own children. So she caught the first flight home to Savannah and she spoke to her brother, Jason, who told her about threats her father had been making against her.


I was told that he threatened to set me on fire and watch me burn to death. And then some of the stuff Jason wouldn't repeat, he just said it was horrible and he stopped talking to him.


As Tracy Raquel's crusade to get justice for her brother Matthew hung in the balance, she was facing threats of violence towards her and her family. Meanwhile, back in court into Cabb County, Georgia, Kathy was going to be confronted with the most bizarre story she had told about Matthew's death. I'm Nancy Glass. That's next time on Burden of Guilt. Stay tuned for Burden of Guilt, the documentary Coming in 2024 and airing only on Paramount. Plus, if you would like to reach out to the burden of Guilt team, email us at That's If you or someone you know is worried about maltreatment or suspect that a child is being abused or neglected, call the Child Help National Child Abuse Hotline. You can call or text 1800 for a child, that's 1804 224-4531 way to show support is by subscribing to our show on Apple Podcasts. And don't forget to rate and review Burden of Guilt Five star reviews go a long way. A big thank you to all of you who are listening, and also be sure to check us out and follow us on Instagram at Glass Podcasts Burden of Guilt is a production of Glass Podcasts, a division of Glass Entertainment group in partnership with iHeart Podcasts.


The show is hosted and executive produced by Me, Nancy Glass, written and produced by Carrie Hartman and Ben Fetterman. Also produced by Andrea Gunning and associate producer Kristen Melchiori. Our iHeart team is Ali Perry and Jessica Krinchek. Special thanks to Tracy Raquel Burns and her husband, Bart. Audio Editing by Matt Delbecchio Sound Mixing by Dave Seya Burden of Guilt Theme composed by Oliver Baines Music Library provided by my music and for more podcasts from iHeart, visit the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.


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I'm Nancy Glass, host of the new podcast Burden of Guilt. We're excited to share this shocking but true story. We're also excited to tell you about how you can get episodes an entire week early and get access to exclusive bonus episodes through the I Heart True Crime plus subscription available exclusively on Apple Podcasts. I Heart True Crime plus is the best place to get 100% ad free episodes of Burden of Guilt plus ad free episodes from other iHeart shows. Enjoy ad free access to other true crime shows like Murder in Miami, Atlanta, Monster and Sympathy pains. Great new episodes are waiting for you. Open your Apple Podcast app and search for iHeart True Crime plus and subscribe today for instant access.