The Post Register has been reporting on the 1996 murder of Angie Dodge since it occurred. In 2014, coverage of the case increased as efforts to exonerate the man convicted of the murder, Chris Tapp, also increased and became more public. Tapp has spent more than 19 years incarcerated for the crime that many wrongful conviction advocates, including Judges for Justice and the Innocence Project, feel he did not commit. This page compiles all of the Post Register's coverage of the case and the efforts to exonerate Tapp dating back to 2013.


A man briefly eyed as a possible suspect in the 1996 killing of 18-year-old Angie Dodge was in Idaho Falls last week to make a documentary about the case.

Michael Usry, a 36-year-old New Orleans filmmaker, was questioned and ordered to submit a DNA sample in December after police partially matched DNA samples left at the crime scene to the DNA of his father.

Usry’s father, Michael Usry Sr., along with several other ward members in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, donated DNA samples to a database meant to aid in compiling family genealogies.

District Judge Joel Tingey has disqualified himself from presiding over Chris Tapp’s latest challenge to his 1998 murder conviction.

Tapp is serving a prison sentence of 30 years to life for the 1996 murder of 18-year old Angie Dodge in Idaho Falls. He has filed several appeals and motions for post-conviction relief since the jury found him guilty, all of which have failed.

Tapp filed his latest such petition May 1. It seeks to have numerous previously untested items from the crime scene submitted for DNA testing.

Prisoner Chris Tapp is petitioning district court to allow DNA testing of a number of pieces of evidence left at the crime scene, including several items never before tested.

In 1998, Tapp was found guilty of the murder of 18-year old Angie Dodge two years earlier. The only evidence against Tapp was his own confession. He maintains the confession was

false and coerced by Idaho Falls detectives, a contention recently supported by three national experts in interrogation techniques, crime scene analysis and false confessions.

BOISE — News that DNA found at a 19-year-old Idaho Falls murder scene bears a close resemblance to DNA donated to the Ancestry.com database could have major implications for the conviction of Christopher Tapp and the search for a killer who presumably remains free.

NEW ORLEANS — Michael Usry, a young New Orleans filmmaker, has a flair for the macabre. His award-winning output includes titles such as “Murderabilia,” a dark production that spotlights the trade in collectibles related to real-life killings and other violent crime.

Usry’s work can come off as gratuitously violent, as in a clip from the short film “Winding Down” in which his protagonist disembowels a corpse in a basement.

But for the Idaho Falls Police Department, his filmography seemed outright suspicious.

Bonneville County Prosecutor Danny Clark is moving forward with efforts to find an outside expert to review the Chris Tapp case.

Tapp was convicted of the 1996 murder of Angie Dodge in 1998.

The former Idaho Falls man confessed to the crime after days of interrogation, but a slew of experts have concluded that Tapp was coerced into making a false confession. So has Carol Dodge, Angie Dodd’s mother, who has fought to overturn Tapp’s conviction. She wants police to resume a search for the true killer.

An outside expert to review the conviction of Chris Tapp could be selected soon.

Tapp was convicted of murder and rape charges in the 1996 killing of 18-year-old Angie Dodge in Idaho Falls. But several expert groups have determined that Tapp was wrongfully convicted and, in fact, is innocent of the charges. Recent reports from ex-FBI investigators also have raised questions about police conduct in the case.

“I tell him, ‘Honey, I haven’t changed.’ And he says, ‘Yeah, but I’d still like to have them.’”

Maybe Chris Tapp wants to freeze the moment, to stop time from slowly slipping away. In prison time is all he has, and all he has to lose. He has lost 6,510 days so far.

Another outside investigator has found Chris Tapp’s confession to the 1996 murder of Angie Dodge “both coerced and unreliable.”

Steve Drizin, a nationally recognized false confession expert, says he did not read earlier reports released by Judges for Justice, but his findings are strikingly similar:

• Tapp was threatened with death and

offered immunity in return for a confession.

• Detectives repeatedly broke from sound investigative procedure.

• And that no evidence, apart from the confession, links Tapp to the crime.

The Bonneville County Commission on Wednesday approved funding for an independent investigation into the 1996 murder of Angie Dodge and the subsequent conviction of Christopher Tapp.

The move follows the release of two reports from Judges for Justice, an organization that investigates potential wrongful convictions. Those reports found major flaws in the Idaho Falls Police Department’s investigation of the crime, concluding that Tapp had falsely confessed after being threatened with prison or death and offered potential deals for immunity.

A decades-old Idaho Falls murder investigation resulted in a grave injustice — sending an innocent man to prison and allowing a murderer to roam free.

Those are the conclusions of two reports on the 1996 sexual assault and murder of 18-year-old Angie Dodge. The reports were released by Judges for Justice, a national nonprofit that investigates suspected false convictions.

In 1998, Chris Tapp was convicted of Dodge’s murder after he confessed during a series of interrogations. He has been in jail or prison for 18 years, nearly half of his life.

For 18 years, questions have lingered about the killing of 18-year-old Angie Dodge and Chris Tapp’s conviction for her murder.

Police and prosecutors acknowledge an unknown man participated in the brutal crime, but maintain Tapp played a role.

But now experts say Tapp is innocent.

Dodge was found dead in her I Street apartment the morning of June 13, 1996. She was killed with a knife. A semen sample was left on her body. DNA was extracted from the semen, but police never found a match.

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