A bid to exonerate two men in a Buffalo-area murder centers on the possible role in the crime of Richard Matt, a notorious New York killer.

 In February 1993, Deborah Meindl walked into her house in this working-class Buffalo suburb on a blustery Wednesday afternoon, and never left.

Police reports recount what happened: Ms. Meindl, a nursing student with two young daughters, was stabbed dozens of times, her hands cuffed behind her back, and strangled with a man’s tie that was left around her neck.

Suspicions quickly fell on her husband, who had spoken about having his wife killed, according to court records. But the investigation soon pivoted to two petty thieves who were later convicted of murder despite a lack of forensic evidence linking either to the crime.

Now, an explosive new claim is at the center of a renewed effort by defense lawyers to clear the two, the New York Times reports: The real killer was one of New York’s most infamous criminals, Richard Matt, whose 2015 escape from a state prison set off a nationwide manhunt that ended when he was fatally shot by a federal agent.

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