Al in 1981
Al in 2003
|Portrayed by|| Dylan Cope (1981) |
Doug Kruse (2003)
|Episode||Love Conquers Al|
Al Clarkson was the boyfriend of Crespi High School track star and captain Paige Pratt in 1981. Paige was murdered that year and Al was convicted of the crime two years later. He was finally released in 2003 after new evidence exonerated him.
Al wasn't popular with Paige's friends because he was twenty one and had a reputation for being bad-tempered and posessive. Al would later say he was upset because he was certain Paige was interested in someone else. He confronted her about it at her last track meet on May 15, 1981, but she simply brushed him off.
Al didn't know the boy she was interested in was Bennett Cahill, a track star and captain himself from Crespi's main opposing school: Jefferson High School. He and Paige later had sex that night in Bennett's car, despite Bennett himself having a girlfriend, a cheerleader named Jane.
Paige was found murdered a month later on a bridge near the Schuylkill River on the night of June 20. The authorities quickly focused in on Al as the prime suspect. Besides his reputation, his gold chain was found at the scene, as were tracks matching the tires on his car. Al was eventually arrested.
Twenty two years later, a petty crook named Ricky Stockvis told police that he'd seen Will Harrell cleaning blood out of his car the night of Paige's murder. Detectives Lilly Rush and Scotty Valens questioned Al about his relationship with Paige and about Will. Al didn't know Will and didn't have much to offer, except that he was certain Paige had been seeing someone.
Though Will ultimately was found to be innocent as well, the investigation soon led to Bennett and Jane. Confronted with the truth, Bennet and Jane confessed to having lured Paige to the Schuylkill River, the place that Paige and Bennett had their first rendezvous and killing her in a twisted attempt to rekindle their relationship, which had been damaged after Bennett was with Paige.