dispatch.fcgi showing defunct

I recently upgraded a SUSE 9.2 server to oS11.0. This box runs a Ruby on Rails app for an intranet site. The original developer (who is gone now) didn’t use SUSE RPMs for the Ruby and Rails stuff, he apparently compiled them manually and they reside in /usr/local/bin. I’ve installed all oS11.0 RPMs that provide the same binaries (oS placed the new ones in /usr/bin) and then moved the old ones to a backup directory. Thing is, every time I start lighttpd now the dispatch.fcgi processes (4 of them) show defunct after a few seconds. I’ve tried linking the new binaries to the same names in /usr/local/bin in case something is hard coded to look for them there but it doesn’t help. If I backout my changes completely all works again.

No errors appear in lighttpd’s error log, only this.
2008-09-02 12:46:02: (log.c.75) server started

I am not a RoR developer, I’m just trying to update a legacy system and get it working with standard provided components to facilitate maintainability.

TIA for any thoughts.