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Poll: Should Charles Erickson's be


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  1. #1
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    Should Charles Erickson's Murder Conviction be Overturned?

    On October 31, 2001, Columbia Tribune sports editor, Kent Heitholt, lay brutally murdered next to his car in the Tribune parking lot. He'd been bludgeoned and strangled with his own belt.
    Approximately 2:20 a.m.: Michael Boyd, Heitholt's colleague, says goodbye to Heitholt.

    2:22 a.m.: Janitor Shawna Ornt goes outside and sees shadows near Heitholt's car. She goes inside and tells her colleague, Jerry Trump. They go back outside and see two people standing near Heitholt's vehicle. One of the men walks over to speak to Ornt before leaving with the other man, walking east toward 4th Street.

    2:26 a.m.: Ornt calls 911.

    For two years, there are no suspects and no arrest. Then in 2004, Charles Erickson reads about the murder, and recalls being out that night at a bar with his friend Ryan Ferguson. He sees a sketch of the suspect drawn from a description given by Shawna Ornt. He think the sketch resembles himself. Later he tells a friend he dreamed about the murder, and believes that he and Ryan killed Heitholt. The friend places an anonymous phone call to the police. In March 2004, Erickson is brought in for questioning.

    Ryan Ferguson, now 19, is brought in for questioning. He tells police he left the bar around 1:15 a.m., took Erickson home, and then sat outside his home to talk on the phone before going inside and going to sleep.

    Later in 2004, Ferguson and Erickson are charged with murder by then-Prosecutor Kevin Crane. There is no DNA evidence linking Ferguson or Erickson to the crime scene, and the pair have no motive to kill Heitholt. The strand of hair found at the crime scene, the blood found on the hair, and the fingerprints do not match Ferguson or Erickson.

    Ornt had described the suspect as standing 6'0" tall, weighing around 200 pounds, with blonde hair when she was questioned the night of the murder. Ferguson stands 5'8" and weighed 160 pounds at the time of the murder, and Erickson stand 5'6" tall and weighed 150 pounds at the time.

    Erickson's statements about the night of the crime continue to change. He believes the dream he had about the murder is true, and agrees to a plea deal to receive a lighter sentence.

    Erickson took a plea deal, and testified against Ryan Ferguson at trial in 2005. Ferguson was convicted for second-degree murder and robbery, and sentenced to 40 years in prison. After a long legal battle, during which Erickson recanted his testimony, Ferguson's conviction was overturned, and he was freed in November 2013.

    Erickson claims that he has no clear recollection of the night of the murder, as he had been drinking and using drugs. He further claims that the detectives who conducted his interrogation pressured him into giving a false confession.
    [...]
    In a February affidavit Erickson provided to Ferguson’s attorney, he said Ferguson “did not harm Heitholt in any way” and that his trial testimony was the result of pressure from Columbia police and Boone County prosecutors.

    “Recently, after reviewing the police reports and transcripts of my interrogation, I do not understand how the information I provided resulted in the conviction of Ryan Ferguson,” he said. “I did not provide any of the pertinent details in my interrogation that would support a conviction.”

    Erickson said in his affidavit he believed Ferguson was going to accept a plea agreement and testify against him. He also acknowledged he did not remember any details about how the crime took place during his interrogation.

    “The police threatened me to implicate Ferguson or else I would be solely responsible for Heitholt’s death and be charged with first-degree murder and possibly sentenced to death,” Erickson said in the affidavit.

    [...]
    Just days after Heitholt’s murder, Erickson was tested by the University of Missouri’s Assessment and Consultation Clinic for possible attention difficulties. The assessment suggested three findings: Erickson became bored with school at a young age; he experienced a minor brain insult or abnormality that had gone undetected and had compromised his cognitive abilities, memory, motivation or judgment; or that Erickson’s past or current substance abuse impaired his memory.


    http://www.ksdk.com/story/news/local...eline/3520063/

    http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/...1872a23c3.html
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  2. #2
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    From a 2011 48 Hours episode, "The Lost Night"

    In a bizarre taped interview, Chuck seems cooperative, but also clueless.
    "It's just so foggy. I could be fabricating all of this," he tells police.
    He doesn't even seem to know the weapon used to strangle Kent Heitholt.

    Chuck Erickson: I think it was a shirt or something.

    Police Interrogator: I know it wasn't a shirt

    Chuck Erickson: A bungee?

    Police Interrogator: We know for a fact that his belt was ripped off ... he was strangled with his belt.

    Chuck Erickson: Really?

    Police Interrogator: ...does that ring a bell?

    Chuck Erickson: No! Not at all...

    That's the way most of the interview goes. What Chuck doesn't know about the crime, the police tell him. They even take him to where the crime occurred.

    Police Interrogator [in car]: That is the parking spot where Mr. Heitholt had his car parked...

    Chuck Erickson [in car]: OK...I don't recall a lot of what happened so I don't know.

    Still, Chuck's memory seems vague, at best. And that frustrates the cops.

    Police Interrogator: It's you that is on this chopping block ... and I don't want to hear, "Oh, all the sudden I just think I may be fabricating all of this."

    Watch excerpts of Chuck Erickson's police interrogation

    48 Hours Dream Killer

    Facebook and website links

    https://www.facebook.com/FreeCharlesErickson/timeline/

    http://www.freecharleserickson.org/index.html

    Related WS threads

    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...Heitholt/page4

    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...iction-Lawsuit
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  3. #3
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    48 Hours Ryan Ferguson: Life After Ten
    March 2014

    [...]
    Erickson is currently in a Missouri prison serving his 25-year sentence. "48 Hours" first spoke with him in January 2013.
    He told us then that his entire testimony at Ryan Ferguson's trial was fabricated.

    "The reason that I felt I needed to lie and make things up is because I couldn't remember anything," he told Moriarty.
    Despite everything he said before, Erickson now says he has never had any memory of what happened the night Kent Heitholt was killed - at least not after he sneaked into that bar.

    "Do you remember leaving the club?" Moriarty asked Erickson.

    "No, I don't remember leavin' - at all," he replied.

    "Do you -- remember driving home?"

    "No, I don't even know if Ryan took me home," said Erickson.

    "What's the next thing you remember?"

    "I remember wakin' up in the morning and havin' to go to school," he said.

    Erickson's use of drugs and alcohol as a teen is well documented. On that particular night, he says, along with abusing cocaine and the prescription drug Adderall, he had consumed a large amount of alcohol.

    "I remember drinking green drinks, I remembered being pretty intoxicated," Erickson testified in 2012.

    "Did you find any blood on your clothing when you woke up?" Moriarty asked Erickson.

    "No. I had no blood on my clothing. I had no injuries. I had no murder weapons," he replied.

    "Was there anything through that day that made you think that you had been involved in a horrific murder?" Moriarty asked.

    "No," said Erickson.

    [...]
    "At one point Dallas Mallory is saying ... He saw me fleein' the scene. ...and that Ryan was with me," said Erickson.

    But in 2005, Dallas Mallory told "48 Hours" he didn't see Erickson at the scene, although police pressured him to say that he did.

    "I was in tears," Mallory said.

    "Tears?" said Moriarty.

    "'Cuz I didn't know what was going on. They were saying that I could be charged with murder, 'cuz I was with him. And I was not with him at all," he replied.

    Attorney Zellner says Erickson was duped by investigators.

    "He didn't realize that Dallas Mallory had said, 'No, I was pressured by the police into saying you were there.' He didn't realize that Ryan was not plotting against him. So he was completely misled about the evidence prior to entering his guilty plea," she said.
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  4. #4
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    This is a link to case files and other information for this case. There we can see and find unedited interrogations and affidavits gathered showing how LE used a "blank canvas" of memory to form the testimony they wanted to result.

    JMO's

    http://www.freecharleserickson.com/casefiles.html

  5. #5
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    Arrow

    Absolutely! It was a false confession two years after the fact based on a dream he had. He didn't even know how the victim died. They spoon fed him details.
    This is the year to locate Mark Dribin http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...ht=Mark+Dribin NamUs MP#876 and Ilene Misheloff http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...lene+Misheloff NamUs MP#6410 and bring them home to their families!

    Parents watch your children. Free-range parenting leads to more child victims.

    Cruelty to humans begins with cruelty to animals.

    I believe in closure, not forgiveness. I'm also unapologetically judgemental.

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  6. #6
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    Charles and Ryan are both guilty in my opinion

  7. #7
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    To me in order to form an informed opinion on this case we should look at unedited media and transcripts plus copies of police reports that are available to us.

    There are two takeaways IMO. The real killer is still out there and due to pride and reputations nobody wants to admit it. The improper and coerced testimony from Charles Erickson along with others caused the incarceration of both Charles AND Ryan.

    JMO's

    http://www.freecharleserickson.com/mediacoverage.html

  8. #8
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    Thanks bessie. I'm off to watch the interrogation videos, then I'm hitting the bed.
    Media thread for Abby and Libby.


    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...5#post13163455

    WebSleuths Lingo thread.

    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...bsleuths-Lingo

    Unless I provide a link, every one of my posts are to be considered rumor, Speculation, or simply MY OWN OPINION.

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by LinasK View Post
    Absolutely! It was a false confession two years after the fact based on a dream he had. He didn't even know how the victim died. They spoon fed him details.
    Charlie was arrested because a "tipster" reported him for the reward money. When he reported it he needed a reason to say how he got the information, so he said Charlie told him about his "dream". Which in and of itself doesn't even make common sense. We all have dreams. How many of us actually remember the details of the dreams?

    Also it makes the title of the movie "Dream Killer" untrue. By visiting the Free Charlie Erickson FB page which his Mother can answer any questions we may have.

    JMO's

    https://www.facebook.com/FreeCharlesErickson
    Last edited by jggordo; 12-11-2015 at 10:15 PM.

  10. #10
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    "These facts are: On 10/31/01, Ryan drove Charlie to the By George Nightclub where they were admitted at the age of 17 and were served alcohol. Charlie felt like he was going to pass out, and asked to be driven home by Ryan and adults who were present, but no one agreed to drive him home. On New Years Eve, 2003, Charlie spoke to Ryan at a party to ask Ryan if they had been involved in the crime because Charlie could not remember events from late 10/31- early 11/1/01, when the crime occurred. He knew they were in the area of the crime and that they looked like the images in the sketches that were still being published in the newspaper after the crime went unsolved for 2 years."

    "Charlie admitted to the production staff that he was guilty of becoming intoxicated and for blacking out on the details of that eventful night. Following Charlie's departure from the 12/31/03 New Year's Eve party, talk ensued among the party-goers about the overheard loud responses to Charlie's questions. A police "Crimestopper" phone call was made in January, 2004 to alert authorities about the overheard conversation. The police investigation of the pair began in January, 2004, not in March."

    "Charlie did not go to the police. Rumors spread from that point to Charlie's classmates at Moberly Area Community College. He remembers people whispering about "a murderer" when he entered the college property in late February, 2004. The police arrested him on college property on March 10, 2004. Following his arrest, two people told the police that he and Ryan had committed the murder of Kent Heitholt. One of them told Charlie in jail that Ryan was going to testify against him and would say that Charlie committed the crime alone. Charlie had no way of knowing these people were lying."

    "It took some time for Charlie to figure things out. He apologized in his statements to the production staff for trying to save his own life by blaming Ryan. And he admitted being coerced to lie in court, much to his possible detriment, to help Ryan, who has now been free for more than 2 years."

    "If you do watch this film, please keep the information above in mind. Please know that Charlie is working hard to secure his freedom, and is also working hard on getting the whole truth published."

    "Thanks very much for your advocacy and support for Charlie's quest for freedom and the reversal of his convictions."

    "Please SHARE this post."

    Marianne, Charlie's Mom

    https://www.facebook.com/FreeCharlesErickson


  11. #11
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    Police Reports That Helped Convince Charlie He Was Guilty When He Was Really Innocent

    "The first 2 pages below are copies of the original police report of Megan Arthur's interview that occurred the day after the 3/10/04 arrests. The reason why the pages are listed as page 4 and 5 is possibly because they were preceded by some inter-office correspondence regarding the reports. Megan Arthur has testified that this police report did not accurately reflect the content of her statements in that interview. Copies of the police report from Richard Walker's interview are also posted below. Note that page 5 is not included, because it was never given to Charlie as part of his "discovery".(See the "Erickson0082 to Erickson0085 marking on the lower right side of each page of the police report of interviews with Richard Walker. Page 5 was evidently skipped in the copying process that was performed in order to give Charlie all the evidence against him.) Please remember that both Megan Arthur and Richard Walker either denied or recanted the statements in these police reports, but Charlie did not learn this until after 2009."

    The actual police report pages may be viewed at the following link:

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/free-...32742350163277

  12. #12
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    Link to Court filing for Ryan Ferguson $100 M lawsuit. (Charlie's co-defendant) This document shows how detectives and prosecutors fabricated statements too convince Charlie and others to testify. As co-defendants, evidence in this document shares imprtances to both cases. Charlie is not at this point trying to sue anyone...just gain his freedom and life back.

    JMO's

    http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townn...a4bf09.pdf.pdf

  13. #13
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    At this point I do not understand how Charlie's civil rights are not being violated. In my opinion his best defense is aggressive offense in the form of a Civil Rights lawsuit. Ask the Department of Justice to intervene. To try and get ANYONE in the State Government to help Charlie is a conflict of interest IMO. Whether it is mentioned out loud or not, the $100M Ryan Ferguson lawsuit is still the elephant in the courtroom. There is a lot of money changing or about to change hands, much at Charlie's expense in my opinion. Even programs such as Dateline (as an example) etc. are not anxious to help Charlie because to do so could create a conflict due to previous reporting in regard to Ryan Ferguson. They are in the business of selling commercials. And Ryan is a proven commodity in doing so, Charlie is not yet. Now that Netflix and Ms. Zellner is on a new bandwagon in another case, Charlie is still left behind and in prison. His even current interviews are being used and editorialized and still not to his benefit. We will see in a matter of weeks regarding the Dateline interview, but I suspect it will still focus on Ryan and Ms. Zellner and still leave Charlie in his current situation. To me there seems to be far too many conflicts that are working against Charlie at this point and that we need to petition a Civil Rights Attorney (such as Bautista-Allen in KC as an example) and the DOJ to look out for Charlie's interest. I am sorry for the length of this post, and to be clear I am not promoting any certain Attorney firm in particular. Yet I get all twisted that these years later that books are being sold, movies being sold, commercial television ads are being sold, many using Charlie's likeness and name being bantered around. After being editorialized depending on agenda. We are taking donations for legal help, and as of right now still nothing has been filed (as far as I know) on his behalf. Yet Charlie has to be concerned about his personal safety and staying warm in Prison. These are all just my opinions, and will shut up...for now.

    JMO's

  14. #14
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    This case was just on 48 Hours pointing out that Charles Erickson is still in prison even after Ryan Ferguson was released for the same crime.

  15. #15
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    This link is for the lawsuit regarding Ryan Ferguson's $100M case against the City, LEO investigators and Prosecutor. The information is pretty much identical as it is a case with both as co-defendants. Ryan's conviction was set aside, so he is free already and he is currently after money at this time. Charlie was told the prosecution's (witness) stories to convince him to confess, IMO.

    http://www.abc17news.com/blob/view/-...n-response.pdf



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