Saturday, December 19, 2020

13-year-old Michael Crowe Spent 8 Months in Jail, Then DNA Evidence Proved Michael's innocence, the DA and Police were Furious and Steven Truscott

12-year-old Stephanie Crowe was attacked with a knife and murdered in her bedroom while her family slept in Escondido, California on January 20, 1998. The coroner determined that Stephanie had died the night before at approximately 11 PM. She was found by her grandmother, Judith Kennedy, the next morning at 6:30 AM when she went in to wake Stephanie up. Police zeroed in on Stephanie’s 13-year-old brother Michael and two of his  young teenage friends, Joshua Treadway and Aaron Houser, though they had no reason to suspect them or any evidence of their guilt. So police grilled the boys relentlessly. Eventually they wore the boys down and got half confessions from them.

The night of the murder, neighbors reported that a strange man: homeless, mentally ill schizophrenic, Richard Tuite, had knocked on several homes on the street looking for a girl named Tracy. He was belligerent, demanding to know where Tracy was,  acting so strange and prowling through the darkened neighborhood, that several neighbors decided to call police to suggest that Tuite should be investigated for Stephanie's murder. Police found Tuite and took him to the station where they questioned him for a couple of hours then let him go. Police also confiscated his filthy clothing, taking note of scrapes and cuts on his arms and body and a large cut on his hand. Amazingly, Police never considered schizophrenic Tuite a suspect in Stephanie's murder.                   

Between 7:00 and 8:00 p.m. that night, Crowe neighbor Dannette Mogelinski, mistaking a knock on her door for that of a neighbor, was confronted by Richard Tuite, who appeared in distress, perplexed and concerned, she invited him in.  Tuite repeatedly asked if  a girl named Tracy was there. Mogelinski said she did not know Tracy. Tuite left but then opened the door and again asked for Tracy. Mogelinski again said she did not know Tracy, and finally Tuite left. 

Around 9:28 p.m., Gary West, a neighbor of the Crowes, called police to report a transient/vagrant knocked on his door and said he was looking for a girl. Escondido police officer Scott Walters, was dispatched to the area. While investigating the neighborhood for this call, Officer Walters drove up to the Crowe house, stating:
There was a motion light above the garage door turned on when 1 drove up. The door that was next to the garage door, which was open. And I could see inside. There were lights inside the house. Absolutely nothing unusual at the house. And the door closed as pulled up. I couldn't see who was closing it.

Maybe because they already had their man, 13-year-old Michael Crowe. He was singled out by Escondido police because the crime scene seemed "to suggest an inside job," and because he seemed "distant and preoccupied" after Stephanie's body was discovered and the rest of the family grieved. Obviously, Police never considered the possibility that Michael was in shock over the beating, knifing, attempted rape and murder of his sister.  Maybe, if police had looked around, they would have realized that every member of Stephanie's family was in the same condition. 

Michael told police that he had gone to get a Tylenol and something to drink from the kitchen for a headache early in the morning around 4:30 AM. Police noted that Michael had to walk by Stephanie's bedroom door on his way to the kitchen. Some police officers contended that Stephanie's bedroom door was wide open when they arrived, with her body lying on the floor just inside. They claimed Michael had to have seen her. Michael said he did not turn on any lights, he turned on the  TV with sound muted, so he wouldn't bother his family; when he left his bedroom, he felt his way to the kitchen using only nightlights for navigation, so he had no idea whether Stephanie's door was open or shut. He took the Tylenol and returned to bed.

The police claim that Stephanie's door was open when they got there and said it proved Michael's guilt, this was contradicted by some officers, who, arriving at the beginning of the investigation, admitted that Stephanie's door was closed when they arrived, but neither mattered, Nana/Granny had to open Stephanie's door to discover that she had been murdered.  The illogic of the police argument illustrates an investigation which went off track from the very beginning.

Police questioned all members of the Crowe family on the afternoon of January 21, 1998. They also forced Stephen, Cheryl, Michael and Shannon Crowe to strip, and photographed them naked or partially naked, ostensibly to look for scratches or other defensive marks. They didn't find any. 

Michael and Shannon were taken from their parents and placed in the Polinsky Center for abused children. Then detectives took Michael away for questioning; Shannon was told her brother was "going on a field trip."

Police immediately targeted Michael, beginning a campaign of interrogating and bullying him relentlessly. Then they brought Joshua and Aaron into their web when they could find no objective evidence against Michael, then began interrogating all three teenage boys multiple times without their parents' knowledge or permission and without an attorney present. Courts have given police wide leave way to interview a child alone after that child reaches 13-years-old. During these interrogations, police falsely informed Michael that they had found physical evidence implicating him, later the police told all three boys that they were implicated by physical evidence found at the crime scene, a lie, and that each boy had all failed an examination with a so-called "truth verification" device, a voice stress analyzer, another lie. 

Police then told  Michael, Joshua and Aaron that their parents were convinced that they were GUILTY,  that the boys had attempted to rape and had murdered Stephanie Crowe. Police told lie after lie. They then told the boys that their parents wrote them off and hoped that they each got a sentence of life in prison. The police told the boys that they had no one, that the police were the only friends that they had at this point. With friends like that... 

After an intense 6-hour interrogation, Michael gave a vague "confession" to killing his sister, providing no details and ending the session by saying that he couldn't remember doing it. The interview was videotaped by police; at times Michael is heard crying and screaming, protesting his innocence, then saying, "I'm only saying this because it's what you want to hear." Police arrested and charged Michael, Joshua and Aaron with murdering 12-year-old Stephanie.

Treadway endured two interrogations that lasted a total of more than 20 hours -- including one that lasted all night. The videotapes show that police relentlessly questioned Treadway, 15 at the time, and refused to accept his spontaneous statements that he wasn't involved in the murder. By the end of 20 hours of questioning, Joshua Treadway told police he served as the lookout while Crowe and Houser, then 15, stabbed Stephanie.

Treadway told the jury which was trying Richard Tuite, "I would have chewed off my own leg" or said anything they wanted me to, to put an end to these vicious, relentless inquisitions by police. Below Joshua Treadway testifying at Tuite's trial.

Police never found a 5"-6" bladed knife, which matched Stephanie's wounds in the Crowe home. Police did claim to have found a knife which was consistent with Stephanie's wounds at Joshua Treadway's house, Michael Crowe's best friend. Only one problem, the police clamed the knife was in "plain sight" on a sofa.  regardless, no human blood was ever found on this knife, even after extensive testing.  No human blood of any type was ever found on any of the boys' clothes and none of the boys' clothes were unaccounted for. None of the boys showed defensive wounds of any type anywhere on their hands, arms or bodies even though there was evidence that Stephanie had violently struggled with her attacker. Each boy had been strip searched by police. None of the boys' semen or sperm was found anywhere in Stephanie's room. Every time and everywhere the police looked for actual evidence against the boys, the police come up empty. But that didn't stop them, because they "knew" dangerous schizophrenic Richard Tuite was innocent and Michael, Joshua and Aaron were guilty, with or without evidence.

As the boys' trial neared, the judge ruled at a preliminary hearing that Michael's confession was coerced through psychological abuse, two of the boys' confessions were redundant and struck them on that grounds, Houser's statements to police were suppressed because police did not sufficiently advise him of his Miranda rights. The Judge then ruled Joshua Treadway's first confession inadmissible on other grounds. The second Treadway confession remained admissible. This is the "confession," after 20 hours of interrogation by police in which Joshua said he had been a lookout. Never once did the judge consider the abuse the boys suffered while in police custody worthy of consideration for dismissal of all charges, at all.

Michael and his two friends were arrested, thrown in juvenile prison and finally, after months in jail, San Diego county began the process of putting the boys on trial, at which point, to pre-empt the defense claim that Richard Tuite was Stephanie's rapist/murderer, police finally tested Richard Tuite’s clothes seized on the night of Stephanie's murder. The police crime lab said there was NO blood on the red sweatshirt, nothing. Look at the sweatshirt and you can see Stephanie's BLOOD.  They are either grossly incompetent or are Blue Wall LIARS!

Some of Stephanie's Blood Stains are quite large and note that they are NOT smears, they are blood splatter from a violent attack. 

But at the insistence of Treadway’s relentless criminal-defense attorney, Mary Ellen Attridge, the shirt was sent months later to a highly respected DNA lab in the Bay Area. There it was discovered that several drops of Stephanie’s blood, an extremely rare type, were among the many stains on Tuite’s shirt. 

One has to ask, were the San Diego County Police Crime Lab results FRAUDULENT? Blue Wall Police Lab Protecting One of their own? 

That was enough for the case against the boys to be dismissed at a second hearing. The boys had spent 8 months of their young lives in prison for a crime the did NOT commit. 

The best possible theory is the DA and Police were doing CYA, better to convict an innocent boy and his two friends than to admit they had been wrong from the very beginning. Police and the DA would later leak the story that they suspected Stephanie's blood on Tuite's shirt was from contamination, though they never could explain how that was possible. The shirt had been in police custody since the day Stephanie's body was discovered. And thanks to their lies, the murderer was going to walk away free, once police and the DA gave him the contamination cover story.    

To understand this phenomenon, see my page on Peter Reilly who was coerced into a false confession for murdering his mom.  A very good movie, A Death in Canaan (1978), starring Paul Clemens, Conchata Farrell, Brian Dennehy and Stephanie Powers was made based on Joan Barthel's book.  In Peter Reilly's case, a lie detector administrator falsely told the boy that his exam showed Peter LIED AND WAS 100% GUILTY OF THE CRIME. It didn't. Later examiners looked at the same exam print out and said it absolutely did NOT show Peter's guilt or that Peter was lying. The police and lie detector examiner used this false testimony to intimidate the innocent teenager/orphan to confess to the murder of his Mom. Peter was all alone and had no one to turn to for advice, he had been in police custody for over 24 hours and relentlessly questioned and bullied by the officers. The same phenomenon, Peter and Michael both said they had NO memory of doing the crime of which they were accused, but believed police when they told the boys they had absolute proof of the boys guilt.   

Michael Crowe and his friends and co-defendants, Joshua Treadway and Aaron Houser. Peter Reilly, below, the DA had proof of his innocence, but chose to suppress it and prosecuted INNOCENT ORPHAN PETER REILLY, anyway.


Author Joan Barthel and Paul Clemens and Peter Reilly, from Corbis Images.

What would you think if a BELLIGERENT, SCARY, mentally ill man like Richard Tuite knocked on your door in the middle of the night, then you heard that a 12-year-old girl in your neighborhood had been the victim of rape and murdered? Common sense tells us that he would be your first suspect, but police refused to take him seriously. WHY? 

Richard Tuite 

Once the testing established Stephanie's blood was on Richard Tuite's shirt, the boys were released and Richard Tuite was arrested in 2002. While he awaited trial for the murder of Stephanie Crowe, prosecuted this time by the state of California, someone in the San Diego Police Department/District Attorney's Office started leaking the story to the press that the blood on Tuite's clothes had been the result of innocent, accidental or deliberate contamination by police, the DA's Office, Michael Crowe, Joshua Treadway and Aaron Houser's defense attorneys or their agents. Though they offered no logical way this could have happened. 
After a short trial, the jury convicted Tuite of manslaughter. Many people believe that the DA and Police "muddied" the water so much with their FALSE contamination story to account for Stephanie's blood on Tuite's clothes, that the prosecutors were lucky to get any conviction at all. Tuite's court appointed counsel then successfully appealed his case and got a new trial. Then the damage of the Police/DA leak/LIE came into play and destroyed any chance to get justice for Stephanie. In the second trial the jury discounted the blood and DNA and acquitted Tuite. Remember that police said that Stephanie's blood got on Richard Tuite's clothes due to contamination. But never explained how this happened since the clothes were in police custody in an evidence locker ever since Stephanie's murder. 

The bullying interrogation of the boys led to one of the best made for TV Movies ever made, "The Interrogation of Michael Crowe," which won a Peabody Award and showed how innocent 13-year-old boys could be bullied into confessing to a crime they did NOT commit. 

Something to remember, Richard Tuite had several interactions, including arrests, with police since the 1970's, most of which never led to prosecution. One reporter wrote a story that, as an informal policy, police and prosecutors do not arrest or prosecute the mentally ill, so that local and state jails/prisons will not be swamped by them. They were/are almost always diverted, given a medical review and medications and then released, except for the most serious offenses. 
In 1999, Richard Tuite became a registered sex offender after he was convicted of having made blatant, aggressive sexual advances on two underage girls, about 13-years-old, on a bus. Richard Tuite was never punished for the attempted rape and murder of Stephanie Crowe thanks to Republican "pro-life" "christian" Police and District Attorneys, Richard Tuite should buy them a bottle of champagne every year to thank them for their help in escaping consequences for his unspeakable crime.


Police psychologist settles psychological abuse/false confession suit for $1 million

Police only made one mistake in their interrogation of the boys, they videotaped the intense, cruel interrogation/inquisition of Michael Crowe and his friends. Jurors would later say the boys suffered psychological abuse at the hands of police. As the documentary footage shows, police took the boys out of the interrogation room, which had a video camera, then told each boy that his parents had abandoned him and said that each boy's parents said they hoped that their son would go to jail for the rest of their life. Michael and the other boys believed the police lie and then try to make up stories to make the police happy, after police told the 13-14-year-old boys that they are the only friends they have now. Every word the police said was a lie dipped in deceit. 

A psychologist who helped police obtain a false confession from 14-year-old Michael Crowe has settled out of court for $1 million. A judge had called the aggressive, relentless interrogations of  Michael Crowe and two friends "psychologically abusive."  Dr. Lawrence "Deadlift" Blum, a police psychologist, helped police in Escondido, California formulate the "tactical plan" that they used to bully and abuse Michael, Aaron and Joshua into confessing to the murder of his 12-year-old sister, according to the Crowe family's lawsuit.
Blum admitted in a pretrial deposition that he told a police detective that 15-year-old Aaron Houser, Michael's friend, was a "Charlie Manson wannabe." Can you imagine the HORRIFIC DAMAGE that charge could cause an innocent kid? Aaron Houser has not gotten into any criminal trouble in the 20 years since the trial and his case's dismissal. If anyone ever read this FALSE report from this Blue Wall TESTILYING Police Psychologist, it would destroy this innocent boy's life.

Blum's VICIOUS techniques echoed brainwashing by the North Koreans during the Korean War. How many will forget that Trump "buddy" Kim Jung-un arrested American student Otto Warmbier, who entered the country ILLEGALLY. I would have been on the phone the second I found out and screamed at him, if he was on my kid, to get the hell out of the country IMMEDIATELY. Police States are not a place for kids raised in free countries. Otto was arrested for stealing a wall poster in his hotel after which the North Koreans proceeded to torture and murder the boy. I was stunned when the Warmbiers effectively defended Kim and Trump to smear Barack Obama. If my kid had gone to a police state by breaking the law and didn't listen to my pleas to leave, I would have been on a plane in seconds to go get him/her out of the country and on the next plane. I would have asked the state department for permission, first, of course, but then again I am a liberal Democrat. 

Republican San Diego Federal District Court Judge John Rhoades threw out Michael Crowe, Joshua Treadway and Aaron Houser's Civil Rights Lawsuit, saying nothing the Police, DA and Police Psychologist did was actionable. Judge Rhoades ruled against the INNOCENT boys and for the Police, Police Psychologist and DA at every turn in 2004. Here is something cited by Judge John Rhoades, appointed by Ronald Reagan, as justifying the boys' arrest and prosecution. 

Michael Crowe had written a 10 page creative writing assignment for his English class, a copy of which was left on his computer.  Police, the Police Psychologist, the DA and Judge Rhoades said this assignment proved, citing only one paragraph, Michael Crowe hated his sister. The police and judge are perverted and twisted to extrapolate that from this. This passage is directly from the judge's decision: 

"These statements appeared to be somewhat corroborated by a story police found on Michael's computer regarding a boy's hatred of his angel-like sister. In that story, a character named Odinwrath, who starts off wearing a blood-stained cloak, comes upon a village, where he asks where he can find his sister. A peasant tells him his sister is "in the fortress of the light," and Odinwrath stabs the peasant. Odinwrath travels to the place where his sister is. His sister appears and asks, "what do you want brother?" "Your life, sister," Odinwrath replies "with an evil glare.""

All you have to do is watch Game of Thrones in which King Joffrey, evil incarnate, kills everyone, including family members to know how ridiculous this is. Irish Jack Gleeson, who played the Evil Teenage Boy, Mass Murderer and Vicious King in the fantasy story, chose to major in religion and philosophy at college. Everyone on the show and in college described Jack as the gentlest person they had ever met. Jack Gleeson has gone on and earned his doctorate and is now a college professor in religion at a Dublin University.

An American tourist ran into Jack on the street and was surprised how friendly he was, then they had a conversation and a cup of coffee, just like you would with anyone you met on the street and immediately liked.

After several years the case finally reached the US Court of Appeals, which reinstated the boys' case and said:  

One need only read the transcripts of the boys' interrogations, or watch the videotapes, to understand how thoroughly the defendants' conduct in this case "shocks the conscience." Michael Crowe, Joshua Treadway and Aaron Houser -- 13, 14 and 15 years old during the investigation, their arrest and imprisonment -- were isolated and subjected to hours and hours of interrogation during which they were cajoled, threatened, lied to, and relentlessly pressured by teams of police officers. "Psychological torture" is not an inapt description.

Richard Tuite
Richard Tuite has been arrested repeatedly since the 1970's, but rarely prosecuted because he was a diagnosed schizophrenic, mentally ill. The San Diego DA and many other jurisdictions do not prosecute the diagnosed mentally ill, except for the most serious crimes, figuring they once they take their medications and they will be back on the street as soon as they get a public defender. Jurisdictions don't want to clog up their jails with the mentally ill, who require more guards to deal with outbursts and breakdowns, they also require many more EXPENSIVE medical personnel to treat them. 
These deceptively and artificially cleansed records result in the mentally ill successfully dodging other charges down the road because their true criminal activity is not reflected in the record, resulting in much lighter sentences, if they are tried at all, than they deserve based on their behavior and actual record alone.

This phenomenon of police/prosecutor "catch and release" of the mentally ill has been addressed repeatedly on NBC's Law and Order. Every character on the show, in their character's official capacity, is very unhappy with this phenomenon. Arresting the same mentally ill person over and over again for criminal acts, with no real penalty, is the definition of a pointless gesture and it never makes anything better for us or for them.

Police did arrest and the DA did prosecute Tuite for stealing a car in 1990 and being under the influence of and possession of methamphetamine in public in 1997. Tuite has since been arrested for burglary, criminal trespass, bribery and escape in the 2000's. As of 2020 was in jail at the time I wrote this post. He was released from custody in the summer of 2020 because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The families of all three boys, Michael Crowe, Joshua Treadway and Aaron Houser sued the cities of Escondido and Oceanside for wrongful arrest, denial of due process and criminal child abuse. The Crowes reached a settlement of $7.25 million in 2011. 

The San Diego Police and Republican DA acquiesced to the defense motion to dismiss, but only if the judge dismissed the case against teenagers Michael Crowe, Joshua Treadway and Aaron Houser without prejudice, which meant that the Police/DA could indict them again by re-filing the charges against them at any point in the future. There is NO statute of limitations for murder, meaning this murder charge could haunt the boys the rest of their lives. 

After the DNA test proved that a substantial amount of Stephanie's blood, including blood splatter, which could have only occurred during a violent attack on the 12-year-old girl, was on Richard Tuite's Red Sweatshirt, Michael and his family began a fight to clear Michael's name. The San Diego DA's request for dismissal without prejudice hung as a cloud over the three teenage boys, until Judge Kenneth So got the case, he and Attorney Mary Ellen Attridge are the real heroes in the story. They chose to NOT be members of the Blue Wall, they stood tall for justice. 

That is until 2012, when San Diego Superior Court Judge Kenneth So made the rare ruling that Michael Crowe, Joshua Treadway and Aaron Houser were factually innocent of the charges, permanently dismissing the criminal case against them.

Three INNOCENT Boys' Families' Worst Nightmare Came Very, Very Close To Coming True

If Tuite's shirt with Stephanie's blood on it had not been incidentally retained by the police, these three INNOCENT boys would have probably been convicted and sentenced to life in prison. They would have probably been tortured and raped by the murderers and rapists in juvenile and adult prisons. Boys never talk about experiences like that, you will only notice the result, their escalating criminal and psychotic behavior, if they ever get out of jail or their suicide. 
The shirt was in police custody for months, unexamined and untested. What is truly frightening, at some point San Diego Republican police and prosecutors  had to realize the three boys were innocent, but to protect themselves, their careers, their raises and their promotions, they made the decision to PERSECUTE the INNOCENT BOYS anyway. There Blue Wall Crime Lab said there were no blood stains on Richard Tuite's red sweatshirt. That was a lie. Then they had to come up with a new strategy.  To accomplish this the police and DA's office leaked the lie of "possible" cross contamination, to explain the Brown DROPS of Stephanie's blood, not smears, on Tuite's shirt. 
But it is far worse than that. There is a credible report that someone tried to get access to Richard Tuite's shirt in the San Diego Sheriff's Evidence Locker, the shirt with Stephanie's blood on it, using a FAKE POLICE ID. You cannot get farther than the front desk of a sheriff/police department without a VALID POLICE/DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE ID or an active duty police escort. So this person entered the secure area legitimately. This evidence clerk was efficient/dubious enough to seek verification of the "officer's" ID. Apparently, he was using a 2nd, fake ID. Before the clerk could complete the verification, the man disappeared. The only reason anyone using FAKE police credentials would want access to Tuite's shirt would be to DESTROY the shirt, to back up the DA/Police version of events. This shirt was the only ABSOLUTE PROOF of Tuite's rape/murder of Stephanie Crowe. Destroying  Tuite's shirt would vindicate police and the DA's version of events and destroy proof of the INNOCENCE of Michael Crowe, Joshua Treadway and Aaron Houser and would allow the framing of the boys  for a murder they did NOT commit.  
The ultimate in evil and cynicism.
If you've ever watched Forensic Files, you know that the shape of blood drops and smears tells you a lot about how they were caused. In the original police report, Stephanie had been dead for hours when her body was found, her blood had either dried into brown spots/smears or coagulated, leaving a brown blood cell spots/smears surrounded by semi-clear blood plasma stains. All of Stephanie's blood had coagulated and/or dried at the point her body was discovered hours after the crime proving the police were either 100% WRONG OR LYING. There is a slight chance of blood smears, but there is NO/ZERO chance of Stephanie's blood, uniform brown spots, being deposited on Tuite's shirt at any other time than at the time of her murder. 

After almost a year in prison, living in terror and fear of beatings, torture and rape, for a crime they did NOT commit, 14-year-old Michael Crowe and his friends Joshua Treadway and Aaron Houser had to rebuild their lives. Michael put on weight because of depression and had to receive psychological counseling to undo the damage our police had done to him. No INNOCENT kid should ever have to suffer through what he went through. To lose his sister, given no time to mourn, spending 8 months in prison because he was FALSELY accused of killing her.  It is hard to imagine a worse fate, short of death. And never forget they were children. 

The luckiest break for Michael Crowe, his mom and dad, family and friends never doubted for one second his innocence. Without them he might have given up. Police told Michael that his parents told them they knew he was guilty, A LIE, when he saw them next they told him they were liars. Michael never gave up after that.

Only 58% of all murders are ever solved, 42% are never solved. How many of these "solved murders" are innocent people framed/mistakenly convicted? 

An Albuquerque high school campus cop arrested a 13-year-old boy for BURPING in class, then took him to a Republican Private for Profit Prison and threw him in a cell with rapists, drug dealers, muggers and murderers. A juvenile court judge threw the case out of court a few days later at the boy's first hearing, calling the arrest ridiculous, letting the boy go home with his parents. NM Republican Governor Susana Martinez was furious, she ordered the NM Republican Attorney General to take over the case from local prosecutors, then spent $100,000's appealing the case, ending up in the Republican 10th Federal Circuit Appeals Court, which upheld prison for BURPERS. Boys are tortured and raped in juvenile prison, but for BURPING? There is a logic to 12/13/14-year-old BURPERS in prison, they will require fewer guards than teenage  rapists, muggers and murderers, which take more guards and eat into profits at REPUBLICAN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT PRISONS. The worst case scenario, a BOY/BURPER commits suicide after being repeatedly raped. Then the REPUBLICAN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT PRISON has to buy a new mop after mopping up the DEAD CHILD'S/BURPER'S BLOOD.  
If we have enough cops to arrest 13-year-old boys for burping in class, then we have too many cops. We need to get rid of campus cops, transfer them to Police Homicide Departments, so they can solve murders. Protecting us from burpers is a waste of their time and our tax dollars. Think I am kidding?

Police always suspect the last person seen with a murder victim, even if it is/was a 14-year-old good kid like Steven Truscott, who was only doing a good deed and favor for a friend and classmate.

Steven Truscott the INNOCENT 14-year-old boy who caused Canada to abolish the Death Penalty

On June 9, 1959, near Clinton Ontario, a town of 3,500,  about 200 miles from Toronto,  14-year-old Steven Truscott gave classmate 13-year-old Lynne Harper a lift on his bike handlebars after they had been playing on school grounds. Lynne wanted to visit a friend whose family owned a horse ranch. That evening the kids had gone home for dinner and returned to school to play with other kids since the weather had started to get warm. In fact, by June 9th, temperatures were in the high 80's Fahrenheit, unusual for Ontario that early in the summer. Being in the northern latitudes days lasted much longer than they do further south. It was still light out when these events occurred. Steven volunteered to give Lynne, a 7th grade playmate, a lift to the crossroad of County Road and Highway 8 which was 1/2 mile from her friend's house and horse farm, which she intended to visit. She was known to have repeatedly visited the horse farm, one of her favorite places in the small town in which she lived.
Boys playing on the bridge and in the creek under it identified Lynne and Stephen as riding over the bridge above the creek headed to the crossroads where Steven said he dropped Lynne off less than 100 yards away. These boys even said they could recognize Lynne was wearing blue short pants. When her body was found, her blue turquoise short pants were found on the ground beside her, along with her panties, while her blouse was tied and knotted around her throat. 
When Lynne did not come home by 10 PM on June 9th, Lynne's family reported her missing to the police.  A police search party getting ready to go look for Lynne along the way from her home to the pony farm and her school.

Police said the boys in the creek could NOT identify Steven and Lynne on the bridge, arguing that it was too far. So Police decided to conduct a test to verify their conclusion. Instead, to their surprise, police determined someone in the creek could identify riders over the bridge. But then the Police and Prosecutors chose NOT to tell the defense about their test, which verified the truthfulness of Steven's eyewitnesses. 

Steven later told police that he looked back, from approximately the point of view of this photo towards the crossroads, where the street sign and road to the right is today. He said he saw Lynne getting into a  gray car. He believed she was getting a lift from a man in a  new model Gray Chevrolet with an orange/yellow car license tag or sticker on it. The Air Marshal Hugh Campbell Royal Canadian Clinton base used yellow sticker/tags on military personnel vehicles to identify military personnel who worked there. 
Police said it was impossible for Stephen to have seen the yellow sticker from the bridge looking back at where Lynne was, though defense associates tested this and determined it was possible. Proving for the second time police testimony contradicting Steven and his witnesses was not true. The police lied to convict 14-year-old Stephen.

No one ever saw Lynne alive again. Her naked body was discovered on June 11. Lynne had been raped and strangled, her blouse was wrapped tightly tied around her neck and knotted. Police immediately began targeting Steven as the ONLY suspect/perpetrator. Steven panicked, he was terrified, police were repeatedly and relentlessly questioning him and his friends in their effort to convict the 14-year-old boy. 

Arnold George, one of Truscott’s closest friends, testified that Steven had put him up to supporting his story when they spoke at Steven’s house the day after Lynne’s disappearance on June 9th, that would be the 10th, when police had begun their serious focus on Stephen, but before her body was found. George was to tell the police that he saw Steven and Lynne on his bicycle down at the river around 7:30. At first George lied but when the body was found he told the police the truth, that he had not seen Steven.

Truscott testified that at no time did he ever ask George to lie or to falsely tell the police that he had seen him at the bridge. Whatever the truth of the matter, Steven's panic is easily understandable. Police stopped looking for suspects when they began looking at him. A HUGE MISTAKE!

Steven was arrested on June 12, 1959 taken to the base jail and locked up. Police questioned him continuously for seven hours without a break, sending in teams of detective to question and bully him into confessing. Steven was adamant, he was innocent, Lynne was his friend and he would never hurt her. Steven was the only suspect the police ever investigated. 

June 12, 1959: 7:00 PM, Steven Truscott was taken into custody by Ontario Police.
June 13: at about 2:30 a.m. Steven Truscott was charged with first degree murder under the Juvenile Delinquents Act.
June 29: A police magistrate rules that Truscott will be tried in adult, an appeal of this decision was dismissed.
July 14, 1959, Steven was committed to stand trial for capital murder.

Steven Murray Truscott (born January 18, 1945) is a Canadian boy who was wrongly convicted and sentenced to death in 1959 for the rape and murder of classmate Lynne Harper. Truscott and Harper had danced one dance together at a school social, but they were not considered a couple by the other kids in the school. Truscott had been the last person to see her alive. Convicted as an adult, he was scheduled to be hanged; however, the federal cabinet reprieved him commuting his sentence to life in prison a couple of months later. Steven was released on parole in 1969. Five decades later, in 2007, his conviction was overturned thanks to a CBC Documentary about the case which turned up evidence was much weaker than prosecutors had portrayed it at the 14-year-old's trial for his life. 

Steven Truscott's middle class home at 2 Quebec Road in Clinton, now called Vanastra, after the Royal Canadian Air Force Base was shut down in 1971.  Neighbors liked the Truscott family and considered them good people.  Many of them were perplexed by  the charges against Steven which they never believed. 
Steven's parents were devastated by the Supreme Court's denial of their son's appeal. They knew their son was innocent.  

Lynne Harper's childhood home on Victoria Boulevard in Clinton/Vanastra.

A Death Sentence for a 14-year-old boy was a big day making the front pages of newspaper all across the world. 

A girl friend of Lynne's reported that Steven had asked where Lynne was immediately before she left the school playground. Steven explained that he had promised to give Lynne a ride to a crossroad near her friend's horse farm on his bike handlebars, otherwise she would have had to walk the whole way, about a 30 to 40 minute walk. It has been argued that the police and prosecutors coached this 13-year-old girl to give a statement an ominous connotation to cinch their case against Steven. She also implied that Steven had been trying to have an assignation with her and had even stopped by her home the day Lynne disappeared trying to get her to go off with him. One huge problem, in a very long interview with police lasting over an hour, with multiple pages of police notes, before Lynne's body had been found, this girl makes no mention of either of these stories. These stories came later as prosecutors were building a case against Steven. 
It should be added at this point, Steven had NEVER been in any trouble of any sort before this in his life, legally or with his parents or school. He was a good kid and good student.

After his arrest

During his trial

The School and playground are on the lower left, Lawson's Bush/Woods, where Lynne Harper's body was found, is to the right 2/3 of the way up and the bridge and crossroads at the very top of the photo about 2 3/4 miles from the school is the crossroad where Steven said he let Lynne off for her 10 minute, 1/2 mile walk to the horse ranch. The average bicycle rider, by himself, averages 12 mph. Steven was riding two people, Lynne was riding on his handlebars, so he was probably running 8 to 10 mph over a slightly inclined road from the school. The distance to Lawson's Bush/Woods is 1.5 (+/-) miles from the school. It would be impossible to give Steven less than 10 minutes to travel that far, having left the school playground at about 7:10 PM, peddling with two people on the bike, a strain for a skinny boy to pedal, that would put him passing Lawson's Bush about 7:20 - 7:25 PM. The crossroads where Steven says he let Lynne off was about another mile, so another 6 to 7 minutes, meaning Steven and Lynne arrived there at 7:25 to 7:30 PM, Steven turned around and headed back to the playground, arriving at about 7:40 PM. At every stage his location was testified to by eyewitnesses. No one ever, on this occasion or at any other time, said Steven raced anywhere on his bike. Which would have been impossible with Lynne riding on his handlebars regardless.
Immediately, it becomes apparent, Steven only had enough time to rape and kill Lynne, 10 minutes, for the police version of Lynne's murder to be true. Which means Steven had to have premeditated the crime, planning to rape and murder Lynne from the very beginning. There was no time for an assignation, any kissing or any normal adolescent sexual advances, gone wrong. Lynn had twigs and rocks driven into her back, some of which pierced her skin while she was still alive, which must have been incredibly painful. Lynne must have screamed and would have fought back, with all her strength, clawing and striking her assailant with her hands until her last breath, which must have left traces on her assailant. 

Forget what you think you know about strangulation. If you possess the expertise and knowledge and target cutting off a person's blood passing through the carotid artery and jugular vein in their neck, it will still take you up to 3-4 minutes to kill your victim. Strangulation will take up 100% of your time and effort until the person dies. So the rape either occurred before or after the strangulation. 
You can get a person to pass out in about 30 seconds if you specifically target the carotid artery or jugular vein, but I sincerely doubt Steven or any other 14-year-old would have the anatomical knowledge to accomplish this. And it would have taken great strength to control, rape and strangle a 13-year-old girl fighting for her life. Something nearly impossible for a boy weighing only a few pounds more than Lynne weighed. But a grown man weighing a hundred pounds more than Lynne did, could accomplish this crime quite easily. 
Adding 3-4 minutes to struggle with Lynne to get control, another 3-4 minutes to strangle Lynne, 5 minutes to rape her. That doesn't even include the minutes necessary for the police theory of an assignation and teenage fumbling make-out session gone wrong. Already the police version doesn't fit the timeline that they themselves established for the crime. Add a couple of minutes to clean up and make sure you have no tell-tale signs of a struggle. 

No wounds consistent with a struggle were ever found on Steven's body. Police forced Steven to strip naked so they could minutely examine his body.  They detected no bruises, no scratches, no cuts or gouges on Steven's body. This is inconsistent with Steven being the perpetrator. 
The police version only allows this one interpretation, for them, Steven had to have intended the rape and murder Lynne from the very beginning. But Steven showed no signs of having committed the crime. A physical exam showed no signs of a fight. Steven exhibited no unusual behavior, before leaving the playground at 7:15 PM or after arriving back there at 7:40 PM, nothing odd detected by several witnesses at the playground. His friends said Steven never appeared withdrawn, upset or worried that evening. When Steven arrived home between 8:00 and 8:15 PM, his parents detected nothing unusual in his appearance, behavior or interactions with them. Police examined and tested the clothes Steven wore that evening: there were NO blood spots or sperm on Steven's shirt, pants or underpants. There were no rips or tears in the clothes he wore that evening either, which would be logically expected after a violent rape and murder.

Lynne Harper's body was found a little less than a couple of miles from the school she and Steven Truscott attended at the Royal Canadian Air Force Base at Clinton Ontario, which was closed down in 1971. In Conestoga College took over Air Marshal Hugh Campbell School as a satellite campus in 1972. This facility was closed in 1986.  The location of the base would be very important in determining a much more likely suspect. Lynne and Steven actually attended Air Vice Marshal Hugh Campbell School together on the Royal Canadian Air Force Base itself. 

Air Vice Marshal Hugh Campbell School

After his death sentence commutation in 1960, Steven's friends and family never stopped fighting for him, 25 witnesses testified in his defense at an Ontario Supreme Court Appeal. The joint opinion of Canada’s Supreme Court Justices was: “The verdict of the jury, read in the light of the charge of the trial judge, makes it clear that they were satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the facts, which they found to be established by the evidence which they accepted, were not only consistent with the guilt of Truscott but were inconsistent with any rational conclusion other than that Steven Truscott was the guilty person.”  

This is very reminiscent of the Republican Rehnquist/Scalia Republican Supreme Court Decision that it is better to achieve "Finality of Verdict" than justice, even if it means innocent people are executed and imprisoned. Which actually says, it is better to torture and murder the innocent than allow appeals after a certain point in a criminal proceeding. In 2005, 7 years after an Ohio man Clarence Elkins was convicted of the murder and rape of his 68-year-old former mother-in-law and the rape of his 6-year-old niece, REPUBLICAN Judge Judy Hunter REFUSED to consider DNA from the rape kits from the two victims, which did NOT match Clarence Elkins, the man convicted of the crime.

In 1966, Investigative Reporter Isabel LeBourdais wrote a book about Steven Truscott's trial and conviction, raising questions which seemed to point to a miscarriage of justice.  It was this book which led to an appeal which was again denied by the Appeals Court of Ontario. Stephen photographed on his  way to the hearing inside a police car. 

Author Isabel LeBourdais with Stephen after his release from prison in 1969, at the age of 24, Steven had spent almost 10 years of his life in prison. One half of his life had been stolen from him.  If you wonder why I wrote this page on my blog, Steven's innocence was attacked in a recent book which supported the original police conclusions, conveniently ignoring the issues, which I and others have raised. 

By the time Steven Truscott was released from prison in 1969 at the age of 24, he had nowhere to go. He would be hounded by the press anywhere he went, making a normal life impossible. He did not want to put his parents through any more pain. Being perceived as the parents of a child killer was a tremendous burden to his mom, dad and siblings. But they never abandoned Steven, they never stopped believing in his innocence, his family kept lobbying for their son and brother to get a new trial, a chance to prove his innocence. 
The head of the Ontario parole board,  Max Steinberg, decided to help the young man, he and his family took Steven into their home so he could begin building a life. In an interview for a CBC, Canadian Broadcasting Company documentary, Steinberg said through his years of experience he could recognize criminals, especially violent criminals. He NEVER believed that Steven was such a person, to him, Steven was a gentle boy and man, leading Steinberg to personally aid in the fight to get Steven exonerated.  Photos from home movies of Steven celebrating his birthday with the Steinberg family, who treated him just like he was their son.

1) Steven Truscott appealed his conviction again, claiming new evidence came to light. Among the evidence Steven's supporters acquired, coroner's notes from the actual autopsy of Lynne Harper, which CONTRADICTED the Coroner's SWORN testimony at Steven's trial. 

In his notes, the coroner gave a probable 4 hour window for her death, between 7 PM and 11 PM on June 9th. When he testified at trial, the coroner testified that Lynne's death occurred between 7 to 7:30 PM, give or take a few minutes. We know that Steven and Lynne left the school playground after 7:00 PM, verified by two teachers who monitored kids on the playground, Mrs. Nickerson and Mrs. Bohonus, who were adamant that Steven and Lynne left the playground between 7:10 to 7:15 PM.  and Steven was back at the playground by about 7:40 PM, then Steven arrived home by about 8:10 PM to 8:15 PM, so he could babysit his siblings. 
In Steven's version, backed up by eyewitnesses: Steven is known to have ridden his bike, with Lynne on his handlebars, from the school at 7:10 PM to the crossroads of the County Road and Highway 8, accounting for 12 to 15 minutes. Steven then rode back to the school playground, by himself, arriving at approximately 7:40 PM, accounting for another 10 minutes (+/-), then leaving the playground after 8:00 PM, riding home to his home another 5 minutes, arriving at home at 2 Quebec Road by about 8:15 PM. 
Even giving the prosecution the benefit of every doubt, that Steven and Lynne had an assignation in the woods, at some point she resisted, to which Steven responded by attacking and raping her, then Steven fought and strangled her to death, which took 3 to 4 minutes itself, then cleaned up and returned to the playground. That is an incredibly tight, less than a 10 minute window of opportunity for a skinny boy who was scarcely bigger than Lynne was, to overpower her, then commit a violent rape/murder, then return to their friends as if nothing happened.  It is simply not possible, which means this is NOT the truth. 
The police made Steven strip and examined his naked body minutely during questioning the following day, but were unable to find any wounds or injuries on his body suggestive of an attack, except the one listed below, which had an entirely innocent explanation.

Current medical experts report there is NO way to set a time of death to within 15 to 30 minutes, ever, unless the person has been killed 15 to 30 minutes IMMEDIATELY before their body is found, but especially if a body has been left out in hot 80 Degree Fahrenheit plus temperatures for over two days. In the 1960's, New York City Medical Examiner Milton Helpern fought to abolish the position of coroner, which is a political, elected office. Dr. Halpern argued that the position should only be occupied by career forensic doctors like Cyril Wecht and himself.  

Dr. Helpern above and Cyril Wecht below, Dr. Wecht was consulted by the Warren Commission about JFK's Assassination, as a leading Forensic Medical Examiner.

New York City Medical Examiner Dr. Milton Helpern argued that politics has no place in determining causes of death, regardless of whether from criminal activity or in pandemics. 

Remember, the mayor of Amity, promised that the shark in Jaws was dead, so everyone could relax and go back to the beach.  He lied and more people died. And if you remember, the county coroner helped him out saying that the first attack, saying the girl had been hit by a boats propeller. Matt Hooper/Richard Dreyfuss said that was a lie and the coroner was a liar. The coroners was a politician, not a public servant. The tourist industry came first. 
Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis ordered Coroners to list Coronavirus deaths under any underlying chronic medical condition, when present. Take for example, someone has had heart disease, diabetes, congestive heart failure, arteriosclerosis, kidney disease, etc., for the last 20 years, then catches the Coronavirus and dies days later. DeSantis ordered the Coroners to list the death from the underlying chronic condition as the cause of death, this was done for his own political benefit. DeSantis has made doing nothing to fight the Coronavirus Pandemic a central plank of his time as governor. He has fought social distancing, vaccination requirements to attend public events and face mask mandates, even winning a case in the Republican Appeals Court which upheld his blocking face mask mandates in public schools, Florida is now #1 in new cases of the Coronavirus, the DeSantis effect.
When Health Department public information officer Rebekah Jones created a website with accurate numbers of the dead from the Coronavirus, 33% higher than the official state figure Republicans released, DeSantis had her fired and later arrested for not following his orders. A few days ago Republican Appeals Court Judges blocked face masks in public schools and public places at his behest. During the spring of 2021, DeSantis gave a speech and cited only one Coronavirus death that day as proof the pandemic was over. A check with the CDC showed 47 people died of the Coronavirus on that day in Florida.  On September 12, 2021, Rebekah Jones website, which she maintains on her own, showed 1338 died from the Coronavirus, yesterday, 9/11/2021. 

A couple of years ago, the Texas State Crime Lab was found to have been manufacturing evidence to convict people accused of crimes. Police would tell them what they wanted, the crime lab would fake the evidence. These Blue Wall doctors and technicians framed several innocent people.

And food digestion is considered only accurate in telling you what the person's last meal was, not a precise time it was eaten, much less a time of death. Active physical recreation of any sort on the school playground would have retarded food digestion. The Nova Scotia Chief Medical Examiner said in a documentary about Steven, there is no way any medical expert would reach the conclusion the Clinton, Ontario Coroner reached in 1959, today. Normally, this DISHONEST PROSECUTION fine tuning of witness testimony is called TESTILYING. Where a professional witness tailors his testimony to help convict the accused, not achieve justice.

2) Lynne's body was exhumed and insect evidence was re-examined. A medical examiner, the successor to the elected coroner, determined that the original coroner notes were truthful while his testimony in court was a devious, deceitful lie. 

Steven Truscott and the bike with which he gave Lynne Harper a life on his handlebars

3) We know that several kids on the playground and two teachers saw Steven and Lynne leave together at about 7:15 PM. We know that kids, Richard Gellatly, 12, who was biking towards school and Philip Burns, 10, who was walking towards the school playground, saw Steven and Lynne on his bike, passing Lawson's Bush/Woods, riding away from school on the way to her friend's pony ranch/home. We know six witnesses place Steven and Lynne well past Lawson's Bush/Woods, within a 100 yards of the crossroad where Steven said he dropped Lynne off. Steven then road his bike back to the school playground arriving about 7:40 PM, where he continued to play with his friends until he left for home arriving there between 8:00 PM and 8:15 PM. 

4) A 12-year-old boy named Gordon "Gord" Logan was fishing and catching turtles with friends in the local stream when they noticed Steven and Lynne riding his bike on the road on June 9th. The boys yelled "hello" and waived at them. He and his friends knew them and they only fished that one day, the first really warm day of the year, so they were 100% sure of the identification and testimony. The reason this is so important, Gord, his friends and the stream were well past the point at which Lynne's body was found and less than a 100 yards of the crossroads where Steven said he dropped Lynne off on his way home. Another boy on the bridge that day, one of six witnesses who knew Steven and Lynne and saw them while riding home, verified Steven's version of events, said he saw Steven and Lynne riding Steven's bike on the bridge, even noting that Lynne was wearing blue short pants. 
At Steven's trial, Doug Oates, 12, and his 16-year-old brother, Alan,  testified that they were on the bridge looking for turtles on June 9 and saw Truscott and Lynne cycling across sometime between 7 and 7:30 p.m. Again Doug and Alan knew Steven and Lynne and were absolutely positive as to what they saw. None of these boys witnessed Steven and Lynne doubling back across the bridge together, but they did notice some cars on the road after that. 
One of the vehicles the boys noticed was a new Gray automobile going in the direction of their school, the Air Force Base and the thick woods WHERE LYNNE'S BODY WAS FOUND.  
During Steven's murder trial the prosecution claimed that Steven and Lynne never reached this point. Prosecutors and police REFUSED to take these SIX EYEWITNESSES' testimony seriously. The police and prosecutors, rather than listening to the boys, called them liars. Prosecutors said in court that these were Steven's friends and they were lying to protect him. 

After being accused of lying to protect Steven, one of these six boy's moms pointed out WITH RIGHTEOUS ANGER, in an interview with a reporter for the newspaper, these boys were also Lynne's friends too. 

Doug Oats interviewed for the CBC Documentary, still maintains that he told the truth and that Steven was innocent. He did see Steven and Lynne on his bike on the bridge on June 9th, he was 100% sure of that.

These same boys were interviewed for the CBC/Canadian Broadcasting Company Documentary about Steven's appeal in 2007 of his conviction, both are still adamant that they told the truth at the trial. The girl who testified against Steven, REFUSED to take part in the documentary.
Another problem, when prosecutors tried to contradict Gord's testimony, arguing no one could identify anyone on the bridge from where Gord and his friends were, police had a boy and girl of a similar size recreate the ride over the bridge, after placing police officers as witnesses in the creek to see if they could successfully identify the riders and what they were wearing, in this case, a girl wearing pink shorts. The officers in the creek said they could recognize the riders and their clothes. The Prosecutors and Police who conducted this experiment did NOT tell Steven's defense lawyers that they had verified "Gord's" testimony and continued to claim it was not possible. More prosecution testilying

FACT: Less than 5% of cars sold in the US and Canada are Gray.

Another boy Douggie Oates saw Lynne and Steven on this bridge within a hundred yards of the cross road where Steven dropped Lynne off. Police and prosecutors REFUSED to take this boy's testimony seriously as well.

The crossroads leading to Lynne's home, where Steven dropped Lynne off, today, since paved.

Looking towards the crossroads where Steven dropped Lynne off. She would have had to walk down this road to get home, a distance of about 1/2 mile, which should have taken her between 5 to 10 minutes. The prosecutors claimed Lynne would have never hitchhiked, even though friends and family claimed they had given her a lift home from the same point on several occasions. A question which would become integral to Steven's defense, would Lynne have accepted a lift from a man in uniform, especially someone she knew? Everyone involved lived within a few miles of the Air Force Base and said it would have been natural for any kid to trust a man in uniform. 

Stakes mark the spot in heavy underbrush where Lynne's body was found. Consider the amount of time to slog through this thick underbrush for over 30 yards to get to this point, especially with an unwilling victim. 

An ambulance is seen loading Lynne's body, to give you an idea of the dense forest which hid her body for two days. The first photo was taken from the main street leading to Lynne and Steven's homes and the Air Force Base. Even an adult would have trouble carrying a struggling child or dead body this far without a car/truck. Even using the prosecutors assignation theory, less than 5 to 10 minutes from that timeline can be allowed for Lynne's rape/murder. The inescapable conclusion is that this theory is only possible if Steven had planned to rape and murder Lynne all along. It does not account for the kids would have had to tramp a 100 yards into the woods and underbrush, which makes an impossible timeline into a ridiculously impossible timeline. All predicated on Lynne spontaneously asking Steven for a lift, which he had occasionally done before. 

5)  A question never answered by prosecutors, why would Lynne let Steven take her this far away from the road, especially doubling back after Gord had seen them? Steven was not a particularly big or strong boy, he was known as a good student and bookworm among his friends and kids at the school. The physical force necessary to subdue a girl was probably beyond his ability without a horrendous fight, in which, Steven was almost certain to get seriously injured with marks of this life and death and battle. Plus Steven and Lynne would have had to go past witnesses, which would have given her an opportunity to scream and ask for help. Steven having to carry Lynne's dead weight was probably beyond his physical ability too. If she was alive she would have resisted and screamed for help.  No way he could have ridden a bike and carried her while she struggled, or her dead/unconscious body. No weapon was used on Lynne she was strangled. Simply escaping his grasp would have meant freedom. 
So the police turned to the only theory which fit the the timeline: an assignation between Steven and Lynne that went wrong. The police theory: two kids sought privacy to "neck" but Lynne resisted when Steven tried to have sex with her. So Steven raped and strangled her. 
From the investigation, the only known "romantic" contact Steven had with Lynne was at a school dance, in which boys and girls were to trade off partners with each new song. One of Steven's many dances had been with Lynne. No one remembered anything particularly romantic or note worthy from Steven's dance with Lynne. Throughout the entire dance, Steven was polite and somewhat shy. All the other girls consistently agreed with this appraisal of the 14-year-old boy.

No one has ever accused Steven of any previous act of violence. Steven was not a bully, he was much more likely to be the victim of bullies. He was a quiet and a somewhat shy boy. While he was a healthy boy, he was not particularly strong. 

Detectives will tell you that if you want to solve a murder by a serial killer, you always go to their first crimes/murders. At that point they have not perfected their technique, they are novices and unsure of themselves, they are making mistakes. These are the crimes that detectives will solve first. If Steven did murder Lynne, as police claim, then he was going to make mistakes. The fact that he had no wounds from a struggle with Lynne on his body, argues very strongly against his guilt. Lynne was fighting for her life, she fought back. When anyone is facing death, we all possess incredibly strength. With Steven as the perpetrator, it was a much more equal battle, Stephen would have been injured. That can almost be guaranteed. Steven showed no signs of a struggle.  
An adult perpetrator, weighing 100 pounds more than Lynne and many times stronger than she was, would have no such problem, though even he should have some wounds from Lynne battling her attacker as she fought for her life. 
Another fact with which most criminal experts agree, the first victim of a murderer will show signs of hesitation, it will take longer and be more drawn out as the perpetrator works up to committing the murder. At 10 minutes, Steven had no time for such behavior. The person who murdered Lynne had engaged in this behavior before and no signs of hesitation. Since he did not have to deal with Steven's tight timeline, he could spend hours terrorizing and raping Lynne before murdering her.  

At 10 PM July 9th, Bob Watson, a 13-year-old boy who knew Steven and Lynne, was walking home from the school playground when he saw a car parked with what appeared to be a man and someone else, possibly a woman/girl, about 50 yards of the main road down a dirt track leading to the Lawson Bush Woods where Lynne's body was found. It was far too dark to notice the color of the car or anything more than that.  This boy's testimony was simple and unembellished.  Police refused to accept this testimony. 

A note that in Canada warm weather is very much appreciated when it finally arrives, so kids can hardly be contained in the house, regardless of the hour, when the temperature is above 75 Degrees Fahrenheit. 

6) At trial, prosecutors showed evidence that Steven's penis had chaffing, which they contended was proof of rape. Doctors for the defense testified that any boy who masturbated could cause such minor chaffing on his penis, especially in dry cool weather, the weather immediately before the heat wave struck. This evidence was totally meaningless, since all boys masturbate.

Here is the author's website, if you want a detailed record of what Steven went through and a detailed record of the case, this is the best resource on the Internet. Check out Amazon for his book.


5) Steven was an average, normal boy, but a somewhat gentle and shy boy. His attorney in 1959 was worried that these senior crown prosecutors would tear him to shreds in their cross examination. They made the decision not to allow Steven to testify in his own defense. In retrospect this was a huge mistake. The province put their best prosecutors on the case, while Steven had a public defender, who never gave him a chance to fight for his life. Remember, Steven was facing the death penalty. 

6) One of the major reasons Steven's conviction was overturned, prosecutors did not turn over and actually hid police and coroner notes from the defense. The Crown Prosecutors portrayed the case against Steven as open and shut. While coroner, police and prosecutor notes taken during the investigation told a much different story.  Remember the coroner said Lynne was murdered within minutes of 7 to 7:30 PM, while his actual autopsy notes show that he concluded that there had been a 4 hour window, quite possibly longer, for her murder. 
The coroner DELIBERATELY DECEIVED THE JUDGE AND JURY WITH MALICE OF FORETHOUGHT. The only question, was this at the behest of Crown Prosecutors, who sought the death penalty for Steven Truscott?  Police refused to turn over the boys witness statements to the defense, since police said they gave no credit to teenager Gord's testimony and challenged it in court instead of considering it as important, relevant evidence. But Police were under an obligation to tell the defense about these boys' testimony. Worse yet, the police recreation of the boys eyewitness account of having seen Steven and Lynne on the bridge, established the boys could have seen and identified them. In court, prosecutors knowingly lied by saying it was not possible, when they had proven it could have happened.
Gord and the other boys contacted Steven's defense lawyers on their own. The girl who offered testimony that Steven tried to have an assignation with her, had one problem, her testimony in court did not match the LONG AND DETAILED statement she gave police on the 10th of June. 
When Lynne's body was recovered, her body was already out of rigor mortis, which is one of the main ways to determine time of death, without that, it is much harder to give a precise time of death. 

Rigor Mortis is Latin and means, roughly, a body frozen in one position. It occurs because calcium is being released by the muscles of a dead person, which causes a person's muscles to constrict and tighten into one position. It starts at roughly 4 hours and begins to fade at 8 hours. After this process is over, the body becomes limp. 

Science today shows food digestion can be greatly affected by stress, exercise, recreation or the type of food eaten. It is a much, much less the exact science the coroner deceptively portrayed it to be at Steven's trial. At Steven's appeal, the current Medical Examiner admitted the original coroner was WRONG/mistaken, stating the murder probably occurred within the 4 hour window, 7 to 11 PM on June 9th, but could have even occurred as late as the next day, July 10th. He also testified that the original coroner's testimony was fraudulent. There was NO scientific basis for him giving the time of Lynne's death a 30 minute window between 7 and 7:30 PM. 

One other thing to consider, Steven Truscott was an intelligent kid. He knew everyone on the playground had seen him leave with Lynne at 7:10 PM. He knew he needed to be home by about 8:15 PM. He reappeared at the playground at 7:40 PM. 

7:10 PM   Steven Truscott and Lynne Harper leave Air Marshal Hugh Campbell School
7:40 PM   Steven Truscott reappears at the School, calm, cool and normal, he plays with his friends for another 25 minutes before going home.
8:10 PM   Steven Truscott arrives home to babysit his siblings.

Everyone agrees with these are facts. Using Steven's timeline, it was impossible for him to have committed the crime. Which explains why police called all six boys, who were eyewitnesses, liars. By the police version of events, this could not be the timeline of a teenage boy who wanted to make-out with a teenage girl. This had to be a cold-blooded killer, one who intended, from the very beginning, to rape and murder a classmate he had known and liked his whole life. And he barely had any time to accomplish the task. To believe the police timeline of events, the whole criminal enterprise had to be accomplished within 10 minutes, after subtracting approximately 20 minutes of travel time. Is ten minutes enough time to rape and strangle a girl fighting for her life without any trace of the life and death struggle on your clothes or person, no cuts, no bruises no scratches? 

7) Truscott’s lawyers put forward an alternate possible, indeed probable, suspect in the murder — Air Force Sergeant Alexander Kalichuk.  Kalichuk was transferred from Clinton two years before Lynne Harper's murder, but was seen visiting friends in the community several times since, right up to the time of Lynne's murder. Three weeks before Lynne's murder,  Kalichuk had been arrested in St. Thomas, Ontario for attempting to lure a 12-year-old girl into his car. 
On another occasion, Sgt. Kalichuk ran across 3 little girls on a rural Ontario road.  He engaged one of the girls, an 11-year-old, in conversation while her friends continued on home, eventually Kalichuk's conversation turned to offering to an offer to "buy this girl new panties," when one of the girls' Dad approached the car and Kalichuk quickly departed. Kalichuk was arrested, but quickly got bailed out. At his trial the judge threw the case because of "insufficient" evidence. Odd, a stranger stopping on a rural road and offering to buy your 11-year-old daughter panties is not enough evidence of inappropriate conduct? Even after learning this same man had multiple sexual incidents involving little girls over a decade. 

RAINN, Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network, a group which tracks rape and abuse of children, reports only 1/3 of cases are ever reported to police. Sometimes this is because they child does not report the attack to their parents, at other times, the parents choose not to report the crime, so they won't have to put the child through any additional trauma. 
This indicates that the multiple incidents of child abuse/molestation for which Sgt. Kalichuk is known to have committed, could only be the tip of the iceberg. We don't know if he ever committed any violent attacks, rape or murder before. Between police, prosecutors and the military giving Kalichuk multiple passes, the real extent of his criminal history will never be known. Since Sgt. Kalichuk was never investigated for Lynne's rape and murder, there are so many things we don't know. He should have been the first suspect, a well known child molester, who hunted little girls in Lynne's neighborhood.  Many questions would have been answered if Kalichuk had been given a full physical exam immediately after Lynne's body was found. Steven was forced to strip naked in front of police in an effort to find wounds, cuts and bruises from a struggle on his body. There were none. One wonders whether these wounds would have been found on Sgt. Kalichuk's body? 

For the several years Sgt. Alexander Kalichuk (1923-1975) was stationed in Clinton Ontario, where his supervisor was Lynne Harper's Dad. Kalichuk knew her Dad, he knew her family and he knew Lynne. Lynne would have trusted him. What made Lynne's family furious, no one, not even Lynne's father, knew about Kalichuk's multiple run-ins with police involving inappropriate, criminal contact with children. You can explain one incident as a mistake, but an avalanche of accusations? These criminal, perverted acts are a part of the record, traced back to the year 1950 when Sgt. Kalichuk was arrested TWICE for indecent exposure to underage little girls. Somehow, in regard to many of these charges against Kalichuk, prosecutors repeatedly made a choice not to pursue criminal sanctions or jail against this serial child molester. Many times the charges were simply dropped by police and prosecutors with no explanation.  And the Canadian Royal Air Force made a conscious decision NOT to kick Kalichuk out of the service
An official Canadian Air Force psychological profile of Kalichuk from the 1950's was surrendered to Steven's Attorneys in regard to his 2007 appeal. Canadian Air Force Psychiatrists had determined that Kalichuk was a threat to children and might not warrant retention in the military. This assessment was made in the middle 1950's, but apparently no one ever acted on it. 
Less than two weeks after Lynne's death, on July 22, 1959, Sgt. Kalichuk's commanding officer ordered Kalichuk to enter the base hospital for a psychological exam, he had been exhibiting extreme nervousness, anxiety and depression, which was interfering with him successfully carrying out his duties. 
Sgt. Kalichuk retired from the military in 1969. Even at that point, he was under investigation for another inappropriate contact with a child. By that time, Kalichuk was an alcoholic. He would die in 1975. 

Read this document and note the similarities with what is believed to have happened to Lynne Harper. Who is more likely to rape and murder a 13-year-old girl? An average 14-year-old boy with no history of misconduct or crime or a man with a long history of public indecency, attempted molestation and attempted child rape, including the attempted rape of a 12-year-old girl, only weeks before Lynne's murder? 

Other accusations turned up in the weeks after Lynne's murder of inappropriate contact between Kalichuk and young girls around 10/11/12/13-years-old along the road. On the same day Harper disappeared, June 9,1959, Canadian Air Force medical officers held a meeting regarding Kalichuk’s drinking and behaviour. Around this time, Kalichuk’s probation officer advised air force officials of another incident of indecent exposure involving Kalichuk in the Town of Seaforth, not far from the Clinton base. 
By the way, Kalichuk owned a Gray Ford Sedan with an yellow/orange Air Marshal Hugh Campbell Royal Canadian Air Force Base tag on it in 1959. Steven may have been wrong about the make and model, but he apparently was right about the color and sticker/decal. Amazingly, an astonishing "coincidence," Kalichuk sold his practically new car within a few days of Lynne's murder. And was committed to a mental health facility for severe depression and anxiety less than two weeks after Lynne's murder.

Lt. Columbo said in an episode, when I've completed an investigation, experience has taught me not to believe in coincidences when it comes to murder. 

In the last few years, Blue Wall conservatives have begun arguing again that Steven was guilty, again by ignoring eyewitness testimony to the contrary. 

I would like to offer Steven's accusers and Blue Wall supporters of the police a challenge, find a reason why Sgt. Kalichuk should NOT be the #1 suspect in this case. Kalichuk had NO alibi for the time of the murder. His behavior was especially suspicious immediately after Lynne's murder. Kalichuk exhibited behaviors, which it can be argued, show consciousness of guilt. Kalichuk sold his practically brand new car less than two weeks after Lynne's murder. A few days later his superiors reported, independently, that Kalichuk appeared nervous, paranoid, depressed in the days after June 9th, the day of Lynne's murder. They pressured him into getting a mental health exam, which directly led to him checking himself into a military mental health facility for observation on June 22, 1959. 
Like Ross Sullivan the likely Zodiac Killer and Richard Tuite the likely suspect in the Stephanie Crowe murder, the evidence is there if anyone ever took the time to look at it. But police in all three cases chose never to look at the most obvious suspect or follow the evidence to the truth.  

“The following was not produced in court as the O.P.P. believed that their case should stand or fall on the one situation in order that the following material could be used in court on another substantial occasion: The O.P.P. have had a number of complaints from rural schools, names of which were provided to but not taken by the writer, of a person answering the airman’s description making such advances to school girls and/or suspected of plans to making such advances. License number of car involved was obtained and it was established that the airman’s previous car (he recently obtained a new one) and that he apparently was in possession of the car. The point here is that the airman had been under surveylance(sic) because of the complaints for some time...”

One of the major questions for his superiors, why was Sgt. Kalichuk not discharged for his REPEATED aberrant and perverted behavior with underage little girls. And that does not include other grounds for dismissal, including several incidents of public drunkenness and DUI on and near the base. Steven's defense team and reporters have requested copies of Kalichuk's service and disciplinary records. They immediately noted that several disciplinary records referred to in other documents are apparently missing from the files.

Steven Truscott:  His Word Against History - The Fifth Estate A CBC Documentary

In 2000 Canadian Broadcasting Company made a documentary about Steven Truscott, which made Lynne Harper's murder front page news again, 40 years after her death, because it showed police and prosecutor misconduct and made a convincing case for Steven's innocence. It led directly to Steven's successful 2007 Appeal.

Steven lived under an assumed name, anonymously going through life unnoticed, allowing him to get married and have a family. Eventually he told his kids the truth. His kids said in the CBC documentary that it left their dad in tears, when he couldn't go to his dad's funeral, for fear of the press tracking him down and taking pictures of his kids, then invading the very private life that he and his wife had built for themselves.  Steven's kids and Steven and his wife today. His kids are adamant that their Dad is a gentle man who could have never hurt anyone, much less a friend. The same thing the kids who knew him said about him in 1959.

Steven Truscott was sentenced to death on September 30, 1959. Steven's sentence was commuted to life imprisonment on January 22, 1960.  Steven was released on parole in 1969.  On August 28, 2007, the court declared that Truscott's conviction was a miscarriage of justice.  A few weeks later, in the written opinion Steven Truscott was declared factually INNOCENT and the Ontario government awarded him $6,500,000 in damages in 2007. 

What do Law and Order conservative "pro-life" "christians" say if they EXECUTE AN INNOCENT 13/14-YEAR-OLD BOY? 


Elijah McClain was a gentle black young man who went to the 7/11 in Aurora Colorado for a bottle of ice tea on August 24, 2019 . While walking back to his apartment at 10:23 PM, police stopped him because he was wearing a hoodie and ski mask in the breezy 66 degree weather. Concert Violinist and massage therapist Elijah explained he was severely anemic and got cold easily. After explaining this to the officers, the situation immediately escalated, even though they had NO EVIDENCE of a crime. Police ignored his pleas. Police would later say Elijah was uncooperative, which caused them to wrestle him to the ground and beat him.  Elijah appeared to be having a seizure, so police called paramedics. Police demanded the paramedics give Elijah the powerful sedative/anesthesia Ketamine, which is more famous as a DATE RAPE DRUG. The Paramedics at first refused, at which point the police officers on scene threatened to arrest them or get them fired if they didn't follow their order. So the paramedics administered Ketamine. The drug caused Elijah to have a heart attack, he died three days later.  The officers involved made a video of the incident, during which they laughed and smiled. 

There is NOTHING funny about the death of an innocent person. 

But it didn't end there, Aurora Republican DA David Young, ordered police to break up a violin concert memorial service for Elijah McClain. Participants at the peaceful memorial service were beaten and gassed by police, some were arrested.  Watch MSNBC's Chris Hayes explain what happened. 

A Glendale UT mom Golda Baron calls 911 for help getting her mentally ill, Asperger's/Autism, son, Linden Cameron, to the hospital for medication after a tantrum. Police arrive with guns drawn, the scared 13-year-old boy runs away in terror, POLICE SHOOT THE UNARMED 13-year-old BOY 4 TIMES in the back for NO CRIME. Linden Cameron suffered bullet wounds to his shoulder, ankles, intestine and bladder, said his mother, Golda Barton. He was also beaten by police officers as he lay on the ground. Linden had no weapon and made no threats of violence. Linden remains paralyzed in his left hand. 

Many people believe you never call police when dealing with the mentally ill, unless they have a weapon. Otherwise, call a neighbor or relative.