Guests: The Monfils Conspiracy authors Denis Gullickson, John Gaie, and/or Mike Piaskowski.
Wisconsin has had its share of miscarriages of justice. Take Joe McCarthy’s anti-leftist witch-hunts…or the case of a certain University of Wisconsin instructor forced out by a crackpot state legislator for speaking the truth about 9/11 — a truth that nobody in either the legislature or the entire University of Wisconsin system is willing to challenge in a free and fair debate, but which remains politically “unspeakable” in the land of fearless sifting and winnowing.
Okay, so I thought I had it bad…until I read The Monfils Conspiracy: The Conviction of Six Innocent Men. This book shows how six innocent workers at Green Bay’s James River Paper Mill were falsely convicted of murder in a surreal, witch-hunt-style mass trial back in 1995. Five of them are still rotting in jail for the crime of refusing to lie at the behest of out-of-control cops and prosecutors. The sixth, Mike Piaskowski, was exonerated and released in 2001, and will (I hope) be appearing on the show, along with Monfils Conspiracy co-authors Denis Gullickson and John Gaie.
If you’ve seen The Thin Blue Line, or studied the frame-ups of Lee Harvey Oswald, James Earl Ray, Sirhan Sirhan, and/or the alleged 9/11 hijackers, you know how the innocent can be painted as guilty, and the guilty as innocent, based on emotionally-engaging stories fed to or latched onto by investigators, prosecutors, the media, and/or the public…no matter how ridiculous the story, and no matter how wildly it clashes with the facts. The Monfils Conspiracy documents that this is precisely what happened to Dale Basten, Mike Hern, Mike Johnson, Keith Kutska, Ray Moore, and Mike “Mike Pie” Piaskowski: The cops started with a good story, to which they immediately became emotionally attached; and they subsequently bulldogged that story into six false convictions in the teeth of overwhelming countervailing evidence. We need to study these cases and learn from them to counteract our natural tendency to make this kind of mistake. And above all, we need to get these five guys out of prison.