Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy Holidays to all our friends and family!!

Hi everyone!! First of all, please accept my apologies for not posting or responding to all the wonderful emails you have sent. My step mom was rushed to the hospital last Thursday with spinal menengitias. (sorry, Colin, sure I totally mispelled that!) Fortunately, it was not bacterial, but viral. Anyway, I had to drive to Louisiana and give my sister a hand. For those who do not know, my dad is 85 and not in the best of health, so I stayed with him a few nights. Made a quick trip home today and will go back tomorrow. Hopefully she will be sent home in the next few days. But, it's just been crazy the last few days, so I hope you all will understand. Mechele sends her thanks to all of you who have written and sent her Christmas gifts! It truly brightens her holidays. Oh, if anyone sent her a book from Barnes & Nobles, it was a hardback and therefore sent back to B&N. So, if you did send it, make sure you check that you have been issued a credit. To our wonderful friend who sent me the beautiful floral arrangements, I thank you from the bottom of my heart! My favorite, roses and Mechele's favorite, lilies! It was perfect and ever so thoughtful!! I hope each and every one of you have a beautiful holiday season. Take time for your loved ones, family is so important, especially this time of year. In spite of everything, our family has so much to be thankful for. The closeness and love we have for each other is truly enhanced by the love and support people like you have shown us. It is our prayer and belief that our beloved Mechele will be sent home to us and next Christmas our family will once again be complete! Thank you all, we are truly blessed to have your care, concern and thoughtfulness. Each and every one of you are in my Christmas prayers!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Bmialone said...
Colin,I attended the hearing today. Mechele's lawyer did a good job. He was respectful, specific, informative, and logical.The lack of substance in the prosecuting attorney's arguments was shocking; shocking in that she produced nothing of substance so how could Mechele's life (and yours) been blown apart so easily?In fact, she actually said it all came down to only one thing, "interpretation." She was referring to the circumstantial evidence, admitting that is "only" what they had, and that it all came down to one's interpretation of that circumstantial evidence. It is stunning, surreal, how authorities could take a citizen, charge her, put her on trial, take her freedom for what amounts to the rest of her life, on nothing more than what the prosecutor's attorney herself admitted was only circumstantial evidence, and then because that is all they had, it all came down to interpretation of it. She said it as justification and as acceptable!How long can it take the judges to reach a decision?I'm sorry you spent your time and energy chasing planes.
December 3, 2009 9:50 PM

Thank you...

Very well articulated.

Circumstance needs to be interpretated. If you have a prosecution that will, and can, take the circumstance and interpret it to meet their narrative... you have guilt of whoever they want to target per their narrative. If... If the jury takes this narrative as absolute.

The key is to get the jury to believe this narrative is fact. And it sure helps if all the media available to citizens (and thus jury) parrots this narrative.

Listen... The jurors follow the media narrative regardless of juror instructions. This is fact.

Regardless of all the holes poked into the narrative in the trial... The trial itself becomes secondary to the headlines.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Belated Post:

Over the past year and a half, Mechele and I have been working with Mechele’s appellate lawyers concerning the appeal of Mechele’s conviction. This has been going on with no media attention and the hard work of Mechele’s appellate lawyers has been remarkable. I even studied the transcripts and appeal to add some minimal contribution. Although my time spent on it far outweighed my contribution, it was still gratifying to see. This process has been our sole focus. Today, the oral arguments concerning the appeal took place.

These arguments today are not the appeal. The three judge panel was there to hear both sides summarize the appellate points and to ask questions of the attorneys representing the State of Alaska and Mechele. The judges have already studied the written appeal and the case. For us, this was not a significant part of the process. The significant work was already done.

I wanted to come up with our daughter and visit Mechele and attend the arguments, but was unable to. Our daughter and I actually had stand-by tickets, but spent over a day and a half chasing planes at the Sea-Tac airport that were full. We just got home yesterday. We visit Mechele every chance we get and are very grateful for all the support we get when we come to Anchorage.

Mechele and I have decided that, like in the trial, this process should go forward without media attention. We still believe that justice doesn’t and shouldn’t involve tabloid headlines and blind adherence to prosecution narrative. However, the oral arguments about the appeal tend to be more noteworthy for the media because they don’t have to read the actual appeal and can treat the appellate arguments like a TV show. Not all the media, mind you, but most.

As a side note to this, here is the headline of an AP article published a few days ago: “Ex-stripper appeals Alaska killing conviction”. Again… bravo. Breaking news. The appeal, again, was initiated well over a year ago. And the “ex-stripper” meme is always enlightening. I want to be forever known as an “ex-Sunglass Hut employee”.

Not to beat a dead horse, but, Mechele’s character is well known and defined by the people who know and lover her. A three month thread of emails and circumstance doesn’t define anyone. Unless you are a TV or movie character. Or a cartoon villain with super powers to control men… but I digress.

Bottom line: we are still fighting, and we still have hope. Your support and prayers keep us going. So thanks again.

Colin Linehan

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hi to all!

Just a quick update!! Oral arguments are being heard Thursday afternoon. We won't know anything at that time, it is just a step in the process. Colin will be there. Hopefully he will post a note when he gets home. Thank you all for the letters you are sending! We are gathering names and addresses of politicians, etc. and will be ready to start sending them out. If you haven't sent your letter there is still time!! We cannot have too many!! Mail them or email them to me at! Hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving. Lets send all our prayers and postive thoughts to the three judges that are holding Mechele's fate in their hands!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Good morning to our friends and family!!!
I just wanted to write and thank all of you who have sent support letters for Mechele! Each and every one of them are so very important to our cause! To ensure a faster response to those of you who have chosen to email me personally, I have created a special email account just for you! You can email me at I do still have my other account, but this will save me time and give priority to your emails that mean so very much to me. It will also help me when I print our your mail for Mechele. She is so very grateful for all of your support. We cannot have enough letters, so please keep up the great effort to enlist your friends, family and anyone that believes that justice has not been administered in our case. As the holidays are approaching, this is a very emotional time for us. Mechele is truly the "Christmas Elf!" She so enjoyed the holidays with her family. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers at this time. For those of you who wish to send donations to be placed in her account you can do so through paypal, where I have an account established or send directly to me. This will allow her to buy gifts for Audrey as well as stamps for her correspondence. Let's pray that this will be her last Christmas away from our family! It is not Christmas for us, until we have her home to share the holidays with us. It is my prayer and wish that each and every one of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and that your lives are blessed. Enjoy your loved ones and cherish the time you spend with them. My gratitude this year goes out to all of you. We are blessed and thankful to have the wonderful support that you have shown.

With all my gratitude,

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Good morning!! Thanks, guys for the letters you are sending!! WE NEED MORE!! To answer some questions that you have asked: Copies of your letters will be sent to Mechele's attys, and to Mechele as well as the appropriate legislators (senators, congressmen, representatives) the prosecution , the press and anyone else we feel may benefit from them and bring attention to our case! As far as the content, write what you feel! Obviously attention needs to be brought to the various incidents of injustice that are evident. But, just write from your heart just like you have posted on this blogsite. Email letters are fine as long as you send your full name and address. These can be emailed to me at or mailed to my address: Sandy McWilliams,3116 Prescott Dr, Moss Point, Ms. 39562. Believe me, these letters can have a powerful influence! Your efforts and concern are so very much appreciated by Mechele and our entire family. As I mentioned, the blog may be quiet as we approach the date of oral arguments, which has been changed to December 4, 2009. As any news develops, be assured I will post it on the blogsite. For anyone that may not want to post, feel free to email me personally as many of you have done! I will respond as quickly as possible. Please keep in mind that I am working full time and I try to answer your emails each evening, but occasionally it may be a day or so before I can do so. They are extremely important to us and I send Mechele copies as well. As we have posted previously, this is a positive blogsite and we only publish positive comments, but since this blogsite was published we have gotten very few negative responses. The more these shows air, the more people are becoming aware of our case and are questioning the way it was handled. I can honestly tell you I have not received any negative comments in the last six weeks. If people do resond negatively and leave their email address, although I will not post them to the blogsite I will personally respond and answer any questions that they may have. As always, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your support encourages us and helps us cope with this nightmare. Have a great weekend and know that you are all in my heart and thoughts each and every day!


Friday, November 6, 2009

email letters ok!

Hi to all! Just verified that if you want to send an email letter to me instead of mailing, that is totally ok...just make sure you give your name and address!! I am sincerely hoping that each and everyone of you will either write or email your letters of support!! Thanks so very much!


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Letters of support

Good morning to all!
I talked to Mechele last evening as she wants me to continue to express her thanks to all of you that have written on the blog, emailed me, and written to her. She has asked that any of you who actually want to write a letter of support and concern that her case be given consideration to be re-opened, ie, appeal, further investigation,etc. direct your letters to my home address to please do so. That way we can give copies to her attys as well as direct these letters to the sources that will have the greatest influence on our case. They can be addressed "To Whom it May Concern," and we can send them to legislators, prosecutors, etc. Although our supporters come from various states and not inclusive to Alaska, we are all still citizens and have a right to express ourselves when an injustice has been done. By having these letters ahead of time and in bulk we will be in a good position once the appeal has been granted to send them to the right people. After the appeal decision is rendered we are also preparing to do an on-line petition. Your help in securing these letters is needed and greatly appreciated. You can send them to me, Sandy McWilliams, 3116 Prescott Dr,Moss Point,Ms. 39562. Should anyone have any concerns or questions with regards to the content of the letters please feel free to email me at I can assure you that each and every one will be personally answered and always appreciated.

Thanks, so very much for caring! Please remember, this could have been your daughter, your sister, mother or wife!!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The media, the jurors, etc

Good morning to all! I am overwelmed at the posts and emails I have been receiving. I am so grateful that there are people out there that see the gaping holes in Mechele's case and are aware that the shows that have been aired do not tell the complete story. After all, had she not been a "stripper" would her story have sold so well. And we all know the media is all about the money! To address a couple of comments: I often wondered why the jury was not sequestered. This was a capital murder case. Not only were they not sequestered that were allowed to go out of town, mingle with the press and discuss the case. They were instructed not to read the papers, but only mid-way through the trial were they told not to read anything on the internet. This was done only after the judge's clerk explained that when people signed on, the news of the trial, etc was in their face. Let me site an example of one juror. When being questioned for jury duty she was asked if she had ever been in a strip club, specifically the Bush Club. She said she had not. This was the same juror that when interviewed after the trial expressed the fact that because Mechele was a stripper, what did she expect but a guilty verdict! Her husband admitted that during the trial this juror was on the internet every night! After the trial it was discovered that this juror had not only been to the Bush Club prior to the trial, but after several drinks actually got on the stage and danced! With jurors like this how could justice prevail? As far as Linda Branchflower, what a piece of work! Her tactics throughout the investigation were unethical and unprofessional. But, I did hear she is suppose to be writing a book about the case! Should be interesting reading! So many things that I could just go on and on about. Did anyone question why, if guilty that Mechele would be the one to actually tell the dectectives about the gun? And why, when told about his death was her first concern his family and that they would find out about his "double life?" I have stated this before, my deepest sympathy go out to Kent's family, but I refuse to see my child become a victim as well. Please continue to keep her case alive. This is a difficult time, because until a decision is rendered regarding the appeal our hands are tied. There is nothing we can do to influence these three judges. I only pray and hope that they will see enough flaws in her trial to grant her a new one. That's all our family wants, is to see true justice and a fair and impartial trial to allow this to occur. As always, my gratitude to each and every one of you. I think one of the things that people have realized as they look into this case is that it could be their daughter, daugher-in-law, sister, wife or mother!

Monday, November 2, 2009

thanks for the emails and posts!

I got a lot of response to the shows that were on in the last few days! Only one was negative and as we have stated before, this is a positive blog created for her friends, family and supporters therefore no negative responses will be posted. But it was refreshing to only get one, compared to the several positive ones! I try not to be affected by negativity but it is so hard when I know Mechele so well and know how totally unfair this situation is. For perfect strangers to pass judgement when they do not even know all the facts seems surreal to me. But because of you wonderful individuals who have taken time from your own lives to support us puts the negativity into propert perspective. Mechele called Friday night and is doing fine. She is anxious to get back into the "Dog Program." For those of you who do not know what this is, I will explain. Selected inmates are chosen to take dogs who have been abused or abandoned or classified as "unadoptable." These animals are with them 24/7 and they work with them for six weeks and participate in a "graduation." Good homes are then found for them and the process begins anew. All of the "unadoptable" ones that Mechele has gotten have found loving homes with wonderful families. Hopefully she will be back in this program around the end of Dec. If any of you have questions that you would like me to personally answer please feel free to email me at Sometimes it is hard to post individual answers here on the blog. Please keep in mind that certain issues cannot be discussed due to our pending appeal. But I will try to resolve any questions that anyone has to the best of my ability. Not to sound redundant, but my sincerest thanks to each and every one of you who has chosen to support my daughter. It really does help us through the dark times. And, remember, copies of this blog are sent to Mechele. It helps her so much to know there are people out there who truly believe in her!!! Bless each and every one of you!

Friday, October 23, 2009


Thanks guys!! Ok.Here it is Snapped will be on Wed 28th.. at 4pm EST from my good resourses!! Would like your feedback!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mechele says "THANKS!

Thanks to everyone who has sent Mechele letters, books, etc. And a special thanks to everyone who has posted on this blogsite. She has been sent copies and is overwelmed by your concern and that you have taken time out of your lives to be concerned with hers and her family. I would like to ask everyone if you see where reruns of "48 Hrs", "Snapped", and "Dateline" on Mechele's case are on, would you please send a post or email me personally? I have had several request to let people who have not seen the shows to post that they will be re-aired. It will probably be a little "quiet" on the blog as we are in a "limbo" state waiting for the oral arguments in December. Colin will post soon and I will keep everyone updated as we get new information. My personal thanks to all of you from the bottom of my heart!!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Thank you from Mechele!!!

Mechele called last night!!! They actually let her out of solitary confinement on her birthday!! But she didnt have phone privledges until yesterday. She is so very grateful for all the mail, books and blog messages. We also have good news to share, our appeal oral arguments will be held December 2nd. Colin will post details and a message later. As for the "Free Mechele Campaign," we are on hold for now. Focus really needs to be on getting through these oral arguments. The three judge panel will probably not read any mail relating to the case. I would feel more comfortable letting Colin explain the legal process. But, we have to keep writing, sending cards and letting her know how much we love and support her. It is so important to this case that we all send out positive thoughts and focus on this appeal court making the right decision. Once we are granted a new trial, we WILL launch a full-blown campaign to bring Mechele home!! "Thank you" doesn't express the gratitude that Mechele and our entire family feel towards each and everyone of you!!


Monday, October 12, 2009


Happy Birthday to my darling daughter!!! Thank you all so very much for your "birthday posts" and personal emails! They are all being printed out and sent to her. They willl mean so very much to her and our family thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!!


Sunday, October 11, 2009


Monday is Mechele's birthday! Good news is that she is getting out of solitare TUESDAY! We are thankful but it is ironic that they chose the day AFTER her birthday. Thanks to all of you who have posted on this blog and who have contacted me personally. We know we have a battle ahead of us, but one that we also know we will win! For anyone who wants to wish her Happy Birthday on this blog, feel free to post! I am printing and sending her all the comments that each of you have sent and continue to send. It does so much for her state of mind to know that she is thought of not just by friends and families, but perfect strangers who have looked into her situation and relalize what an injustice has been done!! My thanks, as always to all of you!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Jennifer, somehow your blog post got deleted. If you would like me to post it, please resend it. I would like to address Jennifer's concern that regardless of the courts directions, occupations are considered by jurors. As an ex-stripper, Jennifer you should be very offended by Mr. Richard A. Svobodny, the Alaska Atty. General's actions after Mechele's verdict. (see Colin's post "Appeal Update." He sent an email out congradulating his collegues , which included the quote, "Exotic dancers across Alaska are shivering with fear with the conviction of Mechele Linehan." What a perfect example of the direction Mechele's trial went.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I have received several emails asking what books to send Mechele. Check out the link to to the left of the blog. If you are unsure, feel free to email me ( to ask any questions about what she can and cannot receive . Obviously 48 hrs does not have much to air in their archieves. Seems they have repeated Mechele's segment Sunday night. I have gotten several emails and post to this blog showing support for our Mechele. We continue to offer our thanks and gratitude for your concern and support. We are anticipating oral arguments sometimes in November and as soon as I know more I will share it with you. For anyone out their who has sent a negative response to this blog, I can only reply that this blog, as the title indicates is a very positive place where our friends, family and supporters can keep updated and share our thoughts and concerns. No negative, insulting remarks will be posted on this site.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Mechele!

Thanks, Mary for reminding everyone that Oct. 12th is Mechele's birthday! She does have writing material and a limited amount of books. Anything sent to her will be held until she gets out of solitary confinement. For any of you who know her, this is terribly hard on her. She loves people and not being able to be around them is very depressing . But I got a letter from her Friday and she is trying very hard to be positive. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers!

Hugs to everyone!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Monie and Steve, still having problems posting your comments...Steve, try totally resending it...I keep getting a message that it had already been deleted. Please try again, thanks!
To Monie and Steve,
Please resend your posts! In transferring them from my phone to the blog I somehow lost them!! I am not computer savy obviously! Please send them back and I will make sure they are posted!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hi to everyone!

Thanks to all who have personally emailed me regarding the letter writing campaign that I posted about previously. After discussing our options, we have deceided that we should wait until after our appeal has been granted. The main reason behind this is the fact that the three judge panel are ONLY going to consider the points as outlined in the appeal. Thus, it would be to no avail to address other issues to these judges. Hopefully we will have a date soon for oral arguments. Please keep Mechele in your prayers as we wait patiently (!) for this process to occur! I welcome any emails that you want to send. Thanks again for the outpouring of love and support!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Visit with Mechele

Hi to all! I just returned from a two week stay in Olympia. We flew to Alaska for three days and had a very positive, much needed visit with Mechele. She wanted me to express her gratitude to all of you who continue to support her and follow her story. She also wanted me to thank all of you who have been so generous with your letters, books, and checks. This ordeal has been both a financial as well as emotional draining experience. Our thanks to all of you who have helped ease our burdens. As you may know, the appeal is in the final stages. We are awaiting oral arguments, which we are told will take place sometime in September or October. Mechele and I discussed at great length how we no longer trust the media to portray our side of this case. Therefore, we are taking some measures tell our side of the story ourselves. We do not want the media to be allowed to run rampant with lies, untruths and misrepresentations of the facts as they have done in the past. This time we will go public, but on our terms. We also feel that we should begin a "Free Mechele" campaign. We would like to kick this off with a letter writing campaign to the three judges who comprise the appeal court, as well as letters to the prosecution. I am hoping to have this aspect complete and ready to put into action within the next two weeks. I would really appreciate any suggestions, comments or ideas that any of you may have to make this a successful project. We really need the support of residents of Alaska, as these judges work for you, the taxpayers of the state. If anyone is uncomfortable replying directly on this blog, please feel free to email me direct at Your imput will be greatly appreciated. Believe me, your support and concern has made a big impact on Mechele and our family. We can make a difference! We can add to the attorneys appeal to "Bring Mechele Home!" I look forward to hearing from each and every one of you!

Sandy (Mechele's mom)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Appeal Update

So, the appellate process is very different than a trial. It is very slow and requires tremendous patience and calm. One thing I’ve learned is that deadlines are not really deadlines. Meaning, if something is due on a certain day, and you’re not done, you can always get a brand new deadline. I wish college and graduate school were like that. Many deadlines have come and pass and we have just now received the State’s response to our appellate points. These are points that question whether any of Judge Volland’s decisions strayed from the rules of the game. We are confident we have found examples that are pretty clear cut. But, we wait.

Now it is our turn to answer the State. Then comes oral arguments and the last part is the three-judge decision. This can take some time. We have patience and hope. There are some very strong appellate points.

With this process, the focus shifts specifically to the trial and nothing else. Any new evidence we have does not come in at this point. Any new witness or affidavit is not important here. The appellate process is strictly about the trial and errors of law within.

So, if you have followed what I’ve previously written, you can see why I can’t really comment on Judge Volland’s statements during the trial and sentencing. He is obviously a good man, but his sentencing speech was pretty interesting. I will state that he stated he had “a clear conscience” about his sentencing twice. The first time, it was for the people in the courtroom. I wonder if the second time was for him.

There is one last item I would like to touch on now. When I received the State’s response to our appeal, I noticed it was brought to us by Mr. Richard A. Svobodny. Mr. Svobodny is the Acting Attorney General for the State of Alaska. Mr. Svobodny also wrote an internal email to congratulate his colleges on October 22, 2007 after Mechele’s conviction. He states, “Exotic dancers across Alaska are shivering with fear with the conviction of Mechele Linehan.” This does shed some light on what this whole trial was all about. Notice he doesn’t say “Murderers across Alaska are shivering with fear…”

Thank You All For Your Support

Hey All,

First off… Thanks for everyone’s support and encouragement. This post touches on the character issue and my gratitude to you all. The following post will deal with the appeal. Mechele especially appreciates all the support. She is in a very hard place. For those who know and love her, it touches us as well.

That is the point, of course…“those who know and love her”. There are so many who know Mechele and realize the “narrative” that the prosecution used was incongruent with who she is. Remember, we, as a legal team, decided to not make “character an issue” and never brought it up. Therefore we never had anyone, but me, testify for her. And I didn’t testify to her character. I mainly testified to rebut some of the State’s irrefutable smears. This part of our legal strategy assumed a Jury adherence to the specific instruction by the Judge to not take character into their assessment of guilt based on the evidence presented. The burden of proof lied with the State and not Mechele. She was innocent until proved guilty. This didn’t happen, per the jurors themselves, by their own words.

The evidence that was presented is another story. The forced circumstance to meet the prosecution’s narrative is something I would love to get into. That is really the “meat” of the issue. I, unfortunately, can’t. I have audio, documents, and affidavits that are quite damaging to the State’s narrative. Why not post them? When, by the grace of God, a new trial comes, our legal team will deliver. I have been “advised” that now is not the time. Roger Wilco.

The several dozen letters that were sent to the Judge for character support for sentencing purposes were dismissed by the Judge. He stated we were all “charmed” by Mechele. Dang... what a bunch of suckers we are. I would love to get into more of Judge Volland’s sentencing soliloquy. The “charmed” comment was one of many very strange proclamations by Judge Volland. I can’t get into that as I will explain in the “Appeal” post.

The truth of the matter is I am not a dupe or ignorant. I have heard Mechele’s history of events that transpired in the spring of 1996 when we first met. Funny thing is, it has never changed. Not once. The other thing is that her statements have always been consistent with me and the police. There is no contradiction. The issue here is that everyone who testified against Mechele had their inconsistent statements read back to them. Brett Riddell and Miss Aspiotis had their testimony shredded by Mr. Fitzgerald. It was interesting to watch Mr. Riddell contradict an audio interview he gave to the police. It was also enlightening to listen to Miss Aspiotis’s confusion when she was read her previous statements to police that contradicted her current testimony.

These people didn’t know Mechele per their own admission. Well what about Mechele’s sister? She is a piece of work. Her police interview in 1996, which she sought after, was completely different than her testimony that she gave at the Carlin trial and to the Grand Jury. Folks, this was to the point that she would have been destroyed by our attorneys and other witnesses. In case you didn’t know, Melissa didn’t testify in Mechele’s trial to save Mechele. She did it to save herself from humiliation and her skeletons in her closet.

Bottom line: I know Mechele as do her friends and family. We are appalled by the abuse of ethics from the prosecution and their disingenuous use of their power. I will give an email from the acting Attorney General of the State of Alaska that sums up our disgust in the next post. But, for now, thanks to the hundreds of people who have offered support and hope.

God Bless You

"Hope Note"

Here is a quick post on the “Hope Note” fallacy. This note was written by John Carlin III, and he told Mechele to write on it to throw Mr. Kent Leppink off of Mechele’s trail. This was because he was stalking her at the time, as is demonstrated by the discovery and evidence. Mr. Carlin and Mr. Leppink were both spotted in Hope after the letter was written and before the murder, at different times. This was testified to in the trial.

But here is the rub: In an email dated 4/27/1996, Mechele tells John Carlin III to tell Mr. Leppink the she “flew to barrow i will be back when ever”. She then goes on to tell Mr. Carlin that “if you see him tell him bret got hurt and i went to take care of the girls”. Bret is Bret Riddell, who, again, in the trial contradicted his previous statements. Mr. Riddell deserves an entire post all to himself, but I digress. Mechele was not in Alaska at the time she wrote this, and when she returned, Mr. Leppink had been murdered.

On 4/28/1996, Mechele, while still away from Alaska, writes to Mr. Carlin, “WELL, I HAVE TO SAY I AM WONDERING WHAT DID HE SAY WHEN YOU SAID I WAS 2 ½ HOURS AWAY”. Mr. Riddell testified that the flight to Barrow to Anchorage was 2.5 hours total transit time. So what does this say about the “Hope Note”? She was covering her tracks on the email? OK… but it is this very same email where she casually mentions that you can buy a citizenship is the Seychelles for ten million dollars.

So, what is it? This criminal mastermind was using the “Hope Note” to lure Mr. Leppink to his death and covering her tracks in an email with the statement to tell Mr. Leppink that she was in Barrow? Then what about the Seychelles reference? You can’t have both, although both references were used by the prosecution. In fact, both references were cited by some of the jurors. Apparently they didn’t pay too much attention to the evidence. I challenge anyone on the jury or on the prosecution team to answer this conundrum.

I am not holding my breath. This is the same jury where one member expressed that she was “surprised” that they took Mechele to prison after their verdict (head slap here).

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dateline, This Friday

From Sandy:

Just got a call from our friends at "Dateline." Mechele's show will be re-aired with updates this friday. Have gotten several emails and calls and wanted everyone to know..

Monday, April 6, 2009

Updates Soon

Thanks to everyone for all your comments and support and all the books sent to Mechele. A special thanks goes out to the lovely individual who sent her a whole box of books a couple months ago. She got them, but without any documentation, so she did not know who to send a thank you to.

Mechele's mom is in town, staying with her family, so she is hoping to get us some updates soon. As far as I know, we are still just waiting on a court date for the appeal, which could be pushed back as far as the fall.

Thanks everyone!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Television Journalism

So, here we go again. Tonight is Oxygen’s turn via their program “Snapped”, produced by Jupiter Entertainment. I think I have a pretty good understanding about how these cheesy tabloid shows operate now. My first introduction was with “48 Hours Mystery”, and with certain producers who didn’t put a huge value on honesty and integrity. This made me quite jaded towards television “journalism”. Check out the previous three posts to follow my thoughts. “Not for Nothing”, but here is a take on contemporary tabloid journalism.
These productions that are broadcast, concerning my wife, are intended to produce ratings. The narrative that the prosecution pushed is awesome. Sex, lies, and videotape. Give me more. I’ll watch that. That is the bottom line. Give me a “True Hollywood Story”, and I am entertained. That was why the stolen picture of Mechele raised no concerns to the State or the CBS producers. They both get what they want. The prosecution gets to reinforce their “stripper” depiction and CBS gets to show some skin.
It is interesting to me, again, that Mechele’s previous occupation was so important to the prosecution and media narrative. The prosecution’s strategy was evident in retrospect when a juror commented how Mechele's past “profession” indicated that she was “manipulative”. A “profession” that lasted 1.5 years. As for the media, we know that sex sells. Shoot, the Alaska Daily News even referred to the case as the “Stripper Saga”. But you know what was missing? No mention or references to the fact that the men involved in this particular story were strip club “regulars”.
A “regular” refers to a patron, or client, of a strip club who comes in on a regular basis. I don’t know about you, but to me this is far more depraved then actually stripping. The stripper is making money and her clients know the score the minute they walk into the door. They are providing a service for the clients that the clients demand. However, if you go to a club all the time to pay for lap dancea, I would argue that it is you that has a problem, and not the dancer.
That is, of course, unless you feel men are helpless, mindless testicles running around with no control over their behavior. If you believe that is the case, I think you underestimate men and even “degrade” them. However, that was the prosecution’s narrative. They would have you believe Mechele was a 22 year-old “puppeteer” with magical control over men who were mindless servants. In other words, a fictional character. Maybe even from a movie?
Unfortunately, nuance exists. Please read my previous post that entails communication with the Jupiter Entertainment producers to get a feel for how nuance is ignored in favor of ratings. I redacted all names.
Thank you all for your support.
You give me and my daughter hope.

Colin Linehan

"Oxygen: Snapped" Fun Happy Time Emails

All the producers’ names have been redacted because I still try to retain honor: I also redacted anyone who I did not contact. That is the way I roll. The first email/letter was an open letter to Jupiter Entertainment after I found out they were airing their episode. Of course, I had to find out from a secondary source. Even after I asked Jupiter to contact me so I could prevent my daughter from channel surfing that night, I heard nothing. The second message is to my mother-in-law. The third email is my response to the message from my mother-in-law. Confused? Me too.

And Here We Go…”

(From me and myself…. And also I.)


As you are well aware, I have had multiple conversations with two of your fellow Jupiter Entertainment producers regarding the case, State of Alaska vs. Mechele Linehan. Ms. XXXXX contacted me while she was doing field research for your episode of “Snapped” that was to feature Mechele. Ms. XXXXX was invited into my home so I could show her documents and audio that are not congruent with the previous media narrative and coverage. The narrative, of course, is determined by the State of Alaska investigators and prosecutors because of the verdict. Therefore, data that shows the individuals, working on behalf of the people of Alaska, were dishonest and manipulative of the media is excluded from most narratives.
I decided to share much of this with Ms. XXXXX I have also had email and phone correspondence with Ms. XXXXX, who is your series producer. I also had a very brief correspondence with you. Through that correspondence, although brief, I gave you the opportunity to meet with me prior to your work on your part of the production of the episode. The correspondence was cut short, on your end, secondary to lack of email and phone reply. These claims are documented. This letter’s intent is to clarify some areas in the previous media narratives about Mechele that are false.
This is necessary because of Jupiter Entertainment’s decision not to fact check statements that might have been made by other individuals about Mechele. So, if the narration or promotion of your episode makes statements that are false, you will be aware that you are slandering my wife and my daughter’s mother. I realize it is difficult to slander a convicted murderer. However, our anticipation of a successful appeal and subsequent retrial will potentially make organizations that neglect to fact check responsible for the damage to my family.
It has already been brought to my attention that you have already neglected the truth to sell your program. In your promotion for your episode, you state that Mechele was secretly engaged to Scott Hilke at the time of the crime. This is demonstrably false via depositions, testimony and affidavit. I will, therefore, mention other aspects of the media/prosecution narrative that are also false via depositions, testimony, and affidavit. This will give you foreknowledge of any potential slander. These examples are by no means the only false reports. I, however, do not have the time to list all the fallacies reported so, I will elucidate a few. This does not absolve any statements made by Jupiter Entertainment that were not fact checked.
It was reported that Mechele was “on the run” when first indicted. This is the opposite of truth because we were pleading with the prosecution for cooperation. The prosecution also let the press know that Mechele ran away from home at the age of 14 to become a dancer in New Jersey. Mechele was in Louisiana at age 14, and she went to New Jersey at age 17 and worked at a deli. This is verifiable and can be corroborated by multiple witnesses and affidavits. Other false information that was put out included that Mechele was engaged to three men at the same time. There is no evidence of this and, in fact, the evidence timeline during the trial shows this not to be the case at all.
The portrayal of Mechele by the media and prosecution was always consistent. The term “ex-stripper” was always there, as was “seduction”, “manipulation”, and “mastermind”. The portrayal was based on a paucity of evidence during a 3 month period, yet that portrayal defined who she was to the public. This portrayal was used by the local Alaska media to twist the facts presented during the trial. . For example, during the trial, the Prosecution presented the fact that Mechele uses her possessions to document equity when purchasing her motor home. That night, a “journalist” on television, that was in the courtroom that day, reported that Mechele was “trying to sell” her possessions for a “getaway” RV.
Another point of contention is when Detective Stogsdale and Detective DeHart state that Mechele is a sociopath. A sociopath is a term used to describe a person with anti-social personality disorder. This is a DSM-IV diagnosis based on empiric findings and criteria. Mechele meets none of the criteria, therefore, the term is pure pejorative. This was well demonstrated by Dr. Mark Mills testimony during Mechele’s sentencing hearing.
I understand that your duty as “post producer” is to make an episode that will generate viewers and advertising revenue. That is your job. But, I would also expect that you would be very concerned that any statements, broadcast by Jupiter Entertainment, would be fact-checked for veracity.
This is an open letter.


Colin A. Linehan

II. Initial email to Sandy McWilliams (my beloved mother-in-law), from Jupiter Entertainment Producer:

XXXXX forwarded your message to me. I really hate that you are upset by what is on the Oxygen website. I am hoping I can address your concerns by, first, answering some of the specific questions you have.

As to the excerpt you viewed on Oxygen's website and the timeline of when Mechele met Kent Leppink and John Carlin, we referenced Mechele’s statement to Alaska State Troopers at her home on on May 5, 1996:

R: I’ve known Scott longer than I’ve known Kent.
I : oh okay
R: I was with Scott when I met Kent
I: oh okay
R: I think I had just, we had just started dating probably three months before my birthday. Right before I met Kent.
I: in ninety four?
R: yeah

and Mechele's statements to police on July 31st, 1996:
Q: Okay, where did you meet John Carlin?
A: Last summer

You also asked who all we interviewed, and here is the list: From the Defense: yourself, John Carlin III, XXXXX; From the police/prosecution: Linda Branchflower, Steve DeHart, Pat Gullufsen, Dallas Massie; journalists: XXXXX ; others: XXXXX.

If you have any question as to what any of these people had to say, please call or write and I will be glad to share that information with you. I simply cannot legally send out a copy of the show before it airs, but again, do not mind filling you in.

I also want to assure you that it is always our highest priority to produce accurate stories. This episode has been reviewed by four attorneys, who require that we back up all statements with public record. We also feel that, because we interviewed so many people, both sides are presented fairly. Below I have listed some (not all) sound bites from our show in support of Mechele. I hope they will put your mind at ease, and again, please feel free to call or write back if you have any further questions.

Series Producer, Snapped
Jupiter Entertainment
8923 Linksvue Drive
Knoxville, TN 37922

XXXXX (Journalist): I remember talking to a neighbor who was very, um, shocked and stunned and didn’t believe that Mechele could have had anything to do with this.

XXXXX (Attorney for John Carlin III): There was a lot of hearsay in this case, a lot of speculation in this case. A lot of stitching together of details with hypotheses.

XXXXX (Attorney for John Carlin IV): Mechele was convicted because she was a stripper they just figured she was a manipulative stripper, and that’s what they do.

Sandy McWilliams (Mother of Mechele Linehan): I think it’s really unfortunate what a young girl at nineteen did for a year and a half of her life be judged by that.
(regarding Kent's letter to his parents)

XXXXX (Attorney): It was a piece of hearsay. The person who said it wasn’t available to cross-examine.

XXXXX (Attorney for John Carlin IV): That’s a very odd letter. It’s a letter that suggests to some when you read it that he wanted to set people up.

III. My Unsolicited Response to the Inane (see above) Email Sent to Sandy:


I don't like snark, but I find it hard not to be snarky about your email response to Sandy. It was, in my opinion, kind of ridiculous. How do the quotes from the investigation you provided back up any kind of claim that Mechele's engagement to Scott Hilke was "secret"? It is pulled out of thin air.

You decided to not interview any journalists who were actually present during the trial, and to include XXXXX is farcical. This individual dismissed our polite requests to not contact us at our home on multiple occasions and was NEVER present during the trial. The reporting on the trial had little to do with what was actually going on during the trial. I was present the entire time. Sandy knows the players, but she was only present for a small part of the trial. Point being, your claim of "both sides being presented fairly" is seemingly disingenuous.

I realize you have a show to sell and advertising revenue to generate. Please don't insult my family's intelligence, however. We never expected balance from your episode. We never expected anything but a superficial examination of the prosecutions case. I gave the benefit of the doubt to two of your producers, but when the post-production was about to begin, it was clear that Ms. Houston wasn't interested in attempts to challenge the prosecution's narrative.

Unfortunately, my mother-in-law trusted Ms. XXXXX and decided to participate. Unlike myself, she hasn't been burned before, and one has to experience it to know it. I am alluding to my experience with CBS.

Enclosed is a letter I sent via mail and email to your producers.
Please don't attempt to state that your show is fact-checked when you relied only on the prosecution. As many involved in this case can tell you, they have been very dishonest multiple times. My offer to fact-check was turned down.

Also... I would not be surprised if your decision to not discuss the movie, "The Last Seduction", was not suggested by the prosecution. They sure do not want to beat that horse anymore, as it is to their detriment. So, please don't pat yourself on the back for that. It obviously is a strong appellate point and should never have been used to portray Mechele during a trial.

Colin Linehan

"The Media"

Let me start by saying that many of us have a take on “The Media”. This is a very nebulous term. It encompasses many genres and institutions. In today’s society, the majority of “media” is focused on entertainment. Why? Easy…It sells! You need advertising revenue to make money. The “media” institutions need to make money. Whether it is a newspaper, a nightly news broadcast, a magazine show, or a myriad of other media venues, they deliver their appropriate manna to feed their particular audience’s appetite. Don’t get me wrong. There are journalists out there. I’ve met a few. Sandy Cummings and Keith Morrison of NBC are genuine, to name two. Let me digress for a second, and I appreciate your patience.
I personally discovered the art of journalism through Vietnam. In college and medical school, I had a fascination with the trauma and polarity that the Vietnam Conflict inflicted on our society. I studied some of this through the correspondents that covered the war with “boots on the ground”. Halberstam, Sheehan, and Herr to name a few. William Prochnau’s “Once Upon a Distant War” is a must read for those who appreciate the art of journalism. The ethos of journalism can not be more exemplified by the writings of these individuals. I would also recommend the portfolio book “Requiem”. This book is a tribute to the fallen photo journalists who covered Vietnam and Indochina for the pubic. They did this so they could witness the reality they were supporting.
I came to love the art and ethics of journalism through these, and many other works. Unfortunately, I was a bit naïve from my self-study. I became easily swayed by an individual claiming to stand by and for journalistic integrity. Our first experience, with CBS, dispersed my basic assumptions and left me the fool. Once. Never twice.
Let me give you an example. Just one for this post: although there are many. I do, indeed, have many but this one is so classic tabloid. During the CBS broadcast of “48 Hours Mystery” concerning my wife, the producers decided to use a picture of my wife in the broadcast. This particular photograph was of her naked. The used it multiple times, as I understand (Disclaimer: I have not seen any of these programs about my wife. Why should I? I sat through the entire trial and know all the details of the case). The problem with this is that this photograph was stolen. Stolen how? Well here is the kicker. It was stolen from the State of Alaska. See… this picture wound up in the State’s property, which is a story I can’t go into here. However, this picture was not introduced as discovery.
What does that mean? Good question. It means that the picture was property of the State and not part of the public record. So how did “48 Hours Mystery” get it? Well here is the deal. They had to either illegally steal (redundant) it from State property, or the State illegally gave it to one of the producers. Illegal? Yes. However, something is only illegal if the State decides it wants to prosecute it. Does any one want to take a bet that the executive branch in Alaska cares about this illegal act? Again, the power of the State is absolute if no one cares what they do, legal or not.
For instance, prosecutor Pat Gullifsen feigned extreme mock indignation, during the trial, when we suggested that Ms. Laura Aspiotis perjured herself. “Perjury is a very serious crime…” stated Mr. Gullifsen. This was regarding the fact that Ms. Aspiotis had a journal entry regarding her viewing of “The Last Seduction” with her husband only. My question was this: if perjury was so serious to Mr. Gullifsen, then why didn’t he proceed with a criminal investigation regarding Mr. Lane Leppink and Mr. Ransom Leppink’s completely contradictory testimony? Again, exempli gratia, it is only a crime when the State wants it to be. It is a stacked deck, in that regard.
But I digress… the following post is the email exchange between Jupiter Entertainment and me. Not really an exchange, but it will shed some light on their attempts to fact check. Also, I won’t have to type everything again :)

Hey Friends

I haven’t been able to post in awhile for many reasons. One of the main reasons is that I really can’t talk about anything of substance while the appeal is still pending. Another reason is that I, at this time, have very little free time and I am already too sleep deprived J However, I always feel obliged to post when another media outlet tries their version of journalism.
You have to understand that this case is very much nuanced. I can go on for a book about the case and its trial. I know it better than most. For one, I was told the entire story when I first met Mechele, and it has never changed from her. Incidentally, that story is consistent with every bit of evidence and discovery presented.
“Why was she found guilty then?” you might ask. Well for one, the jury bought the prosecution’s narrative about who Mechele is. They don’t have a clue. Trust me. And for two, we were prevented by the judge to contest and introduce many things. It is nice to know that the prosecution could introduce a Hollywood movie into a trial, though. Especially one that had nothing to do with the prosecution’s allegations. That was surreal.
Anyway… the following three posts will be separate but linked. I didn’t want to write a book, and I have a tendency to be verbose. I figured splitting up my posts might make it less annoying for you.
Take care and love,


Friday, January 2, 2009

Appeal News

Hello All,

There haven't been many postings here because there hasn't been any news to really report. However, we do have some exciting news that happened shortly before Christmas.

The appeal has officially been filed.

Now the prosecution has a minimum of 30 days to reply. (They may ask for an extension.) After that, the defense has 30 days to reply. After that, it goes before the judge. Then he can take some time to decide. I believe it was 3 months to a year??? However, it could be quicker.

Please keep Mechele and her family in your prayers as this crucial part of the process progresses.