Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Reply to post from "anonymous"

As previously expressed, this blogsite was intended for our family, friends and supporters of Mechele. We stated that no negative posts would be published. I have chosen to make an exception and publish the post from "anonymous." The reason I did this was that after reading it, I don't feel it was a "negative" post, but a concerned person that made some valid points. I would strongly advise anyone that is interested in this case to review the facts of the trial as well as the letter that Kent wrote. I am more than happy to answer questions and have encouraged people to email me personally or ask them on the blogsite. The answers to a lot of questions have been covered in previous blog post or I have been emailed personally to the ones that have sent them directly to me. For the benefit of the above mentioned post, and anyone else that may have raised the same questions, I will try to answer them now.

1.) First of all, the writers of this blogsite will not be the ones trying to convince a jury. This is what the attorneys will do. While I defend my daughter totally, I cannot possibly attempt to convince everyone that raises a question or has a doubt. I truly believe that a person should be convicted "beyond a reasonable doubt." We feel that with this case that there was not enough evidence and that "reasonable doubt" was indeed proven.

2.)According to Alaska law, Kent's letter should never have been admitted into evidence. A previous supreme court ruling stated that the accuser must be able to be questioned, in the case of the deceased being the author this was impossible. But, to answer the question concerning Kent' fear of Mechele or that someone was going to harm him, why didn't he leave? Why did he make two trips to Hope? If you read his letter, he knew his parents would get his insurance money, therefore he knew the beneficiary had been changed. Why did he mail the letter the same day his dad left? Why not just give it to him?
3.) As for the "theories" referring to Kent's letter. This entire case has been a "theory" that there was a conspiracy to murder this poor man. There was never any DNA, nor solid evidence to prove this "theory." Emails were "cherry-picked" that were used to try and prove this "theory." Although insurance was the supposed motive, it was known that the beneficiary had been changed and that Mechele was aware of it. Therefore the only people to benefit from the insurance were Kent's parents. Although it may be hard to believe that "a man who frequents strip clubs and lives with a female stripper is a closet homosexual," stranger things have happened! Kent's sexual preference did not indicate he was a homosexual, but rather that he was bi-sexual. Remember he also lived in a house with a man, his young son and "the stripper."

I hope this clarifies some points that this person raised. I received an email from one of our supporters that did an excellent job of analyzing Kent's letter and if he chooses to do so, would like to invite him to post it on our blog.
Again, my heartfelt thanks to all of you, especially those people who have chosen to get invoved by sending me information and data that will assist us in bringing justice to our family and bringing our Mechele home!


Grace said...

I realize this is one of the most minor points the skeptics get hung up on... but it just personally irritates me so much when people think they know how a "closeted homosexual" is likely to behave or spend their time. I think if I wanted to be closeted, and was a guy, a strip-joint would be a pretty perfect hang-out. What's a closeted guy supposed to do, shun women and paint his nails? It's a bit like saying a male can't be gay if he's a football-player or a woman who looks like Portia De Rossi, or has a history of bedding men wouldn't be a lesbian. It can and does happen oftener than many straight people seem to think.

Another thing I take some issue with is the notion that a jury - any jury - is more likely to suspect Mechele than not. It should be apparent by now that many folks are having seriously opposite reflexive reactions to this case. Depending on how the jury is selected it would seem the bias could go either way. True we can hope that intelligent research into and reflection on the facts and the law prevail, but I don't think it is safe to assume that what seems at first obvious or dubious to some will seem so for most.

Richyrich said...

Part one:
I'd like to point out some things that are
bothering me about Kents letter. I hope you dont mind. Here's Kents letter with
my thoughts in bold:
Since you're reading this, you (can) assume that I'm dead.
Dont dwell on that. It was my time, and there is nothing
that can change that. There are a few things that I would
like you to do for me though. I hate to be vindictive
in my death, but paybacks are hell.

He's talking about paybacks as though its "payback"
not for his death, but for something that has already
happened! He's talking about paybacks in the past tense,
from the day he wrote the letter!! (ie Payback for Mechele
no longer wanting him around).
At THIS point, how can he be for certain that he's even
going to die? (unless he himself is planning it)

First of all, cover all my debt with you with the insurance
money. That I owe you. Then go on a mini vacation, act
like I am with there with you, and do the things I would like
to do: lie on the beach, fish, relax. 2 weeks minimum, but
not much longer.
Gary Brooks would like to own the "Togiah". (the name of a boat)
Give it to him if you can, otherwise sell it to him so that he can
afford it. Owning the boat might make a difference in his life.
(you can get in touch wiht him through Ron & Shirley).
Talk with Ron & Shirley. Explain to them my situation with
Mechele and how it messed me up. I still consider them my
friends and we'd be on better terms if it weren't for Mechele.

His obsession with Mechele obviously led him to neglect
his friends. He blames her for ruining his happiness!

Use the information enclosed to take Mechele DOWN. Make
sure she is prosecuted. Mechele, John, or Scott were the people,
or persons that probably killed me. Make sure they get burned.

This sounds like, and IS his last will! If he felt such danger
that he wrote a last will then WHY DIDN'T HE GET THE
HECK OUT OF THERE? Because the danger did not come
from Mechele, or John or anyone else! There was no
outside danger! Never does he say he felt he was in danger!
He simply states his last will as though he knows he's going
to die soon! He gives NO indication that ANY of the other
players are dangerous! And if he were that sure they were
what was he still doing there?

Richyrich said...

Part 2:
Sorry about giving you all this stuff to do. I would have done it
but I wanted to make things work.

This NEXT sentance is most revealing:

I wanted to marry Mechele.
If that would have happened, this would have all been destroyed.
If Mechele had married him then this letter would have
been destroyed.

If his life was truely in danger because
of Mechele, and insurance money, then being married
to her would have made him safe? In fact he would have
been in even more danger if that were what he was really
afraid of. As his WIFE Mechele would have been even MORE
of a threat to his safety if she was after insurance money!
But here he actually says that her marrying him would have
made this "warning" unnecessary!

I have kept it as my "insurance policy".

Insurance not that he would be killed, but insurance in case
Mechele fell out of love with him!

Use it! I'll rest easier.
Do me another favor. Make sure Mechele goes to jail for a long

If I cant have her then NOBODY can!

but visit her there. Tell her how much I really did (do) love

In other words, tell her "I told you so", you should not have
rejected me! See what happened to you now?

Tell her you love her, and help her. She has a split personality,
and the part I fell in love with is very beautiful.

Everybody has different faces to different people and different
situations and different times! Her 2 sides are the side that may
have loved him at one time, then the side that rejected him and
his obsession with her!

I really did want to
marry her and make her dreams come true.

But she broke my heart! and now I'll show her and the guy(s)
who she shows love to!

love ya

Richyrich said...

Part 3:

People, this SUICIDE LETTER says a lot! He was stalking her, so she had
to leave some letter behind just to throw him off her trail, so she could
have some time to herself. So she came up with the letter about the "Hope" cabin.
When Kent drives to the "cabin" then finds it doesn't really exist, he makes
up his mind to end it all, pays someone (someone perhaps who he promises his boat to?) a few thousand dollars to do the deed,
drives back home and waits a few more days to make sure she's not around
where witnesses can verify where she is, then he drives to the spot where he
aranged for his own execution! He mails the letter, takes the drive back from
where he was just a few days prior, has someone end it all for him with the
letter arriving in perfect time for Mechele and anyone else she's with to take
the blame!! His timing was perfect, and the imagination of the jury has locked
Mechele up, because when they see her they see something they wish
they had, but dont. (A beautiful and charming girl, with a doctor husband and a beautiful kid)

Grace said...

Richyrich makes sense.

Bmialone said...

@Richyrich: Thanks for the break down of Kent’s letter. I agree with you about those glaring problems with the prosecution’s explanation of that letter.

@Everyone: At the appeal hearing, the attorney for the prosecution said to the justices that submitting the letter was justified in this case because:

1. There was no physical evidence, therefore no way to prove Mechele’s guilt without “interpreting” what little circumstantial evidence they had. With so little evidence and not knowing any of the people involved, the prosecution believed the letter was necessary to make clear to the jury and support the prosecution’s “interpretation” of the relationships between the people involved and the events that took place between them. A quote from her argument is that when looking at the circumstantial evidence to understand the relationships and how those relationships helped them conclude what happened, “Ms. Linehan has her interpretation of the evidence, and the prosecution has ours.”

Now, as a citizen of this state, what I heard her say with that argument was that when the prosecutor’s office does not have any solid evidence, no physical evidence at all, and has no idea what was going on between people or who committed a crime, it is okay for them to come up with their own "interpretation” of those things and prosecute citizens! In other words, since they don’t actually know anything, make up whatever they want and then there are no limits to what they can subject people to! I was horrified. With that sort of justice system, we are all in trouble because it could be any one of the rest of us next time.

2) The letter was important because it showed Kent Leppink’s thinking at the time, and why would he write such a letter (she said rather dramatically) if he weren’t heartbroken because he loved Ms. Linehan SO much? He loved her so much, that despite what she’d done to him (still not clear just what the prosecution thinks that actually Was that was so "evil," because they put everything in such general terms), even after all of that and his being afraid for his life, he still loved her enough that he wouldn’t have mailed that letter if only she would marry him. It was important the jury understand that, because (she said again) "why else would he write such a letter?

Well, gee, I have only a bachelors degree in psych, but let me answer that one: Because he was a nut job? How about, because his father was angry with him again, or still, and they had words when it turned out Kent’s stories about his financial successes and beautiful fiancee’ were a pile of lies, he was humiliated in front of his father again, and the anger over his embezzling from his family was still between them? And he was nut job, which the investigators and the prosecution have evidence of.

Those reasons actually have more circumstantial evidence and are more logically sound than the scenarios the prosecution just made up!

Finally, the prosecution was disingenuous in explaining the reason for submitting the letter. She said the jury was reminded that the letter was not accusing Ms. Linehan of the crime, but only evidence of Kent Leppink’s state of mind and thinking. Only an idiot would believe a jury would not hear an accusation of murder, and the prosecution knew it. So did the judge, by the way.

Bmialone said...

The prosecution never produced a single shred of evidence to support their contention that Kent had reason to for his life, nothing to show that Mechele and/or John Carlin had ever done anything to make him fearful; not during the trial and not at the appeal hearing while defending the use of the letter. They say he had reason to believe Mechele was out to kill him, but they offer no evidence of it. All they have is that letter, which does not come across as fearful at all, but as Richyrich said, as a last will and testament!

As for the letter, the only evidence there is that Kent actually wrote and mailed that letter to his parents is his parents’ claim that he did!

His father was with him when he changed the beneficiary. His father was in Anchorage during the 24 hour period in which Kent was killed. (Not sure exactly when he left Anchorage and he got out of being put on the stand for cross examination saying he was too feeble to come to Alaska for the trial, but there he was at the appeal hearing.) Was it Kent who actually mailed that letter, since his dad was still in town during that 24 hour period?

His father claims he can’t remember whether Kent took him to the airport, which means he is claiming he can’t remember the very last time he saw his son, within hours of his son’s killing. How likely is that?

How about the fellow who was to get the boat? Did he? Did he know about the letter before Kent was killed?

See, there are more obvious trees to bark up if the investigators and the prosecution had been more talented and/or ethical.

Adam said...

I was the "Anonymous" poster. And in fact, it didn't let me post as anonymous so I had to use my blogspot ID which I forgot I had.

After reading your responses to what I said and continuing through some of the older posts, I will offer some of my thoughts.

I realize that Mechele's attorneys will be handling the legal defense and that you are just her friends and family. I still think that you, via Mechele and her defense team, could benefit from some of the skeptics' reactions.

If Kent Leppink set Mechele up, you've got to admit that he did a pretty darned good job, no?

Yes, the scenario you're suggesting that Leppink was a troubled man who committed suicide and set up Mechele and Carlin is certainly plausible. But I see a few problems that make it very difficult for me to say that it suggests a "reasonable" doubt.

1) The way that Leppink's body was found doesn't suggest suicide. It would have been impossible for him to have done the deed himself. He would have had to have helpers. Who are these people? I've heard of hit men for hire, but for homicides, not suicides.

Also, the testimony from Carlin's son was quite a problem as well and adds additional credibility for a jury. I realize that he did give differing testimonies concerning Mechele's involvement in both trials, but it definitely was key in putting her into a conspiracy.

2) I suppose it's plausible that Leppink was a bisexual, but where's the proof? Even if there were proof of that, it's not proof that he wanted to die. Also, what doesn't add up is the conflicting feelings he had for Mechele: on one hand he trusted her enough to confide something so deeply personal to, and on the other, he wanted to set her up for a murder charge? That doesn't add up. You also have to see that this idea that he was gay--and that she was the only person to know that--can very understandably be construed as not just very convenient for someone to say who is being accused of murder, but a mean-spirited tactic against a man who has been killed. I think it's a losing argument not only in court but also in the court of public opinion.

As for why he didn't leave if he was afraid of Mechele -- maybe he couldn't leave for whatever reason? He had a business there in Alaska.

I can't speak with any knowledge about Alaska law, but it is not unprecedented for people to be convicted without DNA evidence. Before DNA was even discovered courts never used it. There are even people convicted of murder without the victims' body being found at all. It is also possible to commit a murder without leaving any DNA or fingerprints. And since this is a conspiracy charge, physical involvement is not necessary. Sometimes paper trails and key witness testimony can be enough to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person was involved in a murder.

My humble opinion is that Kent Leppink's letter is a very serious problem for Mechele's case. No matter how you interpret that letter or the side issues about how it was delivered to his parents, or how his parents would benefit monetarily from his death, or any series of theories about his mental health -- what we do know without question is that he expressed a fear that Mechele and/or Carlin were going to kill him, and very shortly later he was found dead in a manner that couldn't have been done without some help. We also have other things that suggest a motive for Mechele to kill him.

I also can't speak for Alaska law about whether or not his letter should have been admitted into court. My guess is the judge didn't consider the letter to fall under the legally defined category of an "accusation." The letter itself doesn't accuse Mechele of anything. It is just regarded as evidence about Leppink's own personal feelings at the time. But if her lawyers can somehow get the letter declared inadmissible next time, I think that would be the single greatest thing they could do.

Grace said...

Hey - non-anom: you're opinions are being taken seriously - why do you think they are being printed? No one is saying you ain't got something worth saying. We just disagree.

Again, so beside the point, but it keeps coming up so I gotta keep reacting: you think it's mean-spirited to say Kent might have - might hvae, mind you - been gay? Hell, I thought it was a compliment. It's pretty much the only thing I heard about him that made me like him a little.

Bmialone said...

Thank you Adam for continuing this useful discussion so we can tease out the nuances.

I agree the letter is a problem, but not because it actually is evidence of anything other than Leppink was a very disturbed man. Let's face it, only a disturbed person would say someone he loves is probably going to kill him, but if she would just marry him he would never expose her. Mentally healthy people do not behave that way. Mentally unbalanced, obsessed (obsession is a mental disturbance) people do. Since when is it ethical, moral, even legal to convict a person on the written word of a mentally disturbed person, and one that can't even be questioned or assessed for reliability? That is the reason such evidence has not been allowed in other trials around the country, and the letter is a point of appeal.

We can try to come up with all of the scenarios of what happened we want to, but ultimately they do not matter in Mechele's case, because for a conviction what matters is the prosecution proves Beyond a Reasonable Doubt that she is guilty. The accused does not have to prove what really did happen instead.

Mechele's even being charged, then tried and convicted, plus a life sentence despite no criminal history, is evidence of just how messed up our criminal justice system is in this country.

Bmialone said...

In the interest, though, of examining the possibilities, a key point easily missed if we limit ourselves to the prosecution's narrative is that no one knows for sure that Kent wrote and mailed that letter. We know only that his parents claimed he did and that it supposedly was mailed from Alaska during the same time period his father was in the state. Add to that the evidence that his father was with him when he changed the beneficiary on his insurance policy, which he'd told Mechele he'd canceled and she called the insurance company to verify it (but then he goes back and keeps it and makes his parents the beneficiaries while his dad was with him).

The prosecution claimed that the insurance money was the motive. Well, since Mechele thought it was canceled and the insurance agent testified to that, Kent's father was with him when he changed it to his parents' benefit, his father was in the state during the period the letter was supposedly mailed, and the authorities didn't find out if he was actually out of the state yet when Kent died, right there, that opens the door Wide Open to someone else having motive and opportunity.

It is important to pay attention to details and remember them, because the prosecution, in order to win, makes a point of not doing so.

The fact is, despite Leppink's parents now playing the heart broken, grieving, elderly, victimized parents, in reality they were a very disturbed family. There was a great deal of anger between them, and Kent was banished from the family for stealing from their business; which means there was even more bad blood between them because those behaviors don't come out of nowhere and are not isolated to only one issue, ever.

His own brother said to the press that Kent was a "liar," "thief," and "con," and that he and his wife were glad Kent had left so they didn't have to deal with him anymore, and that they both believed Kent was in Alaska conning someone. He and his wife both said they thought his father was involved in Kent's death, and that he knew they would blame Mechele.

Well, that is a very different sort of family and family relationships than the ones the Leppink's have presented to the public and the courts. Why would they do that?

Also, put together what Kent's brother and sister-in-law said with the fact that their father was in Alaska with Kent when this all happened. See what I mean about other people with motive and opportunity? Who got the one million dollars and a letter telling them to take it as payback for what Kent had stolen from them? Hello! (It boggles my mind that we have investigators and a prosecutor's office held to such low standards.)

None of that means we know the Leppinks were the ones behind Kent's death, but it does mean they are actually more likely, logical suspects with more motive, with opportunity, and therefore should have been investigated thoroughly instead of ignored in the pursuit of Mechele, the brazen man- eating Lolita, who was living a very different and more positive life from the Leppink family, by the way.

By the time Mechele went to trial, Kent's brother was back in good graces with his parents, stopped talking to the press, and ceased cooperating with the defense. The brother and his wife divorced, with her claiming fear of the family, fear for her life because she fears retribution from her father-in-law, and she actually changed their child's last name in an effort to protect herself from the Leppink elders. Again, not the sort of family presented to the public and the courts, yet the authorities have had no interest!

Bmialone said...

The authorities could also have investigated the man who wanted Leppink's boat. Given the places he hung out and his own shady past, who knows who else Kent Leppink was involved with in this state? Carlin and Mechele certainly were not the only people Leppink knew, and he did business with others.

Kent was broke right before fishing season and needed money, and the insurance policies were Kent's idea in the first place, so who had motive to hurt whom for insurance money? Did a plan to hurt Mechele go wrong for Leppink? It isn't anymore a wild scenario than the one painted but it is actually more credible given the actual circumstances at the time and the players involved.

They could have investigated John Carlin's son. Given that both Carlin and Mechele told authorities right after Leppink's death that Kent really preferred men (It wasn't only Mechele who made that claim so she wasn't the only one he shared "his secret" with), and Mechele said at the time that she thought there might be a problem between the men because Kent may have made moves on Carlin's teen son, that would have been worth at least looking at. Also, Carlin's behavior, that ended up destroying him, looks like the choices made in an effort to protect his son, and that was true all the way through his trial and how his trial was handled. So, why not investigate that angle more thoroughly?

Yet the authorities didn't bother to look elsewhere. (And Linda Branchflower's explanation for not interviewing Carlin's son after Kent's death is ridiculous. In a murder case, a parent can prevent authorities from interviewing a minor alone, but they Cannot prevent them from interviewing a minor at all. She just didn't make the effort.)

Add to that the fact that state has no evidence at all, of any kind, that Mechele or John Carlin ever made any threatening moves, statements, or exhibited any threatening behaviors toward Kent Leppink, and it creates even More reasonable doubt.

There was plenty of reasonable doubt in John Carlin's case too (more in Mechele's, but still some in Carlin's case too), and other obvious suspects to investigate, but the authorities didn't bother.

The key to grasping the problem here is that Alaskan authorities did a very poor job of investigating this case in the first place, and frankly, authorities up here are not used to much scrutiny, as evidenced by all the political scandals that hit the press since 2006. Such a system of little accountability doesn't stop with only our politicians.

Bmialone said...

It wasn't only a lack of DNA evidence regarding no physical evidence. There were no footprints at the scene that matched Carlin's, Mechele was out the state, and they never even found the actual murder weapon. There was no physical evidence of ANY kind, and their circumstantial evidence was contradicted by actual events and easily explained. In the end, that didn't matter in our system, and that is what really upsets me as a citizen of this state and country.

It isn't necessary to "prove" Kent's sexuality, but the claims made long before charges filed against Mechele and Carlin logically explained a lot about their relationships, yet all that was ignored by the authorities.

It isn't necessary to prove Kent wanted to die. Maybe he did or maybe he didn't. Until others are investigated much more thoroughly than they've been so far, there is no way of knowing what really happened.

Kent's trusting Mechele with his secret but then wanting to set her up makes total sense because relationships change, especially as his mental problems become more apparent to the much younger women he's attached himself to, and his desperation for a marriage to her still makes sense if it was to convince his parents he was "normal" and "stable." It didn't have to be about true love at all, but about his determination to get back in good graces with his family, or to get money he was after, again.

It is possible he tried to rope Carlin's young son in to serving as dupe somehow, or that he did do something to Carlin's son and there was an explosion of some kind between them (the boy was very young, after-all, and living in a home with a disturbed man).

It is also possible Kent wasn't the one who set her up, but that Kent, Mechele, and John Carlin were all three victims, with Kent the target and Mechele and Carlin the side victims.

Focusing on Kent perhaps orchestrating his own death is a distraction from what really matters, which is there were other people with more obvious motives, with opportunity, and that the authorities had enough information about to see them as leads to pursue, and that the evidence did not immediately contradict like the actual evidence contradicted their narrative of Mechele's involvement, but they've never been examined thoroughly in the authorities' rush to go after Carlin and Mechele.

Adam said...

This is "non-anom" again. Going through your responses, I have a few questions for you:

1) Do you agree that the way Leppink's body was found and the manner in which he was killed rules out suicide?

2) How do you account for the fact that Carlin bought the gun that matched the bullets shortly before Leppink was dead? The guy who sold it to him testifies that he sold John Carlin that gun.

Look, I agree with you that the justice system is imperfect and innocent people are wrongfully convicted. Right now, in Missouri, there is a kid named Ryan Ferguson sentenced to prison for the rest of his life, who I am 100% sure is completely innocent and my heart goes out to him and his family. I hope and pray that a judge sees clearly that his conviction is a total sham. His story was also on CBS 48 Hours and I have been following his case in other media. I am just not convinced about Mechele's innocence.

I also agree with you that Mechele didn't get a fair trial and that the police might have been too quick to rule out other possible suspects. I would be completely in favor of Mechele getting a new trial. I just think that she and Carlin are the most likely suspects, and that is why I am not convinced of either of their innocence.

Turtlepace said...

Kent Leppink's letter is also a problem because the prosecutor and the judge only let small portions of it to be presented. You need the whole letter to see that Kent was using the threat of death as just one of several unsubstantiated and perhaps absurd smear charges against Mechele. Kent gave no specifics for his supposed preknowledge of his own death. In addition to the only reason for the letter being that Mechele would not marry him, Kent spelled out in the cover letter that he was ready to die. In any other circumstance, it would certainly be considered a suicide letter. As for Kent's inability to kill himself in the manner in which he died, it was also impossible for John Carlin to have been Kent's assistant in that suicide. Just because we don't know who killed Kent does not prove that John and Mechele did it. They didn't even have any way to know Kent would return to Hope five days later. The prosecutor's out-of-context "evidence" only shows that the prosecutor assumed the murder scene itself proved that John and Mechele had intent to murder. But the prosecutor cannot prove that the particular time and place of the murder had anything to do with the Hope Note that only said Mechele would be in Hope for the weekend. Kent was killed the following Thursday. If anything, Kent's letter proves that the whole case was as contrived as his letter was.

Bmialone said...

I agree with Turtlepace. Good point about the letter also being provided to the jury only in pieces, just like the emails were.

@Adam, I see that some of my explanations were in response to those posted under "Dr. Fuller." I apologize if I addressed them to you. Of course, most of everyone's posts are directed at all interested readers, but still, I addressed everything to "anonymous" and then realized some should have been to the other poster, and didn't mean to misrepresent your input in any way.

Bmialone said...

I do not agree that the way Kent's body was found rules out suicide because people have been known to hire others to do it for them. I don't think it is the most likely scenario, but it is possible given his mental state and his relationship problems with his family and his money problems.

The evidence made it less likely John Carlin did it because John Carlin would never have left his body in such an easy place to find, even in the trampled crime scene (trampled by the Troopers themselves!) there were foot prints and none of them were John Carlin's, and no one in that tiny community saw Carlin there that day.

Although I don't think it is the most likely explanation, I know from first hand experience that deeply angry, screwed up people will kill themselves to hurt others.

When I was much younger, I did have a man try to commit suicide and set it up so I would find his body, in the hopes my fiancé and I, who was also this man's friend, would be so devastated it would ruin our relationship.

It didn't work because I realized what he'd done in time and got medical intervention in the nick of time.

In the hospital during his recovery, every time others were in the room, he acted out of it, but when I was alone with him he was sitting up and alert. He was still being manipulative.

I told him that I was angry at him for how he tried to ruin my life merely because I'd chosen someone else, especially since we'd never had a romantic relationship in the first place, and I was putting him on notice that he ever tried it again and succeeded, it would make no difference whatsoever in my life, I wouldn't even mourn him but would be disgusted with him instead, because I would never be controlled and manipulated like that and neither would my fiancé'; so he might want to remember that the next time he considered doing something so cruel and so stupid.

Also, my fiancé and I were surprised by anger directed at us by a bunch of mutual friends, even a relative of my fiancé', and it turned out that without our knowledge, this man had told a lot of people that he and I were a couple, when I'd never been his girlfriend or his lover, ever! I was a housemate in a group house, his friend, and we spent a lot of time together so when he told other people we were a couple, they assumed that is why we were in the same house and did things together! They were blaming us for the suicide attempt because they thought we'd cheated on him and broke his heart.

We set the record straight, but I learned first hand how far some people will go when they are unstable, vengeful, manipulative, and want everyone to feel bad for them.

Bmialone said...

As for the gun, that too is a little more complicated than it's been reported. The authorities never found the murder weapon, the actual gun that was used. The man who sold the gun recognized the house he took it to, but he did not remember John Carlin specifically. The authorities found only a holster for a large gun at Carlin's house. So while the gun episode didn't help Carlin's case, it still wasn't actual proof of anything.

Two people in the house said the gun had been there, disappeared, and then reappeared, and when John Carlin found out Kent was killed, he didn’t know who’d had the gun when it was gone and he was worried about his son being blamed, so he washed the gun. (Mechele coming home to find him washing the gun and talking to him as he did so is not proof she requested the killing, even if Carlin had done it!) Why authorities were not more curious about the whereabouts of Carlin's gun during the period in question, who all had access to it, and why he was worried about his son being blamed is beyond me.

I wasn't surprised to hear that, however, because I thought his behaviors indicated a man trying to protect his son, clear up to his death in prison (which by the way, our investigators still have not investigated enough to tell us what happened to this inmate incarcerated in our names. No surprise there either, only disgust). I don't think his attorney's did their best job by him when they made his trial about Mechele, but they did and it seemed to me it was another indication he might still be protecting his son. And as a parent, why not? Even if his son didn't do it in some sort of upsetting altercation with Leppink, his father could have worried he'd be blamed for some reason anyway, and the 16-year-old boy was living in a house that culminated in that situation because his father put him there. If I were the parent in that situation, I would go down to protect my child.

Anyway, there was only circumstantial evidence, the man who sold the gun couldn't remember John Carlin, only the house, no gun was found, and young Carlin changed his story three times, and I don't think that is enough to put some away for 99 years. And for the purpose of this site and Mechele Linehan, it does absolutely NOTHING to prove she was behind any of it!

Bmialone said...

@Adam, I just realized you wrote that problems you can see regarding theories about Kent Leppink arranging his own death make it "very difficult" for you "to say that it suggests a 'reasonable' doubt."

That's brings up an important point. Reasonable doubt in this case has nothing to do with whether Leppink arranged his own death, and nothing to do with whether anyone can prove that he did.

The reasonable doubt comes from the glaring lack of evidence against Mechele, the other obvious potential suspects that were not investigated, and the evidence that contradicts the prosecution's theory.

It is the fact that they can't even come close to proving her guilt and there are so many other directions to look and investigate that create reasonable doubt.

Because of that reasonable doubt, Mechele should have been set free (although, with so little evidence, she should never have been charged in the first place).

And it isn't her job to solve the crime for the authorities, but instead, it is their job to investigate and reach credible, provable conclusions.

Vicky said...

Defend your daughter, Mechele, all you want; however, since this site is for positive comments only (your words), please do not utter negative comments about Kent (closeted homosexual). He is after all dead. It is ill to speak negative about the dead. He does not deserve it. You still have your daughter. Kent's parents do not have their son. I wonder if you, the blog author, will post this comment. It contains nothing negative about Mechele. All I ask is that you and friends afford all those concerned in this matter the same respect that you ask for Mechele. Vicky Baltimore, MD

Surrey said...

It may be possible that Mechele was framed by a scorned suitor.
1. Put her on his life insurance policy
2. Write an email about his impending death and mention her name
3. Hire someone to shoot him, maybe Carlin?
4. Take Mechele's name off of the Life Insurance policy before his death so that she does not benefit in any way
5. Get Mechele convicted by getting himself killed.

Mechele's Friends said...

Vicky, Yes, I will defend my daugher! Sorry that you took offense to any negative comments regarding Kent. I have expressed my sympathy to his family several times. I am truly sorry for their loss, but I will not stand by and watch my daughter become a victim of this crime as well. Kent's sexual preferences were brought out in the trial in several of his own emails. It was a well known fact that this poor man had a troubled past and was in a very dark place in his life. This has been attessed to from various sources, including his own brother. It is not my intention to"speak evil of the dead," I'm sorry but if bringing up facts that relate to this case and can bring my child home, then the facts will be brought out. Our attorneys made every effort NOT to bring up Kent's past in order to spare his family. No one seemed to care about our family and Mechele. In the next trial some very ugly things may be brought out that perhaps should have been in the first trial.If that offends anyone, sorry. But this is my daughter's freedom at stake.

Grace said...

Bimalone: I am learning so much about this case I hadn't known before from you, is it all available here and I've overlooked it or did you have other access to this information?

Vicky: the site is for positive sharing regarding Mechele in particular, not her accusers, necessarily; though the blog moderators have included respectful expressions of sceptism regarding Mechele's innocence as forms of positive sharing.

And, if "Kent's letter" is to be taken as credible in that it was really written by Kent, he certainly spoke ill of Mechele, despite the declarations of love included.

Adam (?): I'm sorry if my calling you "non-anon" came off as flip; I am finding it challenging keeping track of who is who in the comments.

Turtlepace said...

I have a daughter also, and I worry about her when her work takes her out-of-town (or intown for that matter.) I don't know what Kent Leppink's problem was, but he had one and it inspired his letter that blamed Mechele. Mr. Leppink got the authorities to do what he could not do with his type of "love." They imprisoned Mechele. Daughters have a right to protect themselves from that kind of love.

Adam said...

Bmialone, sorry for the confusion. I am "non-anon," Adam, and Dr. Fuller in all of these posts. I changed my name on Blogspot.

Regarding all the comments left today, all I can do is stick to what I said before: While I agree that she did not get a fair trial and I agree the investigators need to do more investigating, I believe the investigators were right to consider Mechele and Carlin the two most likely suspects in this case. I agree with you that there are other suspects and other possibilities about the cause of Mr. Leppink's death, but Mechele and Carlin are still very reasonable suspects. You could make a case that the evidence points to other people too, but the evidence also points to Mechele and Carlin as likely suspects, and I would say, the most likely -- not because of Mechele's past lifestyle, but because of things indicated in the evidence. I do not see anything that rules them out. Obviously, the justice system isn't supposed to convict someone on that basis, so I agree her conviction wasn't the result of a fair trial. I never thought so.

Please understand, I have never said in any of my comments that I think Mechele did it. What I have been saying is that I am personally not convinced that she is innocent. I hope you see the difference.

Question: is there any chance that Carlin acted alone to kill Leppink without Mechele's knowledge? Or perhaps with another of the suspects? Of everything said here, I've not seen that possibility mentioned. Are you firmly maintaining Carlin's innocence, too?

Bmialone said...

Hi Adam,

I do understand what you are saying. I do see the difference. I think you are trying to look at the case rationally & trying to be fair. Your posts also are polite & well-written, which I appreciate.

I do not agree that there is no evidence, or enough evidence, to rule out Mechele. I don't have time write it all out again today but I've listed reasons & evidence multiple times on this site (which I do for those who are new to the site & do not have time to go back & read all of the old posts).

What I've reminded readers of less often, though, was the testimony of the forensic psychologist who assessed her & testified that he did not believe she had the character to fit the crime. Nor did the prosecution present anything about her life before or after Leppink's death that contradicted the psychologist's conclusions.

Those contradictions, plus the actual events & nonevents others & I have written about elsewhere on this site, ARE evidence in her favor. There is more evidence in her favor than there is circumstantial evidence against her, & the prosecution's circumstantial evidence is easily & logically explained so by itself it doesn't hold water. What more can she, or we, do to gain justice for her from the rest of us? I say us because the prosecution works for the people, so we the people are responsible.

I confess I find it dismaying that so many people cling to their initial conclusions even in the face of evidence like that of Mechele's efforts to cancel the insurance policy, her verifying that it was being canceled, the evidence of Leppink's creepy behaviors (he was the one with a criminal past), & the lack of evidence of any kind besides Leppink's (supposedly Leppink's) letter to support any kind of dangerous intentions toward him, & so on. Unfortunately, that seems to be how the human brain works for most people, which can make us dangerously unfair to each other.

The prosecution repeated there are two Mecheles & that she is a sociopath. People ate it up as if it were true despite the only evidence of that was the prosecution saying it, which isn't evidence. Further, her life did not reflect what they said about her.

If Mechele really was like that, her life and relationships would reflect it, not just in normal ways with normal problems all the rest of us have, but in very distinct, obvious ways, with victims littered behind her over the years.

Her jury was too uneducated to understand, the evidence against her was submitted to them in out-of-context pieces, and they were exposed to months of tabloid journalism before the trial even started, so they were easily manipulated and she was truly tried in the press. Her trial should never been in Alaska, and she shouldn't have had the same judge as did Carlin either.

As a citizen, I'm also insulted by how cynically the authorities treated the rest of us, thinking we are all too stupid to think and read critically so they can do and say whatever they want for their own reasons and we will never hold them accountable. (I have no doubt the prosecution felt disdain for the jury as they played them.)

As you said, the bottom line is, if there is not substantive evidence against the accused; if there are other suspects, some quite obvious with more motive; and other suspects cannot be ruled out by evidence, then there is substantial reasonable doubt as to guilt and under our system of justice, the accused is supposed to go free, so Mechele should have.

In fact, given the lack of evidence and the other possible suspects, I argue she should not have been charged in the first place because even if a defendant wins, the trauma and expense of a murder trial (fighting for their life) and the aftermath financial losses and personal scars for them and their families is far too great to impose on citizens capriciously.

Bmialone said...


You asked about John Carlin's possible involvement. I can't speak for others, and of course I cannot say there is absolutely no chance he was not involved without Mechele's knowledge. It would be dishonest to think I could.

I have no vested interest in John Carlin personally & I am not out to prove his innocence. It is too late for him now anyway, because our authorities knowingly left him in danger inside prison so he's dead.

Having said that, though, from my own observations and following both trials, I do not think Carlin did it for the following reasons: 1) He didn't really have an obvious motive. 2) He didn't have the time. 3)There was no evidence of his having been there or that he could have known Leppink was going to return to Hope that day.

There was no evidence that John Carlin was romantically head-over-heels in love with Mechele and thought he had a chance for her if Leppink was out of the way, which is what the prosecution claimed.The emails really showed only a close friendship, which is a different kind of love and I've had the same sort of love with male friends. It isn't the sort of love someone with no violence in their history commits murder for, but it is the sort of love people feeling sloshed and maudlin will occasionally gush about emotionally & dramatically while waxing on. Remember, Mechele was providing a female presence, maternal and friendship, for Carlin and his teenage son who didn't have his mother. I can easily see their attachment to her aside from romantic love.

Carlin was never Mechele's lover (neither was Leppink, by the way and that was acknowledged by the prosecution). He knew about her real boyfriend. He helped her evade Leppink when she was leaving to see her real boyfriend. Those are the behaviors of a friend, not a jealous man who thought he had a chance with her.

John Carlin didn't need the insurance money because he was already loaded, and why would he kill someone so she could have the money? It isn't logical.

There was never any evidence presented to indicate Carlin was even the sort of person to get involved in criminal activity (but there was for Leppink), especially murder.

At his age and past experience, it isn't likely Carlin would have left the body in such an easy place to find, but would have made more effort to cover his tracks. Instead, it was the sort of crime scene one would leave if it was either a botched crime, one was never going to be suspected on the way out of the state, or an unexpected one from an emotional conflict of some kind that blew up and the killer was impulsive and rushed off.

Carlin did not have time to drive to Hope, AK and back to Anchorage in the two hours claimed by the prosection. It's at least a three hour drive in good weather.

His foot prints were not among those found at the scene.

No one in the tiny community of Hope saw him there that day although they'd seen each of them, Carlin and Leppink, in Hope a few days earlier.

I think that Carlin did behave like a man trying to protect someone else and it wasn't Mechele because his attorneys made his trial about her. That doesn't even mean the person he was trying to protect was guilty, but that Carlin feared for them anyway.

Bmialone said...

I had no personal interest in Mechele's case in the beginning, but my spouse & I noticed how before & during Carlin's trial all of the media coverage & the "information" provided to the press by the prosecution, Branchflower, & state Troopers was almost ALL about Mechele. We noticed too how the press printed and repeated whatever the authorities said without requiring substantiation, so we started paying close attention from that point on.

The press coverage alone, as distorted and irresponsible as it was, informed us that the reason the evil Mechele surfaced only once for that one event was because she never existed, but was merely a fantasy made up by Linda Branchflower to advance her own career and same for the prosecutor. It just didn't hold water logically and is not supported by an actual understanding of human psychology.

As the trials progressed, we were increasingly horrified by the misogynist treatment of Mechele by our press & justice system before, during, and after both trials. We were shocked by the lack of evidence against both of them, most especially Mechele, yet both were convicted and sentenced to 99 years anyway. We were shocked during sentencing that the judge used the exact same adjectives as the prosecutor and the press, and made it pretty obvious his mind had been made up early on, which is not impartial.

Sickened by Mechele’s conviction and then sentence, I started seeking more information about her trial, and then came to this site to provide support.

As a citizen of Alaska, I do not want a corrupt justice system; nor can I consider myself an ethical person if I witness abuse against others by authorities & I stay silent. In fact, for me, this goes beyond Mechele as far as my agitating for reform of our criminal justice system. I've already started contacting Alaska legislators & our governor about it. It is too late for Mechele, at least at the moment, but in the future I want our prosecutors held accountable, and to know in advance that they will be held accountable.

Richyrich said...

Adam, I don’t think that anyone believes that Kent could have physically killed himself by pulling the trigger himself. By suicide, I think that the consensus here is a “suicide by cop” type of scenario. (Or perhaps “suicide by a buddy who’s going to get his boat after his death” as it were in this case)
These are some of the other questions that come to mind when I think about this case:
Why didn’t John testify against Mechele if she were truly guilty?
He certainly would have been offered a SWEET deal by the prosecutors in such a weak case against Mechele.
Did anyone consider the dynamic of Johns son living under the same roof as his dad and Mechele?
He was a sketchy witness at best, with different stories told at different times. Who knows what HE could have been up to, or motivated by, unbeknownst to Mechele?
With the life insurance canceled in Mecheles mind, and changed to his parents as beneficiaries in reality, what possible motivation would Mechele have for even wanting him dead? Wasn’t that the basis for the motive in the prosecutors argument? How could that be, if she thought it was canceled? ADAM, what are these other motives Mechele had to have a man killed that you mentioned? Money was the only one I heard of.
If Kent was a thief (and he was) how many other people did he rip off? People that could have killed him! Anyone that steals from his own parents is going to steal from others!
Early in the story, didn’t Kents mother mention how much it “killed her” to see her son with a woman that didn’t love him as much as he loved her? Wouldn’t that have made her hate Mechele? How much did she resent her son stealing from her family? At least enough to banish him to Alaska! Point being, she had motivation not only to be involved in the murder of a screw up of a son, but also the woman that scorned him, giving her TWO reasons that even she had more of a motive than Mechele for wanting him dead. Oh yeah, then there’s that million bucks too. Who knows what really is going on in this ladys mind?
In Kents letter he says that if he dies that Mechele OR John OR whoever probably did it, not AND, yet he only mentions to his family to BURN Mechele. WHY? I don’t think his sexuality matters, (VICKY) he obviously was infatuated with Mechele.

Berni1950 said...

Sandy, I am all for Mechele having a new and this time a FAIR, trial. I am not trying to be negative but I do have a comment on the comments and opinions regarding Kent's sexual preferences.

Why does everyone feel that Kent was bi-sexual? There is no proof of that and I feel it isnt fair to the poor dead Kent to be calling him something he may not be. To lots of us readers, it almost sounds like character-assassination. Even if Kent was bisexual, it really has nothing to do with anything - certainly not his murder and as to who did or didn't conspire to have him killed. (We all know that John Carlin, who is now dead himself, did the actual act of the murder himself.)

So, I think that 'positive' responses and blogs here simply means that if you like something that is said, you will post it; if not, you won't. Simple as that.

I do wish Mechele luck with the appeal that is pending and I do admire her friends and family for supporting her so well. I also admire her for her obviously good attitude while incarcerated. I watched all of the made-for-tv shows about this case and it was very, very interesting. Looking back, I see how biased it was, i.e., definitely anti-Mechele, which is not fair at all to her or her character. She deserves a fair trial and not a biased one ... I sure hope she gets it!

Thanks for reading my thoughts and opinions on this very tragic but interesting case! I do wish you, your entire family and Mechele luck in what's to come of this. Good luck with everything!

BerniPalm - Seattle, WA

Anonymous said...

To Grace, I'm sorry I've not been back to answer your question. I've only the information that's been reported, what came out in the trial, and shared by the family and the Leppinks. I've been reading about this case for over three years now, keeping track of who said what, and it adds up over time. In addition to the actual trial, actually both trials, there were more details to look at early in the reporting.

There was a lot in the trial that the public never read about in the tabloid press, but even what Was reported is continually ignored in the prosecution's ongoing narrative, and the press and public accept it rather than challenging them! Mechele's lawyers did shred the prosecution, and Judge Volland did allow the entire trial to be about Mechele's character while he denied her defense the ability to address Leppink's character at all. He also made some serious mistakes in what he allowed, which is why the prosecution didn't choose to let the state supreme court review the overturned conviction. (One example: During the appeal hearing, the judges noted that from-the-grave letters have never been allowed in other cases in other states, even in cases where the guilt of the defendant wasn't in question because they'd admitted guilt or guilt wasn't denied!) It would have been a no-brainer if they did, and she would go free. (Judge Volland hopes to sit on the state supreme court, heaven forbid!)

The jury did admit to holding Mechele's job as a dancer against her and using it in weighing her guilt or innocence. (That's one call I think the appeals court got wrong, when they said the jury knowing that she was a dancer didn't hurt her. Oh yes it did. The jury said so!)

I'm not thrilled with how professionally incestuous Alaska is. Too small, means too many relationships that too many people don't want to upset.

Reading, watching, asking questions, and remembering details, lots of details about all of the parties involved.

Anonymous said...

Kent Leppink's sexuality might be very relevant. It is certainly as relevant as anything that's been said of Mechele, and absolutely as relevant, if not more so, as her having been a dancer.

It isn't character assassination unless one thinks there is something wrong with being gay. I don't think there is, and obviously Mechele and John Carlin didn't think there was either since both said a long time ago that he was gay (Mechele told Troopers when she was interviewed after his murder that she wasn't really his fiance because Kent liked men-it's on the video) and they were friends with Kent until he really went too far there toward the end.

The reason I think it is relevant is for reasons I've explained in other posts so I won't go into detail again. Suffice to say that it would easily explain the seemingly unusual relationship Kent had with Mechele, and it provides one more reason to examine Kent's relationship with his family, especially his father, more closely. It also makes Kent's frantic behavior and anger logical (logical for someone having a meltdown)when Mechele was a no-show in front of his father. It explains Kent's so-called engagement to Mechele when they'd never even had a sexual relationship in all that time they knew each other (even the prosecution acknowledged there was no reason to think Mechele had ever had a sexual relationship with either Leppink or Carlin. Remember that when they are giving the impression she was being promiscuous!).

A final note on this topic: the family and their hysterical goof-ball defenders writing about Mechele and harassing the Linehans get all wigged out by such a "horrible" accusation (again, I don't think being gay is what was wrong with Kent Leppink), but I went back and read an ADN article about Kent as told by his family. The report said it was about the Kent Leppink the family wanted everyone to know. Well, okay, I read it and, knowing a lot of gay people, I read the loving description of a very likely in- the-closet gay uncle Kent! I think the Leppinks must not know that they know gay people.

So, the upshot is, there is a valid reason to consider and look into the possibility that Kent was gay because it explains a lot. This is especially true because the prosecution is using Mechele's friendship with Kent against her. If she weren't being "burned," as Kent said it, then it would be irrelevant to her case.

However, when looking for suspects, that information should open new doors of investigation, looking for other people Kent might have been involved with. It also points toward his family--one more bone of contention behind the bad blood between them and Kent. The authorities are supposed to look for motive and opportunity, are they not?

BTW, this same article said the Leppinks refused to discuss Kent's embezzlement from their business, and the ADN Totally let them get away with it! Guess they just wanted to nail the Lolita.

Grace said...

bimialone: Thanks. You fill in a very important gap with your extra explanations about the way the case is handled...Mechele's family would have to walk through yet another minefield of emotional hazards to do this.

Even I cannot bear to, because I get too angry at every incredible twisting of and overlooking of important information. One needs a cooler head - or stronger stomach - to put it all together as you manage to do, despite your obvious shared frustration.