Monday, April 12, 2010

Thanks to all you!

It is very late and this is just a frustrated mom really missing her daughter, her best friend and someone I am so very proud of. Bear with me friends, for I am tired of holding back for fear that someone from the prosecution or the state of Alaska may be reading this. I do not care. I have missed the last two and a half years of sharing the joy of my daughter's life. I am tired of the red tape of legal strings that has bound my child into captivity. I feel bad for attorneys that only care about how much money they make representating this case. What ever happened about just doing it because it is the right thing? Where are the attorneys that took a vow about representing justice? Is is just about the money for you? Where are all the groups that talk about civil rights, etc? For those of you who think that Mechele and Colin have an abundance of wealth you should research what this has cost our family so far! And for those of you who that continue to attempt to post negative comments on this blog, can you not read!! This blog is for our family and our dear friends that support Mechele. There is an abundance of stupidy out there and I am truly sorry for them, but please find someplace else to vent your ignorance. People that have posted negative comments are not only not aware of the facts, but do not want to hear them. Ok, for all of your dear people that continue to support us, thank you for letting me vent!! I love all of you! For Pat and the prosecution, may you find some wisdom and pray that your child is not in the position that mine is in. And pray that she or he is not in Mississippi or Louisiana or a state that believes in a fair and just system. Thanks, my friends for just letting me say how I feel!! I just so miss my Mechele!!


Anonymous said...

Sorry, Sandy, for your frustration.

I've no doubt some of your tormentors are prison employees. There will be an accounting. Public employees eventually have to answer to the public. After that, they can explain themselves to their God.

I agree with you about attorneys. I ask, how cozy are the relationships, or how threatened are defense attorneys that they all know what sort of offenses against inmates are routine, and the good ones know Mechele's trial was a kangaroo court, but they not only do not step up to the plate together to save Mechele, they also do not work together to file against the state and force reforms of the prisons. It is shameful.

Turtlepace said...

The hecklers are just a vulgar class who think they have to destroy other people they are jealous of. It's their only way of "getting ahead." One of the detectives admitted that they only looked for the easy way to close the case. Theoretically the prosecutors provide the accused a service by presenting legitimate evidence so that when there is an aquittal, nobody should be able to complain. But when the case presented is appealing to vulgar bias, where is the legitimate evidence? I know the system is adversarial, but should the legal cost be used to extort involuntary confessions?

dutch718 said...

is she out the hospital?

SeaTex said...

Just ignore them Sandy. If you respond then that gives them what they want -- a reaction.

Brian Watt said...

This whole case is strange. Pat Gullufsen actually believes that there was a conspiracy of some sort, on the part of the accused, to kill Mr Leppink. But here is the thing, and there is no getting around it: Mechele did NOT conspire in ANY fashion, to kill Mr Leppink.

Pat can theorize, speculate, guestimate, throw 150 ambiguous facts at the jury, engage in a course of reasoning based on entirely absurd evidence, he can posture, prance around the media, build castles in the air, have a hunch, ponder, muse and read between imaginary lines, of imaginary evidence, but no amount of this sort of pedestrian sub par thinking, despite what Pat thinks, in any way, shape, or form, show that our dear friend Mechele, conspired to kill Mr Leppink.

It just never happened. IT...NEVER...HAPPENED...she's not guilty, that is a fact. This case, is tragic.

I showed the smartest person I know, all the facts in this case, over many hours, and they said "What else you got?" I said "that's it"..he said "Not guilty..and frankly, this case is stupid. IF your telling me a jury convicted on this evidence, I fear for the fate of our justice system"...

kbzesq said...

As an attorney in private practice (with an overheard of $15-20K per month, including staff), I can tell you - the attorneys who "took a vow to represent justice" (and don't care about money)are on the other side, working for the state.

If a private attorney is engaged in a trial you want his/her attention to be focused on the trial. And if that's what they're focused on for two to three weeks you need to be paying them serious money simply for them to be able to make a living.

When a person's freedom is on the line, you want the best attorney defending you. The same way you would want the best doctor if you were dying.

Jennifer said...

The whole case scares me because so many are in prison on false convictions. People without money at the start just never get their cases heard at all and are mere numbers behind a barbed wire fence. At what cost to the children of the wrongly convicted do they pay?

Is there karmic justice? Will the prosecutors who just wanted to settle the case going to have to face God? I don't know. In a way I hope so, but yet Eternity is a scary prospect. (Maybe they won't for Mechele but for all the others? Surely she isn't the only one.) By lengthening out the case and not letting your duaghter or others in her situation out on bail, are they increasing their own heat while in the mean time making a killing?

Didn't they offer Mechele a plea deal that she could take the blame and get 12 years? What I don't understand is how that could be offered, yet a judge would give her life for the conviction. Anyone turning down a plea like that must be innocent-- why take the chance of it turning out like it did? Mechele did not act like someone wanting the publicity or looking for a greater reward. (You may need to see if any offers are out there for story rights so you can have mroe money for this trial.)

The Republican lawmakers like to be tough on crime, not smart on it. I spoke to one lawmaker in Anchorage who said that he didn't legislate the judicial branch and I was blown away-- yes, he makes and passes laws that dictate the judicial branch's actions! He just didn't care if it wans't in his best interest.

You guys are classy. I hope that Mechele's daughter is s steller student and that she one day becomes a lawyer or a lawmaker. Her voice will be heard loud and clear.

letmesay said...

Just a suggestion...Mechele can agree to a certain amount of lawyer-payments, say a percentage, from future books/movies, etc... If she is freed. Have you guys tried this? I hope you feel better after venting.

Brian Watt said...

While I dont have a full working theory on the case, if you asked me right now, my best analysis is that Mr Leppink arranged for his own death.

Perhaps some think the late John Carlin III did it, but I actually do not hold that belief. My position on that is probably controversial in some circles, but here is my central thesis:

Prosecutor Pat got it wrong twice: The footprints at the scene did not match John Carlin's, and I have other reasons for believing he did not shoot Mr Leppink. So that rules out Mr Carlin....and I have already ruled out Mechele. So, that means Pat got it wrong twice.

He once told the press that this was a cold pre meditated well planned murder....if it was, then it was Kent Leppink himself who planned it. He hired his own shooter. It can't be any other way. No other theory, makes any sense.

Anonymous said...

kbzesq: I understand defense attorneys need to make a living, but that doesn't help middleclass and low-income people. Good defense attorneys have much higher incomes that does an army doctor like Mr. Linehan. The last trial had to cost them over $400,000.00, and they had no family here so their travel and lodging bills had to be huge. Alaska does not have our own forensic experts that were required, or even a good lab! That means the Linehans had to pay to bring experts up here, lodge them, and pay them for their time, and they are expensive. Investigators cost a lot too.

Of course Mechele needs the best attorney, investigators, experts money can buy, but where are middleclass people supposed to get that much money? They were financially destroyed over what ended up a three week trial, yet she's been in prison for close to three years, with her rights violated routinely by prison staff and no attorney in there swinging to protect her because her trial was over and attorneys move on. Now she's supposed to wave a magic wand and do it again?

I mean, that's the big lie about our justice system. It isn't justice when prosecutors can bluff grand juries into letting them prosecute weak cases and then spend the public dime like there is no tomorrow, which obviously Gullufsen can since he is going to go for it again, but the accused do not have the same resources to defend themselves.

It makes me queasy just to think about it. If it had been my family, I wouldn't have been able to come up with that much money for the first trial even with debt at the end of it; I would have just been doomed. That's how it is for many people, which is why citizens end up copping pleas and doing time even when they aren't guilty.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes there are moments in life when people need to step up to the plate, even if it means sacrifice on their part, for no other reason than it is the right thing to do. There are times when we should feel we have no choice but to do the right thing. Because this case was so obviously wrong that the good local defense attorneys know it, why can't they join forces and work together, sharing the cost, to fight for her on behalf of we the people, to ensure we, through our appointed officials, do not commit any more crimes against Mechele Linehan.

And I want to know why defense attorneys in Alaska do not slam our prisons and the state with formal complaints, a flood of them if necessary, for every single time their clients' rights are violated or their access to their clients are interfered with, until the state is forced to clean up the system and runs an ethical, professional one.

And I want to know why female attorneys in Alaska (and WA for that matter) stand aside silently while such grotesque sexist, misogynist treatment of a woman takes place right under their noses. It is frightening to see that when push comes to shove, our culture still vilifies and destroys women while absolving men of their own culpability and women either actively play along for the sake of their jobs, or they stay in the shadows silently. Where did the strong women go? Were there none coming up behind the earlier ones when it was time take the lead?

It is just so dishearteningly sad on multiple levels.

Anonymous said...

dutch718: Yes, she is out of the hospital.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Carlin killed Kent either. His foot prints were not at the scene. Their version of finding the gun and why he cleaned it makes sense-it's consistent with normal behavior under those circumstances. He didn't have time to get to Hope and back. Reading the emails, I can plainly see he did not think he had a chance with Mechele. He knew she was with Hilke and he knew she couldn't be romantically attracted to and content with someone like him because she was young with so many other opportunities ahead.

He was obviously lonely and depressed after his wife's death, and suffering health problems from lead poisoning, so he was understandably attached to Mechele and mushy about home being less lonely with her there. Also, she provided a maternal presence for young Carlin as they both grieved his mother. However, Carlin Sr. wasn't mentally unbalanced like Kent. He understood Mechele was very young and talked to her as though she was, reassuring her when she felt bad about hurting anyone because she didn't return their feelings, telling her he understood why she didn't want to stay in AK or be with men like him and Kent, and so on. The idea that he killed Kent to get rid of the competition is silly. He knew neither of them were going to be with her.

If I had my own investigators, I'd want to find out more about Kent's embezzling from his parents and the arson they knew he committed before he left Michigan, setting a house on fire. Did they cover up his crime, or did authorities know? I'd want to read Kent's medical/mental health history from before Alaska.

I would want to know if there is any dark history for Kent's relatives, especially his father and one of his brothers. I would want to know exactly when Kent's father left Anchorage, what he did, when, and with whom while here, down to every little detail I could find.

I would want to know about the person in Reno that Kent talked to shortly before he was killed about some gambling issue and what the issue was; and who all those calls from Nevada to the house came from the day before Kent was killed, clear up to almost midnight; Mechele was in CA and then en route to Alaska during those hours.

I would want to know why Hilke never produced the records the original investigators requested, and why investigators did not pursue forcing him to.

I would want to know more about multiple complaints young Carlin made about Kent harassing him sexually; if there was more to the story and if it had anything to do with the boy becoming so depressed and self-destructive that John Sr. and Mechele institutionalized him for a short while. I would want to know more about Kent snooping around the facility young Carlin was in, until Mechele found out and told him to stay away because he was being inappropriate. I would want to know why Kent was upset with their counseling session/s with young Carlin so that he told his attorney he wanted to sue them.

I would want to know more about Kent's friend he left his boat to and why Kent did leave it to him. Also, who did Kent owe money to?

I would want to know more about the fellow who testified against Mechele about her supposedly stealing his truck, when in fact she couldn't reach him to arrange the return of the truck because he was locked up for child molestation. Mechele's attorney absolutely shredded him on the stand and he fled afterward, rushing to get away from anymore questions.

I'd be interested in finding out who poisoned Mechele's little Yorkie.

There are a lot of questions that need answering if people are really interested in justice instead of just frying the first people that strikes their fancy.

Or, since there isn't really any credible evidence against Mechele, there is no connection between our community and Kent's relatives, and Mechele is no danger to anyone here, the state could just drop it and let all of us move on to more vital matters.

Anonymous said...

A person educated in critical thinking as attorneys usually are, at least they are supposed to be, truly believing in a conspiracy to commit murder based on only what Gullufsen presented has some of sort of problem. That's just crazy! I know what one of Svobodny's motivations are because he relishes visualizing "exotic dancers" (and what do they do? Take their clothes off) "shivering" with "fear" (okay, women, we all know what those word choices mean, and you know it), but what's Gullufsen's excuse?

I'm beginning to be really turned off by so many of our community and state leaders being ex-prosecutors. It is a culture and too many secular leaders coming from that culture is distorting our public response and acceptance of a broken justice system, I'm starting to think. Perhaps we need more balance and should look for elected and appointed officials who were not prosecutors, unless they can show they are like that reformer DA in Texas that's making waves.

Brian Watt said...

Bmialone, excellent analysis as always. You know the case. Superb job. Your thoughts are mostly in line, with my own. While I am not in any way suggesting Mechele had an inadequate defense, what I am suggesting is that we underestimated how gullible the jury was, in falling for Pat's histrionics and attempts to image tarnish the defendent. All of which requires us, to present an alternative hypothesis to the jury. It's a controversial path to take, but it is one we must take, in a retrial, in my humble opinion.

With regard to sharing legal costs, indeed, if 40 of us chipped in, say, $2,000 up front, and we made monthly payments for a year to the lawyers, each of another $500 a month or something, per person, we have what we need. Right there, is $320,000. I'm in. Count me in. In fact I will contribute more than $2,000down and $500 a month, to the lawyers, so count me in. I'll go way higher than that, on my contribution. Now we just need another 39 people...But I'm in. As they say in poker 'I'm all in".

Brian Watt said...

Bmialone, the problem with the entire case, rests on the notion that the Carlin attorney's pointed at Mechele, and the attorneys for our side, were okay with leaving the presumption hanging in the air, that Mr Carlin did it. Which he didn't.

In both court trials, the Carlin trial, and Mechele's trial, the prosecutors, were essentially trying Mechele, by proxy.

Symbolically, and almost literally, Mechele had two trials....They "tried" her at the Carlin trial...and that is a very large problem, for Mechele's attorney's to grapple with.

Did Carlin III do it? Highly unlikely...And personally, I believe it was a tactical mistake by Mechele's attorneys, not to point this out.

I think her lawyers did a heckuva job, and they are to be commended, but I feel they made one tactical error, by not disconnecting BOTH Mechele and John Carlin III from the murder. Basically saying to the jury "well, Carlin was typing emails at 4 am, and he has other alibi's, so HE did not do it, and we know Mechele did not do it, so who did it? Who wanted this guy dead? Neither Carlin nor Mechele had a motive, so how did this guy get dead?"

And as yet still unidentified person, shot Mr Leppink. In my mind, it is not even a question. I just dont have a workable theory, as to who it was.

Brian Watt said...

When I woman is convicted of a crime she did not commit, my patience for being polite, goes out the window.

Kent Leppink was a con artist, a thief, and a liar.

Now, I have great sympathy for Betsy Leppink, she lost a son. But there is no call for going on national TV, and saying "god finally intervened, after all these years. It took 10 years, but we finally had the right judge, the right investigators, the right prosecutors, the right paralegal." (seriously, she even threw the paralegal in there). That's out of line.

When i hear statements like this, about a case where a woman was wrongfully convicted, on absurd speculations, and ridiculous lies, and the decendents mother wants to bring "god" into it, my politeness and decorum go out the window. Because them's fighting words, in my book.

Kent Leppink was a con artist, a liar, and a thief. I don't have any earthly idea what enemies he had, and who wanted him dead. I just know he was a con artist, a liar, and a thief. And somehow, he got dead. Mechele did not do it. Deal with THAT truth, all you in the media and in the public.

I don't have be as polite as Dr Linehan, who I admire a great great deal. And i don't have to be as polite as Sandy, whom I have great respect for, given all that she has been through, on this case.

I speak MY truth. And i could care less whose feelings get hurt. Kent Leppink, was a con man.

mark said...

Your Daughters Freedom and peace as well as yours will only come thru Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He will save us all Pray to Him,Believe in Him and be saved.

Brian Watt said...

Going thru another trial is just foolishness. Mr Carlin is dead, it's not like the prosecutors can claim a grand conspiracy, involving Mechele, like they did in their opening statement last time. The guy is dead, his conviction had to be vacated, because he was appealing, at the time of his death.

So who are they going to say she conspired with, the dead guy? It's not like you can stand in the middle of a courtroom, and accuse a dead guy of being the trigger As it stands now, Mr Carlin was technically not convicted of anything. Even in Alaska, where apparently they have not heard about the rules of law, and may someday actually discover the constitution, but I am not holding my breath, even in Alaska, you cannot stand in the middle of a court room, and say "she planned it, and the dead guy was the trigger man"...Mr Carlin's conviction was vacated. So now what?

I mean, even prosecutor Pat has to be able to see that this is a stupid situation. Maybe an Alford Plea? I dunno. But this cannot go to a re-trial. It would be a waste of the State's time, the Judge's time, and a wase of resources. If this goes to a re-trial, nobody wins. Just my opinion. I am wrong often, but I am not wrong on this one.

Anonymous said...

I love readding, and thanks for your artical. ........................................

livieandhermommies said...

No Brian, you are not wrong this time... I too, am wrong at times, but anyone with common sense would see that a retrial is not only a waste of resources to the taxpayers of Alaska, but also to the extended Linehan family. A family that has already been stretched to the limits, trying to return their lives to normal.
This is clearly a case of the "BIG BOYS" not wanting to admit wrong, not wanted to be "shamed" by the appellate court - who already pointed out their errors - and needing to save face by "proving" they were right in the first place and obtaining another conviction against Mechele. I pray that the new jury can see through all of the dramatics, and see the real truth. The fact that the initial jury convicted Mechele is what first interested me in this case. The fact that "a jury of her peers" could look at the evidence presented to them, and say WITHOUT REASONABLE DOUBT that Mechele was guilty. For this alone, their lives have been permanently scarred.
May the second jury be blessed with common sense, and see through any efforts that the State may put forth in order to save face.

Brian Watt said...


Well said.

Indeed, the jury in this case just astonished me. I can think of 100 scenarios under which the decedent could have been killed, including suicide by proxy, a drug deal gone bad, (i mean, this IS Alaska, a major transhipment point for narcotics, and at least 10% of the people who claim to be a "commercial fisherman" in that state, aint floating around on a boat in the water, actually fishing for fish, if you catch my drift.)

The minute I see a guy dead, on a remote trail, in the middle of nowhere, I start thinking in all KINDS of directions.

The "Hope note" was foolishness, and so was all the other kindergarten arts and crafts concepts of evidence that the prosecution put forth. I was beyond stunned, at Mechele's conviction. My jaw dropped.

It was partially the legalized slander the prosecution engaged in, since they had no evidence, they figured they would tell the world she was a bad person, and see if it worked, but secondarily it was the prosecutions ability to draw a nexus between Mr Carlin and Mechele. The jury got locked on to the notion of someone bizarre conspiracy, when none actually existed, and once they got it into their head, they could not get it OUT of their head.

If you tried this case 100 times, the prosecution would lose 99 of those times. The prosecutions case is an absurdity.

Now, I am sure some ex-jury member is reading this, thinking "But Brian, you weren't there in the courtroom, you did not hear all the testimony, it all adds up, she's guilty".

well 1) I am familiar with all the testimony, maybe i WAS there, to hear it. IT annoys me when I hear jury members say "you weren't there, you had to hear all the evidence". Jury members act like they were the only ones who heard the, okay. I heard all the evidence, the same evidence the jury heard, and the case is still beyond stupid. 2) It does NOT all add up, unless you think that 2+2 equals 11...The prosecutions theory on the case, is an absudity.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me the tide of public opinion is changing somewhat in favor of Mechele. There are fewer hateful comments and more support on the various web sites. The Prosecutors have been exposed for their inaccurate and fanciful story telling that put an innocent person in prison for 99 years! I hope the potential jurors out there pay attention to the actions of the Prosecutors, next time it may be you!

jamessilva101 said...

Can you put up a prettier picture of Michelle, I think it would help for donations and merchandise value, the picture of her doesn't do her justice, just giving you my thoughts as a marketing specialist.

letmesay said...

STILL in jail? Really? HOW? This is too much to take, and also something that even her critics should fear... Having a case thrown out and still serving the time.
One silver lining--the possibility of a settlement where she only gets "time served," and this extra time is what does it for her. MAYBE??
Who cares if she has to plead guilty for a deal. Nobody who will ever see her again cares. They know better.
If those nasty men had hung all over my daughter and one of them were killed, I'd think she'd suffered enough. This whole thing is crazy. Period.

Jennifer said...

OK, she has made her appearance. ADN is showing a some class in not referring to Mechele by her former job, but then, maybe that is because they are afraid of eclipsing the ex guv in clicks!

Good luck to you all as another circus begins. We are praying for you!

Brian Watt said...

Well, not only will Mechele win her re-trial, and be found not guilty, but I have a serious concern, and frankly, disappointment in Betsy Leppink telling the press that Mechele was "an evil woman" a few years back. Why does that bother me?

Well, because it is not germaine to whether there is any evidence Mechele conspired to do harm the decedent. Secondarily, Mrs Leppink alleges to be a christian, and all she does is run her mouth to the press, when she knows Mechele is in no position to defend herself. Lastly, even a half wit can see that Mechele did not conspire to kill the decedent, and I should think the decedent's family should want to find the real killer.

Then, during the appeal process, she said, and I am quoting "Judge Volland did an awesome job. He was the best. Our whole family feels that way" and she added, during the appeals process that she "finds it hard to beleive the judge made any mistakes".

Yeah okay. Sure thing. Shortly after she made those statements to the press, Mrs Linehan's conviction was overturned. I personally believe there were a dozen mistakes by the Court in this case. Astonishing mistakes. Did everyone involved in the this case from prosecutors office and the court, finish last in law school or something? Good grief. I was AMAZED at what went on, in this case.

Now let's have this re-trial, so Mechele can be found not guilty, and all the people who wish to call Mrs Linehan evil, can sit down, and be quiet. Someone killed the decedent. It wasn't Mechele. Now let's have a real trial, and get a fair verdict.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Brian Watt about pretty much everything he's posted here. I also do not want to suggest that Mechele did not have an adequate defense. If the judge had not treated Carlin's and Mechele's trials as one(which was a major violation against her chance at justice, and he was "offended" when the possibility was even suggested but then he did it multiple times); if the prosecution had tried the case on evidence instead of high drama in the press for months before Mechele even got a shot at a jury pool, and if the prosecution hadn't used drama and innuendo in lieu of evidence, her defense would have won. They should have won!

They blew the losers out of the water outing them on the stand for lying, but still what they said is continually repeated. They tried to prevent the inadmissible prejudicial evidence and testimony. I read the legal arguments between them, Gullufsen, and the judge; they were detailed and clear. At some points I couldn't understand why the judge didn't seem to be grasping their points since I did and I'm not a lawyer. (It felt to me like he was tired. There were also indications he doesn't like "uppity women" based upon his responses to the female attorney compared to his responses to the males.) They did a good job making sure she had sound points of appeal.

The only thing her team lacked was a good, dramatic story teller who liked to use acting appalled and haughtiness to influence the jury. I agree, they overestimated the jury's ability to see beyond that. So did Judge V though. I saw from reading the trial transcript that when he decided to allow the letter, the movie, and her job, he expected the jury to see beyond them and to seriously take to heart, to actually Understand, his directions. However, that just isn't realistic, especially after he let all the educated professionals who were better equipped to understand the complex intricacies of law off the hook because they had other things to do, so she was left with a jury mostly of people less likely to understand and to see through the prosecution. I mean, that jury didn't even understand that Leppink wasn't killed in Hope the weekend the "Hope note" sent him there looking for her. In their minds, it was all the same. I understand the psychology involved, and the group dynamics that can take place among a jury, so a judge should know it too.

I don't have $500 a month to pay Mechele's attorneys, as much as I wish I could. Most of us don't, and we have our own family emergencies to be prepared for. There are wealthy people I'd like to see help. Oprah for one since her network aired Snapped and from the very opening they were getting things wrong, and I mean the very opening.

I hope people do contribute whatever they can, but my suggestion about Alaska defense attorneys sharing the cost was wondering why they and their firms can't work together to spread out the loss between them, so that no one firm has to represent her for nothing, rather than just leaving her flapping in the wind with whatever the court deigns to provide her. And I say that because I think this community, this state, all of us owe her.

Our public servants savaged her and her family without just cause. They represent all of us-they do it in our names. Only our best defense attorneys have what it takes to correct the wrong and they, too, are members of the public our authorities represent and work for. Therefore, I think it would be justice if some of our top firms joined together to share the loss of income, making it less onerous for each, and worked together to save her this time.

Anonymous said...

I like the photo of Mechele that is already published here. It looks like her, it looks like the culture of her home, and it shows her delightful personality.

Anonymous said...

Jennifer, it scares me too.

Anonymous said...

Readers of this site need to remember that Mechele and her family do not control what others of us think. Not everyone who frequents this site is part of that circle, hence it is wrong to to blame them for our opinions. I do not have sympathy for any of the Leppinks, but Mechele's friends and family members are not responsible for that.

The Linehans have not smeared and slandered the Leppinks. Frankly, I'm surprised they've been as kind and quiet as they've been!

In fact, if you listen to the tapes of the investigators interviewing Mechele and she is sobbing at the news he'd died a violent death, despite there being no affection at all between her and the Leppinks, she continues to try to protect them from the truth about Kent's sexuality. Kent didn't want them to know and she wanted it kept that way, as he wished it. Again, a Linehan, 23-year-old Mechele, showed them more compassion than they've shown for her and her family.

The Leppinks on the other hand, especially Betsy, have continually engaged the media with her heart wrenching accusatory images of her innocent son destroyed by a vile, evil woman.

I do not have sympathy for Kent's brothers who know the truth but refuse to be honest about it. They are choosing to protect their parents' image rather than protecting Mechele from what their parents are doing to her. While one brother initially tried to be a good person and was open, before she could get to trial he succumbed to family pressure and fell silent.

It isn't rational to blame a young girl for the internal demons of their 36-year-old son. It isn't rational to pretend the ugliness in their family, the anger between Kent and his brothers and between Kent and his father, and the crimes Kent committed before leaving Michigan did not exist before that young girl ever even entered the picture. It isn't rational or fair to dump all of that dysfunction on her and turn her into the villain merely because she didn't want to marry their son and she is available as a target.

Hurting his feelings and disappointing him is not the same thing as killing him. I managed to survive feeling humiliated, being dumped, having a broken heart at a much younger age than Kent was and did so without stalking anyone, stealing from them, or trying to hurt them. If all of us wigged out like Kent did merely because someone hurt our feelings and rejected us, well, things would be a fine mess, wouldn't they? The man had problems long before he attached his lonely self to little Mechele and the Carlins and it is immoral and the height of cruelty to spin it otherwise.

While a possible guilt and family anger scenario is hard not to sympathize with, even if that is the Leppinks' motivation, I cannot bring myself to accept or justify actions that intentionally mark someone else, intentionally destroy their life ripping them from their own child or children and loved ones merely to protect one's own self. It is an immoral thing to do and therefore it does not deserve sympathy or protection, not even for the old and not even for those who've suffered a sad loss.