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tv   Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown  CNN  February 6, 2016 12:00am-1:01am PST

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on this episode of "death row stories" young newlyweds are brutally murdered. >> herbert whitlock and randy stietle are charged with murder. the two had been suspects all along. >> they were clearly capable of committing murder. >> but with a man sentenced to death -- >> i've done some bad things in my life, but i've never done anything like this. >> -- and his own family doubting his innocence -- >> the illinois state police were involved, he's got to be guilty. >> one cop fights to reopen the case. >> you ask how is a murder too politically sensitive? why can't you speak out about corruption? this case stinks. >> there's a body in the water. >> he was butchered and murdered. >> many people proclaim their innocence. >> in this case, there are a number of things that stink. >> this man is remorseless.
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>> he needs to pay for it with his life. >> the electric chair flashed in front of my eyes. >> get a conviction at all costs. let the truth fall where it may. the tiny town of paris, illinois, is located 200 miles south of chicago. neighbors in paris know one another and sleep with their doors unlocked. >> three words to describe paris, conservative, agricultural and small. >> on a mid summer's night in
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1986, the easy calm of paris was shattered by a fire at the home of dike and karen rhodes. inside, firemen discovered the lifeless bodies of the newlywed couple, but they soon realized the rhodes had been killed by something other than smoke and flames. >> dike and karen rhodes had been stabbed numerous times. what they had on their hands was a murder that had attempted to be concealed by arson. >> yesterday authorities were suspicious. today they are certain. 28-year-old dike rhodes and his 25-year-old wife karen were murder. edgar county state's attorney says they are dealing with more than just a fire. >> this was a horrific crime. it seemed to be a crime of great anger and great passion. why dike and karen rhodes? they're both very clean cut.
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they both had jobs. there was talk in town that dike was a bit of a partier, but he wasn't involved in any really bad stuff. >> with no clear motive, police struggled throughout the summer to come up with any leads or suspects. >> there really was no break in this case at all for about two and a half months. but in september, the town drunk, darrel harrington, was at the police station. he blurts out, just don't ask me about the murders. and, of course, they ask him about the murders. >> darrel harrington told police that on the night of the murders, he'd been out drinking with two locals named randy stietle and herb whitlock. on the way home, harrington passed out in the back of stitle's car and was later awoken by the sound of screams coming from the rhodes' house. harrington, who spoke through an artificial larynx described what
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happened next. >> i got to the house. i hear yelling and screaming. it was a woman. a woman screaming and yelling. >> harrington said he was startled and entered the rhodes' home to find stitle coming down the stairs. >> what happened after you got in the house? randy stopped. >> darrel, did you notice anything different about randy right now at this point? >> he had blood on him. >> did he have anything with him? >> he had a knife. >> despite harrington's shocking story, police had a problem. >> when darrel harrington came forward and told his story, there wasn't enough probable cause to arrest randy or herb because they didn't feel confident that they could convict based on a guy like
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darrel harrington. >> but two months later, another witness came forward, deborah reinbolt, a local nursing aide, would confess that she helped stietle and whitlock stab the newlywed couple. >> okay. tell me what you saw happening. >> blood everywhere. >> where is herb, and where is randy? >> one was on the right side of the bed, and one was by the door. >> when you walked into the bedroom, what was karen rhodes doing? >> she was yelling, oh, my god, oh my god. >> reinbolt also gave police the murder weapon, a five-inch knife, and agreed to testify in exchange for leniency. police now had enough to arrest stitle and whitlock. >> i think the brutal nature of the slayings, the fact that it is a double homicide, the other aggravating factors that our
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office will likely seek the death penalty. >> both herb whitlock, age 41, and randy stitle, age 35, had histories of petty crime. news of their arrest reached stitle's brother, rory, an illinois state trooper. >> randy, if a bar setting, if he got angry or someone started something, there was a crowd, and consequently there would be problems. my master sergeant and said your brother has been arrested for double murder. in my mind, the illinois state police were involved in the investigation. number one, he's got to be guilty. number two, he's going to face the death penalty. and, number three, a jury in east central illinois, they're going to give him the death penalty. >> that night, rory stitle met with investigators. >> they said that if you'll get him to confess, we'll spare him the death penalty. otherwise, he's getting the
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death penalty. i marched right up to the jail, asked to talk to randy. >> i'm pacing back and forth in this holding cell. he came up to me, and he goes, i've talked to the prosecutor. >> i said, you know, if they come up with hair, fiber, any type of trace evidence, they're going to get you, and you're going to get the death penalty. so if you did it, you need to let me know now. >> he slammed that stool down and screamed back at me, they don't arrest people that aren't guilty. you know, and i just -- that was my little brother telling me. i should just confess, cooperate, and they won't seek the death penalty? >> i was thinking, my god, we're talking about your life. i don't want you to die. i went up there to try to save my brother's life. >> randy stitle went on trial
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for the murders of dike and karen rhodes in 1987. >> the prosecution's case was that randy and herby were dealing drugs to dike rhodes and that dike owed herbie money for a drug debt that he hadn't paid. >> prosecutors focused special attention on the testimony of eyewitnesss darrel harrington. >> he knew certain things at least in our minds were not things the town drunk would know. >> and debbie reinbolt, who described seeing randy and herb stab the rhodes to death. reinbolt also described a broken lamp she saw in the rhodes' bedroom. >> the prosecutor, in his closing argument, made repeated references to the lamp to bolster the credibility of deborah reinbolt. >> deb bie's testimony was a little bit of a revelation. she was vivid. she was convincing.
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you've got to remember, in champagne county, i'm coming from having prostitutes, drug addicts testify as witnesses on behalf of the state. those are the people that are present when homicides occur. >> after a one-week trial, randy's jury was out for just six and a half hours. >> i sat down next to my attorney, and the judge ordered the jury to be brought in. and i don't see their faces because they're all looking at the tops of their shoes. and i know it's not going to be good. your stomach and your heart's in your throat because i'm listening for two words. not guilty. and i only hear one word. it doesn't sink in until i hear my mother wailing behind me. i never will forget that. i realized just then they just convicted me of a double murder i had nothing to do with. i'm telling you, it is like somebody just reached over and
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turned the light switch off on your life. >> though herb whitlock was convicted of only one of the murders and sentenced to life in prison, randy was found guilty of killing both dike and karen and sentenced to death. what's that, broheim? i switched to geico and got more. more savings on car insurance? yeah bro-fessor, and more. like renters insurance. more ways to save. nice, bro-tato chip. that's not all, bro-tein shake. geico has motorcycle and rv insurance, too. oh, that's a lot more. oh yeah, i'm all about more, teddy brosevelt. geico. expect great savings and a whole lot more.
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in 1987, randy steidl was sent to death row for the murders of dyke and karen
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rhoads. while preparing randy's appeals, the defense hired investigator bill clutter to help with the case. >> the first time i met randy, he was going into what they call the condemned unit and having a prisoner who's shackled and brought in front of you. i mean the reality of that really hits you. >> you know, i was pretty distraught, angry at the system. my hopes were dashed. >> attorney mike met nick, a death penalty specialist, handled randy's appeals. >> randy was assigned an execution date, but it's incredibly long process to get from point a to point b. >> mike metnick and bill clutter come to see me, laid out the case, told me it's going to be an uphill battle. but they believed in me.
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>> in the year 2000, the illinois state police who investigated the rhoads' murders promoted veteran officer michael callahan to commander of investigations. it was his dream job. >> police officers or their integrity or what they did was never questioned. whatever they said or they did, you believed it as the truth. >> i think that mike, as a person, his set of morals and standards are so high. his sense of right and wrong is never -- has never faltered. >> callahan's first assignment was to review the rhoads murder case. >> i got a call from the patrol lieutenant, and he advised me that i was going to be getting a case to review. there was going to be a "48 hours" show on that case, and the command was a little bit concerned. >> reviewing a closed case was unusual, but his bosses at the illinois state police worried that newly focused media
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attention might cause problems. >> my initial thought was, well, of course we got the right guys. the illinois state police, we don't make mistakes. we wouldn't put an innocent man in prison. but i'll never forget the day that i walked in, i looked at the file sitting there. and i had not even turned the first page when i got a call from the case agent, and he blurted out, please don't ruin my reputation. i'm not a dirty cop. so it was a definite red flag to me. >> callahan began by going through the prosecution's timeline of events, starting with darryl harrington's drinking with steidl and whitlock. >> later on that evening, what happened? >> i asked randy, can you take me home? >> randy and herbie in randy's vehicle drove to dyke and karen rhoads' house the night of the
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murder, brought darryl harrington with them and asked him to wait in the car. >> as harrington safed tayed in car, steidl and whitlock went to the front door. >> darryl harrington said he heard them arguing about money. when they argued, it could get very heated. >> harrington later heard screams. inside, he discovered the crime scene. >> what happened when you went in the bedroom, darryl? >> there was a body laying there. and then i look up and see a body on the bed a i female. >> darryl encountered randy and herbie and was told, you didn't see this, or the same thing will happen to you. >> and i run like hell after that. >> but police reports show debbie reinboldt also claimed to have been with steidl and whitlock that night. >> deborah reinboldt comes forward with a story that says, well, i was with herb and randy
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that night, and they invited me to come along with them to the rhoads' house. >> what position was karen rhoads in? was she trying to leave and you caught her? >> no, i didn't caught her. >> she was just lying there, watching steidl and whitlock stab her husband? >> yes. the stories from the key witnesses left callahan with a glaring question. >> they made this case based on these two eyewitnesss, but the yie eyewitnesss contradict each other. >> darryl harrington was supposed to have been at the same scene, and her story doesn't include him, and his story doesn't include her. >> they never saw each other, never knew one or another was there. that was a problem for me as a police officer. >> but this discrepancy didn't seem to bother lead prosecutor mike mcpat ridge or assistant state's attorney mike zoff. >> the reinboldt presentation was consistent with the physical evidence that i had.
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for example, she talked about a broken lamp. one of the firefighters, he found the same thing. in my view, that was what we call corroboration. >> but callahan was about to discover evidence that would call into question both the lamp and the murder weapon debbie reinboldt had given police.
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concerns were mounting for lieutenant michael callahan as he reinvestigated the rhoads' murders. >> when you have witnesses that have questionable histories, it's doubly important to corroborate everything that they say. >> deborah reinboldt, in her story, talks about seeing a broken lamp and seeing one of the men holding up a piece of this broken lamp during the murders. >> the crime scene photos of the lamp raised questions for defense investigator bill clutter. >> you can actually see on the carpet where the firemen had removed the lamp that there was a silhouette of an intact lamp. what the lamp did is it protected that area of carpet. we were able to prove forensically that that lamp had to have been broken by firefighters as they entered room and after they suppressed the fire, not during the
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murders. >> that meant debbie reinboldt's testimony about the lamp had been false. even more troubling were facts callahan learned about the purported murder weapon. >> the knife that deborah reinboldt presented was a folding knife. it's called a racazo, where the knife bends over. that night had a blade of five and some inches long. >> one of the things the pathologist did was measure the depth of the wounds. on both bodies, the wounds were more than six inches deep. we then took it to michael bodden, a forensic pathologist, and he provided us an affidavit and analysis. >> what board certifications do you have? >> three areas of path ol, an atomic path olgy, clinic pathology, forensic pathology. >> i think dr. baden was able to refute the knife very easily. it was a five-inch blade. the deepest wounds were 6 3/8
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inches. there were hilt marks. i felt like, wow, i had this evidence that these two men are innocent. they're going to finally be freed. we're going to be able to actually conduct an investigation and try and find out who the real killers are. >> randy's incarceration had torn his family apart. randy's brother, state trooper rory steidl, believed randy was guilty. randy's mother wanted to see for herself, so she visited him behind bars. >> you see your mother's eyes, tears streaming down her cheeks. sets down. she said, you look at me right now. did you have anything to do with t this at all? i looked at her right in her eyes, and i said, mom, i've done some bad things in my life, but i've never done anything like this. you know i'm not capable of
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doing anything like this. as soon as i got that out of my mouth, she was up and out of this visiting booth, slammed the door. >> and when we left, she said, he didn't do that, rory. i said, well, how do you know? she said, by the way he answered my question. i looked him right in the eye. i know when he's lying to me. >> despite their mother's belief in randy's innocence, only hard evidence could shake rory's faith in the system. that evidence was about to come from an unlikely source. >> my epiphany came when i got the call from randy's attorney that said, i just received a letter from debbie reinboldt that says your brother wasn't there and that he had nothing to do with it and that she's willing to speak to me. >> do you swear that the testimony you're about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth sew help you god? >> i do. >> proceed. >> thank you. ms. reinboldt, my name is
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michael metnick, and i am the attorney for randy steidl. do you understand that? >> yes, i do. >> okay. why is it that you're here today? >> because there were some things that didn't -- weren't truthful in the testimonies. >> were you there at the rhoads' house the night they were killed? >> nope. >> that's when i was done with the state's case. she was either there, or she wasn't. who is she lying to? either way, she's not credible. >> why did you mention randy steidl's name? >> why did it? >> yes. >> at that point? >> yes. >> because that's who everybody was saying did it. >> okay. >> around the time of reinboldt's recantation, bill clutter obtained a previously unknown box of records from the paris police department. >> we were able to go through and view all of the police reports that included polygraph
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reports that had never been disclosed to us, a polygraph report where darryl harrington had failed the polygraph. >> but if reinboldt and harrington were lying, why had both of them fingered steidl and whitlock for the crime? randy thought he knew. >> two weeks before dyke and karen rhoads were murdered, herb whitlock and myself had went to the fbi about prosecutor mike mcfatridge. >> randy and herb believed state's attorney mike mcfatridge was unfairly targeting them for drug deals they had nothing to do with. >> they provided information about the state's attorney and the allegation they made to the fbi was that he was protecting drug dealers and gambling in paris, illinois. >> it was common knowledge. you see the prosecutor out in bars every night, loaded. yet the next morning, he's in court prosecuting somebody for the same offense. that's what alerted me to the fact that he would do anything
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he could, you know, to frame me for the rhoads' murder. >> for callahan, this upped the stakes. >> my question was would a state's attorney try to railroad and frame two men that were willing to go to the fbi and maybe have him arrested for his own illegal doings? >> callahan also learned disturbing information about one of the lead detectives in the case, jim parish, who had secured debbie reinboldt's testimony. >> there was instances where both harrington and reinboldt will talk about how police induced them with alcohol. never in my life as an illinois state police officer have i ever seen such blatant disregard for policy and procedure. i mean you would be destroying your case. >> they did, in fact, take darryl to jimmy's cabin south of paris and did question him, and did buy alcohol for him. what kind of mental condition and physical condition are they in if they don't have alcohol, and you have them at a secluded location? what are they going to tell you
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to to get that drink? >> i wanted to open an investigation centering on jim parish and jack eckerty and mike mcfatridge, looking at this for official misconduct, sub onning perjury, and impeding a criminal investigation, and worse. >> mike callahan was about to discover the consequences of turning the spotlight on his own department.
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michael callahan now knew the case against randy steidl was deeply flawed and needed to be reinvestigated. in the year 2000, he took his findings to his superiors. >> we went into the lieutenant's office. very plush. she closes the door, and she's in yun form. she sits down behind her desk. >> callahan walked her through the evidence, the conflicting evidence and the recantations. he even highlighted reports that detectives parrish and eckerty had plied witnesses reinboldt and harrington with alcohol to shape their testimony. >> she looks at us, and she said, you cannot reopen the rhoads case. it's too politically sensitive. i flashed back to all the days i went undercover and risked my life, always believing in the illinois state police and that we would always do the right thing no matter what. then you're told that a murder
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is too politically sensitive, especially a murder where you've just said there's innocent men in prison. because of it, the real killers are out there, and there was misconduct by our own. you're ignoring this? >> callahan refused to comply with carper's orders and continued working on the case. >> those two guys were innocent. i had to keep going. >> he soon discovered a number of leads in the case that were never followed. >> there were any number of suspects. it was like murder on the orient express or something. when i reviewed the case, there were several other suspects that for whatever reasons, the original investigators didn't follow those leads. one of the suspects in the case was a banker by day. there was rumors that he was a peeping tom that was seen in the rhoads' neighborhood at that time. it was never really investigated by the police. he would tell both his wife and
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family members that he remembered seeing a knife going up and down, and he believed that he was the one that killed dyke and karen rhoads. >> six months before randy's trial, phil stark was found dead of an alleged suicide. >> of course, none of those reports made it into the discovery before randy's trial. and the interesting thing about phil stark's suicide, phil stark, when he allegedly committed suicide, was shot once in the head and once in the heart. i suppose it's possible to make those shots simultaneous, but to me, that raises some red flags. >> while mike mcfatridge had cited dyke rhoads' possible involvement with drug as a motive for the murders. callahan foind files in the case pointing to karen rhoads as the maybe target. >> there was one initial report that talked about karen rhoads said she had seen her boss, bob
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morgan, loading machine guns and large amounts of cash in his corvette and was heading to chicago. >> bob morgan was one of the most powerful men in paris, and karen didn't want to cross him. according to her mother, she was considering quitting her job. but just a few weeks later, she was murdered. >> i started looking at that case and saying, wow, this was definitely a motive. they did talk to bob morgan, and he gave them a statement that he felt that probably some bikers got drunk and went back to rape karen rhoads and things got out of hand, and she was killed. >> bob morgan denied any involvement in the murders and passed a polygraph test. but callahan wondered if investigators had turned their gaze away from the influential businessman for fear of political payback. >> one of the very suspects that police also looked at was a
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drifter put up at the hotel france, downtown four blocks from the crime scene. according to the radio dispatch logs, he was the very first suspect after they discovered the bodies. around 9:00 a.m. in the morning, jack eckerty of the illinois state police goes to the hotel france, and by that time he had already checked out and was long gone. >> clutter believed that drifter was none other than tommy lynn sells. one of the most notorious serial killers in the country. >> i like to use a knife. a gun is too violent, too noisy. i like to watch the eyes fade, the pupil fade. it's just like setting their soul free. >> i get this letter from tommy lynn sells. in the letter, he makes this cryptic remark about the eiffel tower. ever been? it's nice this time of year. of course it's a reference to
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paris, illinois. i'm convinced that sells committed the murder. >> tommy lynn sells was executed in texas in april 2014. >> you had all these different characters who you could weave possible narratives, and i don't see any way that any of these stories hung together. >> we don't know who killed these guys. >> by now, randy steidl had spent nearly 12 years on death row and lost all his appeals, and he was about to come face to face with his final chance at freed freedom.
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randy steidl had spent almost 12 years on death row while his attorney, michael metnick, filed appeals in his case. one of metnick's main arguments was that randy's original trial attorney had been ineffective. >> i could best describe john muller as being a real estate attorney on monday, a car accident attorney on tuesday, and on friday, a criminal defense attorney.
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he was ineptly unqualified. he ignored the case. >> as close to zero as there is. that was the amount of work that went into the fact investigation for randy steidl's case. >> i would challenge him when the witnesses were taking the stand against me that, you need to talk to so and so to impeach them. that's a lie. and he patted me on the back and said, don't you know what my job is? and i said, yeah, prove my innocence. no, no. my job is to create a reasonable doubt. once he said that, before i was convicted, i realized i'm done. >> this wasn't a trial, it was a lynching. >> there's not much to say. the jury ruled against us. tomorrow morning we have a hearing on the death sentence. >> in 1999, after years of appeals in the illinois courts,
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metnick finally had a breakthrough in randy's case. while the judge did not give randy a new trial, he agreed that randy's attorneys had been ineffective during sentencing and changed randy's sentence from death to life in prison. >> luckily, i got life without parole. many attorneys have told me it's far easier to get a new trial when you're doing life than it is on death row and have lost all your appeals. >> michael callahan had looked into randy's case and found serious misconduct within the illinois state police. but before defying his boss by releasing the results of his investigation, callahan needed to tell his wife, lily. >> when he got this case, he started coming home and doing unusual things, waking up in the middle of the night. he would bring flow charts, put them down our hallway and connect the dots for me.
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i told mierke i think this kwur quiet and not fighting back and trying to speak out, then you're a part of the problem. >> callahan decided to defy colonel carper. he sent his findings to attorney general jim ryian, but jim ryan declined to review callahan's report because he had been accepting campaign money from bob morgan, karen rhoads' former boss and a suspect in the case. mike callahan was soon transferred back to patrol, a humiliation for someone who had been a commander of investigations. >> he said, i guess i just tried to tell the truth. he said diane carper removed me from this case. it was a hard time. it was one of those fight or flight things where we just had to fight.
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>> by 2001, the illinois courts had repeatedly declined to give randy a new trial. randy's last chance at freedom would now come at the federal level. >> it is the court of last resort. after 15 years of state court findings, most federal judges assume that those state court findings are correct. >> judge mike mccuskey could oversee the case. a veteran of the bench, mccuskey had never granted a petition for a new trial. >> you'd think year after year, is somebody going to come with a case that you can look at and say, this case was decided wrongly? you always wonder if 100% of all of your cases are going one way, are you looking at them correctly? >> fortunately, randy got the fresh eyes of a federal judge that was not connected to the prosecution in paris, illinois, was not beholden to the cops in paris. >> you've got witnesses that
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supposedly came off the street and are up watching a horrible murder, and they don't see each other. that is just unheard of. >> you have a federal judge that's saying that there was evidence favorable to randy steidl's case that was never disclosed by the prosecution. these are the same things i had been telling the state police for three years now. >> on june 17th, 2003, i entered the following order. petitioner's conviction is here by vacated. the state shall have 120 days from the date of this order to release or retry randy steidl. >> when judge mccuskey granted me a new trial, i was still holding my breath because i had watched guys on death row get a new trial and have the attorney general appeal it and have it taken away. and within 60 days, they're strapped to a gurney, being
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executed. >> one thing i could state with a degree of confidence, in this business there is no certainty. no terncertainty at all. >> randy's fate would now rest in the hands of illinois's new attorney general, lisa madigan, who would decide to release randy or try him again. michael callahan knew he'd have to get his findings to madigan now or live forever with the knowledge that he failed to help set an innocent man free.
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the state of illinois was facing an ultimatum in the randy steidl case. retry randy for the rhoads murders or set him free. michael callahan now had a small window to deliver what he had discovered about the case. one day, he got a call from the deputy attorney general. >> i went over everything in the case and my concerns of misconduct, the fact that presidethe two eyewitnesses had no credibility, how detectives had actually distorted and lied in reports, witnesses that were ignored. >> but mike mcfatridge, who prosecu prosecuted randy steidl, felt the jury got it right the first time. >> every since the attorney general, lisa madigan, came in charge of the appeal, the case has been mismanaged either through indifference or incompetence. they were clearly capable of
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committing murder, and that was proven. >> the prosecutors to the bitter end always maintain that the person is guilty, because otherwise, it's to admit that they and the police that worked with them fabricated evidence. >> in the end, based on callahan's report and a lack of faith in the evidence, attorney general lisa mad id begigan dec that judge mccuskey's ruling was the correct one. >> it's been a sad day here. three months, one week, and two days, and i'm ready for it to end. >> we weren't going to believe that randy was going to be freed until he actually walked through the doors. >> it was a perfect day. you know, sun was out. not a cloud in the sky. they usher us all in. we have an opportunity to get
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randy, you know, psychologically prepared for the moment when he's going to step out. >> you're ready to go. [ applause ] >> walking behind this, you know, parade of heroes who made this happen. you know, just like passing by the walls and thinking, damn, this is really happening. >> you ready? >> let's go! >> it's a flood of emotions, and my mom was -- mom held up real good. everybody did. >> you know, that day was very, very special. >> in 2005, randy filed a civil suit against the state of illinois for wrongful imprisonment. while he was in the courthouse,
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he and mike metnick paid a visit to the courtroom of judge mccuskey. >> and he saw us in the gallery. i look at him, and i mouth these words. is that randy steidl? and he nods his head, yes. i recessed the court. as i'm saying this right now, i'm even getting goosebumps. >> then mccuskey signaled us to come back in chambers. >> there's a split second where you just hug . i didn't cry. i came close. >> now i'm starting to get emotional. >> i knew how difficult it was to get to that point, to have a judge overturn 15 years of state court findings. it's almost unheard of, and i was trying to think of something to say to the man. the only thing i could think of, i just shook his hand, and i said, thank you for giving me my
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life back. >> we make decisions every day, but we don't save lives. police do. firemen do. heroes. but that day i knew i had saved his life. >> mike callahan's fight to bring out the truth about corruption and misconduct in randy's case had ruined his career. in 2003, he sued the state of illinois for violating his right to free speech. >> i was angry. i felt betrayed by my department. the only thing i'm guilty of is wanting to solve a homicide, look for the truth. >> callahan won his lawsuit, but before he could collect his award, the supreme court declared that government employees didn't have free speech protection if they were talking about something that involved their work. it was a huge setback for whistleblowers. >> the ruling basically tells police officers why risk being fired? why risk all the turmoil? just turn your back to it.
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as long as you're not the one doing it. >> in 2008, mike callahan's award was officially overturned. >> knowing that i'm free to walk out that door anywhere i want to go, that gave me a lot of peace. >> i think it's supposed to be 80 today. >> randy puts a lot of value on our family and on family relationships, and i'm glad that he's able to enjoy his life now and that i'm a part of it. >> the reason i'm here today are the people that would stand up and risk everything. everything they worked for because of what's right.
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i'm extremely lucky. justice is what the rhoads family should have. they're the ones that deserve some justice. >> we cannot escape history. today in this room, by a constitutional majority of the members elected to the illinois general assembly and by my actions as governor, we've abolished the death penalty in illinois, the land of lincoln. this was the most difficult decision that i've made as governor. it was made after many days an nights of reflection and review.
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