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(CBS News)   Man dreams he committed a murder. He then confesses to the police, getting many details wrong. He also implicates his friend, who claims to have no idea what is going on. There is no physical evidence. Both are now doing time   (cbsnews.com ) divider line
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25000 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Jul 2006 at 2:16 PM (9 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2006-07-26 02:42:40 PM  
Those that wondered why everyone hates the cops?

This is why.


/actually just one of many reasons.
 
2006-07-26 02:42:49 PM  
i saw this last night on tv. completely ridiculous. the police totally fed the kid all the details he now "remembers." and with a small town mentality, the police and the DA were desperate to get a conviction.

ferguson got the shaft.
 
2006-07-26 02:42:49 PM  
The law is powerless to help you. Not hurt you, just help you.

/Nice work, Lou
 
2006-07-26 02:43:29 PM  
This reminds me of the child-care scandal of the 1980s when prosecuters got a bunch of little kids to make up wild sex stories about their caregivers. "Repressed memories," they called it.

People are stupid.
 
2006-07-26 02:43:58 PM  
I hate having the dream where it's the last week of school, and you go to your exams, only to realize that you were signed up for a French class all along.

My grades were always really shiatty, so that's not too far off from any actual finals week for me.
 
2006-07-26 02:44:34 PM  
Hey, the kid had a chance to prove his innocence.....doesn't everyone feel better knowing that someone has been found guilty? I have finally succumbed to the message presented by Fox news, the right wing talk show hosts, the Christian majority, and the Republican Party. Everyone arrested by the police and brought to trial are guilty until proven innocent. This is a good example of why you should be grateful for Govenment spying and surveillance. The data collected on individuals can be used to prove where you were, what you were doing, and who you were associated with. Lead a pure, moral, and viruous life and you have nothing to fear from God or the Government (sorry about being redundant).
 
2006-07-26 02:45:28 PM  
lazy detectives all use the same techniques:

www.atomicbooks.com

Asked what's wrong with this, Bill says, "What's wrong with this is the police are not asking Chuck 'Where did the crime take place?' They're not asking Chuck what he thought. They're telling what, where the crime took place."

What's more, in the taped interview, Chuck says Ryan strangled Kent Heitholt, but he seems to have no idea how.

"I think it was a shirt or something, Chuck told police. When told by police that it was a belt, Chuck said, "Really?"
 
2006-07-26 02:46:00 PM  
2006-07-26 02:27:41 PM partipilo

um shouldnt that say first page, you just linked the story that was already linked... asshat
 
2006-07-26 02:46:56 PM  
I know I hate when my multiple personalities start murdering people and I'm the one left to take the rap for it ...
 
2006-07-26 02:48:06 PM  
2006-07-26 02:41:36 PM Manfred J. Hattan
How did they convict the alleged accomplice -- normally the testimony of a co-conspirator is insufficient to produce a conviction alone.

The jurors seemed to be completely credulous. Perhaps they were just as eager to convict somebody as the police and DA were. One guy said he completely believed erickson's (the dreamer's) story, and not ferguson's. another said the janitor's testimony clinched it for him, even though the janitor was deposed by police saying there was no way he could identify the two guys he saw in the parking lot, but then immediately pointed out ferguson in the court room. the whole thing is a legal miscarriage.
 
2006-07-26 02:48:40 PM  
How come this never seems to work in reverse.

Last night I dreamt that I had sex with Alizee.

Come ON coppers! Make it happen!
 
2006-07-26 02:49:19 PM  
Hope this kid wins his appeal. Maybe he did it, maybe he didn't, but the lack of any physical evidence is disturbing and can't be overlooked. Also, eyewitness testimony is often very, very flawed. Also, crappy-ass cops that coach people suck, too.
 
2006-07-26 02:50:23 PM  
None of you have done anything stupid or strange while drunk, then slowly remembered it later? Why is Chuck's memory being ridiculed as "merely a dream," and his confession discounted?

None of you have had harrowing or difficult experiences that you repressed and have a hard time piecing back together? Any veterans on here, or abuse survivors?

Or, should the fact that the boys were drunk excuse their crime?

Well, the jury did their job to the best of their ability. Fortunately, it wasn't just twelve Farkers.
 
2006-07-26 02:50:31 PM  
HarrisonBergeron
the whole thing is a legal miscarriage.

Don't you mean an Abortion? Miscarriages are tragic accidents, this was caused with intent by the DA and Police.
 
2006-07-26 02:51:08 PM  
Confabulat
This reminds me of the child-care scandal of the 1980s when prosecuters got a bunch of little kids to make up wild sex stories about their caregivers. "Repressed memories," they called it.

that would be the McMartin case. Then there's the West Memphis Three.

All shining examples of justice in this country.

And death-penalty advocates wonder why some people are against capital punishment?

EXAMPLES LIKE THIS IS WHY. END OF STORY.
 
2006-07-26 02:52:57 PM  
I'm in the middle of a dream right now. I've just killed my 7th grade French teacher, Mrs. Munchie. I'm enjoying this so much I hope I never awaken. She had it coming, we all hate her. When I do wake I'm not going to tell anyone about this dream because.....Oops! No problem, no one of any importance reads Fark.
 
2006-07-26 02:54:37 PM  
2006-07-26 02:46:00 PM mathmatix

um shouldnt that say first page, you just linked the story that was already linked... asshat

The URL he gave was for the printable version with everything on one page, but it redirected to the ten page story. No need to call anyone an asshat.
 
2006-07-26 02:54:41 PM  
My head is literally spinning here. Like, I am honestly feeling dizzy after reading that story. Hell, I even teared up a little. How the hell can this happen? In the face of all this evidence, some slack jawed jurors are able to throw this kid away for 40 years just because of the the way someone looked? Jesus, I think I am fully disillusioned now of the legal system.
 
2006-07-26 02:54:42 PM  
2006-07-26 02:40:57 PM shaymlss
I doubt they're innocent. Why would someone make that up and pay the price of jail. Because Chuck was a good kid and wanted to come clean, whereas Ryan is more like you farkers

a renowned memory scholar testified about the mind's ability to internalize facts as its own memory, but the jury was too simple-minded to follow her. chuck is obviously a troubled kid to have convinced himself of this. if you look at the original videos and interviews, he has no idea about any of the details of the crime. and, as far as risking jail time - he got a plea deal where he's eligible for parole in 13 years. ferguson got 40.
 
2006-07-26 02:54:57 PM  
Confabulat,
That was the Dale Akiki case. The kids actually said that Dale(who weighed all of about 130lbs) killed an ELEPHANT and other animals in the day care. Thankfully his jury got it right and he was acquitted. Many believe the case was started because of some rich-biatch women at the church day care did not like the fact that he was born with a facial deformity and was around their kids. He also won a large settlement from the city too.

On a side note, this is a story as bad as some of the MANY false confessions to come out of Austin.
 
2006-07-26 02:55:02 PM  
In response to the suggestion that Chuck's confession was based on a false memory:

Crane, who notes that Chuck has no documented history of delusional disorders, found the defense theory ludicrous. "A guilty conscience was really the thing that brought this out. He preferred to take responsibility and admit to it," he says.

Crane is an idiot who should be fired and/or killed. An individual need not suffer from a "delusional disorder" in order to have a false memory. Even people in perfect mental health can experience a vivid and detailed false memory, and such false memories can be trivial to induce whether accidentally or deliberately. This is why it is crucial that police not "lead" suspects into a confession and why pigs who should be kicked from the force and tortured.
 
2006-07-26 02:55:44 PM  
www.texas-justice.com

It's a gun, all right, and Detective Robert Merrill is holding it to the back of Mike Scott's head. The detective is standing as if braced for action; the suspect is sitting at a small, round table, his left hand resting on the white surface. From the camera's angle, up high in the cramped interrogation room, you can see Scott's receding hairline. His body language says he is sitting perfectly still. This is his second day of interrogation, and Merrill and a series of other Austin policemen have been yelling and cursing at him for hours.

This is apparently acceptable behaviour if you are picked up in Texas by the cops.
 
2006-07-26 02:56:07 PM  
10 pages? Don't you know that my attention span is the size OH LOOK A SHINY OBJECT!!!

/ I did RTWFA
// Found it very intersting
 
2006-07-26 02:59:06 PM  
Ryan looks like a meathead in the photo they have of him. Hopefully that didn't figure into the jury's decision but if he came off poorly on the stand I'm sure that wouldn't help.

It sounds to me like he pursued a screwball defense strategy-- using an expert to argue that Chuck's confession was false even as to CHUCK's involvement, and that Chuck had not actually been involved himself!

That is quite a stretch. Simple is usually best, and they might've been better off just saying that Chuck was lying about Ryan; that maybe Chuck did it himself (though tough to argue when the victim was that big) or had some other involvement in the crime, with someone else. But maybe they couldn't because the two had been together the whole night and Ryan couldn't, ahem, "change" his story for the trial?

The only other evidence they had was a janitor who said at the time he couldn't ID or recognize the guys in the parking lot. Years later when these two are arrested, the janitor happens to be in prison and suddenly wants to testify that he clearly recognizes them. One of the jurors actually said he considered that good enough in itself to convict!

I would have had a hard time voting to convict Ryan. Chuck is a veteran liar with a big axe to grind (I am sure Chuck did a lot more of the hitting than he admits to), and the convict/janitor is weak. I think a lot would depend on the story Ryan told the cops when they first brought him in. If he told the cops he was with Chuck the whole night, I think that might cinch it against him.

p.s. what is a sports writer doing working till 2 am?
 
2006-07-26 02:59:10 PM  
Sounds like something out of a movie.
 
2006-07-26 03:00:14 PM  
Hmmm... Cops do lazy detective work and prosecutors seek fame through convictions.

This is news how?

What's sad is how many people don't realize how the polics actually work.
 
2006-07-26 03:02:55 PM  
I think the scariest juror remark was the woman who made her decision based on a look Chuck gave Ryan.

It makes perfect sense, after all...why bother with all that "evidence" if all you need to do is get the defendant into a room with his accuser and see how they look at each other...
 
2006-07-26 03:03:49 PM  
God or the Government (sorry about being redundant)

Funny.
 
2006-07-26 03:06:35 PM  
It's Missouri, so it's really not all that surprising. Spectral evidence is probably admissible in many states since Bush came into office.
 
2006-07-26 03:06:52 PM  
This is apparently acceptable behaviour if you are picked up in Texas by the cops.

This is apparently acceptable behaviour if you are picked up in Austin by the cops.

Fixed that for you.
 
2006-07-26 03:09:11 PM  
Years ago, when I was going through a nasty divorce, I sought counseling. A doctor prescibed me prozac.


If I had anything to drink while on prozac, the dreams were so frigging lucid they were scary. Some mornings I woke up and could not tell if they we real or not. It was very unsettling.

I bet this kid's on antidepressants.
 
2006-07-26 03:09:53 PM  
Prognosis: Chuck acted alone, yet desperately wants to share the blame with this guy named Ryan. It's only a hunch, though, so call it what you will.

Some folks in the town seem more than willing to go along with it, too.
 
2006-07-26 03:11:41 PM  
Next time keep your dreams to yourself. Your FARKING FRIEND might appreciate it.
 
2006-07-26 03:11:55 PM  
shaymiss
Why would someone make that up and pay the price of jail.

Even if Chuck Erickson's confession is good, I don't know that there's still enough to convict Ryan. It sounds like just about all they had was his testimony and an absolutely unreliable identification about the janitor guy. So essentially you're convicting someone off of the uncorroberated testimony of an accomplice who got a deal so good that he's guaranteed to be out of jail before this dude is eligable for parole.

Not enough for a conviction, sorry.
 
2006-07-26 03:12:34 PM  
1bad65: This is apparently acceptable behaviour if you are picked up in Austin by the cops.

Fixed that for you.


This is apparently acceptable behavior if you are picked up in Austin by the cops.

Fix that for you.
 
2006-07-26 03:13:49 PM  
FTA: The jurors say they were not really bothered by the lack of physical evidence. It all came down to which witness was most believable.

This is a travesty. To convict the jury has to believe that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

They convicted based on zero evidence, and two witnesses: both of whom have changed their stories multiple times. "Chuck" who was coached by the detectives and whose story has more holes in it than swiss cheese (he returned to the club/bar an hour after it closed?), and a janitor who couldn't even give a basic description of who he saw immediately after the event but suddenly, three years later, points to a defendant in a courtroom. Not to mention the janitor was serving time in jail at the time... wonder what kind of a deal the prosecutor made to "jog his memory."

This case should be promptly overturned by a court of appeals and the jury should be taken out back and shot.

/ Sorry, I'm a Taurus. Can't stand injustice.
 
2006-07-26 03:14:38 PM  
apparently acceptable behavior

behavior has two accepted spellings, both in British English and American English.
 
2006-07-26 03:15:57 PM  
If you have ever been called to jury duty and had to sit through the selection process before being sent home you can readily understand how this travisty could occur. If you have ever been selected for a jury you are unlikely to understand even the simple things in life, let alone this.
 
2006-07-26 03:16:23 PM  
The interviews are kinda weird, Chuck doesn't seem to remember shiat. But I guess that could happen if you were hammered. But if you were that hammered you would have been sloopy and there would be physical evidence.

And if they snuck into that bar how did they get back in after the crime? Didn't anyone know they were gone? I didn't see this on tee vee so maybe this was all addressed.
 
2006-07-26 03:17:01 PM  
Juries like to send people to jail. I've seen worse. much worse.
 
2006-07-26 03:17:19 PM  
Mitch: You know, um, something strange happened to me this morning...

Chris Knight: Was it a dream where you see yourself standing in sort of sun-god robes on a pyramid, with a thousand naked women screaming and throwing little pickles at you?

Mitch: No...

Chris Knight: Why, am I the only one who has that dream?
 
2006-07-26 03:17:24 PM  
The jurors say they were not really bothered by the lack of physical evidence. It all came down to which witness was most believable.

Wow, just...wow. Why let a complete lack of forensic evidence get in the way of a good lifetime sentencing? Jebus Cripes, the jury just sent a kid to prison for decades based on how someone glanced at someone else in the farking courtroom!

That whimpering sound you hear? Is my last vestige of hope in our legal system dying.
 
2006-07-26 03:17:50 PM  
samureiser

Sorry, I'm a Taurus. Can't stand injustice.

Agreed, and I'm a pussy Pisces. That last page really shocked me. No physical evidence, yet people took the words of two individuals who changed their stories as gospel.
 
2006-07-26 03:18:54 PM  
mama's_tasty_foods

It sounds to me like he pursued a screwball defense strategy-- using an expert to argue that Chuck's confession was false even as to CHUCK's involvement, and that Chuck had not actually been involved himself!

Didnt RTFA, but saw this on 48 Hours last night. Not sure what TFA says, but on the show, it was pretty obvious to me that Chuck didn't know WTF he was talking about. The police gave HIM the crime scene details that he now says he remembers. He literally got nothing right about the crime except about what was reported. How the jury satisfied reasonable doubt I have no idea other than they probably wanted to get it over with.
 
2006-07-26 03:19:26 PM  
After watching the videos, I'm having doubts too. Also, I think the CBS article is way slanted, and even after 10pgs I don't have enough info. I'll definitely watch for follow-up stories.
 
2006-07-26 03:19:44 PM  
or just a stupid jury.

If I ever go up before a jury of my peers, I'm going to demand that they all have at least the same level of post-secondary education as I do. I'm not entrusting my precious freedom to a bunch of morons.
 
2006-07-26 03:21:48 PM  
Another good reason to laugh when you hear the words "American justice system."

There is no justice. It's not a matter of right or wrong. It's a matter of winning and losing.
 
2006-07-26 03:21:52 PM  
Bondith: I'm not entrusting my precious freedom to a bunch of morons.


Sorry man, you have no choice! But at least you'll get a jury, and not "trial by Fark"
 
2006-07-26 03:22:29 PM  
Bondith: If I ever go up before a jury of my peers, I'm going to demand that they all have at least the same level of post-secondary education as I do. I'm not entrusting my precious freedom to a bunch of morons.

Will they also have to have your love of the perverted arts?
 
2006-07-26 03:23:10 PM  
What the hell happened to "beyond a reasonable doubt"? Vacationing in Guam? Man I realise that the article has a slant toward presenting this Ryan fellow as innocent but the juror quotes are frickin scary. It's as though they've disconnected themselves from reality and think they get to play Matlock for a few weeks. To hell with a jury. I'll take my chances without being judged by my peers because my peers are freakin idiots!

Not that I'm doing anything to justify a trial.
 
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