FreeBart A COMPELLING STORY ABOUT A WRONGFUL CONVICTION AND JUSTICE LEFT UNDONE

8Jul/120

McNeil Appeal (last) Nov 2005

28Jun/120

Charles Smith Blog June 27 2012

THE CHARLES SMITH BLOG

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012

Barton McNeil: Illinois Innocence Project takes 1998 murder case. New DNA testing could offer hope of exoneration. WJBC;

STORY: "Illinois Innocence Project takes 1998 murder case," by reporter Ryan Denham, published by WJBC on May 4, 2012. (This case only recently came to my attention. HL);

GIST: "The Illinois Innocence Project is taking on a 1998 Bloomington homicide, hoping to exonerate convicted murderer Barton McNeil and expecting to get some help from new DNA evidence testing. TheIllinois Innocence Project is “in with both feet, in terms of giving this a thorough, thorough review,” said IIP Legal Director John Hanlon, who recently visited McNeil in prison. A “professional” referred the case to the IIP, but Hanlon declined to say who or describe their occupation........McNeil was convicted of smothering his 3-year-old daughter, Christina. He’s now serving a life sentence in prison but has long maintained that his then-estranged girlfriend, Misook Nowlin, broke into his Bloomington apartment and killed Christina while he slept. But Nowlin, now known as Misook Wang, was arrested last fall and charged with staging an elaborate plot to lure her 70-year-old mother-in-law, Wenlan “Linda” Tyda, into traveling to the Twin Cities, where she was strangled. Tyda’s body was later dumped in a forest preserve near her home in the Joliet area. That connection was enough to prompt a second look at the 1998 case by police and the McLean County state’s attorney’s office. Detectives traveled to interview McNeil at Menard Correctional Center but later announced there were no new leads to pursue.........Hanlon’s specialty is DNA cases. Ultimately, the goal in such cases is to file a new motion for DNA testing on certain evidence, Hanlon said. Generally speaking, DNA evidence exists in only about 10 percent of serious criminal felony cases, he said. “But we think it exists here,” he said. (If DNA testing is not possible, another IIP lawyer specializing in investigations would then likely get the case, Hanlon said.)."

The entire story can be found at:

http://wjbc.com/illinois-innocence-project-takes-1998-b-n-murder/

PUBLISHER'S NOTE:

I am monitoring this case. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.

POSTED BY HAROLD LEVY AT WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012

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HAROLD LEVY

My interest in forensic pathology began with my Toronto Star investigative reporting into once famed since disgraced former doctor Charles Smith. I began this Blog after retiring from the Star in 2006 in order to follow the aftermath into the independent Goudge inquiry into many of Smith's cases. I have now begun to focus on cases involving flawed pathology and flawed pathologists no matter where they occur (the recent Amanda Knox prosecution in Italy, for example) and am fascinated by the interest in the Blog from people in countries throughout the world. In another development, my interest in "junk science" "pseudo-experts" and the miscarriages of justice they all too often cause has drawn me deeply into the on-going U.S. death penalty debate where so many troubling cases involve issues relating to DNA and other developments in the world of forensic science. For all of this I rely on my experience as a reporter at the Toronto Star, my work as a lawyer in Ontario's criminal courts, and my abhorrence of injustice. Please send cases and developments which may be of interest to this Blog to hlevy15@gmail.com. Read on! Harold Levy.

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23May/120

May 30th 2012 Pretrial Hearing of Misook Nowlin Wang

Next May 30th 2012 Wednesday will be a pretrial Hearing for Misook Nowlin scheduled at 9:00 AM in Room 4 B of the McLean Circuit Court.

 

Appearance        Chr Information
Case Number 2011CF000800 for MISOOK NOWLIN, born on October 28, 1965

 

 

 

 

 

 

Motion to Supress May 30 2012 09:00AM 4B Scheduled

Please plan to attend as Bart’s family will be present and that we firmly believe that Misook, a leading suspect in Christina McNeil’s murder of 13 years ago, for which Bart McNeil her father was wrongfully convicted, was the true murderess. Bart, just like Alan Beaman also of McLean County before him, was disbarred to present any evidence at his trial regarding Misook Nowlin due to a Motion of Limine that McLean County Prosecutors put into place. This motion in effect convicted Bart on account he was in the apartment Christina was murdered that night. Despite all the overwhelming evidence that showed Misook to have the motive and means in which to have murdered Christina that night. Bart’s case caught the attention of the legal team at the Illinois Innocence Project of Springfield Illinois that has now taken him on as their client.

And that the Prosecutors and Defense Attorney’s at Misook’s current murder trial plan to present arguments surrounding a Defense Motion to Suppress Misook’s former confession made to Bloomington Police regarding the murder of her estranged husband’s mother Ms. Wenlan “Linda” Tyda of Cresthill, Illinois. Other important newsworthy information may be presented additionally at this PreTrial.

If you have any questions or wish to schedule an interview with Bart from Menard Prison or any of his family members please let us know. Thank you in advance for your support in reporting on this important case and the growing correlation between these two heinous crimes.   Sincerely, Team Bart. www.freebart.org

18May/120

Murder suspect wants interrogation tossed out

 

 

Murder suspect wants interrogation tossed out

By: Ryan Denham  |  Yesterday
Barton McNeil and Misook WangBarton McNeil, left, and Misook Wang. (Photos courtesy of the Illinois Department of Corrections and McLean County sheriff's department)

BLOOMINGTON – A Bloomington woman wants a judge to toss out incriminating statements she made to police last fall before she was charged with murdering her mother-in-law.

Misook Wang, 46, was arrested in September for allegedly luring her mother-in-law, Wenlan Tyda, to Bloomington, then choking her to death and trying to hide the body in a forest preserve. Wang claims it was self-defense, but police say it was an elaborate plan.

In a new motion to suppress, Wang attorney Brian McEldowney asks a judge to suppress what his client told police during a 13-hour interrogation at BPD headquarters. It was during that interrogation that she gradually revealed her culpability in the death and concealment of the body. She also participated in a walk-through video recording at the alleged crime scene.

“In increasingly direct terms, she made five separate requests for an attorney,” McEldowney claims in the motion. Despite her poor English speaking skills, some of the requests were plainly said and could not reasonably have been misunderstood, McEldowney claimed.

“Well I want to get a lawyer really, I need a lawyer,” she said at one point during the interrogation, according to a transcript.

McEldowney also claims detectives repeatedly tried to get Wang to waive her right to counsel.

“The procedures followed by police in this case were obviously calculated to circumvent the defendant’s right to remain silent,” the motion reads.

A hearing is set for May 30 on the motion to suppress.

Meanwhile, Wang’s name has also surfaced in the 1998 Bloomington murder of Christina McNeil. The 3-year-old victim’s father, Barton McNeil, is serving a life sentence for killing his daughter, but he’s long claimed that it was his ex-girlfriend Wang, also known as Misook Nowlin, who really killed her.

The Illinois Innocence Project is now reviewing McNeil’s case. Authorities say they’ve double-checked Wang’s connection to both cases and determined there are no new leads to follow related to any connection.

Conceding it was a “unique situation,” McEldowney said earlier this month that he doesn’t “believe there’s any real connection” between the cases.

Ryan Denham can be reached at ryan@wjbc.com.

5May/120

Illinois Innocence Project Takes 1998 Barton McNeil Murder Case

 

Illinois Innocence Project takes 1998 murder case

 

 

By: Ryan Denham  |  Yesterday

 

Barton McNeil and Misook WangBarton McNeil, left, and Misook Wang. (Photos courtesy of the Illinois Department of Corrections and McLean County sheriff's department)

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Innocence Project is taking on a 1998 Bloomington homicide, hoping to exonerate convicted murderer Barton McNeil and expecting to get some help from new DNA evidence testing.

The Illinois Innocence Project is “in with both feet, in terms of giving this a thorough, thorough review,” said IIP Legal Director John Hanlon, who recently visited McNeil in prison. A “professional” referred the case to the IIP, but Hanlon declined to say who or describe their occupation.

“This was not a cold letter from Mr. McNeil,” he told WJBC on Friday. “This was from another professional who believed firmly that Mr. McNeil is innocent of this crime and wanted our assistance.”

McNeil was convicted of smothering his 3-year-old daughter, Christina. He’s now serving a life sentence in prison but has long maintained that his then-estranged girlfriend, Misook Nowlin, broke into his Bloomington apartment and killed Christina while he slept.

But Nowlin, now known as Misook Wang, was arrested last fall and charged with staging an elaborate plot to lure her 70-year-old mother-in-law, Wenlan “Linda” Tyda, into traveling to the Twin Cities, where she was strangled. Tyda’s body was later dumped in a forest preserve near her home in the Joliet area.

That connection was enough to prompt a second look at the 1998 case by police and the McLean County state’s attorney’s office. Detectives traveled to interview McNeil at Menard Correctional Center but later announced there were no new leads to pursue.

Seeking more documents

WJBC’s news partners, WMBD 31, first reported in February that IIP was reviewing the case. The IIP team includes Hanlon, an outside investigator, numerous law-school students, undergraduate students and Project staffers, according to Hanlon.

“Getting to this case is a long process,” Hanlon said Friday. “There is a ton of paper, and there’s more that I know we’re gonna be seeking.”

The IIP has received around 1,000 case referrals in its history, and the pace of those referrals is only accelerating this year, Hanlon said. Part of what elevated the IIP’s interest in McNeil’s case is that it was referred by “another professional,” Hanlon said.

“What we’re finding is that, not always, but very often some of the best referrals that come to us come from other professionals,” Hanlon said.

Hanlon’s specialty is DNA cases. Ultimately, the goal in such cases is to file a new motion for DNA testing on certain evidence, Hanlon said. Generally speaking, DNA evidence exists in only about 10 percent of serious criminal felony cases, he said.

“But we think it exists here,” he said. (If DNA testing is not possible, another IIP lawyer specializing in investigations would then likely get the case, Hanlon said.)

The public defender’s office is aware of Wang’s connection to the McNeil case and requested an audio copy of McNeil’s interview with WJBC in October.

McNeil and Christina’s mother were divorced when she was killed. Police and prosecutors said during McNeil’s trial that no one else could have killed Christina because there were no signs of forced entry. A pathologist also testified there was evidence Christina had been sexually abused – a possible motive.

McNeil told police in 1998 that he believed Nowlin was responsible, according to court records, including a letter from McNeil to a Bloomington detective.

Ryan Denham can be reached at ryan@wjbc.com.

6Apr/120

McNeil Supporters Rally around His Innocence, Ex-Girlfriend Court Date Set – April 6 2012

McNeil Supporters Rally around His Innocence, Ex-Girlfriend Court Date Set

By: Kim Behrens
Updated: April 6, 2012

 

 

 

BLOOMINGTON--Supporters of convicted murderer Barton McNeil say he's one step closer to proving his innocence.

McNeil is convicted of smothering his three year old daughter to death in 1998 and is now serving a life sentence in prison.

But he says the killer is his ex-girlfriend Misook Wang.

Last fall Wang was charged with killing her mother in law.

Supporters believe Wang retaliated against McNeil and her ex-husband for ending relationships with her.

Last month detectives revisited McNeil's case and found no new evidence to support that theory.

But supporters say the Downstate Innocence Project is changing that.

"They're meeting with Bart at Menard prison and they're going over the case," said McNeil's friend Chuck Nicholson.  "Also, the DNA lawyer that they have, he's going to be retesting the DNA and also a new test on the sheets that wasn't tested to begin with."

Wang appeared in court for a pre-trial hearing today.

Her next court date is set for May 30th.

 

http://centralillinoisproud.com/fulltext?nxd_id=238472

4Apr/120

Detectives Revisit Convicted Murder’s, 14 March 2012

Posted on CiPROUD internet news.

Detectives Revisit Convicted Murder's Case, Info Still Supports Verdict

By: Kim Behrens
Updated: March 14, 2012
watch video

BLOOMINGTON--Despite a recent attempt by Bloomington police detectives to revisit the case of convicted murderer Barton McNeil, there's no new evidence that would support his innocence.

McNeil is convicted of smothering his three year old daughter in 1998.

He's now serving a life sentence in prison.

McNeil maintains it was his "then" girlfriend, Misook Wang who killed his daughter.

Last fall Wang was charged with killing her mother in law.

Police say that information was enough to give McNeil's case a second look.

But the information still supports his verdict.

"We've contacted some of his supporters back here in the Bloomington area," said Bloomington Police Public Information Officer Dave White.  "Some interviews were conducted with them and based on that information, still there's no new leads to go on at this time."

McNeil is also seeking help from the Downstate Innocence Project based at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

 

18Mar/120

WJBC Interview with Chris Ross March 16 2012

http://wjbc.com/detectives-make-prison-visit-in-1998-murder-case/

 

Listen to the live interview on WJBC with Christopher Ross, Barton McNeil's cousin, and Beth Whisman.

18Mar/120

WJBC March 2012 Detectives Make Prison Visit

http://wjbc.com/detectives-make-prison-visit-in-1998-murder-case/

By: Ryan Denham | 4 days ago

 

Barton McNeil and Misook WangBarton McNeil, left, was convicted of killing his 3-year-old daughter in 1998. He has long said Misook Wang, right, his ex-girlfriend, was responsible for the girl's death. (Photos courtesy of Illinois Department of Corrections, McLean County Sheriff's Department)

BLOOMINGTON – Two Bloomington detectives recently visited convicted murderer Barton McNeil in state prison, but there’s no new evidence that anyone else killed his daughter in 1998, police said Tuesday.

McNeil was convicted of smothering his 3-year-old daughter, Christina. He’s now serving a life sentence in prison but has long maintained that his then-estranged girlfriend, Misook Nowlin, broke into his Bloomington apartment and killed Christina while he slept. Investigators never believed that theory.

But Nowlin, now known as Misook Wang, was arrested last fall and charged with staging an elaborate plot to lure her 70-year-old mother-in-law, Wenlan “Linda” Tyda, into traveling to the Twin Cities, where she was strangled. Tyda’s body was later dumped in a forest preserve near her home in the Joliet area.

That connection was enough to prompt a second look at the 1998 case by police and the McLean County state’s attorney’s office. Detectives recently traveled to interview McNeil at Menard Correctional Center, police spokesman Dave White said.

“Mr. McNeil did not have any new information that would require additional follow up,” White said. “Mr. McNeil did offer one new theory, that it was Misook or her ex-husband (who) brought their daughter to (kill Christina). She would have been about 8 years old at the time.”

“The case was reviewed and we found the information supports the verdict in Barton McNeil’s case,” White added. “Detectives have spoken with Mr. McNeil and supporters. Following those discussions some follow-up interviews were conducted, but there are no new leads to pursue at this time.”

McLean County First Assistant State’s Attorney Jane Foster said she hasn’t been briefed yet on the prison visit. (Foster, a Republican candidate for McLean County state’s attorney, is on a four-week leave ahead of Tuesday’s primary election.)

“No new information has been given to me to review at this point, so I haven’t done any type of additional review from what I did a few months ago,” Foster said Tuesday. She’s said her initial review found nothing that ties Misook Wang to the 1998 murder.

McNeil said he’s looking for legal assistance to file a new appeal. WMBD 31 reported in February that the Downstate Innocence Project, based at the University of Illinois at Springfield, was reviewing McNeil’s case and would potentially take it on.

McNeil’s cousin Chris Ross spoke with WJBC’s Beth Whisman about McNeil’s supporters and their efforts to appeal his conviction. They have started the websiteFreeBart.orgto try and gain public support for his case.


 

 

13Mar/120

Barton McNeil Radio interview with Beth Whisman

Click below to listen to the phone call:

http://wjbc.com/convicted-murderer-says-he-has-new-hope-after-exs-murder-arrest-audio/