Monthly Archives: August 2016

Unlocking The Truth: Did A Pregnant Woman’s Assailant Completely Evade The Police?

Nearly 20 years ago, on December 9, 1995, a pregnant white woman named Jill Marker was closing down the Silk Plant Forest Store in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She was an assistant manager, and when she noticed a sinister-seeming man wandering the store, she called her friend and former co-worker in distress.

Fifteen minutes later, she had been beaten so severely, her brain was likened to a puddle.

On tonight’s Unlocking The Truth, Ryan Ferguson and Eva Nagao continued to investigate the idea that Kalvin Michael Smith — a black man who was just 24 when Jill was horrifically beaten — was falsely convicted. First, there was a man in Jill’s life who was much more likely to have brutalized her. Second, the case against Kalvin was rooted in evidence that experts have since come to identify as “contaminated.”

Smith was sentenced to 29 years in jail for assault with intent

Read more at: http://www.mtv.com/news/2926890/unlocking-the-truth-kalvin-michael-smith-jill-marker/

Michael Politte of MTV’s ‘Unlocking the Truth’: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

When Michael Politte was 14-years-old, his mother was bludgeoned to death and set on fire. Politte was sentenced to life in prison after a juvenile worker said he confessed to the crime. Since that day, he has held his innocence, and his case will be examined by Ryan Ferguson this season on MTV’s Unlocking the Truth. Ferguson, himself, was freed after spending 10 years in prison, and now he is the host of MTV’s new investigative series, in which the 31-year-old host will fight for the freedom of convicted prisoners who claim they’re innocent– after some research, that is.

Read on to learn more about Michael Politte and his case.


1.He Was 14 at the Time of the Murder

Michael Politte, Michael Politte Wiki, Michael Politte Innocent, Michael Politte Missouri, Michael Politte MTV, Michael Politte Case

(Youtube/UnlockingtheTruth)

Though Politte was 14-years-old when his mother was killed,

Read more at: http://heavy.com/entertainment/2016/08/michael-politte-case-missouri-mtv-unlocking-the-truth/

MTV’s ‘Unlocking the Truth’ investigates claims of false imprisonment

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Read more at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/express/wp/2016/08/29/mtvs-unlocking-the-truth-takes-on-cases-of-false-imprisonment/

Girl Vanishes From Same Spot As Her Mother, Leaves Note

In 1987 a South Carolina woman vanished after a flight with her husband. Almost precisely a year later, her daughter disappeared from the same spot but left a disturbing letter.

Korrina Lynne Sagers Malinoski lived with her husband, Stephan, in Mount Holly Plantation, South Carolina, where her spouse was the caretaker of an estate.

In November 1987 she and Stephan had just come back from a flight and Korrina said she was going for a drive to calm down.

The next morning, Korrina was absent from her shift at the convenience store in Summerville where she’d been working for the past six months.

Her manager searched for her and eventually discovered Korrina’s abandoned car just outside the plantation. She left her husband and three kids behind — Annette from a previous marriage, and sons Thomas and James (fathered by Stephen).

Korrina was never seen or heard from again, according to Throwback News.

As the town was still reeling from

Read more at: http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/mom-vanishes-one-year-later-daughter-disappears-same-spot-after-leaving-troubling-note

‘Unlocking the Truth’: Inside MTV’s New True-Crime Show

In 2005, Ryan Ferguson was convicted and sentenced to 40 years in prison for the 2001 murder of a newspaper editor in his hometown of Columbia, Missouri. The murder had gone unsolved for two years when police received a tip that a guy named Charles Erickson believed he could be responsible. Erickson didn’t have any memory of the crime, but he became concerned after he had a dream that he and Ferguson, who he had been partying with that night, committed the murder. Interrogated for hours by the police, Erickson finally gave a false confession that implicated Ferguson as well, and later testified against him as part of a plea deal. Erickson eventually recanted his testimony, claiming he had been pressured by police and the prosecutor; two other witnesses recanted as well, and after nearly 10 years in prison, Ferguson was finally exonerated and released in 2013.

‘Unlocking the Truth’: Inside MTV’s New True-Crime Show – Rolling …

In 2005, Ryan Ferguson was convicted and sentenced to 40 years in prison for the 2001 murder of a newspaper editor in his hometown of Columbia, Missouri. The murder had gone unsolved for two years when police received a tip that a guy named Charles Erickson believed he could be responsible. Erickson didn’t have any memory of the crime, but he became concerned after he had a dream that he and Ferguson, who he had been partying with that night, committed the murder. Interrogated for hours by the police, Erickson finally gave a false confession that implicated Ferguson as well, and later testified against him as part of a plea deal. Erickson eventually recanted his testimony, claiming he had been pressured by police and the prosecutor; two other witnesses recanted as well, and after nearly 10 years in prison, Ferguson was finally exonerated and released in 2013.

MTV’s Unlocking the Truth is too focused on white men

Eva Nagao and Ryan Ferguson star in MTV's Unlocking the Truth - COURTESY OF MTV

  • Courtesy of MTV
  • Eva Nagao and Ryan Ferguson star in MTV’s Unlocking the Truth

In the last two years, stories of possible wrongful convictions have taken the true-crime genre by storm. To the Serial podcast and Netflix’s Making a Murderer, we can now add MTV’s Unlocking the Truth.

“It could happen to anyone” says Ryan Ferguson in the opening scenes of the show, as he explains his own story. When Ferguson was 19, he was convicted of murdering a newspaper editor in his hometown of Columbia, Missouri, and sentenced to 40 years in prison. After his case got picked up by Chicago-based attorney Kathleen Zellner—who has successfully litigated exonerations for 17 men and now represents Steven Avery of Making a Murderer—attorneys found that evidence against Ferguson was obtained through coerced

Read more at: http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2016/08/22/mtvs-unlocking-the-truth-is-too-focused-on-white-men

MTV gets into the true crime racket with Unlocking The Truth

We’re at about the middle point of the true crime wave. Serial, Making a Murderer, The Jinx, and the two excellent entries into the OJ Simpson canon reinvigorated a passion for true crime in popular culture. Now that the first wave has proved successful, other outlets have gotten into the game. Netflix will try to recapture Making a Murderer magic by updating the series. CBS will dive deep the JonBenet Ramsey case. Law Order, that bastion of only semi-true crime, will do a season on the Menendez brothers. And now MTV enters the fray with Unlocking The Truth, a true crime series with a twist — it’s hosted by a man wrongfully convicted of a crime.

When host Ryan Ferguson was 19, he was convicted of killing Kent Heitholt, a sports editor in Columbia, Mo., based on the testimony of Ferguson’s friend Charles Erickson, who later said he was

Read more at: http://www.avclub.com/tvclub/mtv-gets-true-crime-racket-unlocking-truth-241305

Who Is Ryan Ferguson? MTV’s ‘Unlocking The Truth’ Host Knows His Subject Well

For Unlocking The Truth, Ferguson is teaming up with director of the Exoneration Project, Eva Nagao, to seek belated justice for other potentially wrongfully convicted people. Part of the organization’s mission statement reads: “The criminal justice system is imperfect, and there are many wrongful convictions resulting from problems such as faulty evidence, police misconduct, and inadequate legal representation. We represent those whom the system has failed.” In a recent interview with The Kansas City Star, Ferguson explained why MTV is the ideal network for a show of this nature. He said: “To me, the youth, these are the people who could be potentially affected by this more than anyone else. They are also the ones who can make the most significant change moving forward.”

Read more at: https://www.bustle.com/articles/178528-who-is-ryan-ferguson-mtvs-unlocking-the-truth-host-knows-his-subject-well

His Friend Dreamed They Killed a Man. Then They Were Both Charged with Murder.

Every three days, his dad would visit with books. But when the seventh Harry Potter novel came out, he was in a part of the prison where he couldn’t get deliveries. So his mom mailed the book to him five pages at a time.

Another good day was when he found out that celebrated defense attorney Kathleen Zellner was taking his case. Zellner is currently representing Steven Avery, the subject of the Netflix series Making a Murderer. In the habeas corpus hearing Zellner brought to court in 2012, she called the newspaper’s former janitor, Jerry Trump, back to the witness stand. She learned that Trump’s wife—who hadn’t been contacted by Ferguson’s previous lawyer—never mailed her husband the news article he referenced. Back on the stand for a second time, Trump admitted he’d lied and, crying, asked Ferguson and his family for forgiveness. Erickson also took the stand

Read more at: http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a47600/ryan-ferguson-unlocking-the-truth/