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New story on murder of Kent Heitholt, Columbia (Mo.) Trib sports editor

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by LongTimeListener, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member


    Article is about the quest of Ryan Ferguson's father to free his son. Ferguson is the "other" one convicted on the strength of testimony from the person who confessed to the crime.

    Allowing for the notion that this story is geared toward the dad's POV, there seem to be serious doubts about his guilt. A new appeal is coming up and the main witnesses, including the co-defendant, are going to say they lied on the stand, bowing to pressure from the prosecutor. One juror on the original trial now says he believes Ferguson is innocent.

    The father has spent about $250,000 and has drained his life savings and retirement. Other people say it's too much. But I don't know how you couldn't be obsessed about a case like this as a dad.

    Very well-done article.
  2. Agreed. Very well done.

    I remember this story, of course, and remember when it was "solved," but didn't pay much attention to the trial.

    While I don't know everything about the case against Ferguson, eyewitness accounts and confessions are funny things. Both are not as infallible as we once thought they were.
  3. ChipSouza

    ChipSouza Member

    I was fortunate to have met Kent about six months before his murder. Spent a few days golfing with him during a media golf trip to Lake of the Ozarks. Great guy, extremely dry sense of humor. This murder hit home with a lot of us sports guys who work late into the night and never think twice walking to our cars, either at the office or at a stadium.
  4. albert77

    albert77 Well-Known Member

    I got to know Kent when he covered Saints games for the Shreveport Times back in the early '90s. Hell of a nice guy, and, yes, I still think about what happened to him every time I'm the last one out of the building at midnight or later.

    This story raises some vexing questions about whether they convicted the right people for Kent's murder. But, keep in mind, we're really only getting the dad's POV, and he seems to come on awfully strong in presenting his case. I would have liked to have heard more from the prosecutor on some of the other evidence they used to convict these two kids.
  5. Peytons place

    Peytons place Member

    48 Hours or Dateline did two shows on this story. I have to admit, based on those shows it seems little evidence was used to convict the two charged, but it was a very compelling case. There was a confession by one of the defendents but the TV shows pointed out some big problems with the confession. Somewhat reminded me of the West Memphis Three case, since the confession seemed to be the primary factor in the guilty verdict.
  6. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    Big-money documentary about the case is on its way.

    Being co-produced by Chip Rosenbloom, co-owner of the St. Louis Rams, and former CNBC anchor Dylan Ratigan.

  7. SockPuppet

    SockPuppet Active Member

    This was a terribly sad story when it happened and it appears that the pain continues for all involved.
  8. WD76058

    WD76058 New Member

    I never knew Kent, but have followed this case closely for a long time. I've read every transcript, police report, court filing, etc. there is, and it is impossible for me to see how anyone with two brain cells to rub together could take an objective look at the record and conclude that Ryan Ferguson had anything to do his murder.

    I've read so many kind words written about Kent, yet the sad truth is that we're no closer to knowing the truth of what happened in that parking lot nearly a dozen years ago.

    Janitors spotted two college-age kids near Kent's body shortly after the crime. The police assumed these two were the killers, but it's pretty clear to me they this was wrong, and they mere merely passerby who stumbled onto the scene after the fact. The Ferguson family put up billboards with a composite sketch of one of the men. I'm guessing they never came forward because they feared being charged with the crime. But finding them now could help us learn the truth, and learning the truth is the only way to bring a resolution to this mess that will allow the healing for all involved to begin.

  9. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Active Member

    Conviction overturned:
  10. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Wow. Good for him. I can't see them re-trying it based on how important the now-recanted testimony was to their initial case. It was their initial case, in fact.

    Looks like a good case to investigate for prosecutorial misconduct, too.
  11. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    And he's a free man. No new trial.

  12. joe

    joe Active Member

    The PA, Kevin Crane, is now a judge in Boone County. I'd say his political aspirations — if he had any — are dead and gone now that Ferguson has been exonerated.

    Skeletor (Erin Moriarty) can go chase another case now.
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