The Pennsylvania Justice Project

PAJusticeProjectLogoThe Pennsylvania Justice Project was started by a retired Franciscan and Buddhist contemplative priest, whose 32 years of social justice work, including work with Amnesty International, with Cesar Chavez, Archbishop Oscar Romero and Fr. Mychal Judge compels him to work tirelessly to exonerate a Pennsylvania man, Timothy McEnany, who was wrongfully convicted of a crime he did not commit.

It is his hope that by presenting the facts, and raising the awareness of the political machinations and other highly inordinate circumstances surrounding the case, not only will McEnany one day be freed, but that the public outcry will result in powerful reforms in the criminal justice system in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

It is our hope to partner with other innocence projects, social justice advocates and grassroots efforts to secure the exoneration, release from imprisonment and restoration to society of persons who have been wrongly convicted; to strengthen and improve the effectiveness of the criminal justice system in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and to expose those whose actions, inaction and abuse resulted in a grave miscarriage of justice in the Timothy McEnany case and others.



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Pennsylvania Justice Project Radio Program – Jury Tampering, Promotions & Scandal?

btrCould it be that the Pennsylvania State Police is the most corrupt in the nation, and that the Pennsylvania Justice System is routinely manipulated by the State Police, resulting in wrongful convictions?

How did the arresting officer, Trooper Lotwick, wind up becoming the Dauphin County Sheriff? And why was he permitted to transport the sequestered jurty back and forth to Tim’s second trial, opening them to the distinct possibility of jury tampering?

Were those who turned a blind eye (on BOTH sides of the case) rewarded for playing along?

Listen in to today’s radio show, The Pennsylvania Justice Project, and decide for yourself!

Check Out Legal Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with The Pennsylvania Justice Project on BlogTalkRadio



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The Pennsylvania Justice Project Radio Program – Episode Two

btrWhat were some of the glaring inconsistencies and red flags in the alleged evidence against Tim McEnany in the Katherine Bishop murder trial?

Listen to this week’s installment of the Pennsylvania Justice Project radio program for some insight into just a few of the reasons I believe this case merits a careful investigation, and should result in a mistrial.

Check Out Legal Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with The Pennsylvania Justice Project on BlogTalkRadio

We believe that these issues must be seriously questioned and looked at with fresh eyes, and a serious dedication to serving justice. Katherine Bishop’s murder — clearly a crime of passion — should have resulted in a more thorough investigation, so that the real killer could be brought to justice. But that didn’t happen. And with your help, perhaps we can help that to happen.



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Pennsylvania Justice Project Radio Program

btrListen to the first official broadcast of the Pennsylvania Justice Project, on the Blog Talk Radio Network!

We’ve decided to take Tim’s story to the global community, with the hopes that someone will hear this story, and help connect us with the right person or persons, who are willing to take a fresh look at the case, including the possibility of new evidence that can help prove Tim’s innocence.

The Pennsylvania Justice Project  was started to spread the word about the corruption in the Pennsylvania State Police & criminal justice system.

Check Out Legal Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with The Pennsylvania Justice Project on BlogTalkRadio



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Tim McEnany’s Facebook Page

timI’d like to take this opportunity to as everyone who reads this blog to help us by doing three things:

  1. Comment on each of the posts, so that we raise the “Edge Rank” (the algorithm Facebook uses to determine what is and is not interesting and relevant). This will allow us to reach a greater number of people with Tim’s story, without spending money on advertising.
  2. Submit a friend request to Tim’s facebook profile, then click LIKE on his facebook page. (These are two separate steps, and two separate, but equally important parts of the project.)
  3. Consider asking your friends to visit this blog and help us create a grassroots advocacy movement to get Tim’s story heard.
  4. Post links to this blog and Tim’s story on any and all police corruption and unfair trial groups on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.
  5. Join the group “Wrongly Convicted” on facebook ( and then post a comment here to let us know when you’ve done so, in order to help us get Tim’s proposal listed as a Featured Case on their website. The Wrongly Convicted project is doing wonderful work on behalf of so many who have been wrongfully accused and convicted.

Together, we can help this effort take on “wings” so that the right people begin to learn about what happened to Tim, and the gross miscarriage of justice (and horrific police corruption) involved in Tim’s case.

The public is beginning to become more aware of police brutality and corruption now, and in the wake of the Baltimore Uprising, people are starting to realise that we must stand together, and push for social justice, or we will surely all hang together, when the police state mentality wins.



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The Timothy McEnany Case – More Holes in the “Evidence”

police2There are more holes in the “evidence” in the Timothy McEnany case (who was arrested and wrongfully convicted of the Katherine Bishop murder) than anything imaginable. And in this week’s post, we’ll review some more of these implausible details, which I believe should have had any half-baked jury scratching their heads, and shouting, “REASONABLE DOUBT!”


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The Timothy McEnany Case – The Alibi

Let’s take a look at McEnany’s alibi for the time of the murder. An alibi is a form of defense used in criminal procedure wherein the accused attempts to prove that he was in some other place at the time the alleged offense was committed. Let’s look at whether McEnany’s alibi was enough to represent “reasonable doubt” that he could have committed the crimes with which he was charged.

Within days of having been at Shane’s Flight Deck, the bar where McEnany and his cousin spent the evening of 3 March 1993, a number of employees provided written statements, placing McEnany at the bar from around 6:30 PM until 1:00 AM (4 March).

This bar, it should be noted, was located at 2285 W Harrisburg Pike Middletown, PA, which would mean McEnany would have to have disappeared from the bar for a minimum of 40 minutes round trip, plus whatever amount of time was necessary to commit the murder, so we’ll conservatively say one hour. Yet the bartender that night, Holly Mrakovich, stated that she saw McEnany talking with Joe Gusler and Winnie Dixon, up until the time she was relieved at the bar (10 PM) by Shane Mrakovich and Andrea Rotolo (now married to Mrakovich),. Plus, the bouncer, Craig Webb, who arrived at work sometime between 10:00 PM and 10:15 PM, gave a statement that he witnessed his friend, Winnie Dixon talking to two men who fit the description of McEnany and his cousin.

Add to this the written statement of one of the kitchen staff, Robert Brandt, who said that he noticed Tim and Andy at the bar at 10:30, when he left. And the alibi just keeps getting more and more solid.

Andrea Rotolo’s written statement includes recalling seeing the van outside, when she arrived at the bar, around 10:30. Shane Mrakovich, owner and bartender of the establishment, stated in his written testimony that he returned to the bar around 10 PM with Ms. Rotolo.

All of these statements were made within days of the murder, yet as curiously seems to happen when the State Police have an agenda, these same witnesses would recant their statements six months (then one year) later, claiming to have mysteriously developed better recall six months after the event.

One would have to ask where McEnany’s defense team were in court, because I would have questioned those witnesses about other minutia concerning that night, in an effort to demonstrate that their memories were not, in fact, sharper six months later, but were influenced.

Ready to Learn Something Truly Disturbing?

corruptcopfckersIn the vile and corrupt, once-great Commonwealth, where I was born, the Pennsylvania State Police not only control things usually associated with a state police force, but are also the Liquor Control Board, where there have been numerous cases in which bar owners and employees have reported that coercision, threats, and other corruption have transpired, including putting pressure on bar owners and their staff to change their testimonies, in order to prevent “something unfortunate” from happening to the business.

In this case, it’s not difficult to imagine, given that McEnany’s cousin, Andy Reischman, was under the legal drinking age, and that the bar could be shut down, were that to be revealed in the course of their testimony. Now if that doesn’t sound like the perfect set-up for PSP extortion, I don’t know what does!

I believe that the Pennsylvania State Police threatened to revoke Mrakovich’s liquor license and shut the bar down for serving a minor. Mrakovich told the accused’s father, Dennis McEnany, that he was little afraid to give a written statement, because they (the Pennsylvania State Police) had “given him trouble in the past” and that he “knew they could shut down his bar if they wanted to.”



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The Timothy McEnany Case – Where do we go from here? (Part Two)

Continuing to unpack the Timothy McEnany case, we will now examine the alleged “phone evidence” presented in the case.

Phone Records

cellphoneOn 7 March 1993, a consensual search of Timothy McEnany’s work van was conducted by Pennsylvania State Police Trooper, Lt. John Brown, and Trooper Myra Taylor. The following day, a search warrant was issued, and the van was seized. No evidence relating to the crime was found in either of these two searches.

Two weeks later, on 23 March, Corporal Mull and Trooper Lotwick (yes, the same Trooper, who would later become Sherrif Lotwick, and was permitted to transport the jury to court!) removed the accused’s cellphone from the van. This was done a full two weeks after the execution of the search warrant.

The Fourth Amendment requires that search warrants be executed without unreasonable delay. The purpose of the rule is to ensure that when a search is made pursuant to a warrant, probable cause exists, both when the warrant was issued and when the search is carried out.

So the question becomes, what’s “unreasonable delay?” A delay is unreasonable when it’s no longer reasonable to assume that items that were presumably located in the place described in the warrant are still there, because the information that placed them in that location is old and has become unreliable.

Why did the police wait sixteen days, before removing the cellphone from the van?

What we do know if that sixteen days after seizing the van, Mull and Lotwick took the phone to John T. Shingara, of the State Police communications division. Shingara claimed that the last number dialed on the phone was that of Mrs. Bishop (the victim). A subpoena (later deemed to be illegal and inadmissible) was issued for cellphone records, and showed that no calls near the time of death were made or received.

After the illegal subpoena, Jean Sweigart, an employee of Cellular One, was served with a search warrant for telephone records. These records allege that two incomplete phone calls were made to the Bishop residence at, or about 10 PM on the night of the murder. Original records of these phone calls were never produced.

What was produced, however, was a sixty-page report, sent to the Pennsylvania State Police, but this report was never introduced into discovery during the trial.

McEnany avers that it is impossible for these calls to have been made, as he was in a bar with witnesses at that time.

So, like the fabricated paint-chip evidence, it’s not unimaginable that these mysterious phone records that were never officially entered into evidence in the case, were another of the PSP’s fabrications.

Remember, not long ago, Sgt. Brandon Ruff, an eight-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police force, filed a police brutality lawsuit against his own Department on Monday.

Sergeant Ruff also alleges rampant corruption in his lawsuit and states that the police department as a whole encourages and tolerates officers who “misrepresent facts in order to establish probable cause, and allows officers to have persons falsely arrested or maliciously prosecuted.”




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The Timothy McEnany Case – Where do we go from here?

This week, we’ll begin to look at more of the ways in which the case against Timothy McEnany fails to stand up to scrutiny, and ask WHY no judge or jury questioned this gross miscarriage of justice.

As a Catholic priest, before becoming a bishop, I worked as a canon lawyer, so I’ve spent much of my life studying law. Not just canon law, but law in general, especially criminal law. I suppose that is because I vowed my life to work for social justice, and I knew that quite often, what was being passed off as justice was anything but just.

That’s why I felt compelled, before going further to look into what some of the most glaring inconsistencies, and in my opinion, LIES were about in the way Mr. McEnany’s case was handled, from the time of his questioning to his subsequent arrest and trials.

The “evidence” against McEnany

The most logical place to begin, when deconstructing an alleged crime is to look at the supposed evidence. So let’s start there:

  • In the police statement, they claim that Tim said, “I want to do the right thing. I want to tell you what happened.”

The simple truth in that matter is that Timothy McEnany has always maintained his innocence, even when the police tried to coax him to “turn” on his cousin, and place the blame on him, in exchange for leniency or release. 

Why is it that there are police audio recordings of everyone’s interview involved in this case, except for the defendant, Tim McEnany? Why would everything else be recorded, except for the record of McEnany’s statement that he is innocent, and his account of what occurred that night? 

More and more, former State Police officers are testifying to the fact that the Pennsylvania State Police regularly manufacture evidence to create convictions. After reviewing the facts in this case, the one thing that the State Police seemed to be clearly disinterested in was the truth.

Paint Chips… The Dubious “Smoking Gun”

The police report alleges that “paint chips” were found in the deceased’s hand and in McEnany’s jacket pocket. These were purportedly from a basement window, which was never opened prior to the police opening it (this is evident from the State Police crime scene photos).

These crime scene photos show unbroken cobwebs before the window was opened, and then, after the State Police opened the window, those same cobwebs are broken.

Curiously, no other evidence of paint chips were found — not around the window, nor below it on the ground. Not around Mrs. Bishop, or in the defendant’s vehicle. Just in Mrs. Bishop’s hand and Tim’s jacket pocket. And nowhere in the autopsy is there a recording of paint chips in Mrs. Bishop’s hand, under her nails or anything else. In fact, that autopsy is very thorough and detailed about evidence collected “via tape lifters and other paraphernalia”. It includes recording of the pen found in her right hand, fibers retrieved by tape lifters, hair from the victim’s head, clothing, fingernail clippings, fingerprints, photographs and two tubes of blood. But no mention of these mysterious paint chips that came from an unopened window that McEnany allegedly passed through apparently by some sort of magic.

At least two employees from the Pennsylvania State Police crime lab were asked to “look for paint chips”, but there were none recorded. And in fact, at the autopsy, performed on March 5th, at which Dr. Ross, Coroner Hetrick, Assistant District Attorney Narvol, and Troopers Kegerreis and Corporal Mull were present, there is absolutely no mention of paint chips discovered.

The day after the autopsy, when Troopers Kegerreis and Shannon, as well as Corporals Mull and Freehling took more photos of the window, no mention was made in their report about having found pain chips anywhere. It wasn’t until March 9th that Trooper Kegerreis took additional photos and procured samples of the paint. And only at this point is there mention that paint chips were allegedly found in Mrs. Bishop’s hand. These “samples” weren’t even sent to the crime lab until nine days after that, on March 18th!

The police claim that the jacket in which these paint chips were found was Mr. McEnany’s (short) black jacket, which had his company logo embazoned on the back. The way the pockets are constructed, McEnany would have to have climbed backwards through the tiny 4-foot 7-inch high window for the paint chips to have even gotten into that jacket pocket!

What’s even more absurd is that after McEnany magically squeezed through this small, unopened window backward, the police apparently claim Mrs. Bishop later reached into his pockets to retrieve a couple of the paint chips for some bizarre reason.

And I would ask the reader to take careful note here that the jacket McEnany was accused of having paint chips in was SHORT (a normal length jacket), like his HAIR at the time of the arrest. Just in case anyone wonders how that jacket magically grew into a long coat, and how his hair mysterious became long and flowing too, as the eye-witness (a neighbour) reported seeing flee the crime scene that night, at about the time of the murder.

Now I would never go so far as to imagine that the State Police in South Central Pennsylvania were of above average intelligence or anything else that requires such a broad stretch of the imagination, but I would think that they would have had the modest intelligence to recognise that their “suspect” didn’t fit the description of the man seen running from the scene of the crime.

(Next week… Phone records)




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Timothy McEnany Talks About the Katherine Bishop Murder Investigation (Pt 3)

In this segment, Timothy McEnany continues to recount the events leading up to his arrest as a suspect in the Katherine Bishop murder investigation. The following is the account in his own words (part three). This is a continuation of the initial account, which can be found here.

Timothy McEnany

Timothy McEnany

Next, the two original troopers returned to the room, and told me that McIlhenny told them I was lying. I told them that was not true, and I wanted to go home. They responded by telling me I wasn’t going anywhere. They said that I knew something, and it would be better for me if I would just tell them what I knew. I didn’t know anything, and told them so. Freehling became increasingly agitated, and began getting louder and banging on the desk.

At this point, Freehling put forth a scenario in which he claimed my cousin committed the crime, while I waited outside, and that I didn’t know that Mrs. Bishop was dead until the troopers told me.

I told them that was absolutely untrue. Freehling said it might not be exactly how it happened, but that it was pretty close to the truth. I told him he was wrong. He then slammed his hand down again, causing the pen to go flying off the desk, yelling for me to tell him what happened.

I told him that I wanted to make a formal statement, still thinking that I could make the formal statement they used as a ruse to get me to come to the station in the first place. I also told them I wanted to see my wife and children. I know that I wasn’t thinking clearly by this point in time, because things had become so surreal. I think that in my mind, I thought that if my wife and children came, I could give my formal statement and go home with them.

I’m sure that doesn’t seem rational now, but this whole course of events had, by this time, become emotionally draining and dreamlike… no… nightmarish. I felt like everything was moving in slow motion.

Freehling left the room, and I was left with McIlhenny. There was no conversation between us. I was very upset, and said aloud that if I hadn’t gone drinking, then I wouldn’t be in this predicament. You see, drinking had caused me problems in the past, especially with my marriage, and in my mind, I felt that if I had just gone home that night, my wife could have told them I was there with her all night, and this would all be over.

Freehling came back to the room with a piece of paper for me to sign, saying that I waived my right to an attorney.I had previously signed at least one such document earlier in the day, but he again claimed this was just a formality. The thought hadn’t occurred to me earlier in the day that I would even need an attorney, since I had nothing to do with the crime, and even when things started to become bizarre, I didn’t think to ask for an attorney. But now they had accused me of something to do with the crime, and so I refused to sign their piece of paper, and told them I wanted an attorney.

There is no better way to describe Freehling’s demeanor at this time, beside “pissed”.

I was told it would be in my best interest to sign the paper, and tell them what happened. I again refused, and told them I wanted an attorney. They then claimed that if I would sign the paper and talk to them, they would bring my wife and children down to the station to see me. Once again, I told them I didn’t have anything to say, and wanted an attorney present.

[Editor’s note: Why did the police insist on trying to get Timothy McEnany to relinquish his right to an attorney? What was their agenda? I’ve spoken to seven police investigators from other states, and three from Pennsylvania, and all of them agreed that when a detainee refuses to reliquish their rights, and requests an attorney, standard protocol is to comply. In this case, the State Troopers were clearly interfering with Mr. McEnany’s constitutional rights.]

At this point, I kept my mouth shut, and refused to say anything else. The troopers continued making comments. Things like, “You’re throwing your life away…” and “We just wanted to help you…” The suggested that I shouldn’t have to pay for the crime my cousin committed. [Editor: If that was the case, why wasn’t his cousin detained? Maybe because there was no evidence, even circumstantial, linking either man to the crime!]

They said that I should think about my wife and kids, and shouldn’t spend the rest of my life in prison for something I didn’t do. But as difficult as it was not to respond to these comments, I just shut down, and remained silent.

Eventually I was told an attorney was on the phone for me. I was taken to a room filled with brown bags, and was directed to the phone. The public defender was on the other end of the line. I believe his name was Scott Evans. He told me not to speak to the police, and that a lawyer was being sent to meet with me. I hung up, and left the room.

Troopers were standing outside the room, and when I exited, they asked me what he said. I told them he said not to talk to them. I was taken back to the interrogation room. This time, the door was left open, and troopers came in and out. They continued to make comments and ask if I would talk to them. I told them I would not, and they eventually began to ignore me altogether.

Shortly thereafter, I heard my wife’s voice, and someone talking to her. There was no one in the room with me at this time, so I stepped outside the room, and a trooper sitting at a desk close-by told me to go back into the interrogation room. I spoke loudly to my wife, whom I could not see, but could still hear, and said, “Do not talk to them.” The trooper then physically shoved me back into the interrogation room, and closed the door behind him. I told him I wanted to speak with my wife, and he didn’t answer me. He left, closing the door again, behind him.

Later, the door again opened, and one of the troopers introduced me to Mr. Lydon, who told me he was an attorney with the Public Defender’s office. I didn’t trust anyone at this time, and asked him to show me some ID. Mr. Lydon produced his license and business card, and then asked me what was going on. I told him the troopers were accusing me of a crime I knew nothing about. I also told him my wife was there, and I wanted to see her and tell her she should not be speaking to the police. He said he would see what he could do, and left the room.

When he left, a trooper came into the room with me. We didn’t speak. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Lydon came back into the room with my wife. My wife asked me what was going on, and I told her I didn’t understand why, but the police were accusing me of something I had nothing to do with.

I told her not to speak to the troopers, and asked how she got there. She told me the troopers picked her up and drove her there. I told her to call my parents and ask them to come pick her up. At this point a trooper came into the room and made my wife leave.

Lydon and I were then left alone in the room, and he asked me what I wanted to do. I didn’t understand what he meant, and so he asked if I wanted to talk to the troopers. I told him that I had nothing more to say to them, because I knew nothing about the crime, and that Mr. Evans told me not to speak with them. Mr. Lydon then left the room, and returned with a couple troopers and the District Attorney. I was presented with the waiver form to sign again, and they claimed that if I would talk to them, they would do what they could to help me. Again, I told them I had nothing to say.

I was escorted out of the interrogation room, where my hands and feet were chained to a metal ring embedded in the floor. I asked what was going on, and was told that I was being charged with the murder of Mrs. Bishop.

Even after everything else that happened, I was in shock. I remember wishing I would just wake up from this surreal nightmare.

As much as the earlier part of the say seemed like a surreal blur, things just became more and more surreal at that point. I recall being taken to the District Magistrate’s office, where I was charged with criminal homicide, burglary, and conspiracy to commit a robbery. I was committed to Dauphin County Prison without bail.

That was over twenty-one years ago, and I have yet to wake up from this nightmare.

Again, I am so grateful and humbled that you have been gracious enough to turn your head, and not only look my way, but help me in my time of need, when it feels like the world has aligned against me, Archbishop Salvato. Please accept my most heartfelt thanks.

— Timothy McEnany
CP 0502
1600 Walters Mill Road
Somerset, PA 15510



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Timothy McEnany Talks About the Katherine Bishop Murder Investigation (Pt 2)

In this segment, Timothy McEnany continues to recount the events leading up to his arrest as a suspect in the Katherine Bishop murder investigation. The following is the account in his own words (part two). This is a continuation of the initial account, which can be found here.

On March 7th, 1993, about mid-morning, two state troopers again showed up on my doorstep. They asked me if I would mind giving a formal statement concerning the events of March 3rd, and told me they were not equipped to take my statement at the house, and asked me to come with them to the station. I wanted to be helpful, if I could, and figured the station was only a few miles down the road, where we were two days prior. I told them I would grab my keys and meet them at the station.

The troopers said I didn’t have to drive, and that we would be going to the station in Harrisburg. That was a bit of a drive — about 20-30 minutes from my home. I asked why we couldn’t do the statement at the local station, and they said something to the effect of their office in Harrisburg, and because it was a Sunday, they wouldn’t be able to access what they needed at the Elizabethville station.

Since it was a Sunday, it was a day I would normally spend with my family, but I didn’t have any pressing business to conduct, so I figured it would be better to do it that day, rather than interrupt the work week. Figuring that I would be gone for more than an hour, I didn’t want to take the car from my wife, and with the troubles I had with the work van, I accepted the officers’ offer to give me a ride there, stating that they would bring me back home as soon as I finished giving them my statement. The thought never occurred to me that by not allowing me my own transportation, they would effectively be holding me hostage.

So off the two troopers and I went. During the ride to Harrisburg, we engaged in casual conversation, the troopers asking how long I had been married, how old the children were, etc. At the time, it seemed like nothing more than polite conversation, but in hindsight, I believe they were seasoned investigators, gathering information for further questioning. At the time, however, it seemed innocuous enough. They even stopped at McDonald’s and asked if I wanted anything to eat. I declined, and recall being a little irritated that we were wasting time, as I wanted to get home to my family.

We got to the police station and pretty much went straight to the interview room. In the room was a desk and three chairs. The room was pretty small. I am a bit claustrophobic, and remember feeling uncomfortable, but the troopers were very nice, and asked me questions in a friendly manner. I didn”t feel like this was an adversarial situation at all at that point. The troopers were smiling and very polite. Freehliung, the trooper who did most of the talking, sat across the desk from me. The other trooper sat at the end of the desk, blocking me into the corner essentially. Although not aware of it at that time, I now realise this was done to have an intimidating psychological effect on me, and realise I was feeling trapped, and not in control of the situation.

I didn’t say anything about being uncomfortable, because they were, after all, being nice to me. In fact, I may have even said I was comfortable if asked. I really just wanted to give my statement and get back home.

One thing I did notice was that there wasn’t a typewriter or tape recorder. I asked why not, and was told that they had to take some notes and get all the background information before we could make the formal statement. I thought, okay, whatever… really, what did I know about making a formal statement anyway?

They asked me to relate the events of the day to them. I was constantly asked for more details and provided them wherever possible. First it was just about the time we were at Mrs. Bishop’s house, but eventually it included events from the time I woke up until getting home that night. I asked what the other events of that day has to do with Mrs. Bishop’s house, and was told that it might help me to remember something I didn’t previously remember.

So I related everything that I could to them, and answered their questions. We started to go around in circles. Talking about things that we had already talked about more than once. I told them we were going over the same things, and could we just get to the formal statement. I was told they just needed to get all their facts straight before we could make a formal statement.

And so I kept answering their questions, and eventually their questions about what I told them started to be wrong about what I said previously, and I would have to correct them. This was frustrating me, because I would have to correct something I just told them. I told them one thing, and they would say something completely different. Of course, I now realise this was another tactic to try to trip me up on any lies; however, at the time, I really just thought I was dealing with a couple bumbling Keystone cops!

At this point, their line of questioning was becoming more like an interrogation, and I kept answering their questions willingly. Since I didn’t lie to them about anything, there was nothing for them to trip me up on. But eventually, it began to feel like they were badgering me, and I told them I wanted to make the formal statement and go home. I was told we would take a little break, and that they would take the formal statement when we resumed.

I was asked it I wanted anything to drink, and they brought me some water or coffee, I can’t remember which. During the break, I was introduced to another trooper, McIlhenny, outside of the interrogation room. Trooper McIlhenny engaged me in conversation while the other troopers were supposedly preparing to take my formal statement.

McIlhenny and I talked about how similar our names were, and inquired if I had ever been to Ireland, telling me about his trips there. Again it seemed friendly enough, but I now realise it was just another tactic. I realise now that I might appear stupid not to have realised this, but I was a very naive young man, and have a habit of trusting people as a result of my upbringing, I suppose.

At some point, I was told that Trooper McIlhenny administered polygraph tests, and was asked if I would consent to one. I asked why they would want me to take a polygraph test, as I had been truthful with them. At this point, I asked they thought I had anything to do with the death of Mrs. Bishop, and told, “No, of course not.”

They told me that the polygraph was just a formality to be done, after which we could make a formal statement. I didn’t have anything to hide, so I told them I would take the test, if I could speak to my sister first. My sister was a police officer, and I remembered that during her interview for the academy, they issued a polygraph test. She told me that during her polygraph, she admitted to shoplifting as a child, and that the test showed that she was lying about that, even though it was the truth. So I wanted to get her opinion on my taking a polygraph for this statement.

After an inordinate amount of time, I was told I could call her. I tried calling, but could not get through. After several attempts, each of which failed, I thought it was odd, because my sister is not normally difficult to reach. I would later learn that she was in fact home at that time, and that her phone never rang. But I consented to do the polygraph, because once again, I felt I had nothing to hide.

I was told the test was very trustworthy, and just a formality. I had my misgivings about the trustworthiness of the test, considering my sister’s experience, and given that I had heard they were not reliable and not even admissible in court.

McIlhenny started to explain the procedure to me, stating I would be asked ten questions, which he would go over with me before the test began. He claimed the test was 100% accurate, and so I shouldn’t have anything to be worried about.

I agreed to the test, and asked to use the restroom first. McIlhenny said he needed to use the restroom too, and accompanied me. As we left that interrogation room, I noticed an armed guard outside the door. I looked at him strange, because he was in plain clothes, and I thought it peculiar to see an armed guard outside the door of the interrogation room. McIlhenny escorted me to the restroom, and I relieved myself, but despite his claim to have had to use the restroom himself, McIlhenny did not use the restroom. At that point, I began to feel uneasy.

Once back in the interrogation/polygraph room, McIlhenny administered the test. He went over the questions ahead of time, and then asked them during the test three times, in different order. After taking the wires off me, he asked what the test told him. I responded that I was truthful, so that was what it would have proven. He said, no, that the test told him that I might not have committed the crime, but that I knew something about it. I told him that wasn’t true at all.

While I thought things were surreal before, I now felt I’d stepped into a Salvador Dali painting. I couldn’t believe what he was telling me.

At this point, McIlhenny became adversarial. He again accused me of knowing something about the crime. I denied it. This went back and forth, with him becoming increasingly agitated. I told him it wasn’t true.

He drew something on a piece of paper and asked me if I knew what it was. I told him it looked like a hand. He replied that the finger was pointing at me. I told him he was wrong again, and at that point he left the room.



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