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Post #4: “One Thing He Is Not; He Is Not The Killer Of Scott Macklem."

WHO KILLED SCOTT MACKLEM?
Author’s Note: Every wrongful conviction causes dual torment: the torment of the innocent yet imprisoned individual, and the social torment that the actual perpetrator remains free. This blog focuses primarily on the latter, in the hope that we will gain more knowledge about the murderer of Scott Macklem.


Resonable Doubt SN1 key artThis particular post discusses a recent portrayal of the wrongful conviction of Temujin Kensu (formerly Fredrick Freeman) in the Macklem case, on the show “Reasonable Doubt” which aired on Investigation Discovery Channel, Season 1, Episode 10: Long-Distance Murder. The conclusions reached during the show compel attention to the fact that Scott Macklem’s murder remains unsolved.


Post #4: “One Thing He Is Not; He Is Not The Killer Of Scott Macklem."
07/19/17

Criminal defense attorney Melissa Lewkowicz spoke those words at the conclusion of the episode, as she and retired homicide detective Chris Anderson described the results of their investigation to the sister of Temujin Kensu. Ms. Lewkowicz called the prosecutor’s case "imaginary" and "conjecture." I wholeheartedly agree with the conclusions reached on the show. I am absolutely thrilled that the show’s producers have hired a private investigator to look into the case further, in the hope of achieving justice.

 

I do not wholeheartedly agree with the way certain aspects of the case were portrayed. The insights I share are mine as well as those of other individuals familiar with the case, and friends on social media who have commented about the episode. We’ll get this off the table first: Temujin Kensu was depicted as almost creepy and very unlikeable.

What was not portrayed was how emphatically Temujin admits and regrets that as a young man he was an obnoxious womanizer, petty criminal, and egomaniac. He realizes being a jerk made him an easy target for the police and prosecutor in a case they had to solve, and quickly. Detective Anderson Chris interviewed Temujin and portions were played on the episode. Temujin described how he has reformed himself and changed, but there was not enough significance given to that.

The story of Temujin’s change and reformation was also overshadowed by the portrayal of his conversion to Buddhism, and creation of the Vil-Ray. His beliefs were described in what was labeled a “biblical” text during the program. Detective Anderson and attorney Lewkowicz suggested the text portrays Temujin as a self-proclaimed “savior,” based on a single line of writing that Ms. Lewkowicz quoted. They also suggested that he is a cult leader and a potentially dangerous individual. That was unfortunate. I have read portions of the Vil-Ray text. While it is unorthodox, to me it seems like the reflections, meditations and perhaps even the visions of a deeply spiritual individual. From the portions I have read, it certainly didn’t strike me that I was being drawn into the clutches of a cult, or the influence of a human savior. It’s truly dreadful that this individual’s progress towards goodness was painted as highly suspect.

As to Temujin’s character in the mid-1980’s, clearly it accounts, in great part, for him becoming the only suspect in the case. (Shoddy police work accounts for the other part). There is no doubt that this conviction was based on character. To quote Michael Douglas in The American President, this conviction is “almost entirely about character.” That doesn’t include only Temujin’s bad character, but that of the police, prosecutor, defense counsel, and judge. This case is rife with investigative shortcomings, prosecutorial misconduct, and exploitation of evidence. The defendant had incompetent and addicted defense counsel.

Temujin’s attorney told him he could not testify on his own behalf. The judge in this case “forgot” to instruct Temujin that he had the right to testify on his own behalf. The judge later admitted in a videotaped interview that he “probably should have” given that instruction. Unfortunately, the show unwittingly portrays Temujin on the stand, presumably sharing his version of where he was at the time of the murder, and the nature of his relationship with Scott Macklem’s pregnant fiancée. In the initial introduction to the case, a male actor is sitting in the witness stand, shown from his neck down, but obviously testifying, moving his arms and making fists with his hands. Melissa Lewkowicz used the words “but the jury didn’t buy it.” This portrayal, although arguably not part of the investigation or conclusions, was inaccurate. No one should be swayed by the statement that the jury “didn’t buy” Temujin’s story. They never heard his story. His attorney never effectively contested the "imaginary" story full of "conjecture" created by the prosecution.

Regrettably, the format of the show and limited airtime did not allow for this to be fleshed out. Many individuals of outstanding character, including a former Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, have concluded that this is an egregious case of wrongful conviction. Click here for the video interview. Every single individual in the legal field, all the law enforcement professionals and others who have examined the case concluded that this individual is innocent. Indeed, a detective in the very department that investigated the case reached that conclusion.

Angela Smith is the family member who made the plea for justice on the show. She described her brother as essentially a “lovable jerk” who used women and sometimes cheated people out of money by writing bad checks. Angela very credibly described that she has never felt threatened, harassed or manipulated by her brother. Despite this, at the conclusion of the show, Angela was warned to be wary of Temujin him if he is released from prison. That was unproductive. Detective Anderson also suggested, as he segued to the conclusion, that Angela sold her house so she could support the effort to free her brother. While it’s true that Angela sold her house, it had nothing whatsoever to do with Temujin.

Melissa also interviewed Kimberly, whom she described as the mother of one of Temujin’s children. Like Angela, Kimberly has never felt controlled or manipulated by him. These are the two women who have been closest to Temujin in his life. In Angela’s case, before and after the Macklem murder and trial; in Kimberly’s, as a young impressionable girl and for the last 14 years, an advocate and “co-parent/grandparent.” In what was perhaps a lighthearted but harsh assertion, both Angela and Kimberly stated during their interviews that Temujin would never commit any crime, much less murder, over a woman. This is significant because the prosecutor’s imaginary motive was jealousy. To my mind, their accounts of their respective relationships with Temujin carry significant weight, to anyone who may doubt his innocence, or feel unsympathetic to his cause. Angela and Kimberly know him, and they know the case. They are both emphatically convinced of his innocence.

The show included portions of an interview with former Channel 7 news reporter Bill Proctor. When he learned about this case in the 1990’s, Proctor took a leave of absence from work to devote himself full-time to investigating it. In addition to securing an interview with the “jailhouse snitch” who testified at the trial, Proctor videotaped a polygraph examination of Temujin. A retired state police polygraph examiner emphatically concluded that he was innocent. The snitch recanted. The police work was analyzed brutally. The political ramifications of the case were also scrutinized. Bill Proctor presented a multi-part series about the case on Channel 7 News. {link to series on website} Proctor portrayed Temujin as a complex personality with strengths and weaknesses, but a very human being who is absolutely innocent.

When Detective Anderson and attorney Lewkowicz talked to Angela at the end of the show, they also said three witnesses placed Temujin in Escanaba around the time of the murder. According to the University of Michigan Innocence Clinic, there were actually ten such solid “alibi” witnesses available to testify. Three were allowed to take the witness stand at trial.

Chris Anderson seemed skeptical that the recantation of the jailhouse snitch, Joplin, was genuine. Melissa Lewkowicz clearly believed Joplin, and more or less overruled Detective Anderson. I’ve watched the Proctor interview of Joplin and I’m “Team Melissa” on this one. To his credit, Proctor handled the interview very well. He asked the right things. The recantation is credible. Keep in mind; Joplin lied about more than just the “confession” at trial. He also lied at trial by denying he got favorable accommodations and conditions to his imprisonment in exchange for his cellmate confession story.

One huge positive of the show was that Chris Anderson consulted a forensic crime reconstruction expert. In the expert’s opinion, based on a review of the entire case file, and knowledge of the scene, Scott Macklem’s murder was a professional hit. In the expert’s opinion, this contract killing had to be done by two people. Given the scant amount of blood at the scene, and the direction of the fatal, precise, single trajectory through Scott Macklem’s body; in the expert’s opinion, nobody could simultaneously drive a car and shoot a .22 gauge shotgun that accurately. Eyewitnesses reported hearing the shot and noticing a car cruising through the parking lot from that direction. Only one eyewitness described only one person – a driver – in what may have been that vehicle. According to the forensic expert, a second person had to be shooting as the driver operated the vehicle. This information turns the case that was prosecuted, on its head. Hopefully, it will be significant to future innocence efforts.

Chris Anderson also consulted a pilot who said it was highly unlikely that any flight occurred. The prosecution argued that Temujin could have committed this murder at 9 a.m., and be back in downtown Escanaba by 11:30, by chartering a plane. In the opinion of the pilot Detective Anderson consulted, to commit this murder and return to Escanaba within that time frame, one would have to rely upon perfect weather and military precision. Temujin had no money, no shot gun, I’m guessing no friends willing to fly 300 miles one way to help him commit a murder, no connection to a military-trained pilot willing to fly 600 miles round trip to abet in a murder, no way to assure a car was waiting wherever they landed, and no military experience of his own. Temujin’s attorney never effectively contested the “phantom flight” theory. Maybe he assumed the jury would never believe it. More likely, he lacked the clear-headedness and competence to mount a defense.

I watched the entire Reasonable Doubt series. It is a good show, and I hope that they want to do more episodes. I would love to see broadcasted follow up on the three of ten cases in which they concluded there was a wrongful conviction. The fact that the other seven cases resulted in a different conclusion speaks to the objectivity of Chris Anderson, Melissa Lewkowicz, and their producers.

As to Scott Macklem, I hope that this story does not end when the jailhouse doors open and close as Temujin Kensu is finally freed someday. I believe it is our social responsibility to find and convict Scott’s killer. To any “character doubters” out there (including Melissa Lewkowicz), I’m certain Temujin Kensu feels the same way, and I’m willing to bet he would even assist with the effort.

This is borne out by the fact that Temujin is offering a reward for information on the case. The reward is offered from monies awarded to him for cruel and unusual punishment experienced during imprisonment. It’s being matched by his legal counsel and totals $50,000.

With new evidence, new investigative efforts, and a reward being offered, it really is time to find out who killed Scott Macklem. If you have any information that may assist in this effort, I implore you to contact Dave Sanders at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Thank you.

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