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Paths Crossed 2: A Closer Look (Volume 2) Paperback – September 13, 2017
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About the Author
Clif Edwards’ professional life has been in law enforcement. He was recruited into the Michigan State Police (MSP) at the age of 18. During his nearly 27-year career, he thrived on the training and experiences while striving to make his mark. He then became a Law Enforcement (Protection) ranger with the National Park Service (NPS), serving 14 seasons. The first half of Clif’s MSP career was served in the Uniform Services Bureau, primarily as a trooper. Serving among six posts, he was a field training officer for five rookies, he was assigned to an undercover team, and he served as an advanced accident investigator, a dog handler, and a shift supervisor. He earned four Professional Excellence Awards and two Letters of Commendation for investigations he conducted. The second half of Clif’s MSP career was served in the Investigative Services Bureau as a detective. He assisted police departments across a nine-county area, managed major crime task forces, conducted both sensitive and cold-case investigations, was a street supervisor/operative for an undercover drug enforcement team, and served as a post detective. As a Detective Sergeant, Clif earned three Meritorious Service Awards: one for solving a serial kidnapper/rapist case, one for solving an organized crime case, and the last for solving a 15-year-old murder case. He was twice nominated Trooper of the Year. Clif was then promoted to Detective Lieutenant to command a multi-jurisdictional drug enforcement team. This position is the highest rank in the MSP hierarchy where enforcement duties are part of the job description. During this period, Clif taught a variety of investigative classes in the Academy. At age 45, he retired from the Michigan State Police. Three months after retirement, 9/11 occurred. Like many Americans, Clif felt a call back to service and began preparing to be a Law Enforcement (Protection) Ranger with the National Park Service. At age 47, Clif graduated from the National Park Service Seasonal Law Enforcement Ranger Academy, Wildland Firefighter Training, and Emergency Medical Technician Training. He then served proudly as a protection ranger for the National Park Service for 14 seasons between Isle Royale National Park, Everglades National Park, and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Now based out of Florida, Clif travels North America where he participates in outdoor challenges and continues to write the Paths Crossed series.
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The first obvious red-flag to that low rating was the last name of the person leaving that rating; Sawyer, the same name as convicted and imprisoned Tom Sawyer. Believing the poor rating was likely an attempt to simply discredit the conviction of an imprisoned relative, I looked at one claim made by the rater; that (Daniel)..."Walentowski is still alive.....".
The second red-flag was raised when I find that a headstone in Roselawn Memorial Park in Lasalle, Michigan (Monroe County) shows that Daniel L. Walentowski was born on 3-20-47 and DIED on 9-27-93, even though the rater claimed that he was still alive. Although the book author may have had fat-fingers when he typed the death as 9-17-92 instead of 9-27-93, Walentowski has no doubt been dead for 24 years, contrary to the claim he is still alive.
Being a retired detective, I know that for Sawyer to have been convicted of such a high-profile case would have taken proof beyond a reasonable doubt, which would have had to stand up on appeal, which the conviction has.
I found the book very detailed and well written, with the author providing an inside look at cases that keep the reader engaged and not wanting to put down the book. A great follow-up to the first PATHS CROSSED. Hopefully there will be more to come.
Trouble is: He had already written up a report dated May 28, 1991 - one months before the task force was formed.
Edwards writes that he received a list of 199 sex offenders from the MSP data base. Tom Sawyer was not on that list. Edwards 'wonders' " . . . how such a thing could have happened. Had two sheets stuck together, the bottom being the Tom Sawyer report and so missed from view?" In fact, never having been arrested or tried for any crime, Tom's name never could have been on that list.
Edwards cites a report of an alleged incident of an attempted kidnapping in 1974. She didn't report the incide until the following day. No charges were filed because while Tom agreed to it, the "victim" refused to take a polygraph. That girl died from a drug overdose 4 years later. Author Edwards failed to write any of that in his book.
Hillsdale: During the investigation when shown a photo lineup, the victim pointed to one and said “that’s him.” Somehow the police persuaded her that he was not the perpetrator. That person was a know sex predator (on the sex motivated crime list), and a former Michigan State Police Lieutenant.
Another omission: The Hillsdale victim: Edwards claims that Tom's conviction was overturned because of trial judge's error, and Prosecutor Smith "decided not to re-try the case." In fact it was not Smiths prerogative: That case wasn't "ruled improper" it was REVERSED in Sawyer v. Hofbauer by the U.S. Court of Appeals. Technicality ? It turned out that the MSP had found semen stains on the victim's underwear. After a phone call from Edwards, that victim changed her story and said she had sex with her boyfriend that school day. The kidnapping occurred around 4:30. So Detective Edwards told the lab technicians not to test further. Those technicians, one still with the MSP, the other with the ATF, testified at trial that they had not tested the stains, and the jury never heard about any boyfriend. And the PA knowingly allowed the 'victim' to give false testimony in court.
Pursuant to the FOIA, Tom received lab reports showing that not only had the MSP lab folks tested the stain, but they did not match Tom's DNA. But the MSP techs lied in court anyway. Edwards neglected to mention that in his book.
Tom was convicted in Ingham through the same set of testimony, with plenty of media coverage in advance. What Edwards did not report there is that Tom's Public Defender, was later convicted of the use and distribution of cocaine during the entire time he represented Tom. While cocaine distribution mandates a three-year-minimum sentence in Michigan, the PD received only a small fine, and was disbarred - he now practices Law in Philadelphia. Tom's trial judge was the same judge who gave the PD a light sentence.
Third trial in Monroe. Finally, the only eyewitness to any of the abductions, Daniel Walentowski. He DID pick Tom out of the lineup, with Edwards standing next to him. But neither he nor the victim could pick Tom out at the preliminary hearing, even though Tom sat at the Defense table in a Jail Orange jumpsuit. Walentowski picked out a Prosecutor in a suit standing in the rear of the courtroom. Edwards states: "Daniel Walentowski from Monroe who had witnessed this kidnapping and gave chase to the suspects car . . . (who) identified Sawyer in the lineup. He would have been an important witness in the Monroe trial, but, unfortunately he was killed in a car accident on September 17, 1992." In fact, Walentowski is still alive and testified at the 1993 trial. He and Edwards talked in the corridor afterwards ! He testifies that he viewed the suspect from 800 feet, for 2 seconds, "kinda skooched down." When asked why he changed his original written description from Ford to Oldsmobile, (Walentowski worked at Ford), he took the Fifth, and the jury deliberated 45 minutes before bringing a "not-guilty" verdict
Walentwoski's description was the lynchpin for describing the perpetrator's car in all trials - yet in the first two, the judge would not let him testify.
Everything I have written here is documented by police reports and court records.