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Legal Updates: Ferguson and Mohler Cases

FMSF News Alert - November 9, 2012

"A sensitiveness to fair play and sportsmanship is perhaps the best protection against the abuse of power, and the citizen’s safety lies in the prosecutor who tempers zeal with human kindness, who seeks truth and not victims, who serves the law and not factional purposes, and who approaches his task with humility."
-- Robert H. Jackson (emphasis added)

The Case of Ryan Ferguson

Ryan Ferguson’s latest appeal for a new trial was denied last Friday by a Cole County Missouri circuit court. You’ve probably heard of Ryan as the "Dream Killer", a name which stuck after CBS 48 Hours profiled his case in 2006. Memory experts Elizabeth Loftus and Richard Leo have both testified on Ryan’s behalf. On Halloween night 2001, sports reporter Kent Heitholt was bludgeoned then strangled to death outside the Tribune newspaper office in Columbia, Missouri. A hair was clutched in the victim’s hand and bloody footprints led away from the area. Building janitors saw two six-foot tall "young guys"leaving the scene a half hour after Heithold had left the office.

Because Heitholt was a beloved public figure and a journalist with the local media, his murder and the lack of viable suspects made frequent headlines.

Two years later, a troubled young man named Chuck Erickson contacted authorities to report a "dream" in which he and his friend Ryan had committed the crime in order to steal drinking money. Although Erickson’s original story did not fit the crime scene, it adapted after time and repeated pointed questioning so that a few elements matched. The bloody footprints, the hair in the victim’s hand, and an impossible timeframe were never reconciled with the confession.

In 2005, twenty-one year old Ryan Ferguson was convicted and sentenced to 40 years imprisonment for Heitholt’s murder. Chuck Erickson has since retracted his accusations against Ryan. The only other state’s witness, one of the building janitors, says he was coerced by the prosecutor to make a positive identification despite his actual uncertainty.

A message from Ryan's father: "Ryan is disappointed by Green’s decision as we all are, but he is stronger than all of us put together! He wants us to thank each of you for standing behind him as we continue this fight to prove his innocence. He thanks you for your cards, letters, phone calls to the governor, etc. We are more determined than ever that the truth will prevail! If you would like to call Governor Nixon’s office the number is 573-751-3222. They are keeping a log of the # of calls that come in. Demand an investigation into Kevin Crane and freedom for Ryan Ferguson. Attorney General Chris Koster’s # is 573-751-3321."

Messages or offers of empathy and support may be sent to:

For more information on the Ryan Ferguson case visit:

Free Ryan Ferguson

A Father’s Odyssey

Mohler Case Anniversary

This Saturday marks the 3rd anniversary of the Mohler family arrests in Lafayette County, Missouri.

On November 10, 2009, a 76 year old grandfather, his brother, and his four sons were arrested and charged with over 50 criminal counts based solely on the "repressed and recovered memories" of young relatives. The accusations of multiple murders, sex-slaves, and young children forced into intercourse with a full-grown stallion horse made worldwide headlines as law enforcement back-hoed local farmland in search of buried bodies.

It took two and a half years of legal wranglings, before the prosecution admitted to having no presentable evidence and dismissed the charges in March of this year.

The men are currently seeking employment after losing their longtime careers due to these unfounded accusations. They are enjoying their privacy and concentrating on regaining physical health and spiritual wellness. The Pet Psychic and other "healers" revealed in court to have been associated with some of the accusing relatives remain unaffected.

Any messages or offers of empathy and support may be sent to: and will be forwarded to the family.

For more information on the Mohler cases visit: