Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Barton McNeil: Illinois Innocence Project takes 1998 murder case. New DNA testing could offer hope of exoneration. WJBC;

STORY: "Illinois Innocence Project takes 1998 murder case," by reporter Ryan Denham, published by WJBC on May 4, 2012. (This case only recently came to my attention. HL);

GIST: "The Illinois Innocence Project is taking on a 1998 Bloomington homicide, hoping to exonerate convicted murderer Barton McNeil and expecting to get some help from new DNA evidence testing. The Illinois Innocence Project is “in with both feet, in terms of giving this a thorough, thorough review,” said IIP Legal Director John Hanlon, who recently visited McNeil in prison. A “professional” referred the case to the IIP, but Hanlon declined to say who or describe their occupation........McNeil was convicted of smothering his 3-year-old daughter, Christina. He’s now serving a life sentence in prison but has long maintained that his then-estranged girlfriend, Misook Nowlin, broke into his Bloomington apartment and killed Christina while he slept. But Nowlin, now known as Misook Wang, was arrested last fall and charged with staging an elaborate plot to lure her 70-year-old mother-in-law, Wenlan “Linda” Tyda, into traveling to the Twin Cities, where she was strangled. Tyda’s body was later dumped in a forest preserve near her home in the Joliet area. That connection was enough to prompt a second look at the 1998 case by police and the McLean County state’s attorney’s office. Detectives traveled to interview McNeil at Menard Correctional Center but later announced there were no new leads to pursue.........Hanlon’s specialty is DNA cases. Ultimately, the goal in such cases is to file a new motion for DNA testing on certain evidence, Hanlon said. Generally speaking, DNA evidence exists in only about 10 percent of serious criminal felony cases, he said. “But we think it exists here,” he said. (If DNA testing is not possible, another IIP lawyer specializing in investigations would then likely get the case, Hanlon said.)."

The entire story can be found at:


I am monitoring this case. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.