Awhile ago, I met up with David*, an attorney from Green Bay, Wisconsin who is well intentioned but aware of the uphill battles in regard to exposing the real truths surrounding the Wisconsin Monfils case. He had lived in the area when the case unfolded and told me his thoughts about our new efforts. “I don’t think we’ll ever see the day when those five guys get out of prison,” he said. Despite his personal beliefs that the men are innocent, he wasn’t convinced that the local legal community will ever allow them to be released. He believes the authorities will circumvent actions in favor of their release and he also felt that too much time has passed to effectively go back and reinvestigate. I remember thinking that he could be absolutely right. But my reply to him was something similar to being “too stupid” or “too ignorant” to understand that concept. Even in those early days, I was determined to never take “no” for an answer because of my belief in another concept; that the truth always sets us free.
I’m certain this lovely man saw me as a foolish dreamer and that I was setting myself up for failure and disappointment. But what he failed to recognize was my complete abandonment of logical reasoning that, to me, serves as a roadblock to perseverance. He also failed to realize that I was willing to be the bridge to finding whomever was needed to pull this off.
I’ll admit as I look back to where our efforts have taken us during the past five years that what has happened since is an absolute miracle. It’s a good thing that my ignorance shielded me from allowing his educated assessment to cloud my determination. It did, in fact, give me additional incentive to prove him and other naysayers wrong. Over time, as developments have unfolded, renewed hope has replaced old doubt within him. He was afforded the opportunity to engage in conversations with our new attorneys.
The recent progress thanks to our dedicated legal team has put this case back into the spotlight. Although there is still much work to be done, their efforts have initiated a somewhat successful mission that has brought us farther than we ever could have imagined. In retrospect, there’ve been many and there will be more bumps in the road. But the ignorance exhibited on behalf of this community will have to be set aside to allow the true facts to surface that clarify what really happened.
*Sadly, David passed away in 2016 at the age of 85.