The Press-ure to Release Five Innocent Men…

This press release was sent out to all of the local Green Bay, WI media outlets on Sat, Oct. 18th:


Fifth Annual Walk for Truth and Justice Set for Saturday, October 25

Green Bay, WI — October 18, 2014

The evening of Saturday, October 28, 1995 was a rainy one in Northeastern Wisconsin.

That night an imported jury from Racine County returned to a Brown County courtroom after deliberating for less than seven hours and delivered six guilty verdicts in what is likely the most famous murder trial in Green Bay history.

The “Monfils Six” — Dale Basten, Michael Hirn, Michael Johnson, Keith Kutska, Michael Piaskowski and Rey Moore — were found guilty, in a joint trial, of first degree intentional homicide-party to a crime; an alleged conspiracy to murder their co-worker, Tom Monfils.

Piaskowski was released in 2001 by order of Federal Judge, Myron Gordon, who stated that Piaskowski should not have been convicted on what Gordon called “inference-stacking” at the heart of the state’s case. The other five men remain incarcerated in Wisconsin prisons, continuing to this day to proclaim their complete innocence.

Piaskowski has worked doggedly on behalf of the other five men since his release. Along with a local group,  the “Families and Friends of Six Innocent Men,” and others, Piaskowski will help lead the Fifth Annual Walk for Truth and Justice at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday evening, October 25 at the Brown County Courthouse.

The group will gather for speeches by author Denis Gullickson and Justice Advocates Joan Treppa and Trudy Baltazar. It will then hold a candlelight walk around the courthouse, past the Green Bay police department and back to the courthouse.

The group remains optimistic thanks to the involvement of Fredrikson and Byron, a major Minneapolis law firm, a team of additional Wisconsin attorneys and the Minnesota and Wisconsin Innocence Projects.

In anticipation of the walk, Gullickson said, “The legal team has been working with witnesses and experts to prepare a motion showing why the men were wrongfully convicted.  We expect that a motion will be filed with the court in the very near future and the reasons why the convictions were wrongful will then become clear.”

For the benefit of those affected by this injustice, please take a moment to remember the five incarcerated men and their families, that they all may be reunited in a timely manner. Nineteen years is so very long and these folks need every ounce of support that we can send their way! Thank you!

We are closer than ever before to success but lest we forget our humanity, please also be mindful that for those who have placed this unbearable burden upon these innocents, the pressure to vacate these convictions will likewise be unbearable, and the wake of the impending legal firestorm will be fraught with new cruelties. Having compassion for both sides does not dismiss the devastating injuries, but empowers us to rise above these accusers, to celebrate our integrity and to authenticate our truths.





2 thoughts on “The Press-ure to Release Five Innocent Men…

  1. Patti SJ MacKenzie

    What a truly sad and huge pathetic miscarriage of justice. The circle of ‘cover-up’ and ‘conspiracy’ continues with no end in sight. The homicide was NOT about an ‘extension cord’, ‘an expensive extension cord’, ‘a piece of wire’ or now what Winkler refers to as a ‘cable’. What a bunch of morons in this state!!! In this Country for that matter since the FED’s were not on board until, coincidentally 1995, whereas they should have been on board immediately!!!!!, which was the same year the six went to prison while the ‘alpha male’ or ‘king pin’ who orchestrated the entire incident simply turned state’s evidence, making the DA look like a complete idiot and simply walked away Scot free while six others went to prison on life sentences. To shove the whole matter in the Green Bay/Northeastern WI’s face the ‘alpha male’ or ‘kin pin’ ran for public office immediately afterwards in of all areas the township of ‘Scott’.

    What doesn’t this state or those in the WI Dept of Justice understand about this case that it was NOT about just the potential theft of an extension cord which seems to have over the years taken on a life of its own but rather about abuse of power by the Union President, born and raised in the Township of Union in Door County, WI on the 4th Day of July. He had the backing of money, the backing of his father’s having worked for ship building in Sturgeon Bay on government contracts and the backing of a family member who was a Door County cop where he (the cop) would strategically park his squad car on the Hwy where all the mill workers from the northern most parts of Door County would view and assume that ‘he’, the ‘king-pin’ or ‘alpha male’, was not involved. What propaganda! What deceitfulness to the community!

    The ‘king-pin’ or ‘alpha male’ who orchestrated the entire incident from beginning to end, simply turned state’s evidence, making the then DA Zakowski, look like a complete imbecile. Sad to say but this ‘is’ the truth! The ‘king-pin’ or ‘alpha male’ walked away Scot free, while six others went to prison on life sentences.


    Did the former DA do a bad job? Did the presiding judge, Patrick Crooks now on the WI Supreme Ct bench, do a bad job? No, not entirely! I do not believe that the judge did a bad job. I believe that the DA did a bad job (not entirely though) because as I sat in the DA’s law library after being strategically sought out by the DA’s office through a temp agency, since the word around town was that I was out of work, and most importantly wanted to ‘see what I knew’ about the case. I was called in on a temp job to work at the DA’s office in a file converting temp job and I tried to come forward but he was more concerned about the ‘spelling’ of my first name rather than what I had to say as I sat next to Curly Lambeau’s grand-daughter in the law library converting files on the temp job.

    The Thomas Monfils murder and investigation was a total coverup from beginning to end and it still continues to this very day and will until someone takes the time to listen what I have to say about case. I have literally no reason to lie and I didn’t come forward to collect the 50K that Susan Monfils put up ‘after’ the five went to prison (if I recall) for life ‘because’ of the complexities of the matter and again how I was treated or precisely mistreated by the then DA when I worked on the temp job at the DA’s office in the fall of 1993.

    I could go on for hours about facts and details about the homicide and how and who is covering for who and how it continues.

    I’ve heard it all when it comes to the Thomas Monfils murder for the past twenty-two years and the justice system ‘still’ can’t get it right. If one stands back, after hearing my story, and looks at the whole picture then they might be able to see the truth about the homicide that took place on November 21st, 1992. Until then, no one will every know the truth about the homicide and no amount of speculating or guessing or sensationalizing will solve the homicide!!!

    Patti SJ Mackenzie

    1. Joan Treppa Post author

      Hi Patti. Thank you for your comments. The law firm I’ve hired has researched this case inside and out for the past eighteen months and has compiled a motion that was filed in Brown County on Friday (Oct.31st). I will be posting a link to it tomorrow (Monday,Nov.3rd) on my page. I hope you find that it sheds some serious light on what was never disclosed to the community or the jury. I agree with your assessment about these men being innocent but in search of only tangible facts, the law firm has come to a conclusion that you may not find satisfactory.


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