On Monday, March 9th, colleagues and fellow advocates, Joan Van Houten and Johnny Johnson and I were given another opportunity to share our mission on blog talk radio. Joan is the step-daughter of Michael Johnson, one of six convicted men in the WI Monfils case and Johnny is a retired private investigator who helped to find legal representation for Michael Johnson and four of the men. We were guests for this interview on Charlotte View Blog Radio, based in Charlotte, North Carolina. My friend Nina Bingham came through for me again to connect us with this show’s host, Claudia Pureco. Both Nina and Claudia co-hosted the segment and were helpful in calming Joan’s and my pre-show jitters.
During the interview Joan expressed her frustration over having endured many years of silence in regard to the tragic events involving these men, countless family members and close friends. This is still a heavy burden in a community that has moved on and dismissed any pleas for help.
These interviews have given Joan an opportunity to reopen the dialogue and begin to heal through expressing her deepest heartfelt thoughts about a personal tragedy that has shaken her world for over twenty years. In the short time that Johnny and I have been involved in this mission we’ve seen our share of the apathy surrounding the issue of wrongful convictions and this case. For us, this experience to support the voices that portray these trials and tribulations is liberating. We can only imagine what it means for Joan. Claudia and Nina, please accept our gratitudre for offering this platform, to us, to Joan and to all victims unjustly plagued with an inescapable wrongful conviction.
Artwork courtesy of Artist Jared Manninen
Here is the link to more information about the Monfils case.
Footnote: The poem featured in the interview was read by my niece, Jordan Teague.