This sad story has always begun and ended with Leslie Fain. She is the one who first reported her husband’s death and called 911. She was the first story investigator’s talked to and gave them them her opinion of her and Chad’s life. The following pages show how she didn’t like Kenneth and Lisa Swedberg, how she admits the stress Chad was under with her own family crowding into live at their house, and how she worried Chad and Al Baker’s maple syrup stand might be in trouble since they didn’t own the land it was on. Leslie gives an “account” of what happened on the morning he was slain. I used quotes, because later it was discovered she wasn’t telling the whole truth and skipped some things that would put herself in jeopardy. She even implicates Kenneth Swedberg in the murder. Leslie spins another tale of how Chad was going to buy a green house. At first she claims they were not having financial difficulty but later her bank statement show dozens of bounced checks, so buying anything would prove to be a problem. They were found to be borrowing money to make their past due mortgage payments as well. Leslie gives several bogus “accounts” about the sale of the infamous Tikka rifle. After reading these four pages, how could she be trusted to give any account that could be used in court is beyond belief?
This fall MTV has aired a series “Unlocking The Truth”, highlighting several unrelated wrongful convictions. Hosted by Ryan Ferguson, who spent 10 years in prison for a crime he was later exonerated for, and Eva Nagao, they examine a growing trend to lock up innocent people when a crime can not be solved in order to get a “win”. They estimate about 5% of the current population incarcerated are innocent. That may seem like a small number to keep us safe from the bad guys, but it literally amounts to over 65,000 humans. The link in nearly every case that was broadcast was the police are willing to cheat in order to win. Winning at any cost seems to be their main goal and “win” they do. It was no different in the case of Ken Andersen. On Monday I presented the beginning of the lies manufactured by the Becker County authorities to get such a “win” at any cost, the truth be damned. The first one was that media saturation, fueled by the police, showered the entire community of what a dangerous criminal Ken was. His first lawyer was Will Bulmer, who recognized there was absolutely no way to find 12 jurors who had not heard Ken was already guilty.
You may need to enlarge the pdf to read it but Mr. Bulmer pointed out that the media had well informed all 32,000 citizens of Becker County of Ken’s criminal record, and arrest for arson (which he was completely acquitted). In order for Ken to get a fair and impartial trial, they would need to move the venue. The Judge rejected the idea. Why? Polluting the jury gave the DA a definite advantage and damned be the US Constitution swearing to give anyone a fair trial. STACKING THE DECK.
Also in the above document you will find that Kenneth Swedberg (Chad’s brother), and Josh Bogatz have told investigators they were both advised by law enforcement not to talk to anyone connected with Ken Andersen’s defense team including his investigator. The bogus reason given was that Ken’s team would try and change what they said. I wonder how that might be possible. No matter, many potential witness clammed up and hog tied Ken’s defense team from getting much help from those who knew the truth. STACKING THE DECK.
Ken was told by one of the Becker County jailers his privileged phone calls were being recorded violating attorney client privileges. Becker County and BCA’s Dan Baumann vigorously denied this, and explained that they were doing this at first but stopped when they got caught. A later civil lawsuit by Ken proved this to be a lie as well. This was a growing trend of cheating to win a weak case that should have never come to trial. The real murderer got away with this. STACKING THE DECK.
Come back Friday for more.
If you have read the latest petition telling how Ken Andersen was wrongly convicted for the killing of Chad Swedberg, you may have questions about whether or not these new claims can be backed up. They can and I will offer you proof. Here are some of the issues that caused the lies surrounding the prosecution’s case against Ken.
- Ken charged that the media, particularly the Detroit Lakes News, had reported that Ken had shot Chad before he even had a trial, which polluted the jury pool. One of the headlines was “Prosecutors say Andersen Shot Swedberg in back on April 13”. The DA responds by saying there is no proof the paper ever talked to an actual prosecutor. What? Do they think the local paper lied about this? They need proof that the information came from a prosecutor? No matter that the headline has already prejudiced the readers. Here’ the exhibit. The media literally saturated the small community with “news” that Ken was guilty without even having a trial. Guess what? It worked.
2. Page 292 also begins the DA’s response to the claim they were eavesdropping on Ken’s telephone conversation’s with his attorney, which is illegal. They emphatically deny they are doing it. Pages 293 and 294 continue their denial of these allegations.
3. The next page is the DA’s response to Ken’s charge that key witnesses have been ordered not to cooperate with Ken’s investigator, which would help cripple his ability for a capable defense. The DA’s response is once again to deny they did anything wrong.
All of these answers by the Becker County DA have been proven to be lies. I will post proof of this and show that Ken Andersen did not get a fair trial and deserves to be retried or set free. One thing that will be clear is that he is innocent of this crime and should not be in prison. He was definitely framed. I will post more on Wednesday, October 19.
Ken Andersen’s attorney, Zach Longsdorf, has recently filed a new petition asking the courts to grant Ken a new trial. This is the best narrative regarding Ken’s railroading at trial and tons of new evidence showing he didn’t kill his best friend, Chad Swedberg. Folks, this is explosive and needs to be shared. After all these years, I feel I have understood and tried to communicate his innocence as best I could. Zach’s petition is better written and more thorough than anything I have have been able to post on this blog. I am sharing it with all of you now and ask you read all of it. The White Earth community needs to know what happened and urge the courts to give him a fair trial or exonerate him and let him go home. The true killer is still out there and got away with this. The police need to find that person and make sure they get the right person this time. I am sharing this in two sections. The first is the Memorandum of Law for Petition Relief, which is 80 pages and tells the entire story of what went completely wrong with this injustice. I urge you to read all of it and share it with everyone you know. The second link is the outline of the petition and only a few pages. I think the White Earth community deserves to know the truth!
I urge all you readers to read this petition and encourage comments! Thanks to all of you for your support. Let’s continue to support Ken and see that he gets to come home.
It’s time we heard from Ken himself. This interview took place two days after Chad was killed.
Did you notice how friendly the police were to Ken? With all the noise at the beginning and end of these tapes, I realized the cops are probably not telling the ones they are interviewing that they are being recorded. They never mention that or ask for permission. The police ask Ken the same question they asked Kenneth and Lisa Swedberg – “Who do you think may have done this?” Ken’s answer is the same as theirs, “I think someone in that house did this.”
Ken’s account of his own timeline stays exactly the same throughout the investigation and the trial. His story never changes. He sounds calm and even helpful as he willingly seems to try and help them. He answers all their questions and doesn’t dodge any subject. If you are a resident of the White Earth community, I ask you to consider this. Do you really think that Ken Andersen got up on April 13, 2007, made several phone calls, walked 2 miles through muddy terrain, killed his best friend in cold blood, walked back carrying a rifle, and hid the rifle, all before 9am? Neither do I.
By now you have heard the police interview Leslie Fain, Al Baker, Kenneth Swedberg, and Lisa Swedberg. None of them think Ken Andersen had anything to do with Chad’s death. So, how did the police ever build a case against Ken? I will show you. I have several recordings of how they intimidated witnesses into saying Ken did it. This is a great example of how the cops tried and failed to get someone to say something that wasn’t true. This is Curt Bevins, Ken Andersen’s uncle. You will hear a dog barking for a while and also a diesel engine running, but the conversation is clear and understandable.
Police “We have some information you may have had some conversation with Ken Andersen.”
Curt “About what?”
Police “About the homicide.”
Curt “We didn’t talk about that.”
Police “Have you talked to Mike LaDue?”
Curt “Not in years.”
Police “So, if I said you came over to Mike LaDue’s house and told him Ken had shot him (Chad), that would be a lie?”
They kept going at him for 20 minutes even after the veiled threats (you better tell the truth) and still would not lie for them. The Police pump him hard over and over, yet you never hear them come at Leslie Fain. Al Baker, Kenneth Swedberg, or Lisa Swedberg this way. Why?
We now hear the words of Chad’s brother and neighbor. I think you will be surprised at what he said just hours after his brother was killed.
This is more of a text book police interview: What did you do today? Let us see your guns. Do you know anyone who wanted to harm Chad? They build a timeline for him and try to sort out the gaps. They just want to eliminate him by listing his guns. The cops actually kind of treat Ken as a suspect and make him even a little jumpy. They do not treat him with kid gloves. However, when he does tell them that Tommy Covington threatened to kill Chad at the same funeral of a young relative he had just slain, they cops seem to ignore him and just go on questioning him as if he told them about working with his bees. Are you kidding me? When the brother of a murdered citizen hands you a person on a silver platter and you do nothing except help that person with an alibi and ask him soft ball questions, well, that seems a little odd to me. What if he had said “Well, I think Ken Andersen did it,” would they have also ignored that? The police had every right to go and arrest Thomas Covington on first degree murder charges and I do believe he would have told you what happened to the late Chad Swedberg.
Another strange fact is that the judge at Ken Andersen’s trial would not allow any references to Tommy Covington. Why? This might provide reasonable doubt in their case to convict Ken Andersen. If you were a juror and heard this, would have still voted to convict? If you were a juror on this trial, I think you know by now that you helped put an innocent man in prison.
For those who have read this blog and know Ken Andersen’s story, you already know who Al Baker is. For those who don’t, let me introduce him. Al is an older man who lives in the same area where the crime was committed and was a friend to both Ken and Chad. He was helping Chad with the maple syrup operation and was supposed to meet him there the morning Chad was killed. He was supposed to be at the maple syrup stand at 8 am, but for some reason he showed up after 10 am, after Chad was found dead. There is never given a verifiable explanation what he was doing or why that morning. Listen to him talk to the police. He sounds very nervous and tries very hard to blame Ken Andersen (Fud) for the murder, but offers no motive or evidence. The police never treat him as a suspect and are eager to weave his nervous ramblings into a now fractured timeline and theory. I will comment after you listen.
I guess if I had to describe this interview with one word, STRANGE, come to mind. He starts right off saying he has no idea who may have killed Chad and in the same breath he accuses “Fud” Ken Andersen, based on nothing more that trying to please the police. Leslie has just called him thinking he was mad at them, or Jessie, and claims they know something suspicious. He says he has been receiving blocked calls and threats, even at the funeral. None of this seems to steer the cops away from their theory now that has Ken Andersen as a suspect. They seem to be listening to him but they are not prone to seek out where these stories were pointing. Al’s memory seems as fuzzy as Leslie and has trouble recalling the events of the murder of a close friend just a week prior. He tells of strange behavior of Leslie just hours after the murder and gives no real insight to any possibility that Ken Andersen killed Chad Swedberg. I talked to Al Baker on the phone a few years ago and he steered me to talk about the mysteries of maple syrup making more than what he said at Ken’s trial. Al told me a tale that he now believes a number of people were involved in the murder. I have unanswered questions about his interview.
1. Why didn’t you go to the maple stand at 8 am like you had planned?
2. Where were you from 730 am to 10 am, and can anyone verify it?
3. Are you lying about what you really know about Chad’s murder and why?
4. Do you have any first hand knowledge that Ken Andersen had anything to do with Chad’s murder?
5 Why are you so reluctant now to talk about any of this?
Here is another interview:
Here are my raw notes as I listened to them:
“this concept of time” “all I remember is that wolf thing”
police are trying to create a timeline unsure of how many times she called Chad
many long silences as she is either thinking of her answer or stumped
she says she knows the sequence of events but lets the police assign the times to what she is telling them
never once do they treat her with suspicion or as a suspect
the questions see to put pressure on her to come up with an answer, they do not come easy
she claims she heard Chad first went to Ken and Lisa Swedberg’s house before going to the maple stand and left their house at 845 am even though she heard shots before 813 am
the police help her out by saying she is confused and Chad was there the night before
okay, is she lying or telling the truth??????
she isn’t sure of much information
the police have already built a timeline by guessing from what very shaky people told them-how can they ever be sure?????
5,6,7 guns in the house-need to document and test them—–did they?????????????/
POLICE TALK IN MUFFLED TONES FOR A LONG TIME- WHO ARE THEY TALKING TO??? WHY DID THEY LEAVE THE RECORDING ON? THEY MAKE SURE THEY CAN NOT BE HEARD.
Check back next Monday for more…..
Here are some thoughts after listening to her interview. If you had read any or all of the material on this blog and still have any doubts that Ken Andersen did NOT shoot and kill Chad Swedberg, listening to these taped interviews should remove them. There is a large difference between what was said the day and the days after Chad was murdered. By the time of Ken’s trial the police had rehearsed these people into saying a much different narrative than what you will hear on these recordings. The main thing missing is any talk that Ken Andersen had any reason, opportunity, or inclination to have murdered his best friend. So, who did the crime? I really believe the one or ones who were involved are on these tapes.
This interview took place on April 13, 2007, the same day her husband was killed. Yet, her voice sounds normal and quite a contrast to what they are discussing. Dan Bauman ask her questions about the events only hours before in the same day of things that would be hard to ever forget, yet she can not remember what time she got up that morning. Leslie tells them Chad was watching some show about wolves and didn’t want to stop. Her rather vague account gives the time Chad left the house to go to work at the maple stand at 8:30 am, even though later the police would tell us he had a standing appointment with Al Baker at 8 am. at the stand. She seems sure she heard two blasts from a gun she refers to as “shotgun blasts” several times. All the other witnesses simply calls them gun shots, so I have to wonder how well her discernment of the sounds different guns make to know it was from a shot-gun (it wasn’t). She thought it might be someone shooting a bear at first and then began the many calls to Chad that were never answered. Remaining unconcerned as she chatted on the internet and got ready for work. Finally, she goes to check on her husband as his phone is still not answering, she hears dogs barking and a mysterious “rattling” may be from a person, and finds Chad laying on his back with his legs askew. She declares he seems to have dead for a while, and begins to think about calling 911, but decides against it. She says they wouldn’t know where she is and decides to call Chad’s brother, Ken. The police never checked to verify much of this story, such as the TV show or whether Chad’s phone did not have voicemail.
This entire interview last almost on hour and left me feeling odd from the huge holes in her story. Couple this interview with her writing a check to double their life insurance that same day, and you come away with the feeling this woman is not telling the whole story here. Reasonable doubt? You bet. Come back next Monday for another installment.