Good News

Ken Andersen communicated with me over the weekend and here are some of the things he had to say: “John, at the hearing the judge wanted to know if my issues in my petition were actually new evidence and if they were, would it get me past the clear and convincing standard of actual innocence which is needed to even have my petition heard. The state said I should have known about the bullet casings at the crime scene as early as late 2014. As such, I only had until late 2016 to use due diligence to find them and file my petition. From time to time an issue can be reasonably raised in a two year period. File after that time, it will be time barred unless you meet some exceptions or the interest of justice requires it to be reviewed. Zach (his lawyer) knew my facts about issues and made a very compelling argument and backed it up with some case law that supported my petition. Essentially he told the judge if you outright deny my petition without holding a hearing he would be abusing the court’s discretion and based on a MN-S-Court’s ruling in State V Wilson, it will get reversed. The judge took a few minutes and asked Zach if he thought we would be able to get my hearing done in a day? Zach thought we could. Long story short, by the judge’s tone and words it very much appeared he was granting my evidentiary hearing. After that I said some things about the missing police reports, cig butts, etc. The judge said would take our arguments under advisement and issue an order. At best he has 90 days to make that ruling. While walking back to my unit, my caseworker (who was sitting in on the hearing) told me that it appeared I was getting a new hearing. All in all, I feel Zach did great and I feel good about the hearing.”

More when I get any updates.

New Appeal and New Evidence: Gun shells, Cigarette butts, and a Red coat

This past week Ken’s attorney filed a new petition in court with new evidence and more proof Ken Andersen is innocent and should be granted a fair trial with ALL of evidence shown to a jury of his PEERS. Read the proof for yourself:

Affidavit of Service

Memorandun of Law in Support of Petition for Postconviction Relief (3-20-2020)

Petition for postconviction relief (3-20-2020)

Andersen Postconviction Exhibits



April 13, 2020

I spoke with Ken Andersen today on the phone and he was emotional and down, as this is the anniversary of the death of his friend, Chad Swedberg. They were business partners and close friends even up to the day Chad was killed. Ken was wrongly convicted of his death and is serving a life sentence. That doesn’t change the fact Ken still grieves over the loss of his best friend. There is an old Native custom of putting tobacco outside to honor the memory of the departed. Ken asked me to post this and ask as many of you as possible to do this to remember Chad and his life. I would ask you to also remember that the wrong person was punished for this crime and the true killer is still out there, enjoying life, getting away with a murder.

Ken’s Hearing- Oct 23

On Tuesday of this week, Ken Andersen appeared back in court to introduce new evidence that he is innocent of the crime of murder. I spoke with him on the phone Wednesday, and Ken thinks the hearing went very well. He and his attorney, were able to bring to light many new facts that add to a pile of evidence he is not the person responsible for Chad Swedberg’s murder.

This is a long process and very difficult to accomplish. If any of you are watching season 2 of Netflix’s “Making of a Murderer”, it is easy to have reasonable doubt either of those men committed that crime. In spite of a world wide audience that is convinced of their innocence, they both remain imprisoned. Ken’s situation is no different. Many people want to always give law enforcement the benefit of the doubt, and this is what occurs when all they desire is a conviction at any cost.

Ken outlined the process that is happening now, and believes he should hear an ultimate ruling in about five months. The media was mostly silent this week, except for Kevin Wallevand, at Channel Six in Fargo. Here is the interview he gave with Ken’s mother, Geraldine Bellanger.

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New Evidence!

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.


So What Happened?

White Earth is a reservation populated by the Ojibwe Tribe in northern Minnesota. A portion of those who live there are white and Chad Swedberg was one of those. White Earth is remote and wooded.  On the morning of April 13, 2007, here is some of what happened. Chad woke up early, and handled a few phone calls.  He was in a hurry to go work in the maple syrup stand in the woods behind his house. There is a multiple stream of conflicting stories of what else was going on. Over the next few weeks we will take a look at each statement and try to establish what happened. Just before 10 am that morning, Chad’s wife, Leslie Fain, would call 911 from a cell phone in front of her dead husband, lying on the ground by the maple stand. The 911 call was not the first call she had made. Leslie had called Ken Swedberg first, as he lived next door.  He was also at the maple stand and he was the one who told her to make the call. I will not refer to the maple stand as the murder site as that exact place Chad was shot was never established.

In a few minutes the EMT’s would arrive at the house and Ken Swedberg was waiting there to transport them on an ATV up the muddy trail to the maple stand. Once there, they determined he was dead, but could not say why. It took rolling Chad over and a close inspection before they saw two bullets that entered his back.

Police began to arrive and the muddy ground was trampled over and over. They stood by and watched as Ken Swedberg would transport his brother’s body in a Bobcat front end loader back to the house and into an ambulance. No suspects or clues were found that day. None.

The police were challenged to find out two things: what happened and why?

April 13, 2007

On the morning of April 13, 2007, at about 10 am, Chad Swedberg, a man in White Earth, Minnesota, was found dead in the woods behind his house. Below is a picture of the crime scene. Once you open the pdf, you can “right click” and rotate the picture clockwise. You can also zoom in and inspect the details.


There are many accounts of what happened that morning. The following account is from one Joseph MacArthur, a police officer in White Earth.

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In these 5 pages, MacArthur says he got the dispatch call at 9:55 am and arrived at 37450 Little White Earth Lake Road at 1031 am. He was told that the victim was Chad Swedberg and was definitely dead. He was also told the call came from the person who found him, Leslie Fain, his wife. He soon saw Leslie drive up to the house in a truck and go in the house.

At this moment, the house had not been secured.  He then told the officers to secure the house. There is  no record as to what that order meant or if it was done. He was told the crime scene was already secured.  He reports the weather was warm and the ground was soft and muddy. Instead of going to the actual place the murder occurred, MacArthur decides to ride in Lisa Swedberg’s suv with Ken Swedberg, the brother of Chad, at the wheel. They drive on County Highway #34, and then over to Fish Hook Lake. They then drove over to CR #21 to North 374th to the intersection of 280th ave. They got out and walked around Fish Hook Lake.  He lets Ken smoke a cigarette on the trail not caring this is contaminating the scene.  They found no tracks or evidence at all.

During this time, possible witnesses and suspects were waiting at the White Earth RTC and getting upset over having to wait. MacArthur goes to interview them, after spending only a few minutes at the crime scene, where any possible clues were still in existence.  For the past hour, police and citizens have been plunging in the mud over and over on the trail on ATV’s and trucks. destroying the scene completely.

At the RTC, he interviews Ann Fain, and Thomas Covington. It is curious as to why he only talked to them at this very crucial time. He later talks to his brother, John MacArthur, who assures him he has talked to everyone except for Terry Andersen, It is reported that Brian Donner had heard gun shots early in the morning, but no time was given yet. MacArthur talks to Ken Swedberg again, but at the end of the day, no clues or suspects have emerged, which later will become a source of frustration to the police.