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Ode To Pittsfield

Welcome to the city of Pittsfield
With a police force that’s truly insane
An agency fraught with corruption
Where malfeasance yields personal gain

Such flagrant abuse of authority
They are bolden to no one at all
Self-righteous and over-empowered
Nothing can breech their blue wall

If scandal was something that hovered
If misconduct was something that flew
Their station could serve as a runway
With each cop making up the aircrew

For years I sat rotting in prison
All due to this pestilent team
The rest of my life is in shambles
Malignity is part of their scheme

A paradigm of civic dishonor
From traffic cop up to the chief
I’ll mention a few of the blameful
But the list as a whole isn’t brief

Let’s start with detective James Casey
Who began his career as a youth
Ascended the ranks with delusion
Quite a poseur but never a sleuth

His cases were solved without merit
Through deception and egregious lies
He’d invent or he’d fabricate evidence
All a part of his crime fighting guise

Quite often he’d falsify records
And he’d generate specious reports
Mendacity used to get warrants
A ruse for deceiving the courts

He arrested me late in the evening
Wielded handcuffs and drove me to jail
I was booked and advised of the charges
Then a magistrate let me post bail

How in the hell did this happen
I’d no record or felonious past
Deep within fires of turpitude
Casey’s malignance was cast

Well into the evening I pondered
An ordeal that just didn’t make sense
The victim of a detective’s depravity
It was time that I mount a defense

The first step was get information
Locate records regarding the crimes
Then figure out how they involved me
Time to focus on dates and the times

Quite suddenly I spotted a pattern
The crimes occurred while I sat home
No way did I break laws in Pittsfield
When from Richmond I never did roam

They happened on dates I was busy
On my computer eight miles away
Emails and projects could prove it
Of this fact to police I’d convey

Establishing my innocence was easy
My computer held all of the proof
Time-stamps stored deep in the hard drive
Would confirm the arrest was a goof

Casey got wind of my evidence
And it gave him a terrible fright
He’d arrested the wrong individual
And my alibi was completely airtight

Handled in true Pittsfield fashion
Rogue actions that hinged on abhorrent
Detectives ascended the property
Without authority and devoid of a warrant

My computer was abducted illegally
Smuggled to the bowels of their station
Police never spoke of its existence
Nor did they divulge its location

Never acknowledged as evidence
It was never intended for court
Well hidden from the district attorney
No mention of it in a report

The police stole my computer covertly
Due to motive that’s barely conceivable
They sought out destruction of data
Thus making my alibi unretrievable

The unit was ravaged quite recklessly
Many settings were randomly changed
Empty files were secretly added
Till the hard drive configs rearranged

With registry chronology scrambled
No data could be used for my case
How convenient for unlawful officials
Nights in question I could never retrace

I was powerless now without alibi
And the city’s police were at fault
Their actions concealed during trial
Kept private was the computer assault

Weeks later while sitting in prison
An attorney was called to intercede
She planned on retrieving my computer
To expose the nefarious deed

On the day she attempted to get it
Pittsfield cops said the unit was lost
The attorney knew well they were lying
And she’d prove it regardless of cost

For weeks she engaged in a battle
Until finally the police had to fold
The computer was “found” in a closet
Or at least that’s the tale that they told

The computer was whisked to an expert
Who compiled a six-page report
He proved I was victim of sabatoge
Unfortunately it was too late for court

Our expert went over the procedures
In regard to how computers are checked
He explained how police did the opposite
To ensure that my hard drive got wrecked

In the end I was proven not guilty
The entire arrest was for naught
Casey’s the one who had broken the law
And at trial red-handed was caught

But the judge and the D.A. did nothing
Not so much as a slap on the wrist
Thanks to Jame’s Casey’s transgressions
My fate would then take quite a twist

Detectives like Casey are ruthless
Merely outlaws with badges and suits
Another is named Mark Trapani
With whom Casey remained in cahoots

The week I was arrested by Casey
Mark Trapani was stuck on a case
He’d proven unable to solve it
A debacle he just couldn’t face

The failure put a chink in his ego
But he soon came up with a plan
Trapani couldn’t catch the real culprit
So he’d state that I was the man

After all I had just been arrested
And most likely I’d be locked away
Trapani saw this as opportunity
Resolve a case any which way

To do so required fake evidence
Bogus fingerprints would easily do
He’d claim they were found at the crime scene
They’d believe him before he was through

But Pittsfield is bound to procedures
From arrest straight through to the trial
Fingerprints are processed via scanner
So that AFIS can add to their file

One way to beat such a protocol
Is to feign a malfunctioning scanner
Then process my prints via ink roll
Even though it’s an outdated manner

The night Casey took me in handcuffs
My fingerprints faced alteration
First created suspiciously by ink roll
Then scanned after I’d left the station

Trapani now had what he needed
Spare prints for a fraudulent ploy
He’d call them the latents he lifted
Very useful as a trial decoy

The slime ball then got me indicted
In a case that was never legit
His evidence duped a grand jury
Thus insuring they’d never acquit

At trial he declared I was guilty
For some havoc I never did wreak
Despite having nothing for evidence
Proceedings dragged on for a week

Trapani gave considerable testimony
But suspiciously he didn’t bring proof
He said there were crime scene photos
But they’d vanished and went away… poof

So there I was sweating through trial
As Trapani touted prints he’d retrieved
But no photos existed to corroborate
He simply hoped everyone would believe

The truth is he never found evidence
There never was miraculous discovery
That’s why he couldn’t produce photos
To authenticate latent print recovery

But he figured no jury would doubt him
Wouldn’t question how I’d been arrested
After all he’s a crime scene investigator
Just like God he cannot be contested

Trapani had covered the bases
But as a perjurer he wasn’t quite done
There still was a hole in his narrative
All lies were out except for just one

The problem was a matter of timing
He wasn’t present in either arrest
So testimony regarding analysis
Was pure fiction to which he’d attest

On the stand he conveyed quite a story
Claimed he printed me the night I was booked
But his name doesn’t appear on the roster
A large detail he completely overlooked

At no place is Trapani’s name present
Not on third shift or second or first
So obviously he didn’t get fingerprints
As a prevaricator that man is the worst

How could he have possibly printed me
On a date when he wasn’t at work
I’ve a list of the three shifts in question
All compliments of a police payroll clerk

Despite all the lies and the stories
He was able to fool the whole crowd
In the end I was sadly found guilty
Its quite easy when lies are allowed

A smile each time that he perjured
On the stand he was smug and reserved
But transcripts recorded his testimony
Now forever his lies are preserved

Months later we hired two experts
Private gumshoes who proved to be wise
They discovered the truths about Trapani
Turns out his whole character’s a guise

At trial he had no credentials
His testimony was nothing but sham
He never attended fingerprint school
For his job there had been no exam

He’d proven deficient in forensics
Unfamiliar with science techniques
His training had merely been classes
He’d attended for just a few weeks

He hadn’t yet earned certification
No licensing assigned from the state
He’d recently just been a patrolman
Yet this man was in charge of my fate

The jury was duped with vernacular
Just an act of verbose regurgitation
Stuff he’d memorized out of a book
Or a pamphlet he’d found at the station

James Casey is now a state trooper
Mark Trapani is captain at rank
Deceit and corruption will pay off
It’s Pittsfield the two have to thank

At trial many cops were subpoenaed
Among them detective John Gray
He tried to evade damning questions
In regard to police foul play

Gray found himself in a dilemma
Under oath there could only be facts
He couldn’t provide honest answers
Without attesting to criminal acts

His colleagues were guilty of rigging
They stole records once stored in my file
With these items conveniently missing
Detectives could maneuver the trial

Details defining my innocence
Simply vanished without any clue
And Gray said he hadn’t an inkling
Of the when or the why or the who

Such flagrant corruption is heinous
It’s an issue for internal affairs
But no one was ever investigated
Because In Pittsfield nobody cares

We mustn’t forget Captain Mullins
An administrator with passion unbridled
A master at withholding public records
He doesn’t care that we’re legally entitled

Who knows all the things that he’s hiding
Improprieties that we’ll never learn
Coverups descend from the top down
But in Pittsfield that’s not a concern

The cops in this town have immunity
So they function as rogue as can be
This fact isn’t foreign to mayors
Truth be told I’ve solicited three

Ruberto, Bianchi, and Tyer
Civic leaders entrusted to serve
A trio who shrugged off corruption
They’re just mice who haven’t the nerve

Disorder in the Court

While working as a prosecutor, Daniel Ford knowingly and willfully sent an innocent man to prison for life. That man is now dead, the result of contracting AIDS after being raped and beaten more than thirty times over the course of two decades. While this man languished in prison, Daniel Ford was rewarded with a Superior Court judgeship that he holds today.

Each day when Judge Daniel Ford ambles down the hallowed halls of the Pittsfield Massachusetts superior court building, everyone smiles and dutifully addresses him as “Your Honor.” What is so honorable about a man who gained national attention by engaging in serious misconduct and open bigotry to win a conviction?  Since when does an individual attain honor by leading a corrupt prosecution that ruined an innocent young man’s life?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2014/10/10/why-is-daniel-ford-still-a-massachusetts-judge/?utm_term=.58629f64a9af

Daniel Ford is indicative of the Massachusetts legal structure; a deeply flawed system that relies on a prosecutorial honor code as its only safeguard. But there is no honor when the guardians of justice become the perveyors of injustice. Honor cannot exist in courtroom environments where ill-gotten convictions produce rewards and abuse comes without penalty.

I should know…

I was once an innocent man…

Daniel Ford is a godsend to Pittsfield Massachusetts police detectives. Does anyone imagine for one second that a judge who harbors such low moral fiber would bat an eye at such corrupt police practices as lying to a grand jury, making false statements within a police report, destroying exculpatory evidence, fabricating incriminating evidence, or courtroom perjury?

I should know…

I was once an innocent man…

What Is Scary

On Sunday morning television, the bumbling Keystone Kops are funny. We laugh at their antics and we empathize with their incompetence. But in real life bumbling police are not funny, they’re dangerous. When impoverished thinking and inadequate training merge with gun and badge, catastrophe ensues.

And along comes the Pittsfield Massachusetts Police Department…

Reel Life vs Real Life

According to Google Maps, 1,150 feet separates the Pittsfield Massachusetts courthouse from the police station. Coincidently, Pittsfield’s most prestigious law firm also sits 1,150 feet from the police station. Google Maps equates 1,150 feet to a five-minute walk.

Five minutes…

Five minutes that changed my life.

In 2005, I was wrongly arrested by a Pittsfield Massachusetts police detective named James Casey. Casey, an individual who views the world with a “burn” or “bury” mentality, is so obsessed with apprehending a suspect…any suspect, that he’s willing to go anywhere at the bidding of apparent facts, unconcerned about rational probabilities. He gobbles up details that bear little validity, or even no validity at all, as long as the information supports his irrational notions.

As Casey knocked on my front door, poised to arrest me on charges of public lewdness, he was completely oblivious that he’d been set up. Casey, who was moments away from publicly humiliating me and forever ruining my life, remained clueless that his facts, information, and evidence had been carefully assembled and laid out for him to find.  Casey was being steered and driven through a course of someone else’s making, much like a child operates a remote-control car.

The events leading up to my arrest had been choreographed by a seasoned ex convict whom I’d crossed paths with but had never actually met.  Our lives intertwined when he began stalking and terrorizing a close female friend of mine, compelling me to intervene.  Now, in an act of retribution, this career criminal was using the Pittsfield Police Department to do his bidding.  By rather ingenious means he’d left a trail of breadcrumbs that led right to my front door.  All that was needed now was a sap, someone within the police department who was gullible enough, impulsive enough, and myopic enough, to take the bait. And along came detective James Casey.

As Casey slapped the handcuffs around my wrists he must have realized that my arrest could serve more than one purpose.  Or perhaps I should say, he realized my arrest could be used to conveniently wrap up more than one unsolved case. He was thinking specifically about a fellow detective who’d recently hit dead ends in a sexual assault investigation. Four months had transpired since the assault and no suspects were in sight. Casey recognized this as a golden opportunity to gain favor. He must have thought, “Seeing as how the real culprit was never going to be caught, who cares which scumbag we pin it on, as long as the public is assuaged, I look good, my colleague looks good, and the department looks good?” At that moment my fate was decided. Not only was I being arrested for public lewdness, I would soon to be arrested again. This time for sexual assault.

Casey was familiar with the assault case and knew that witnesses had described the perpetrator as wearing a dark-colored, hooded sweatshirt. All Casey had to do was find such a garment in my possession and, voila, the start of something good!  With complete disregard for proper police protocol he rummaged through my house, despite having no search warrant or legal authority whatsoever.  He was hunting for something that could be used as make-shift evidence.

Coming up empty-handed, feeling foolish, Casey surmised: “If I can’t actually find a dark-colored, hooded sweatshirt, why not just perpetuate the myth that I did? Nobody will question me, I’m a police detective.” And so he doctored his arrest report to reflect that he’d confiscated a dark-colored, hooded sweatshirt from my home.

Casey crafted his report in such a way as to circumvent the lack of search warrant or legal authority.  He wrote that he saw, in plain view, a dark-colored, hooded sweatshirt lying in the center of my bedroom floor.  Well isn’t that convenient!  He even went so far as to augment his report with fake dialog; comments I’d supposedly uttered upon seeing Casey clutching my sweatshirt. He wrote that I’d nervously denied ownership of the sweatshirt and that I’d expressed concerns over it being tested for DNA.

Sadly, Casey was correct, no one ever questioned or doubted the details contained within his report. No one in the Pittsfield Police Department, no one in the District Attorney’s office, and certainly no one in the prestigious law office of Cain Hibbard Myers & Cook; the firm hired to represent me. In fact, during the 23-month interim between arrest and trial, not one soul attempted to fact check anything in the report. Instead, the bogus information was simply conveyed to the grand jury and represented as being the true and accurate word of a respected Pittsfield Police officer.  For all intents and purposes, Casey could have documented in his report that he’d been abducted by space aliens. No one would have challenged him and the grand jury would have believed him.

Five minutes…

Five minutes that changed my life.

A key player at my trial was Second Assistant District Attorney Joan M. McMenemy. As an officer of the court, she worked 1,150 feet South of the police station. Her job was to prosecute me. Another key player was criminal defense lawyer Leonard H. Cohen. As an attorney with the law firm of Cain Hibbard Myers & Cook, he worked 1,150 feet West of the police station.  His job was to defend me.

McMenemy and Cohen. Two legal gurus who, while on the clock, probably thought nothing of a ten minute stroll to pursue an $8 iced white chocolate mocha latte. Yet, despite having almost two years to prepare for their courtroom skirmish, neither individual thought to stroll five minutes to the police station in order to pursue justice. Had either lawyer done so, had either lawyer done their job properly, they would have discovered that detective James Casey had flagrantly lied in his arrest report. They would have learned that no dark-colored, hooded sweatshirt had ever been catalogued into police evidence.

Five minutes…

Five minutes that changed my life.

During trial I was a sitting duck on the witness stand. While grandstanding for the jury, McMenemy launched into a tirade.  She grilled me incessantly about the sweatshirt she believed to exist. Courtroom attendees became riveted, listening intently as I rebuffed McMenemy’s attacks, vehemently denying her unfounded allegations of a sweatshirt. But as McMenemy’s barrage continued, my credibility deteriorated. She had successfully convinced jury members that I was lying.  And if I’m lying then I must be guilty.

McMenemy became enraged at my refusals to admit ownership of the sweatshirt.  In desperation she called a sidebar conference and consulted with the judge. At that point the jury was immediately sequestered, no longer privy to what was being said in the courtroom. With jury members safely out of earshot, McMenemy told the judge that she couldn’t understand why I was being allowed to deny the existence of evidence when said evidence was documented in full by a police detective. As a result, she requested a 30-minute recess. At that point she summoned her intern and gave orders for the sweatshirt to be retrieved from the police station.

Attorney Cohen approached me and said, “Well, you’re in trouble now, they’ve gone to get the sweatshirt.  How am I supposed to defend against this?  What do I say when the prosecutor starts waving your sweatshirt in front of the jury?”  I was flabbergasted.  Here it was February of 2007, detective Casey had falsified his arrest report way back in February of 2005, and in all that time my attorney had never made a five minute walk to the police station to personally lay eyes on the sweatshirt?  This is something a second year law student would have done, instinctively.

Five minutes…

Five minutes that changed my life.

I wasn’t being represented by just any lawyer, this was Leonard H. Cohen one of the preeminent lawyers in Massachusetts. A man who rose to prominence by serving as the criminal defense attorney in thousands of cases and hundreds of high-profile proceedings. A man who was recognized by Lawyers Weekly as one of the most influential lawyers in the state and a powerhouse within the criminal law community. How had Cohen failed so miserably to perform such a routine task as verifying and examining evidence?  To curry favor with the District Attorney?  We’ll never know.

McMenemy’s intern soon returned, looking rather sheepish, reporting that no sweatshirt had ever been catalogued relative to my case. And like lava spewing from a volcano the sordid details emerged.  Pittsfield police detective James Casey had made false statements within an official arrest report.  He’d offered a false instrument for filing.  He lied to the district attorney.  He intentionally mislead a grand jury. All criminal offenses for which he should be held accountable.

Unfortunately, jury members heard none of this.  They were still conveniently out of earshot when the shocking new developments were revealed. When the jury finally did reconvene, McMenemy merely stood up, stone-faced, and announced: “The prosecution rests.” I grew incredulous. A Second Assistant District Attorney was covering up the illicit activity of a corrupt police detective. In the process she was concealing the fact that she hadn’t done her job, hiding the fact that she had crucified someone using evidence she’d never verified.  Evidence that didn’t exist.  She was going to allow the jury’s last impression of me to be that of a liar.

When it was Cohen’s turn to shine, did he bring jury members up to speed?  Did he bring to light the illicit antics of a corrupt police detective?  Did he expose the inexcusable actions of a prosecutor who violated the sacred oath she swore to uphold? The answer to all of the above is, NO.

James Casey is now an Arizona state trooper, a position that affords even greater opportunity for abuse of power.  And McMenemy?  Well, in exchange for debilitating the legal system and facilitating police corruption, she’s now a judge in Berkshire Juvenile Court.  Of all the attorneys in Berkshire County guess who publicly voiced support for McMenemy’s appointment, going so far as to call her: “Eminently well-qualified to sit as a judge”  Why Leonard H. Cohen of course!

Five minutes…

Five minutes that changed my life.

In any theatrical production nothing happens without the help of secondary characters. They contribute more to any story than just “being in the background”. Their importance shouldn’t be ignored – they don’t just interact with the main character or provide a foil, but instead they help advance the plot, they move the story forward, carry subplots, heighten conflict, reveal information and do much more.

Well there you have it.

A theatrical production starring James Casey.

Supporting cast: Joan M. McMenemy and Leonard H. Cohen

Cop Karma

Life will let you get away with something for a while,

but sooner or later you will pay the price.

Everything you do in life causes the effects that you experience.

when you get the bill, be prepared to pay.

– IYANKA VANZANT –

I was 42 years old when the handcuffs were clamped around my wrists. Scared and confused, I thought, “Why is this happening to me, I haven’t broken any laws? I perform dutifully at my job, I serve the community, I’m well respected by peers, surely there’s been some horrible mistake.”

Suddenly my life, my reputation, everything I’d worked for…gone.

All that remained was an indelible mark on my soul. I’d become the hapless victim of a misguided police detective named James Casey; an individual unsuited to carry a gun and badge. As a result of his faulty investigative work, I was arrested and publicly humiliated in regard to three lewd and lascivious incidents that were later debunked. Out of the ten charges levied against me by Casey, five were eventually dropped by the district attorney’s office and five yielded not guilty trial verdicts.  In fact, during trial, it was revealed that not only was I not the culprit, there never was a culprit.

But it’s Casey’s behavior after the arrest that is most disturbing. Deliberate acts of malfeasance, stemming from flagrant disregard for common police procedures and protocols.

Casey’s list of improprieties reads like a playlist:

(*)  Illegal search and seizure subsequent to being denied a warrant
(*)  Making false written statements within a police report
(*)  Offering a false instrument for filing
(*)  Fabricating evidence
(*)  Misleading a grand jury
(*)  Lying to the District Attorney
(*)  Mendacious superior court testimony

I do hate the man. I hate what he did to me. I hate the fact that his exploits were publicly revealed in a court of law, yet he’ll never admit responsibility nor will he ever be held accountable.  So I ask, what emotions am I supposed to feel upon discovering that not too long ago, James Casey caught a bullet that nearly ended his life?

According to a recent Berkshire Eagle newspaper article, James Casey left the Pittsfield Massachusetts Police Department in 2008 to begin a career as an Arizona state trooper. On October 8, 2014, while performing a routine traffic stop on a lonely stretch of highway, a member of the Mexican Mafia drew a .357 caliber handgun and fired a single shot into Casey’s face, shattering his left cheekbone. Casey sustained extensive damage to his face. A portion of his nose was blown off, requiring reconstructive surgery, and he lost six or seven teeth from his upper left jaw. In addition, Casey had a titanium plate inserted into his cheek, had a quarter-sized hole in his palette repaired with 155 stitches and had bullet fragments removed from both eyes.

For the first time in my life I truly understand ambivalence. In my case, the struggle between loathing an individual who unjustly ruined my life and feeling compassion toward a fellow human being who doesn’t deserve the horrible tragedy that befell him.

Perhaps this serves as life’s lesson for all of us. The sum of a person’s actions often decide their fate. James Casey relocated from Massachusetts to Arizona, a distance of well over 2,000 miles.

But Karma found him…

Trapanied

There’s a standing joke in our household that whenever one of us is blamed for something, we toss our hands skyward in mock exasperation and quip: “I didn’t do it…I’ve been Trapanied”.

This is gallows humor, a coping mechanism, an attempt to diffuse the devastation my family suffers everyday thanks to Mark B. Trapani, an unscrupulous member of an even more unscrupulous Pittsfield Massachusetts police department. A man whose complete disregard for common police procedures and protocols is reprehensible. In 2007, at the hands of this pseudo investigator, I was wrongly sentenced to eight years in state prison for a crime perpetrated while I was two towns away with evidence to prove it.

But when that evidence is illegally seized and tampered with…

In 2009, from the bowels of my prison cell, I submitted to Pittsfield Mayor James Ruberto a chronological reiteration of Trapani’s improprieties; along with those committed by detective James Casey and officer Dale Eason. The matter was promptly swept under the rug. But I refused to give up. I contacted Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and forwarded irrefutable evidence that members of the Pittsfield Police Department knowingly and willfully manipulated “evidence” and “facts” to make it appear as if they’d miraculously wrapped up a four-month-old unsolved sexual assault case.

Unfortunately, Coakley had no interest in probing into police corruption. She was laser-focused on her personal agenda, campaigning against republican Scott Brown for the coveted Senate seat that Ted Kennedy held for 47 years. Coakley lost miserably. Four years later she would go on to lose her bid for governor, defeated by Charlie Baker.

In 2012 James Ruberto was replaced by Daniel Bianchi. I thought perhaps a fresh mayor would delve into the underpinnings of a troubled police force. I was wrong. Functioning with impunity, Pittsfield law enforcement continued its unethical practices. Now Linda Tyer is at the mayoral helm. And guess what? Pittsfield police corruption worsens everyday. Three regimes…no change.

Amid this debacle – a miscarriage of justice spanning one decade – gun slinger Mark Trapani has steadily risen through the ranks of law enforcement. According to various Berkshire Eagle newspaper articles: In 2012 Trapani held the rank of Sergeant. On March 24, 2015 he was appointed to permanent full-time Lieutenant. On August 29, 2016 Trapani was promoted to Captain. So where is the motivation for Pittsfield law enforcement to act with honor and dignity?

Within the Pittsfield Massachusetts police department, malfeasance breeds reward!

Master of Puppets

Gullibility:  A failure of social intelligence in which a person is easily tricked or manipulated into a misguided course of action.

Credulity:  A readiness or willingness to believe or trust too readily, especially without proper or adequate evidence.

Classes of people especially vulnerable to gullibility and credulity include children, the elderly, those with developmental disabilities, and the entire Pittsfield Massachusetts Police Department. In children, gullibility and credulity are cute. In the elderly and developmentally disabled, gullibility and credulity are unfortunate facts of life. Within law enforcement, gullibility and credulity are deeply flawed character traits.

Pittsfield detectives are especially susceptible to impoverished thinking…swallowing information naively and completely without asking common sense questions regarding its reliability or factual basis. They have a marked tendency to become easily convinced by details that bear little validity, or even no validity at all, as long as the information fits into their irrational notions. Such counterfactual thinking not only makes them shortsighted, it renders them dangerous.

I fell victim to the gullibility and credulity of Pittsfield detectives firsthand by way of a convicted felon who manipulated them like a puppet master.  Marrionettes dancing on strings, the sleuths mindlessly followed a trail of bread crumbs, oblivious that they were being played. The felon to whom I’m referring – a man who served over a decade in prison for robbing homes in Pittsfield and surrounding towns – duped detectives into arresting me in regard to incidents that were later proven to have never occurred.  Imagine, a gaggle of law enforcement idiots, drooling over fabricated evidence and facts strategically spoon fed by of all people a career criminal. Your tax dollars at work!

The fiasco began when I had the ex convict picked up by Pittsfield police and held for questioning. He’d been terrorizing a female friend of mine for months while detectives sat around with their thumbs in their butts, ignoring her repeated pleas for police intervention. (Read my April 19, 2016 blog post titled Wrong Priorities).  During their half-hearted interrogation detectives managed to divulge my name and address.  The felon was then released, no legal charges pending.

As the felon nonchalantly strolled from the police station, armed with my identity, he formulated a plan to seek retribution.

The rest is history…

Google Thy Name

Google the name William F. Thornton III and you’ll find very disturbing information. The Pittsfield Massachusetts Police Department knows this information isn’t true but that doesn’t seem to matter. Berkshire superior court judge Daniel Ford knows this information isn’t true but that doesn’t seem to matter. What matters is that my story remains secret. What matters is that sordid details remain concealed from the public.

What you won’t find on Google is the truth: Nothing in print regarding a Richmond Massachusetts citizen – a law biding individual with no criminal history – who had his life unjustly and irrevocably altered by the most corrupt law enforcement entity in the state. Nor will you find anything regarding the superior court judge who has taken great pains to conceal the illicit investigation against me.

In September of 2013 I wrapped up an eight-year prison sentence for a crime I didn’t commit. In fact, I was two towns away when the crime occurred. I was 42-years-old when the handcuffs were slapped around my wrists. I am now fifty-three. I want my former life back, I want my integrity restored, and I want my bogus criminal record erased. But most importantly, I want those responsible to be exposed and held accountable. I can think of only one way to accomplish this: Solicit the help of local media to “call out” District Attorney David Capeless. I want a showdown in the street with plenty of witnesses. A retrial in which all is publicly revealed.  But this will never happen. The Berkshire Eagle, Pittsfield’s only newspaper, won’t print my story.

Granting me a retrial would prove devastating for Pittsfield police administration because I possess myriad evidence, (e.g., legal documents, official reports, affidavits, and trial transcript excerpts), that unequivocally and irrefutably dismantle the entire Pittsfield police organization. The materials were procured while I was incarcerated thanks to the tenacious efforts of two criminal defense attorneys and a pair of highly trained private investigators. Everyone involved concurs that nothing compares to the corrupt activity perpetrated within Pittsfield’s unmonitored police department. Judge Daniel Ford is fully aware of this. As a result he’s done everything possible to preclude me from setting foot inside a courtroom. If the Bernard F. Baran, Jr case has taught us anything, it’s that judge Daniel Ford is little more than a coward.

I openly and publicly invite Capeless to accept a deal. A carved-in-stone, legally binding written agreement in which no party can renege. It’s to be drafted through the collaborative effort of two attorneys, one representing each side. If Capeless has nothing to hide, if he’s sure that I’m merely blowing smoke, if the Pittsfield Police Department is a paragon of virtue, then he should harbor no concerns. I’m seeking a highly publicized superior court retrial with plenty of newspaper reporters in attendance. The signed agreement will state:  If I’m found guilty a second time, I’ll serve another eight years in prison. That’s correct, eight additional years.  However, if I’m found not guilty then my criminal record is to be expunged and the entire Pittsfield Police Department is to be thoroughly investigated by an outside entity.

I’m waiting…

Pittsfield Doesn’t Win With Wynn

According to a recent Berkshire Eagle newspaper article, Pittsfield police officer Dale Eason has been fired after being found responsible for multiple misconduct charges. In the article Pittsfield police chief Michael Wynn states: “The city of Pittsfield and the Pittsfield Police Department take any and all acts of police misconduct by our personnel extremely seriously. Service as a police officer requires a high degree of public trust. On those rare occasions, as is the case here, that trust is violated, severe sanctions must be imposed.”

Where was Wynn’s concern for police misconduct on August 14, 2008 when Pittsfield cops smashed down the door to Joseph and Debra Simonetta’s home?  Where was his concern as the couple was being terrorized, merely because they had refused to relinquish custody of their granddaughter after Department of Children and Families workers arrived unannounced without a court order authorizing them to remove the child?  Wynn wasn’t worried about violating public trust as his goon squad placed Joseph Simonetta in a choke-hold, spraying him in the face with pepper spray.  Wynn talks about imposing sanctions, why were no sanctions imposed after a series of knee-strikes were delivered to Debra Simonetta’s groin, or when a police psycho body slammed the Simonetta’s daughter Joline to the ground, dragging her by shackled arms, going so far as to point a weapon in her face?  Wynn never issued a formal apology, yet he claims to be an advocate for public trust?

http://www.berkshireeagle.com/news/ci_29128991/simonetta-family-settles-federal-suit-against-pittsfield-police-state-dcf

What happened to Wynn’s concern for police misconduct on June 25, 2015 when two Pittsfield police officers (One of them Dale Eason) mistakenly barged into the wrong home and offended 88-year-old  Phyllis Stankiewicz?  As the little old lady stood holding a paring knife, she had been peeling apples to make applesauce, the dynamic duo became pysical, restraining her, eventually hauling the poor woman off to jail.  During the subsequent investigation Wynn made no attempt to mend public trust.

http://www.berkshireeagle.com/local/ci_29753096/pittsfield-police-emails-reflect-concern-about-elderly-womans

Where was Wynn’s concern for police misconduct in July of 2015 when a purported hard drive failure conveniently destroyed an undisclosed number of police records and evidence?  Had it not been for random chance, no one outside of the Pittsfield Police Department would have ever known about the incident. Wynn intentionally withheld this information, jeopardizing the right to a fair trial for an unknown number of people.  As he was busy orchestrating the coverup, how concerned over public trust could he have been?

According to Wynn, the hard drive issues were first reported internally on June 22nd. Wynn was eventually forced to admit that the police didn’t inform the DA’s office until July 13, which means the police waited a full three weeks before informing prosecutors about the potential evidentiary issue.

http://www.baystateexaminer.com/articles/the-pitts

Does Wynn really think he can fool us by feigning concern over misconduct within his police department?  Are we to actually believe that he strives to preserve public trust?  Wynn has consistently proven to be a supercilious individual who harbors an insouciant attitude and disingenuous disposition.

Architects of Injustice

When law enforcement willfully and intentionally falsifies official records, they’re doing so in connection with a broader criminal aim.

Case in point: In an attempt to conceal one particular fraudulent criminal investigation, someone within the Pittsfield Massachusetts Police Department created bogus attendance rosters; doctoring the names. The forged documents were discovered due to a huge blunder made by the culprit. The rosters are dated February 23, 2005 through March 1, 2005, a period in which Anthony Reillo was chief of the Pittsfield Police Department. In fact, Reillo was police chief from from 1996 until November 30, 2007. But the forged rosters inexplicably list Michael Wynn as police chief, a position he didn’t attain until 2009.

Through the Freedom of Information Act, the 2005 rosters were requested in order to capture the shifts/hours worked by three individuals: Detective James Casey, Investigator Mark Trapani, and Investigator James Stimpson; key players in an illicit criminal investigation. Aspects of the rosters establish that Trapani, under pressure to wrap up a four-month-old unsolved sexual assault case, fabricated narratives he knew to be completely false. A Springfield Massachusetts criminal defense team was planning to expose Trapani, thus necessitating the attendance rosters.

In 2010, despite legal ramifications, a written request for the rosters went ignored by police administration. Hiding something?  After a second request was ignored, legal proceedings ensued forcing police to relinquish the seven rosters they’d tried so desperately to hide. In a last ditch effort to conceal information, someone gained access into the police department’s computer system and obtained seven rosters from 2010. The date headings were appropriately changed to make the rosters appear as if they’d been generated on February 23rd through March 1st of 2005.  All information pertaining to Casey, Trapani, and Stimpson was completely erased from the rosters as if the three individuals never existed. But in the culprit’s haste he failed to notice that because the fake documents were doctored from 2010 paperwork, Michael Wynn is listed as police chief.

According to the forged rosters: On Thursday, February 24, 2005 Chief Michael Wynn was the shift commander from 0800 hours to 1600 hours. Chief Wynn is listed again working 0800 hours to 1600 hours on Friday, February 25, 2005, He’s listed again on Saturday, February 26, 2005, and yet again on Sunday, February 27, 2005. On Monday, February 28, 2005 Chief Wynn worked overtime, from 0630 hours to 1700 hours, for the purpose of school/training.  This is a neat trick considering Anthony Reillo was Pittsfield’s police chief at the time.

Oops.  If you’re going to falsify official records, at least get the details correct!

I possess a stack of dated/signed legal documents (e.g., Applications for Criminal Complaint, Temporary Arrest Warrants, Arrest Reports, memos submitted to Chief Reillo, photo array cover sheets, court transcript excerpts) establishing that Casey, Trapani, and Stimpson were on duty and quite busy from February 23, 2005 through March 1, 2005.  Yet their names vanished from the corresponding attendance rosters.  Each cashed a Pittsfield Police Department paycheck that week, how is this possible if they don’t exist?

Only someone with proper clearance and authority could have accessed the police department computer and forged records.  This establishes that corruption and cover up within the Pittsfield Police Department extends to the administrative level. So those empowered to arrest anyone who commits forgery are themselves the most heinous of forgers.  The worst part…no disciplinary action will ever ensue.

Below is a link to the doctored attendance rosters.

Attendance Roster PPD February 23 through March 1 2005