I found out about the case of Ryan Ferguson when I was writing a story for the Crime section of the Maneater.
This timeline (pulled from my article) summarises the case so far.
Some points to be noted here:
1. On the night of the murder, two janitors at the Tribune office noticed two men standing next to Heitholt’s car. The only janitor to actually see the faces of the men was Shawna Ornt. She was never called in court to testify for or against Ryan.
2. The last person to speak to Heitholt minutes before his death was his colleague, Michael Boyd. According to Bill Ferguson, Ryan’s father, Boyd provided two different statements to the investigating detectives but the two statements were never compared. Ergo, Boyd was never investigated.
3. There is no DNA evidence to tie Ryan to the murder.
This website has more information.
I have written two articles on this case. The first is on Kathleen Zellner, Ryan’s lawyer, filing a petition for a reappeal. The second is on the Attorney General denying the appeal.
I want to say I spoke to lawyers in town to get their opinion but funnily enough, no one wants to comment (note to self: go down to the offices and talk to people. Face to face > phone).
I skimmed through the 154-page petition and the 61-page response. While reading the former, not once did I get the impression the petition was looking for sympathy. All they asked for was the case to be reopened.
My question to the Attorney General (and the court) is: if you are so convinced Ryan is guilty, why not allow him his appeal? If he is indeed guilty, then prove it. If he is innocent, give him the chance to prove it.