CRTV’s “Michelle Malkin Investigates” and ABC’s “20/20” have both produced reports on the criminal investigation and conviction of former Oklahoma City Policeman Daniel Holtzclaw. But Malkin’s report brought to light some facts and questions that “20/20” did not.
Creators Syndicate Chairman Rick Newcombe, having viewed both reports, wrote a column that CNSNews.com published on March 27, pointing to the serious questions Malkin’s report raised.
“What if the state got it wrong? What if the incidents never happened, or what if they got the wrong policeman?” Newcombe wrote. “After all, many of the witness statements described someone other than Holtzclaw. (‘He was a black man’ or ‘He had blond hair’ or ‘He was short.’)”
“Either Daniel Holtzclaw is the Monster of the Midwest--someone who preyed on vulnerable women, especially black women--or, as his sister says, this is the Duke lacrosse case on steroids. Stay tuned. The one thing we know for sure is that we haven’t heard the end of it.”
Holtzclaw, in his third year with the Oklahoma City Police, was charged with 36 counts of sex crimes, including rape, against 13 different women. After four days of deliberation, with a crowd outside the court shouting for his conviction, a jury did find Holtzclaw guilty on half the counts. The judge sentenced him to 263 years in prison.
Holtzclaw, whose mother is a Japanese immigrant and whose father is a police officer, adamantly maintains his innocence. His lawyers have filed an appeal seeking a new trial.
In her report--which can be viewed in its entirety above--Malkin interviewed Kim Davis and Rocky Gregory, the two detectives responsible for investigating the case. At one point in her narration, Malkin summarizes reasons for questioning the story of Holtzclaw’s key accuser.
“No forensic evidence supported Ligons’ account and her stories kept changing—casting increasing doubt on her reliability and credibility. First, she describes Daniel as 35 to 45 years old. He’s 27. She claims he’s 5’7 to 5’9, 225 pounds with a thick build. He’s actually 6’2, very muscular. She says his skin isn’t smooth, but Daniel has clear skin. And here’s the kicker: In her eyes, he’s blond. Nope, dark hair. Ligons said she pulled into a parking lot after Daniel let her go before turning around. That’s not what the video showed.
On April 1, five days after CNSNews.com ran Newcombe’s column, "20/20" re-aired its report on Holtzclaw (which can be viewed in its entirety by clicking here). Newcombe then wrote a letter to “20/20” producer Joseph Diaz that was first published by Malkin on her blog.
Here is Newcombe’s letter:
Last night 20/20 ran a rerun of “What the Dash Cam Never Saw,” and I had a dozen questions off the top of my head:
1.) Why no mention of Holtzclaw’s compression underwear?
2.) Why no mention of the failure to test Holtzclaw’s underwear?
3.) Why no mention of Kim Davis’ ignoring procedure and failing to record her interview with Jannie Ligons?
4.) Why no mention of the fact that Jannie Ligons’ driver’s license had been suspended 30 years earlier and she was driving to that day without a license?
5.) Why no mention of Kim Davis saying that Ligons told her she smoked two marijuana joints that day and then denied it?
6.) Why show Ms. [Carla] Raines claiming that Holtzclaw told her to expose her breasts before showing the Brian Bates proof that she was lying? Why not start the story by saying she lied and then show that rather than planting the impression on the viewer that Daniel was guilty and then saying, by the way, her initial testimony was different?
7.) Why not explain how Daniel’s message during his interrogation was, “Test me and test her and you will see that nothing happened,” and in fact the forensic tests showed he was telling the truth?
8.) Why not press Davis on that point, i.e., why do we have forensic evidence if you are allowed to discard it in favor of your feelings?
10.) Why not call out the prosecutor for leaving the jury with the impression that the teenager’s DNA came from “vaginal fluid” when he admitted a few weeks later that he didn’t really know that?
11.) Why not call out the prosecutor, judge and defense attorney for allowing the prosecutor’s closing statement to be false and misleading after the jury said it was that statement that convinced them to convict?
12.) Why not give examples of court trials throughout history — and there are many — where higher courts sent the case back to lower court for a change of venue because of crowds of protestors shouting, “Hang him high!” or “Give him life!”?
This is off the top of my head. I wanted to scream when I watched this rerun now that I know more about the case because of Michelle Malkin’s reporting.
I started my journalism career as a reporter for UPI in 1974 and have devoted my life to quality reporting and commentary. Over the years I have defended Molly Ivins, Hunter Thompson and Ann Landers, among others. Creators Syndicate’s writers and cartoonists have won a total of 17 Pulitzer Prizes. I am proud to defend Michelle Malkin in this case because her reporting has been thorough and accurate, unlike Juju Chang’s.
The only good thing about this rerun of your report was that it ran on April Fool’s Day.
[Disclosure: Creators Syndicate publishes Terence P. Jeffrey’s column.]