Why isn’t the media telling the full story of Rodney Reed?
Celebrity activism by the likes of Beyonce, Rihanna, Pusha T, Kim Kardashian, and Shaun King skyrocketed over the weekend, as they and many more publicly signed a petition to prevent the upcoming execution of Rodney Reed.
Reed is scheduled for execution on November 20 for the murder of Stacey Stites in Bastrop, Texas. In 1998, Reed was convicted by a jury, which many have pointed out was “all-white.”
According to a Change.org petition, “Mountains of evidence exonerates Rodney Reed. All of that evidence was kept from the all-white jury that convicted him. Instead, the evidence implicates the victim’s fiancé – local police officer Jimmy Fennell – who has a history of violence against women, including being convicted for kidnapping and sexual assault soon after Rodney was wrongly sent to prison.”
That petition has been signed nearly 2.5 million times, and is roughly 500,000 signatures away from reaching its goal of 3 million.
Kim Kardashian also made a comment about the case at the 2019 People’s Choice Awards, telling media: “seeing everyone rally around cases like Rodney Reed’s case that I’m so passionate about and getting people from both sides of the aisle to really come together and support something like a stay of execution from the governor of Texas. … I’m so proud that the right and the left are working together and I’m proud that the fans are following this journey with me.”
The problem is, though, that Rodney Reed has a long, well-documented history of sexual assaults according to Supreme Court documents.
According to information easily accessible on the Supreme Court’s website, Reed is responsible for a number of sexual assaults, and the only reason he was ever a suspect in his 1998 conviction was because he attempted to rape another woman, Linda Schlueter, at nearly the same time and place.
According to page five of the U.S. Supreme Court’s report:
“Reed became a suspect in Stites’s murder after he was arrested for kidnapping, beating, and attempting to rape and murder another nineteen-year-old woman, Linda Schlueter. Schlueter was abducted by Reed approximately six months after Stites’s murder, near both the route Stites typically took to work and the time she disappeared—3:00 a.m.. Moreover, Reed was regularly seen in this area by Bastrop police officers in the early morning hours, and his home was close to where both Stites’s and Schlueter’s vehicles were abandoned.”
Police were familiar with Reed, as he’d already been known to police for raping his intellectually disabled girlfriend Caroline Rivas.
“Given the similarities between these crimes, law enforcement inquired with DPS if they had Reed’s DNA profile on file; they did because Reed had raped his intellectually disabled girlfriend, Caroline Rivas. Reed’s DNA profile was compared to the foreign DNA inside and on Stites’s body—the two were consistent”
Though DNA testing has well-documented shortcomings, the results in Reed’s case were all considered conclusive. According to page six of the Supreme Court document:
“Reed could not be excluded as the foreign DNA contributor but 99% of the world’s population could be, and only one person in 24 to 130 billion people would have the same foreign DNA profile. But, to be sure, samples were taken from Reed’s father and three of his brothers, and they were ruled out as contributors too.”
The court document also thoroughly breaks down Reed’s forays against women.
His first instance was against Connie York, a 19-year-old who had come home late one night from a night with friends. According to Supreme court documents, “York was grabbed from behind and told, “don’t scream or I’ll hurt you.” When York did not listen, she was 8 repeatedly struck, dragged to her bedroom, and raped multiple times.”
Reed was interviewed, and, while he admitted that he knew York from high school, he denied raping her. When confronted with a search warrant for biological samples, Reed had an about-face, “Yeah, I had sex with her, she wanted it.” The case went to trial four years later, and Reed was acquitted.
Reed’s next assault was on a 12-year-old girl, A.W.
A.W. fell asleep on a couch while home alone, and woke up to Reed pushing her face into the couch, then being blindfolded, gagged, and repeatedly struck. The full details of that incident can be read on page 8 of the Supreme court document.
“The foreign DNA from A.W.’s rape kit was compared to Reed; Reed was not excluded and only one in 5.5 billion people would have the same foreign DNA profile from A.W.’s rape kit.”
That incident, as well as an additional four more sexual assaults which have DNA evidence pointing to Reed, are all outlined in the document above.
Additionally, Texas deputy assistant attorney general Lisa Tanner, who was the lead prosecutor for Reed’s case, stood by the court’s decision to convict him.
“A large amount of credible evidence, including irrefutable DNA evidence, the testimony of witnesses, and the pattern Rodney Reed followed in committing his other sexual assaults, show beyond a reasonable doubt that he raped and murdered Stacey Stites,” Tanner said.
Tanner went on to tell CNN that more than 20 judges have reviewed Reed’s case over the past two decades, “and found no reversible error and no credible evidence that someone other than Mr. Reed might have been disposed toward committing this heinous crime.”
What advocates are saying
Groups working for Reed’s innocence, such as the Innocence Project, point out what they consider to be weaknesses in the case, such as the lack of DNA testing on the murder weapon, as well as forensic experts having admitted to errors within testimonies which led to Reed’s conviction.
Bryce Benjet, Reed’s attorney, told CNN that there are “mountains of evidence” that prove Reed’s innocence. Benjet also points to the then-fiance of the victim, Jimmy Fennell, as a suspect.
In the 1998 trial, Fennell testified that he was home alone with Stites, having stayed up with her to watch TV until he fell asleep at around 9 p.m. Stites left at about 3:30 a.m. for her shift at a grocery store.
Her pickup truck was found abandoned in the parking lot of a local high school, with her deceased body being found off a nearby rural road.
Reed became a suspect in Stites’s murder after he was arrested for kidnapping, beating, and attempting to rape and murder another nineteen-year-old woman, Linda Schlueter.
Ten years after a trial found Reed guilty, Fennell pleaded guilty to charges of improper sexual activity with a person in custody and a kidnapping in Georgetown, Texas, after a woman he detained accused him of rape. He was sentenced to 10 years.
Additionally, a former inmate who served time with Fennell said in an affidavit earlier this month that Fennell confessed to killing his fiance.
“Jimmy said his fiancée had been sleeping around with a black man behind his back,” wrote Arthur Snow Jr., who was serving a sentence for forgery in a Texas prison in 2010, in the affidavit.
“Toward the end of the conversation Jimmy said confidently, ‘I had to kill my n*****- loving fiancée,'” he wrote.
Support for Reed continues to grow, as social media campaigns and celebrity endorsements keep the flame alive. Recently, a group for 26 lawmakers wrote to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles in hopes of sparking a delay in Reed’s execution.
“Killing Rodney Reed without certainty about his guilt may exacerbate that issue and erode public trust—not only in capital punishment, but in Texas justice itself,” the letter said.
On top of this, Heather Stobbs, Stites’s cousin, now feels that Reed was wrongly convicted, and possibly framed. She told the Fox affiliate in Austin that she has no doubt in her mind that Fennell did it.
According to Wikipedia, “newly available DNA evidence has allowed the exoneration and release of more than 20 death row inmates since 1992 in the United States, but DNA evidence is available in only a fraction of capital cases.
Others have been released on the basis of weak cases against them, sometimes involving prosecutorial misconduct; resulting in an acquittal at retrial, charges dropped, or innocence-based pardons. The Death Penalty Information Center has published a list of 10 inmates ‘executed but possibly innocent.’ Of all executions in the United States, 144 prisoners have been exonerated while on death row.”
The Philadelphia Flyers’ beloved mascot Gritty is being investigated by police after a father claimed that the big orange furry monster punched his 13-year-old son in the back.
Chris Greenwell took his son Brandon to the Wells Fargo Center for a November meet and greet photoshoot with the beloved, google-eyed mascot.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Greenwell claims that “Brandon playfully patted the mascot on the head after the photo was taken. As Brandon walked away, Gritty got out of his chair, ‘took a running start,’ and ‘punched my son as hard as he could,’ Greenwell said Wednesday.”
“We took Mr. Greenwell’s allegations seriously and conducted a thorough investigation that found nothing to support this claim,” said a spokesperson for the Philidelphia Flyers.
A police spokesperson has described the alleged incident as a possible “physical assault” that occurred “during a photoshoot with 13-year-old white male and Flyers mascot Gritty. The investigation is active and on-going.”
The hashtag #FreeGritty is now trending on Twitter.
A liquor store in Edmonton is testing out a new security program to combat a string of thefts over the past 18 months. Under the proposed new security system, customers will have to scan their ID before they can enter the premises according to a recent article in CBC.
Alcanna, Canada’s biggest private retailer of alcohol is launching a pilot project in partnership with Edmonton police. The project will be tested at Ace Liquor, located at 11708 34th St. in northeast Edmonton. Alcanna stated the intent of the project is to deal with “the epidemic of liquor store robberies that has plagued the city,” a problem that has escalated rapidly in the past year and a half.
“In 2019, EPS officers responded to almost 9,600 calls of theft of liquor — about 26 calls per day across the city,” Const. Robin Wilson said in the release. An increase of 200 percent since 2018.
“It’s not just people taking advantage of something that is easy, it’s somebody preying on people as well,” he said.
Dale McFee, Chief of Edmonton police told CBC News that investigators often find that some of the thefts are gang-related and that it presents a huge problem for the city.
“Ultimately, the way we are right now and the amount of officer time and different things that are going on in this space, it’s not working. So it’s time to try a few things.”
The new scan system requires patrons to scan their identification before the door will unlock and allow entry into the store. This practice has already been used by bars and nightclubs in Edmonton for years.
The Alcanna pilot project has been positively received by many including Const. Wilson who commended the company for “taking proactive steps to increase the safety of both their employees and the general public,”
Joe Cook is the vice-president of Alcanna which in addition to Ace Liquor, also owns the Liquor Depot, Wine and Beyond and Nova Cannabis brands. “Just as was done with pre-pay and pay at the pump for gas stations, we are hoping Patronscan creates a safer shopping experience,” said Cook in a news release. “This is not shoplifting,” he said. “It is robbery with real or threatened violence.”
Edmontonians won’t have to worry about their privacy rights as the customer ID information will not be kept in the devices but stored in Patronscan’s data centre with restricted access, according to a press release from Alcanna.
Last October, a well-known Portland antifa militant was killed under mysterious circumstances after leaving a pub popular with far-left extremists. Sean Daniel Kealiher, 23, was killed near the Cider Riot pub after being hit by a car that had been fired upon with live rounds. His friends dragged his body away and did not call the police.
Kealiher’s death immediately rippled throughout Portland and beyond, leading both the far-left and even establishment Democrat leaders to mourn publicly. A GoFundMe for his funeral raised thousands. And while he was lionized in the press as a murdered “anti-fascist activist” and even called a “martyr” by some, an investigation by The Post Millennial can reveal that newly uncovered evidence show he was far more radical than previously reported. In a series of discovered writings, Kealiher urged fellow comrades to commit violent terrorist acts and led training sessions to radicalize other youth.
Before his death, Kealiher was known in the militant anarchist community as “Armeanio Lewis,” one of the many names he also used online. His radical activism goes back to when he was around 13 or 14 during the Occupy Portland demonstrations in 2011. As a minor, Kealiher was filmed being arrested on numerous occasions. The details of juvenile cases are not available to the public.
As previously reported by The Post Millennial, Kealiher was filmed in recent years fighting at left-wing protests and threatening journalists who had cameras at public demonstrations. On numerous occasions, he was also seen travelling with members of the Red and Anarchist Skinheads, or RASH, a violent gang-like group known for brawling with right-wingers at riots. It is unknown if Kealiher was a member of the group. But aside from his known street militantism, The Post Millennial can now report that he also authored extreme literature calling for terrorist acts against schools, law enforcement and the public.
An excerpt from a September 2014 zine by Kealiher titled, “Why Break Windows” reads: “From the simple smashing of windows to the placement of a bomb or the robbing of the bank, our actions are heard and felt rather than ignored and treated as everyday life.”
The zine continues: “The attack is the most beautiful moment an anarchist can undertake. Feeling the adrenaline of rushing to a window with a rock in hand, or the moments before striking a cop with your fist. Planting the bomb, pulling the trigger, shouting f— the police!”
In 2015, an 18-year-old Kealiher tried to stop a police officer from investigating an incident of suspected domestic violence, according to a report by Portland Police. The officer notes that Kealiher physically obstructed the investigation, cursed at him and resisted arrest. The officer says the domestic abuse suspect likely used the distraction to flee. Kealiher was found guilty for interfering with a police officer and sentenced to 15 days in jail.
Two weeks after his death, Kealiher’s extremist zine romanticizing violent extremism was distributed at a memorial potluck in downtown Portland attended by his mother. Several masked individuals acted as security.
Beyond that tract, Kealiher would go on to author more pieces urging explicit terrorist attacks. On his blog, the “Lumpen Prole Distro,” he uses the pseudonym “Armeanio Lewis” and suggests that his writings may have inspired real-world attacks in Portland.
“Shortly after the publishing of this essay, 15 [Aramak] Trucks, the company that supplies school lunches and prison lunches, were sabotaged,” reads the new preface in a November 2014 update to Kealiher’s “Manifesto Against Schools.” The 12-page document continues: “Shortly after that, an entire condo complex was burned to the ground. This fire was the biggest fire seen in Portland, and everything was torched.”
In August 2013, a 46-unit building under construction in northeast Portland was destroyed in a large fire. The flames spread to surrounding apartment buildings, leading to emergency evacuations of residents and further damage. The heat was so intense on the block that cars parked nearby appeared “melted,” according to media reports. Though the fires were among the largest in the city’s history, causing around $6m worth of damage, nobody was injured. An investigation by authorities determined the fire was started through an arson attack. The Federal Bureau of Investigation offered a $5,000 cash reward for information at the time. The incident is listed by the Department of Homeland Security as an instance of far-left domestic terrorism.
Beyond the manifesto’s preface, Kealiher explicitly called for others to engage in violent attacks. “It’s time to get off your knees, unclasp your begging hands and pick a weapon, because those on the other side have already done so,” it reads. The “other side” references current society. “My side, hopefully our side, has so many weapons to choose from. Be it the power of a pen, the strength of a rock, or the power of a gun.”
The manifesto continues: “You can craft your own destruction. Be it burning down a school, smashing a banks window … There is so much to destroy, and so much for you to choose.”
Elsewhere on the blog, Kealiher expressed “unapologetic support” for killing law enforcement and destroying buildings with fires. Most of the blog’s essays were written between 2014–15, when Kealiher was 18 and 19 years old.
He also made efforts to export his ideas into real-world training sessions. In December 2013, a 17-year-old Kealiher organized a training event with the intention of introducing minors to extremist anarchist ideas, according to the flyer for the event. He spoke at The Red and Black Cafe, a now-defunct left-wing Portland cafe, using the pseudonym “John Cracklemore.”
Kealiher’s extreme views were also published on various social media platforms. On Reddit, using a different pseudonym, he recounted a time where he says he trained high school students to fight police officers.
Kealiher’s extremism may have eventually landed him under the investigation of federal authorities, however.
In January 2017, Kealiher posted on Facebook that two DHS agents showed up to his mother’s house to try and speak with him. The details of that alleged investigation are unknown. DHS did not respond to The Post Millennial’s request for comment. His mother, Laura Kealiher, declined to comment for the story.
More than three months have passed since Kealiher’s death but Portland Police have not released any new details in their investigation. What is known is that Kealiher was struck by a vehicle following an argument outside the Cider Riot pub. The attorney for Hyatt Eshelman, who was with Kealiher at the time of the incident, says Eshelman pulled out a handgun and fired at the SUV. The vehicle crashed outside the headquarters of the Democratic Party of Oregon, where the driver and passengers fled on foot.
A vagrant who witnessed part of the incident says Eshelman, 26, and another man dragged Kealiher’s body away, leaving a bloody trail. Emergency responders were never called to the scene by those involved. Eshelman has not spoken publicly about the incident himself but his far-left activism is documented. In November 2016, he was arrested at a violent antifa riot in Portland against Trump’s election win. He was charged with one count of failing to obey a police officer, but the charge was subsequently dismissed. He is also a member of the Rum Rebellion, a radical anarchist punk band.
Online, various antifa activists and groups instructed their comrades to scrub their messages with Kealiher and to not cooperate with police in their investigation. Kealiher’s mother has also come out publicly to demand that nobody associated with her son speak to the media.
While his history of extremism online was known only to his comrades, his violent actions offline were well-documented through law enforcement and the press. Despite this, local mainstream Democrat politicians joined various antifa activists to publicly mourn his death. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler tweeted: “This is alarming and heartbreaking. Our deepest sympathies go out to family and friends of the victim.”
And on the Sunday night following his death, Kealiher’s comrades responded by vandalizing the Democratic Party of Oregon building with antifa propaganda and spray paint. The graffiti messages encouraged others to kill law enforcement, among other things.
Brad Martin, the executive director for the Democratic Party of Oregon, downplayed the graffiti and expressed support for the vandals at the time. He told KATU: “We know that [pain] expresses itself in a lot of ways, including the graffiti on the building and we understand that. It’s just paint.”
But for Sean Kealiher, vandalism was never “just paint.”
In the final paragraph of his “Manifesto Against Schools,” it reads: “We all die anyway, and we will be miserable somehow and somewhere, so why sit by when you can burn? Why sit in your room, dreading going to school? You need not have to, especially when you can BLOW IT UP OR BURN IT DOWN.”
A Saskatchewan judge has charged a man with fraud under $5000 as well as property obtained by crime. Andrij Olesiuk has been found guilty after he defrauded thousands of dollars from donors who thought the money was going to the victims’ families of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash of April 6, 2018.
Olesiuk set up a GoFundMe page entitled #PrayForHumboldt that was said to be crowdfunding for the victim’s families and raised approximately $3800. A separate GoFundMe page for the same purpose raised $15.1 million dollars according to Global News.
Olesiuk took just over $3700 from the GoFundMe account and transferred it into his personal account.
Andrij, also known as Jay Max Olesiuk represented himself during the trial and stated that he had no “ill intention” with the funds raised through his crowdfunding page.
He said he didn’t believe Olesiuk’s story about the woman at his door, saying no sensible person would’ve turned over thousands of dollars. He kept the Broncos money for his own use. Olesiuk stated in his testimony that a woman came to his Martensville, Sask. doorstep on April 24 to solicit donations for a Broncos charitable event. Olesiuk claims to have given the woman $4100 that day in cash, rather than donate his fund directly to the Broncos. The accused was unable to recall the woman’s name or organization she was purportedly with.
“It is too incredible a story to believe,” said Judge Brent Klaus.
Darren Howarth, crown prosecutor argued the “mysterious woman” didn’t exist and believed Olesiuk’s defence to be “ridiculous.”
Howarth presented a transaction log that showed Olesiuk approved a $3,300 payment from GoFundMe to his account one day before the woman allegedly appeared. Olesiuk received the payment on April 25, 2018.
“What are the odds…. that this lady just happened to show up in between the dates he initiated the withdrawal and received the money?” Howarth asked.
Olesiuk defended his story claiming to have been given a receipt from the woman days later in his mailbox. However, he was unable to provide the receipt or even a copy of one as evidence during the trial. Olesiuk said he lost the receipt in a February 2019 house fire.
The defence instead presented a thank you note as an exhibit, which Olesiuk testified he received from the anonymous woman immediately after his donation. He admitted that he hadn’t previously mentioned the note to the police or crown before during cross-examination.
Olesiuk assured the court that the note was in his garage, but the RCMP carried out a search of Olesiuk’s property on November 20, 2018 and said officers never found no such note.
Olesiuk is scheduled to be sentenced on March 3.