Year Of The Opposite - Travis Stoliker's Substack
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Audio Podcast - The Claude McCollum Wrongful Conviction with Judge Hugh Clarke Jr.

Audio Podcast - The Claude McCollum Wrongful Conviction with Judge Hugh Clarke Jr.

The murder of an LCC professor in 2005 sends the wrong man to jail. The uncaught murderer goes on to kill 5 more while the wrong man is in prison. My interview with Judge Hugh Clarke Jr.

Sorry for the multiple emails. I’m still learning. Apparently the Video Hosting at Substack isn’t that robust yet and people were having trouble with the video. In addition, it didn’t get added to the podcast feed. This post is just the audio version. You can also view the video version on the Year Of The Opposite Youtube Channel.

On January 23, 2005, a 60 year old LCC Professor was found barely alive in her classroom in the SPS building at Lansing Community College. There was evidence of a brutal struggle, a sexual assault, the graphic use of a remote control, and a murder. Moments after her discovery, she died. 

Two days later, police take 27 year old Claude McCollum into custody for questioning.  One day later McCollum is charged with raping and killing the professor.  

At trial jurors are presented evidence including a supposed "confession" from McCollum, evidence from his LCC Star card that he was on campus at the time of the murder, and testimony that a clothing fiber may link McCollum to the murder.  In April of 2006, McCollum was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.  

I was attending Lansing Community College around this time.  I remember the fear the community had when the murder took place and I remember everyone feeling a bit safer after we thought the rapist and murderer had been caught and sent to prison.  What I didn't know at the time was that a serious miscarriage of justice had just taken place.  

What we now know is that Michigan State Police created a report based on security footage from LCC campus. The video tape clearly and definitively proved that Mr. McCollum could not have committed the crime.  He was in another part of the campus at the TLC building during the murder.  We also now know that another killer later confessed to killing the LCC professor.  We know that a fingerprint that was discovered at the scene was linked to the serial killer and that he had been terrorizing Lansing around this time. The serial killer later confessed to killing 6 people but may have killed even more.  He was quoted as saying to police ““One. Two. Three. Four. Five. There's six people, you know, that I have murdered. I murdered them all.”

Today my interview is with Judge Hugh Clarke, Jr.  He was a prominent attorney, a school board member, and a district court judge among many other things.  Today I am talking to him because he was the attorney that helped Claude McCollum win his exoneration and freedom from prison.  

In this mind blowing interview, we learn new details that I don't think have been covered in the media.  We find out that not only did the Michigan State Police know that McCollum was on videotape proving that he was in another area of the campus at the time of the murder - Judge Clarke alleges that the Michigan State Police explicitly stated in the report that "McCollum could not have committed the crime" and that the brother of the victim signed a sworn statement that the assistant prosecutor told him that the prosecutor himself had removed this crucial detail that clearly exonerated McCollum from the report before providing it to McCollum's defense attorney. And that the report was only provided to the defense minutes before the detective went on the stand to testify about the video tape evidence.  

The attorney general later investigated the actions of the assistant prosecuting attorney and he was later fired from his position.  However, in an incredibly shocking and ironic twist that we learn in this interview. Not only was the prosecutor allowed to keep his law license, the state later granted his law firm a monetary grant to go into prisons and teach prisoners how to overturn their wrongful convictions. 

We also learn that the supposed "confession" that was entered into evidence was nothing close to a confession.  Mr. McCollum who had mental difficulties, was homeless at the time, and sometimes slept on the campus - was asked during his interrogation about a hypothetical situation in which he may have killed someone.  McCollum told the police that he couldn't have done it, but if he had, maybe he was sleep walking.  During the supposed confession, he also gave the police important details that did not match the crime or the victim. 

In this amazing interview, not only do we learn those new details about the troubling conviction of McCollum - we are confronted with a terrifying reality.  

Matthew Macon was a serial killer that terrorized the Lansing area and confessed to committing at least 6 murders many of which involved sexual assault.  Born into a home of violence and abuse, Matthew Macon's life was a recipe for disaster. Macon's own history of delinquency and sexual assault began in his youth, leading to multiple stints in facilities for troubled children. Despite completing a sex offender treatment program and being deemed a low risk for reoffending, Macon's dark past foreshadowed the serial killer he would become. 

Macon was in and out of prison starting at a young age. When he was only 14, he was arrested for sexually assaulting a girl with a stick. A despicable act that he had allegedly potentially learned and witnessed from his own father. 

Not only are Macon’s crimes horrifying and brutal.  We are also confronted with a devastating question when we examine the timeline of events. 

Macon’s first known murder was in 2004 less than a year before the LCC professor's murder in January of 2005. Macon would later go on to kill at least 5 more victims after the LCC professor's murder that we now know he committed and has confessed to. 

We have to ask ourselves a difficult question: if Claude McCollum would not have been wrongly accused and convicted of this murder, would Matthew Macon have been caught in 2005 and potentially 5 lives would have been saved? 

In the following interview we discuss this case and the troubling questions with the honorable Judge Hugh Clarke Jr.  We also discuss the time he represented TuPac Shakur, his time on the Lansing School Board, and his views on the criminal justice system. I hope that you find it as fascinating as I did.

I look forward to hearing from you. You can reply to this email or comment below.

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Year Of The Opposite - Travis Stoliker's Substack
Year Of The Opposite - Travis Stoliker's Substack Podcast
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