1. The cell phone records for the phone call made that night by Ryan Ferguson to his friend no longer exist. When Mr.Freguson went to seek them out, they had been obselete for several years. No longer available after 6 months. He mentioned this on the program. Agreed the telephone party should have testified, but will it really sway the judges decision? At this point, as you mentioned, the system is too prideful/hard headed/and hearted to admit their mistake. A mans life is slowly being taken away from him, there must be place in hell reserved for these people.

  2. The information about the cell phone records on the program was related to cell towers. Seems to me that the billing information, which would also have the call records, would still be available after two years, but it’s possible that those too were not available. But at the very least having his girlfriend testify about the call would have been important.

  3. We have the cell phone billing records of Ryan calls that night. They show Ryan did make a call at 1:18am to his sister while walking through the parking lot to his car when departing the By George Night Club. His next call was placed at 1:41am he talked continuously either making calls or receiving calls until 2:09am after which time he testified he be to bed. Ryan testified after leaving the By George Night Club he and Chuck Erickson walked to his car. Ryan testified he drove Chuck home and once Chuck was out of the car Ryan called a girl at1:41am. Ryan did not care to have this conversation with Chuck in the car. Ryan testified he finished up the last call at 1:41am while setting on the curb in front of his house.

    Speaking of the cell phone calls Chuck testified in his version of events after Ryan’s last call they were still at the By George Night Club this would be at least 1:41am as the cell phone records indicate. Chuck nor the state explain what they were doing from 1:18am until 1:41am. Chuck testified they started planning to walk downtown to rob someone as Chuck claims they had ran out of money and wanted to find more money so they could reenter the club and buy more drinks. Never mind it’s now 2:09am and the bar has been closed since 1:30am

    Chuck testifies Ryan left he phone in the car to insure it would not fall out in case there was a struggle while trying to obtain money. This statement is quite important. If Ryan left his cell phone in his car before they walked to the Tribune Parking lot the earliest they could have left Ryan’s car would have been 2:09am as per the cell phone records. It takes 4:45 seconds to walk from where Ryan’s car was parked to the point on Providence Road where they could have seen up the alley towards the Tribune Parking lot where Chuck testifies he first saw the victim. Chuck testified they saw the victim walk from the Tribune Building north into the parking lot. Erickson testimony place him on the west side of Providence looking east up the alley between the Tribune Building and the parking lot to the North. As one looks up this alley it’s more or less like a narrow view as to a large brick wall at the corner of the parking lot. When someone like the victim walks from the building north into the parking lot and pass the Brick Wall they disappear into the parking lot. From the West side of Providence you can not see any of the cars in the parking lot. It takes about 2.5 seconds for the average person to walk the distance from the building across the alley and disappear beyond to brick wall. Which means Chuck and Ryan would have had to been looking up the alley at that specific time to view the victim. That is a small window 2.5 seconds. After the victim passed the wall there is no way one could see any cars or activity in the parking lot.

    Michael Boyd the employee who worked for the victim as a part time writer says in police report 18 and 25 the following.
    First PR#18 Boyd says he walked out of the building at 2:00am and was standing by the door in the alley talking to a maintenance man Mike Henry, Boyd says as they were talking as the victim walked past them to his car. (Mike Henry says nothing about talking to Boyd in PR # 7) Boyd walks over to the victim and they talk for a few minutes afterwards Boyd walks to his car departing the lot around 2:20am
    Chuck says nothing about this.
    If Chuck and Ryan had left Ryan’s car at 2:09am the earliest they could have arrived at the Providence location would have been around 2:14am.
    By this time the Victim had already walked through the alley. Based on Chuck’s testimony they could not have seen the victim walk to his car by the time they had arrived at the Providence location.
    Besides Chuck does not mention Michael Boyd except to say he say a white man walk from the Tribune Building to his car and drive out. No mention of this person talking to the victim.
    Never mind Chuck testifies that Boyd is a normal looking white man. In fact Boyd is an African American
    In police report #18 Detective Short listed Boyd’s race as white.
    There does seem to be a connection between what the police reports says and how Chuck describes Boyd both incorrect as to race.

    Note Chuck says nothing about seeing this scene.
    Someone has the story wrong.
    Either Chuck could not have seen the victim as he claims or Boyd is remembering the story wrong. Remember this report was taken with in two hours of the murder by Det Short.
    In PR#25 Boyd says he walked out of the Tribune Building at 2:10am and walked to his car in the parking lot. 2-3 minutes later he says he sees the victim walk out of the Tribune Building to his car. Boyd states he than backed up and drove over to the victim’s car where they had a 3-5 minutes discussion. Boyd states he departs the parking lot between 2:15 and 2:20am
    This report was taken at 11:45pm November 1, 2001 just hours after the murder.

    These are just 2 of the 5 versions Michael Boyd changes over time.
    As you can see Chuck’s testimony does not match the crime scene time line.
    Either Boyd had he time frame wrong or Chuck does or both. But together they both can by correct….
    I do not believe Charles Erickson or Ryan Ferguson could have been at the crime scene that night.

  4. I still have a lot of unanswered questions. I realize that a two hour Dateline episode is not going to answer all of them. I don’t know why Charles would recant and implicate himself if he wasn’t involved. This all started with him confessing to friends. I also don’t understand why he would continue to insist that Ryan was at the scene. If you’re going to recant, placing the person you’re trying to clear at the scene isn’t helping all that much.

    It’s also curious that the physical evidence at the scene doesn’t match either Charles or Ryan.

  5. It’s our understanding that Erickson was experiencing memory problems due to excusive drugs and drinking consumption. There are few memories from that night due to his blacking outs. Erickson told only two people he thought he may have had something to do with the crime but only after excessive inebriation.. Nothing specific just though he might possibilities have been there. One of these boys told a few friends. After a night of drink one of these boys called 911 at 4:30am March 10, 2001.

    Neither of the two boys which Erickson told about his dream was called to testify by Prosecutor Crane. Apparently these two witnesses had nothing to testify about that would enhance the Prosecutor’s case. Seems odd the prosecutor would not want to call the witnesses that allegedly heard Erickson tell them he was evolved in the crime. This is very telling.

    Later that same morning Erickson was arrested in the Moberly College parking lot and taken to the Columbia Police Department Major Crime Unit where he meets Detective Short for the first time at 9:22am. There conversations are revealed in Police Report 254. At 10:05am Detective short begin the video of his interrogation of Erickson. In this video you can clearly see Detective Short spoon feeding Charles Erickson information unknown by the public.
    First Detective Short asked Erickson how Ryan allegedly strangled the victim. Erickson first guesses Ryan used his hands, next he guess it was a shirt, then he guesses a bungee cord. Finally in desperation Detective Short tells Erickson it was the victim’s belt. Erickson was quite surprised at this answer saying “Really the victim’s own belt”. Detective Short asks Erickson you so that didn’t you? Erickson replies “not at all”
    Detective Short next asks Erickson how many times he struck the victim. Erickson answers “just once” Detective Short asks again two more times each time Erickson insists he struck the victim only once. Again Detective Short becomes agitated and tells Erickson the victim was struck over 15 times. (The ME testified in court the victim was struck 11 times) Detective Short was wrong. Just one of his many mistakes remembers he got the race of Boyd incorrect. Erickson finally agrees with Detective Short that well that must be right.
    But Erickson has no idea.

    Erickson has a blank memory of these events. Erickson was not at the crime scene did not strike the victim with the alleged tire tool. We know this because medical experts have said if the victim had been struck with a tire tool there should have been at least one skull fracture. There were none.
    The victim could not have been struck by a tire tool. He was struck by something which did cause cuts but this was not a tire tool.
    The tire tool story told by Erickson could not be true. Erickson is filling in the blanks with the help of Detective Short’s spoon feeding of the facts.
    This can be clearly seen in the link above.

    • Danielle says

      Would this be eligible for a petition to get enough signatures to look at to get it overturned directly by the states governor? If so, I would sign it.What a miscarriage of justice! It’s so obviously a case of a mentally disturbed- drugged out young man who was probably prone to violence and had probably fantasized about murder- he had too much too drink along with drugs and didn’t remember Haloween night. When he saw the news reports, he thought the murder sounded like like something he was capable of-and had fantasized about and he had been somewhat in that area in a similar time-frame and knew he had been drunk out of his mind that night and therefore wondered if he could have been the killer. On his quest to find out if he was indeed the killer- he got turned into the police who informed him his inquires alone put him “in too deep” so therefore he had a choice to make; implement his drinking buddy from that night or spend the rest of his life in prison. That simple.

  6. Damon Spark says

    Come on people. Am I the only one here who sees this kid as the complete sociopath the jury obviously saw? No emotion. I think the other kid actually had a conscience and couldn’t live with what they’d done, so he went to police. No one turns themselves in for something they did not do. This guys snaky smirk says it all. Anyone who was truly innocent would have taken the stand and told everything they know. You are all fooling yourselves!

    • Yes, Damon apparently you ARE the only one here who thinks Ryan is guilty. Perhaps if you educated yourself on this case, you would be able to give an INFORMED opinion. I think if I were Ryan my emotions would have not hesitated to come out, I do not possess the restraint that Ryan obviously has. I would have been angry and it would have shown. Chuck did not turn himself in, he had some off the wall convo’s with a couple of friends, one of which turned him in and the police and Mr. Crane pounced!! I saw no smirk, just a young man who was telling the truth to a man who didn’t want to hear it, unless it fit with his version of events. I do so truly hope you never find yourself in the same position. Though I for one would be very interested how you handled yourself on the stand when accused of something you didn’t do.. Emotional=guilty, un-emotional=guilty, angry=guilty, sad= remorse=guilty etc. Seems to me no matter how a defendant behaves on the stand someone is going to say they ‘look’ guilty, that’s why you need to look at the facts first and the facts in this case PROVE beyond a shadow of a doubt that Ryan Ferguson had absolutely nothing to do with this crime!!

    • Yeah you were probably one of the jurors… Convicted by a smirk… Have you ever considered a job as a appeal judge? You would fit right in!

  7. You are fooling yourself if you think Ryan is guilty! Are you friends with this so called judicial system that worked “so hard” on this case? Erickson has mental health problems, from what I gathered from the show schizophrenic. With that he can imagine a funnel of events that possible did not happen. The people that Ryan spoke to on his cell phone need to be involved to have solid facts of whom he spoke to during the time of the murder. Also where are the shoes/clothes of the blood from the killer? Best of luck to your family Mr. Furguson…your family is in my thoughts and prayers!

  8. Kimberly Wimmer says

    I don’t understand WHY the Appeal for a new trial (that was recently DENIED) did not put more emphasis on other areas of the case that CLEARLY raised a reasonable doubt as to Ryan’s involvement in the murder?

    Why were these topics not presented in the APPEAL?

    1. Testimony of – Shawna Ornt (and why did the defense not ask Shawna to describe the person she spoke to the night of the crime who told her someone was hurt and have police do a sketch of that person, based on Shawna’s memory?)
    2. Testimony of Dallas Mallory
    3. Testimony of Shawna Mallory’s boss, friends and co-workers, confirming her statement that the man she saw in the parking lot was not Ryan nor Erickson
    4. Bloody footprints leading to the nearby dorm from the crime scene
    5. Ryan’s Cell Phone Records
    6. Testimony of the two friends that Erickson initially told the story to about his “dream”
    7. Mental Condition of Erickson (was he ever seen by a Psychologist or Psychiatrist for a diagnosis for schitzophrenia or some other delusional condition?? If not, why? And, if so, why weren’t medical experts called to the stand by the defense?

    I did not see any of these points included in the oficial APPEAL doc I read??

  9. People lie , DNA (this case not a match) and Science evidence don’t
    Lie. It’s science . If the DNA doesn’t fit you must Acquit ! Ryan’s DNA
    Did not match the DNA found at the crime screen , I guess the jurors
    Did not understand science ? Set Ryan free you dam judges !!


  1. […] And the saddest part about all of this is that this isn’t an isolated case. It happens all the time. It happened in Memphis to the Memphis Three as told in the series of documentaries Paradise Lost one through three, which will soon be told in the film West of Memphis. I’ve covered similar cases on this blog including the cases of Billy Wayne Cope and Ryan Ferguson. […]

  2. […] The saddest part about this story is that this is not an isolated case. It happens more often than you would think. Do a search on the blog for “wrongful convictions” and you’ll read about more cases just like this one. Right now two young men sit in a Missouri penitentiary thanks to a coerced confession. You can read about that case in the post Mystery on Halloween night. […]

  3. […] first wrote about Ryan Ferguson in the post Injustice in plain sight. When a local judge in Columbia decided to not vacate Ryan’s sentence after the two […]

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