Gift of Exoneration: Johnny Williams

January 2, 2014
Hosted by Francie Koehler, CPI, CCDI

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Guest Information

Episode Description

In March, Johnny Williams of Oakland, CA became one of 29 individuals exonerated in the US in 2013. Through the joint efforts of the No CA Innocence Project (NCIP) and the CA DNA Project, a federally funded unit at NCIP, Johnny was exonerated from 2 counts of forcible lewd conduct & one count of attempted rape of a 9-year-old girl. The girl said “Johnny” did it. Johnny, who was a neighbor & friend of the family, became the suspect. He was subsequently convicted and served 14 years in prison. A forensic examination of the girl’s shirt prior to trial indicated no biological evidence; yet years later testing from both an independent lab & the police department lab yielded a male DNA profile conclusively excluding Johnny. Full disclosure: The host of this show was the defense investigator working for Johnny’s attorney in the pre-trial investigation. Tune in to hear Johnny & his attorney, Melissa O’Connell, tell the story of this very unusual DNA exoneration.

PI’s Declassified!

PI’s Declassified!

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Every week, private detectives spill the beans, -- discussing investigator specialties that you wouldn’t even imagine exist!

You’ll hear stories about lies and false confessions… tracking down missing persons… forensics… workplace violence… innocent people freed from prison… human trafficking… and other tantalizing cases.

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Francie Koehler, CPI, CCDI

Francie Koehler, CPI, CCDI

Francie Koehler’s career as a licensed private investigator includes cases that have sparked media projects. "Unsolved Mysteries" portrayed one of her missing person cases. British author Val McDermid featured her capital case in "A Suitable Job for A Woman" and true crime writer Ann Rule chronicled a case she investigated involving a missing nightclub owner entitled "In The Name Of Love." Francie drew on her investigative and retail experience to create the 3-part video, "Loss Prevention - The Big Picture." International results included an invitation to Moscow, where she spoke to Russian nationals interested in privatization. Francie is the former two-term president of both the National Council of Investigation & Security Services (NCISS) and the California Association of Licensed Investigators (CALI). Awarded by each organization for her work, she serves as Legislative Chair for both and regularly testifies before the California State Legislature regarding bills of concern to PI’s. Francie has been recognized by her state regulatory agency for outstanding service to her profession. In addition, she holds memberships in the Council for International Investigators, National Association of Legal Investigators, World Association of Detectives, and California Attorneys for Criminal Justice. Francie also works with the Innocence Project and holds certifications as a Conflict Mediator, Legal Investigator, Professional Investigator and Criminal Defense Investigator.

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