Friday, May 13, 2011

Remembering Ellis H. Parker (The American Sherlock Holmes)

PhillyBurbs.com is featuring an excellent story on an individual that PardonPower has been thinking about for years, the "American Sherlock Holmes," one Ellis H. Parker. More specifically, the piece, written by Danielle Camilla, focuses on the grandson of Parker, Andrew Sahol, who is "methodically piecing together a mystery in search of the truth."

Sahol is also attempting to land one of those ever-so-popular posthumous pardons for his grandfather - something which was sought almost immediately following the great detective's death while serving out a six-year federal prison sentence with his son, Ellis H. Parker, Jr. (who was pardoned by Harry Truman). Mr. Sahol now claims to have "documented proof" that Ellis H. Parker was "framed."

Parker (who was actually the father of 15) and son were convicted for the kidnapping, torture and forced confession of Paul Wendel, suspected by Parker as being responsible for the 1932 kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby. The "official" investigation, however, was directed by the head of the New Jersey State Police.H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Sr. In dramatic fashion, Parker insisted early on that the body eventually found in a wooded area was not that of the Lindbergh child, and that the arrest of Bruno Richard Hauptmann was a mistake. Hauptmann, of course, was eventually executed.

Sahol says he has uncovered information which renders the conviction the result of a "fix." So, Sahol has applied for a presidential pardon twice. He says he never heard anything back re the first application. The Bush administration informed him that it was not considering posthumous pardons - even though it did eventually grant one to Charlie Winters. Sahol is now hoping the remarkably stingy president Obama will work with him. To read more about this fascinating detective, see this well-written story here.

Incidentally, the lead prosecutor in Parker's case (John J. Quinn) indicated that he would support a posthumous pardon for Ellis H. Parker, as did the presiding judge (Judge William Clark). The judge was concerned, however, as to whether or not there was legal precedent for such a pardon. Back then, at the federal level, there was not. Today, however, thanks to Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, there is.

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