Pat Shannan – American Free Press May 23, 2011
On May 5, a deluded jury of 11 women and one man found Idaho attorney Edgar J. Steele, 66, guilty of plotting the murder of his wife and mother-in-law and three related lesser charges. While planning his appeal, this First Amendment lawyer who stood up for the rights of the oppressed expects the “full book” to get thrown at him at sentencing in August. With failing health—and at his age—and without a successful appeal, he will likely die in prison. Steele was also found guilty of use of interstate commerce in commission of a crime, possession of a destructive device and tampering with a victim. No evidence was shown in court that he was ever in possession of the pipe bomb built by handyman Larry Fairfax, and the “tampering” charge came when he frantically spoke with his wife from jail warning her of what to say to authorities, believing that the recorded conversation between husband and wife would be “privileged,” but it was played for the jury anyway.
Jurors almost never get the whole story and are often the last to know facts of a case that might have swayed their vote to the other side. The biggest reverse influence in the Steele case would have been the knowledge that two experts, independent of each other, had reviewed the FBI recordings purporting to be Steele offering a payoff to Fairfax and emphatically stated that these digital recordings were contrived. In addition, both Cyndi Steele, wife of the accused and alleged victim, as well as her attorney, Wesley Hoyt, told this writer that the tapes played in the courtroom were not the same as she heard last summer or what were forwarded to Hoyt in March 2011. “They kept changing them every time the experts pointed out a discrepancy,” Hoyt said in the courtroom hallway during a recess.
When Mrs. Steele asked FBI agent Mike Sotka in July about listening to another recording he had told her about the previous month, he replied, “They are not ready yet.” She, of course, wondered at the time about what might have had to be “readied” about recordings done in previous months. She still has never heard what she was initially told would be available.
Testimony from world-renowned voice editing expert Dr. George Papcun of Santa Fe, N.M. and Dennis Walsh, a former New York City detective in charge of audio at the precinct level, was denied for different reasons by Judge Lynn Winmill. Walsh listed more than 300 faulty melds and even went so far as to state that his voice testing graphs, as accurate as fingerprints today, indicate that the voice claimed to be that of Steele is not his.
Shortly after this case broke in the summer of 2010, this reporter received correspondence from a former CIA operative telling me that one common use of law enforcement’s talents in recent years has been with the creation of realistic but false videos, DVDs or audio recordings of individuals to be used as evidence of a crime.
“Creating false evidence, with all the new technology, is one of our easiest duties today,” he wrote, “and what makes this misdirection work so well is that the strong personal moral code of average Americans cannot allow them to believe that their leaders have no honor and no integrity. They can’t imagine the depths of trickery and treachery to which their own leaders will stoop to deceive the world.” He went on to tell us that they sometimes entertain each other with ridiculous portrayals by taking a voice print of a man well known and in just a couple of hours having him onTV, for example, dancing on top of a pile of dead Catholic nuns and shouting that he’d just purchased 100 weapons of mass destruction from the Boy Scouts of America.
“You name it, we can create it,” he said.
Jurors also failed to realize, when the sales receipts surfaced as evidence, that when Fairfax was already selling silver to local dealers in April 2010, it was far more likely at that time to have been evidence of a theft from the Steeles’ home rather than funds given to him as a murder payoff by Steele.
Steele’s fate was probably sealed when the jury was denied access to the didactic testimony of the audio experts, but it will never be known to what degree his defense might have also failed him by discouraging rather than encouraging his plan to take the stand in his own defense. In any criminal case with nearly all of the evidence purely circumstantial, the jury wants and needs to hear from the defendant. But for some reason, Steele’s attorneys did not advise this, according to Steele himself via telephone from the jailhouse.
So just who plotted against whom? That Steele, 65, would want his wife murdered because he expected a 25-year-old Ukrainian woman that he had never met to run away with him seems off the chart. On the other hand, a bankrupt and about-to-lose his- house Fairfax stealing the family’s silver from its secret hiding place that he worked around weekly reflects both motive and opportunity. Jailhouse inmate Darrell Hollingsworth was dogmatic and convincingly unflappable when he testified that Fairfax told him that the FBI had “made a deal” with him to frame Steele.
LITTLE-KNOWN FEDERAL STATUTES
Last September, when Colorado attorney Wesley Hoyt saw our story about the federal statutes in Title 5 allowing payoffs to witnesses for testimony that assist toward convicting a defendant, he was incredulous. Not satisfied without doing his own research, Hoyt examined the statutes and further endorsed the utter duplicity therein when he penned the foreword to a new book whose title depicts the Steele case as well as its own: A Cesspool of Judicial Corruption. Concerning the attacks on innocent, politically incorrect people, who speak out against government oppression, Hoyt says that the government agents, prosecutors and judges deliberately attack innocent individuals who criticize the New World Order movement and that “the tie that binds” is a form of peer pressure mixed with legalized bribery that encourages government employees to stick together “even if their consciences tell them they are prosecuting an innocent person on false charges.”
He wrote: “Legalized bribery comes in the form of cash awards for government employees from $10,000 to $25,000 per conviction to ‘recognize and reward’ each official under 5 USC sections 4502, 4503 & 4504 and 5 USC 4302 to enhance their performances and for so-called ‘superior accomplishment’ or ‘a special act or service’ or if the act ‘achieves a significant reduction in paperwork. ’The criteria are so loose, any employee can be given a cash award for almost anything. [One must] consider the power this law gives the head of each agency to manipulate employees. In addition, the government employee can also receive ‘time off from duty without loss of pay’ as a part of the reward for bringing down a politically incorrect person.”
The unfairness of these statutes is blatantly clear and would be just as unfair if benefiting the defendant in such a manner. However, the first question to Steele’s attorneys (and every defense attorney working a federal criminal trial in the future) would be why did they not ask every government witness that took the stand under oath whether it had been promised, inferred or any way suggested that they would receive a cash award should the defendant be found guilty? Could it be that they had been forewarned not to ask under threat of contempt.