Ep 13: Karen Calls the Cops: Karen Strong

In 1999, BPD held an in person meeting with Karen Strong. Karen reported that her ex-boyfriend, Mark “Stretch” McCowan, supposedly told her years earlier that Jamie was involved in the Clark Station murder-robbery. Two months later, Stretch told a grand jury that they never had that conversation. But Karen told them it happened. She added in that Jamie was once in a lot of trouble and tried to hide out at their place too. Nine months later, Karen and her friends got wiretapped, and when she didn’t know the cops were listening, she told a different story. A month later, she told the BPD she had a lot of time to think it over since the Grand Jury trial and she had more to tell them, that it didn’t look very good for Stretch or Jamie. She testified again just six months later. This time, she told Jamie’s jury that he actually tried to hide out at her house the night of the crime. Again, Stretch told the jury it didn’t happen. Years later, a friend came forward to report that Karen actually said she didn’t know anything about the crime. This thirteenth episode of Snow Files reveals the he-said-she-said lover’s quarrel that was presented to Jamie’s jury, and examines why Karen might have had motive to interfere with authorities.

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Episode 12: Nothing Left to Booze: Bruce Roland

In 1994, repeat DUI offender Bruce Roland wrote to the McLean State’s Attorney’s Office twice, pleading for leniency, saying he could get them an indictment in the Clark gas station murder. But when they sent detective Crowe to interview him, nothing happened, because Roland only reported rumors he heard from others. But in 1999, he was in jail for another DUI. This time he really needed the favor. So he said Jamie confessed to him. A polygraph showed Roland was lying, but he testified against Jamie anyways. Other witnesses refuted his story, and testified that it was impossible, but Jamie was still convicted. Ten months later, Bruce Roland and his wife got their own plea deals in return. This twelfth episode of Snow Files highlights the repetitive nature and tactics consistently used by snitches and prosecutors alike to get by in McLean county.

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EP 11: Bridge Over Troubled Robber: Ed Hammond

In 1996, bank robber Ed Hammond was sitting in prison, concerned about a looming 10 year federal sentence. He had a cell mate the year before who had gossiped about Jamie Snow and recently flipped. So when the police came knocking, asking him for information, he knew just what to say. Hammond fabricated an entire relationship with Jamie, who was then a stranger to him. He took the stand, admitted he had a bad history, but said that since this was the first time he ever snitched, the jury should trust him as much as Jamie did when he confessed. This eleventh episode of Snow Files shows you exactly what the feds are willing to give, and the lengths McLean County was willing to go to to close the case.

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‘CSI Oakwood’ forensic students tackle real-life cases


Dayton, Ohio

By Wayne Baker, Staff Writer May 17, 2020

“This semester in her Forensic Science II class, in addition to learning new content, students spent a lot of time studying real-life cases, many that are still actively being investigated […]

Another case that the class has spent a great deal of time on was the conviction of an Illinois man, Jamie Snow, for a 1991 murder. Snow is serving a life sentence without parole at Stateville Prison in Joliet, Illinois. He is currently being represented by the Exoneration Project out of the University of Chicago.

“I have been communicating with Jamie since November of 2019 after hearing his story on the Truth & Justice Podcast,” Wargacki said. “When I told him I was covering his case in class, he offered to answer student questions through an audio recording.”

She met with her students recently on Zoom to listen to the audio interview of Snow answering questions from the class.”



Read the full story here.

EP 10: The One Night Cellie: Bill Moffit

In 1995, convicted rapist Bill Moffit was serving his lengthy sentence for a most heinous crime. While chatting with his cellmate, he learned of a precious rumor that might help him out. Some guys he knew from the world might have been involved in a robbery, and he recalled bunking with one before. He felt it was just his luck. So Bill Moffit called the cops, asked about the reward, and said that Jamie confessed to the robbery gone bad, and he just needed peace of mind. He had it so bad that he came three times, to testify in court. This tenth episode of Snow Files brings new meaning to the walk of shame.
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Jamie Snow Among Inmates Seeking Clemency During Virus


By EDITH BRADY-LUNNY May 7, 2020

“For two decades, Jamie Snow has fought his McLean County murder conviction, but his battle with an infectious disease that has killed 12 of his fellow inmates may pose the biggest threat to his life.

Snow is serving a life sentence at Stateville Correctional Center in the death of Bill Little, a clerk who was fatally shot behind the counter of a Bloomington gas station on Easter Sunday 1991. The Exoneration Project is representing Snow in his effort.

Lawyers for the 55-year-old defendant have asked Gov. JB Pritzker to consider clemency for Snow, based upon the risk he and other inmates face from the spread of COVID-19 in the state’s prison system.

According to the Department of Corrections, more than 150 staff and 160 inmates have tested positive for the virus. Twelve inmates, all housed at Stateville, have died since March.

In an April email to WGLT, Snow described life in the Joliet facility as “some sort of B-rated horror movie.”  The arrival of the Illinois National Guard to assist with health care was a major improvement, he said.”




Read the full story here.

Ep 9: Show Me the Money: Randy Howard

In 1999, while the grand jury was hearing testimony for Jamie Snow’s indictment, a cold case detective with a vendetta started his day bright and early. He had important business to take care of with his paid informant. Detective Rick Barkes woke up Randy Howard at 5:30 AM and to check and see if Jamie told him a joke or a murder confession 8 years prior. Randy had received $500 from a lead homicide detective around the same time he supposedly heard this joke. He said he agreed to whatever this detective asked him just to make him leave. Randy Howard played the system for the next two years, telling Jamie’s jury, “if I would have known we would have ended up here today, I would have said things a lot differently […] I never, never expected to be here.” This ninth episode of Snow Files presents the value in a dollar for an informant who thinks they’ll never make it to trial.

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Ep 8: Its My Party and I’ll Lie If I Want To: Steven Scheel and Molly (Pfister) Esche / Eades

In the spring of 1991, a group of friends allegedly gathered for a house party in a neighborhood one mile west of the murder scene. Steve Scheel arrived at the home of his niece, Molly (Pfister) Esche / Eads, and within one hour, an old childhood acquaintance casually confessed to murdering a kid, while they were just catching up on life for five to ten minutes. The friend was supposedly Jamie Snow. But Jamie doesn’t even know Scheel, and he wasn’t at that party. Scheel was arrested for sex crimes later that summer, and told this story to authorities several times between his arrest, trial, and parole. And Molly even vouched for him at Jamie’s trial. This eighth episode of Snow Files shows just how easy it was for someone so desperate, to actually play catch-up on Jamie’s life. 

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Ep 7: Drive by Confession: Ed Palumbo and Shannon Schmidt-Wallace

In 1991, a BPD task force made several arrests for a string of armed robberies. Ed Palumbo, an acquaintance of Jamie’s, confessed a robbery while in jail. One month later, he told police that he knew Jamie was involved in crimes, and that he even confessed to a murder through his car window as they passed each other on the street. He later came back and said his girlfriend, Shannon Schmidt-Wallace, heard the whole conversation herself. Jamie was investigated, and it was decided that the story was fabricated. But this witness went to prison again for may years, and a week before his released date, he was forced to retell that old story at Jamie’s trial, but this time with an incredible amount of new details. His girlfriend showed up too. This seventh episode of Snow Files reveals just how much pressure it takes to get someone in prison to flip, and the creativity police and prosecutors will use to get results that can be concealed at trial. 

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EP 6: Snitch Parade with Special Guest Paul Ciolino

Famed private investigator, author and president of The International Association of Forensic Criminologists (IAFC), Paul Ciolino, who was instrumental in overturning the death penalty in Illinois, joins the show to discuss his expertise with wrongful convictions in Illinois. Paul provides insight into how informants are motivated to give false witness testimony, and how powers of authority allow, encourage, and actually protect informants. Paul explains the uphill battle a defendant faces while trying to reverse the damage after trial, and offers insight into how defense teams and citizens can combat these violations. This sixth episode of Snow Files explains how effective snitches were in securing Jamie’s wrongful conviction, and offers hope for Jamie’s case by highlighting the power of activism and societal awareness.

Visit Paul’s consultant website here: https://www.pjcinvestigations.com/

Listen to Paul Ciolino’s radio show, The Chicago POPO Report, Saturdays, from 10pm – Midnight on Chicago’s News and Talk Radio, WLS-AM 890, streaming from https://www.wlsam.com/chicago-popo-report/podcast/

Visit the International Association of Forensic Criminogists (IAFC) here: https://www.iafc-abp.org

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