Research and Investigation – Part 4

Getting More Data

For the next couple of years, on and off, I worked on breaking the transcripts down and analyzing them. I found a great deal of useful information that helped me understand the trial, and why it worked the way it did (or didn’t work the way it should have), but it would be 2013 before I found the other materials that would begin to break everything open for me. At some point I had thought that, by comparing the differences in testimony between the two trials, I might be able to reach some conclusions about when Hanna was lying and when she wasn’t. That was the first step in the process. Hanna’s testimony was what I was particularly interested in, of course, and if there were lies, I was convinced they would be hers. Maybe her mother’s testimony ran a close second in that regard.

I already had Steve’s testimony from Trial #1 because it was included in the exhibits in Trial #2. Steve didn’t testify in the second trial, but they read parts of his testimony to the jury anyway. Because they did that, his testimony was included in the second trial’s exhibits as evidence. Since some of the first trial had already been transcribed for the lawyers in the second trial, I found out I could buy those pages for about a dollar a page. I figured that might be $500 or $600, money I didn’t have. Anything that hadn’t already been transcribed would cost five dollars a page, maybe $5,000 to $6,000 for a trial that had lasted three days.

There’s one other legal point that’s worth mentioning right now. Steve was charged with three specific counts of sexual assault. He was convicted on Count One, but was acquitted on Counts Two and Three. Legally, Steve can’t be tried again on Counts Two and Three. Any new trial would have to deal only with what Steve was charged with for Count One. I covered all three counts in the book, though, because even if I prove to you that Count One couldn’t have and didn’t happen, I won’t be happy unless I prove that none of it happened (or, at least, come as close to proving it as I possibly, humanly, can).

Trial #1 was still very important to me, though, whether it has legal validity or not. By comparing it to Trial #2, I could get a clearer sense of when Hanna might be lying, based on changes in her story. By comparing the two trials, I would be able to spot things that just didn’t feel right.

I wasn’t sure what my next steps would be, but I thought I had gone as far as I could without more data. I needed to go to Deep Springs and see what I could uncover.

Michael Sirois

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