'Unlocking the Truth' Recap: Episode 5, Did the Cops Knowingly Lock Up the Wrong Guy?

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This episode of MTV's Unlocking the Truth returns to the cases of Michael Politte and Kalvin Michael Smith.

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Unlocking the Truth: Kalvin Michael Smith

This episode of Unlocking the Truth begins with a recap of the Kalvin Michael Smith case.

Ryan and Eva return to the testimony of Valerie Williams, Kalvin Michael Smith's ex-girlfriend, who had originally told police that Kalvin was guilty.

Kalvin says that soon after she made that statement to the police, she and Kalvin returned to the police station, where she planned to recant the statement.

But when the pair got to the station, the police separated them and scared them into giving the statements that the police wanted.

The statement that Kalvin gave was this: he and his friend had gone to the victim, Jill Marker's store on the night of the attempted murder, in order to commit a robbery.

When Jill resisted, his friend chased her away, and he didn't see what happened next.

To further investigate, the Unlocking the Truth team decides to meet with a special agent, Scott Williams, who was tasked with investigating Kalvin's appeal. He says he was concerned when he saw the allegations that the police coerced Kalvin and his friends into making their statements.

But Williams says that Kalvin said one thing in his statement that wasn't public at the time: he knew that Jill ran to the back of the store. Williams seems pretty convinced that Kalvin is in fact guilty.

Ryan and Eva don't agree, mostly because all of the statements in the case differed.

However, the testimonies weren't the only things used in the conviction. The victim, Jill, had apparently picked Kalvin out of a lineup. But was she in the state to be able to make that identification?

Jill had been in a coma and was later brain-damaged. In the video of her "testimony," she seems unable to understand questions or respond with any certainty. After asking Jill questions, they start showing her photo lineups.

In the first photo lineup -- which includes all black men -- she is unable to pick out Kalvin. In the second photo -- this time of white men -- she seems confused when trying to identify her ex-husband, Kenneth Lamoureux.

The investigators drew conclusions about what Jill intended to say based on her head and arm movements.

A year later, a similar test was done, and this time, Jill identified Kalvin.

In the trial, however, none of this information was admitted.

What happened in the trial was that Jill was brought out and asked whether Kalvin -- who was in the room -- was the attacker. In response, she seemed to give a nod.

The Unlocking the Truth team then goes to talk to Jill Marker's son, who had not been born at the time of the attempted murder.

The son, Barron, is happy to tell the story of his mom -- but he has no additional information regarding the case.

Unlocking the Truth: Michael Politte

We then turn to Michael Politte.

In the last episode, the Unlocking the Truth team tried to contact Politte's former best friend, Josh Sansoucie, who was a witness to the murder. He responded to the team's text messages, but he declined to be interviewed.

This time, he is willing to be interviewed, but not on camera. He and Ryan talk for about 20 minutes, and he says he stands by the last statement that he made to police.

In the last statement, had said that he woke up, didn't hear anything, and couldn't tell if Michael was in bed or not.

This statement is different from the one that was used to implicate Michael -- in that statement, Josh said he saw that Michael was gone. Josh also claims to have been mistreated by the police.

The Unlocking the Truth team then goes to visit Sheriff Ronnie Skyles, one of the first people on the scene after the murder.

Skyles says that by the time he got to the scene, the fire was out and there was blood everywhere.

Skyles suspected Michael because of his emotions: instead of being devastated by the murder, Michael started asking questions like "who's going to get her truck?" And "who's going to pay for the autopsy?" He says that Michael and Josh weren't acting like 13 year old kids should act when a parent dies.

Questioned further, Skyles says that Michael's dad was also an interesting lead -- and then he drops this bombshell: "in my opinion I think he caused it." But he said that he looked into the dad (Ed Politte), and there was never any evidence that could tie him to the crime.

He says the main evidence in the case against Michael was his "confession."

So what was the "confession?" At one point during the investigation, Michael apparently made this statement: "I haven't cared about anything since December 5, when I killed my mother." Michael, however, maintains that he said "when they killed my mother." What's strange is that there was really no follow-up questioning to this statement.

The Unlocking the Truth team then meets with a linguist who looked at the case.

The linguist says that the first problem with the case is that the test given to Michael to see if he was telling the truth has been proven inaccurate.

With respect to the confession, the linguist says that there are several problems. First, Michael was in a psychiatric ward and had been trying to commit suicide.

The workers in the ward were the ones who claim to have heard the confession, but the linguist believes what they thought they heard may have been affected by their bias.

And even if Michael said "I killed my mom," he may have meant "I supposedly killed my mom." The linguist believes that what Michael said was not a confession, but an utterance interpreted as a confession.

Next, the team has an off-camera interview of the original investigator in Michael's case, Curt Davis.

Davis thinks Ed (Michael's dad) may have been involved in the murder, but he believes that Michael committed the actual crime.

He says that Josh's changing statements were due to fear, not police coercion -- Josh was afraid that someone would retaliate against him for telling the truth.

The episode ends with an interview of Melissa Mercer, a neighbor and friend of Michael's sister. Mercer says her mom had told her this story about the murder: one morning a guy showed up at the mom's front door and kept asking her if she was Michael's mom, Rita Politte. Mercer's mom told the man where Rita lived and slammed the door.

But instead of going toward Rita's house, he went in the opposite direction.

A few days later, Rita was killed. Mercer and her mom believe that the who knocked on their door was the man was hired to kill Rita Politte.

You can see a clip of Ryan and Eva discussing Michael's case here:

You can watch the full episode at MTV.com