My new book has just been released. "Deliberate Injustice – The Wrongful Conviction of Ken Wyniemko" is the compelling story of one's man battle against a flawed legal system and his efforts to re-enter society after nearly 9 years of imprisonment. Ask Me Anything.

Bob Henige
Mar 8, 2018

Kenny Wyniemko was wrongfully convicted of a savage rape in Clinton Township, Michigan, in 1994. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison, a death sentence for a 43-year-old man. After nearly nine years in prison, Kenny was proven innocent through DNA testing. Five years later the actual perpetrator was identified with a similar DNA test.

Deliberate Injustice details Kenny's arrest and conviction, his efforts to survive prison, his futile court appeals, his eventual release, and his battle to become acclimated in society.

Kenny has survived every battle to become one of the most visible representatives for the wrongfully convicted. He has spoken before the Michigan Legislature, at Harvard Law School, the University of Michigan Law School, and many more venues.

Please visit our website to find out about the book, the case, and Kenny himself.

Ask me anything at any time. My next online session will be on Thursday, March 8, 2018, at 8:00pm Eastern time.

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You mentioned working with someone whom you have known for over 50 years to get your book published. Who is it? How did you first meet him?
Mar 15, 7:48PM EDT0

Terry Ziemba has represented me in the publishing arena from the beginning. My previous 3 books were published by ZGServe, LLC, Terry's company. He published Deliberate Injustice, too.

I met Terry in high school in the late 1960s.

Mar 15, 8:10PM EDT0
Have you been following Ken Wyniemko’s case even before it got overturned?
Mar 15, 3:31PM EDT0

I read a little about it and heard bits and pieces from a mutual friend of ours, Marty Hacias. But, I really didn't follow it religiously in 2003.

Marty was very proactive assisting Kenny in his appeals and, since we played on the same softball team, Marty was always telling us that Kenny was innocent. As the Innocence Project got involved, he was adamant that Kenny was going to get out. Marty has known Kenny since grade school.

In Deliberate Injustice, Marty is part of the interview process and he relates all of this.

Last edited @ Mar 18, 1:32PM EDT.
Mar 15, 7:13PM EDT0
Why did you decide to write about Ken Wyniemko’s case? Did you voluntarily write about it or were you commissioned to do it by someone else?
Mar 14, 10:32AM EDT0

I have known Kenny for over 50 years and, when he was released, I couldn't get enough of his case. I found it mesmerizing, both depressing and uplifting. It was just a fascinating story.

Kenny had been released over a decade before he approached me. He had read my previous books and he thought I could pull it off.

Here is an excerpt from the book:

When Kenny asked me to write his story, I was both flattered and terrified. How could I accurately describe the experiences and the transformation of such a remarkable man?

Last edited @ Mar 14, 9:10PM EDT.
Mar 14, 9:10PM EDT0
Do you personally believe in Ken Wyniemko and his advocacy?
Mar 14, 10:05AM EDT0

If you ever listened to Kenny speak, you would believe in his sincerity and resolve.

Before I got involved with Deliberate Injustice, I wasn't aware of how many wrongful convictions there are. I have met so many individuals who I respect immensely for their dedication for this cause. This HAS to be done. There are many other innocent prisoners.

Last edited @ Mar 14, 9:11PM EDT.
Mar 14, 9:02PM EDT1
You mentioned that during the marketing phase in April, you would be targeting organizations. What are the organizations involved with correcting wrongful convictions?
Mar 13, 3:01PM EDT0

The best website is the Innocence Network website: List of Innocence Network Member Organization

If you bring up that link, you will see that this effort is not only nationwide in the United States, but world-wide as well.

Mar 14, 8:55PM EDT0
When did you start writing about Ken Wyniemko?
Mar 13, 12:40PM EDT0

I started the book almost 4 years ago. At the beginning, I just wanted to become familiar with his case. And, during this initial research, I  worked on how the book was going to be formatted. I am glad I was paitent before beginning the actual writing because it paid off in the end.

Mar 14, 8:48PM EDT0
Any words of wisdom or advice you can give to wrongfully convicted inmates?
Mar 13, 12:23PM EDT0

I deferred to my good friend, Kenny, on this. He has always claimed that getting mental health immediately is most important for a recently released exoneree. In the book, Kenny talks about how his experiences in jail still haunt him, 14 years later. Kenny was lucky that he had a support group of friends and family that helped immensely. He was also fortunate to find a purpose in his life when he decided to become a spokesperson for the wrongfully convicted.

Mar 14, 8:44PM EDT0
What’s your professional background like? Are you a full-time writer?
Mar 12, 2:53PM EDT0

My formal education in writing is limited to a few creative writing classes in college.

At this time, I write part time, being employed in the IT (compuer) field for decades.

I started writing in 2000 and now I have 4 books published. This last book, Deliberate Injustice - The Wrongful Conviction of Ken Wyniemko, is getting nothing but great reviews.

You never know.

Last edited @ Mar 14, 9:12PM EDT.
Mar 12, 6:05PM EDT0
What is Ken Wyniemko’s living condition now? How well is he coping?
Mar 11, 2:44PM EDT0

Life for Kenny is pretty good. He still has his down times resulting from his experiences in prision. Generally, he is a pretty happy guy.

His involvement as a spokesperson for the wrongfully convicted has given him purpose in his life and he is totally dedicated to this cause.

Kenny is elated at the prospect of working with me promoting Deliberate Injustice. He told me how he wanted his story written and he is very pleased with the results.

Last edited @ Mar 11, 5:25PM EDT.
Mar 11, 5:24PM EDT0
Did you self-publish this book or did you work with publishers?
Mar 11, 1:27PM EDT0

I am working with a small publishing house here in Michigan. I am able to work someone who I have known for over 50 years. He had been behind my work from the beginning.

Last edited @ Mar 14, 9:14PM EDT.
Mar 11, 5:15PM EDT0
How did you research in order to maintain accurate details for your book? Did you try interviewing inmates too?
Mar 11, 1:22PM EDT0

I was fortunate to obtain the documents related to the 1994 trial, the DNA testing in 2003 that resulted in Kenny's release, and the 2004 civil suit.

Kenny had gathered a lot of information related to his trial during the period of his appeals while he was in jail. Gail Pamulkov, his pro bono attorney for his DNA appeal in 2003, provided documents related to the trial and the appeal. And, The Googasian Firm, who represented Kenny in his 2004 civil suit, had an enormous amount of information from the trial and the civil suit, all in PDF form on a flash drive.

The documents I received from Kenny, Gail, and The Googasian Firm assisted a great deal in the research. The rest was up to me. I can't even imagine how many hundreds of hours I spent going through all this information.

Still, there were Freedom of Information Act forms and other methods I had to use to obtain additional documents.

RE The interviews: While there were about a dozen individuals who were kind enough to allow me to interview them, none of them were any of Kenny's fellow inmates. I did interview several individuals who had spent time in prision and who were proven innocent of the crime they were convicted of. But none of them had anything to do with Kenny's incarceration.

Last edited @ Mar 14, 9:14PM EDT.
Mar 11, 5:18PM EDT0
Is this your first book or have you published other books in the past?
Mar 11, 11:49AM EDT0

This is my fourth book. The first three books can be found at my personal website at Bob Henige Website.

The first two books were works of fiction, both Detroit-centric in theme. The third book was a sports fact/trivia book, mostly about Michigan sports. A Synopsis of each book can be found at my website.

Mar 11, 4:43PM EDT0
Do you believe it is necessary for a writer to have a background in writing education or a college degree?
Mar 11, 4:43AM EDT0

I don't believe it to be necessary but it certainly helps immensely. I can see several personal shortcomings in my writing, especially when I started writing 17 years ago, where a formal education would have made a difference.

I lean on several individuals for editing and proofreading. They are invaluable in developing my manuscript, especially grammatically.

I have been asked that same question before and this is what I tell any aspiring writer regardless of their background or education, "Just write. Write what you know."

I started writing in the year 2000 and now I have 4 books published and this last one is getting nothing but positive comments. You never know.

Last edited @ Mar 12, 6:01PM EDT.
Mar 11, 5:10PM EDT0
What’s the biggest challenge or difficulty you encountered while writing the book?
Mar 10, 8:23PM EST0

I think the biggest challenge was deciding on the organization of the book. It took me months to come up with a format. The first cut of the book was not the way we wanted it and I had to, basically, rewrite it. Once we finalized the format, it went smoothly.

In the end: Deliberate Injustice is in narrative form with excerpts from legal documents (trial transcripts, witness statements, depositions, police reports, etc.) and interviews (from Kenny and a dozen others involved in Kenny's case and his life).

Another challenge was understanding the legal terms. It got better as the research went on but, initially, I had a little difficulty. I do not have  a legal background and I did all the research.

Last edited @ Mar 11, 5:29PM EDT.
Mar 10, 9:05PM EST0
DNA testing was already present a decade ago; why wasn’t the DNA evidence presented back then?
Mar 10, 11:48AM EST1

This was thoroughly explored in the book. DNA was definitely available and I can't believe that the prosecutor, detectives, and defense attorney didn't know about it. They did perform blood type tests on the forensic evidence from the crime scene and Kenny was excluded from any of this evidence.

Here is what happened. The victim had an affair early in the evening before the rape. There was a concerted effort by everyone involved (prosecutor, defense attorney, police) to not have this come to light during the trial. And that's okay under the rape shield law. The problem with this was Kenny's defense attorney agreed to this without notifying Kenny. Kenny was shocked when he heard of this back-room agreement by his own attorney. His own defense attorney!!

Since the blood type tests did not match Kenny, there was nothing gained by the prosecution to perform DNA testing. (Other than finding the truth.) It could not enhance their case against Kenny. If the DNA testing identified the affair partner, then the affair would come to light. So, if the DNA testing couldn't help in convicting Kenny, there was no sense to it from the prosecution and police side. This is what I surmised in the book.

The problem is Kenny was innocent. In 2003, the testing showed DNA present from the victim, her husband, her affair partner, and from an "unknown donor." Kenny was again excluded from the crime scene. That unknown donor proved to be Craig Gonser, someone with a long history of Criminal Sexual Conduct convictions. Fifteen years after the crime was committed and five years after Kenny was released from prison, Mr. Gonser was identified as the 1994 rapist but the statute of limitations had expired at this time. (Today, there is no statute of limitations on rape.)

Today, Mr. Gonser has been designated a 'sexual deviant' and is serving a 25 year sentence for felonies stemming from an incident with his 3 year old daughter.

The chapter Vindication explores the Gonser case. Once the actual rapist was identified, Kenny could look anyone in the eye and proclaim his innocence without a doubt. It was a big day for Kenny.

What didn't make sense to me was why the defense attorney did not insist on DNA testing. It could only help Kenny since he was excluded from the blood type testing.

Everyone involved was more concerned with shielding the victim's reputation than finding out the truth. And Kenny paid for it with 9 years of his life.

Last edited @ Mar 11, 5:35PM EDT.
Mar 10, 1:12PM EST0
Did Ken Wyniemko get some sort of compensation from the government after his release?
Mar 10, 11:26AM EST0

This is public record and it is mentioned in the book so I have no problem posting it.

In his 2004 civil court case, Kenny's settlement included $1.8 million and monthly payments of $6,409 that increase 3% a year. Kenny knew he could go to court and get more but he just wanted to get on with his life.

The defendants (the City of Clinton Township (MI) and the Clinton Township Police Department) decided to settle out of court once they read the presiding judge's opinion. To view that opinion, visit the Deliberate Injustice Website. Click on Documents under Contents on the top of the page and select the first document containing the civil court judge's opinion on Kenny's civil case. The defendants knew their goose was cooked so they agreed without a trial.

Mar 10, 1:21PM EST0
What’s your message to those who work in the justice system who may have contributed to its flaws?
Mar 10, 8:43AM EST0

Today, I would tell them, "Someone is watching you." There must be close to 100 organizations in the world committed to correcting wrongful convictions. This commitment is shown with results. There have been over 2,100 exonerations in the United States and they are occurring at the rate of one every 2-3 days.

There have been numerous law enforcement departments and prosecution offices that have tightened their standards for things like the use of jailhouse snitches and obtaining confessions.

Making sure the wrong person does not serve time should be a main concern for everyone in the 'system.' It has improved but there is still a long way to go.

Last edited @ Mar 11, 5:38PM EDT.
Mar 10, 1:33PM EST0

Did you attend a writing course or by any chance you have a degree in writing?

Mar 9, 4:48PM EST0

I attended several creative writing classes in college. I do not have a degree in writing.

Mar 9, 5:05PM EST0
Would you be going on tour for the promotion of this book? Which places do you intend to visit and why?
Mar 9, 9:56AM EST0

We have numerous speaking engagements setup locally (Detroit, Michigan area) in the next few months and we are working on several others.

The actual marketing of the books starts next month (April, 2018). During this marketing phase, we will be initially targeting organizations involved in correcting wrongful convictions and various law schools. Individuals in these areas are specifically interested in this subject. We will also be working on radio and TV appearances.

For now, the plan is mostly for local appearance and to branch out later.

We believe the interest in this book is timeless and we are taking a more deliberate approach knowing that the marketing phase could last up to 6 months. The story and the message will be pertinent forever.

Mar 9, 11:36AM EST0
How difficult is reintegration for convicted felons?
Mar 9, 8:50AM EST0

First of all, this book is about an innocent man who has been exonerated. Nevertheless, the transition for exonerees back to society after prison can be extremely difficult. This issue is covered in a chapter call Acclimation.

When Kenny and I were meeting regularly regarding his experiences during his incarceration, he became very withdrawn and could not meet for a period of about 3 months. He told me, "Bob, I have to recall memories that I spent over a decade trying for forget." And, this was 14 years after his release.

The need for mental health assistance immediately upon release from prison is real. I found that out personally during the development of this book.

Mar 9, 11:27AM EST0
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