Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Michael Callahan  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Born: in Terre Haute, Indiana

Sites:


Illinois Connection

Michael now lives in Champaign, Illinois

Biographical and Professional Information

After graduating from Indiana University, Michael joined the Illinois State Police, and spent the next 25 years in investigations. Callahan was promoted to sergeant, master sergeant and eventually lieutenant, before he retired in 2005. In 2006, he received The Edmund Burke Award from the National Lawyers Association, which was inscribed, “A good man who did something to prevent the triumph of evil.”


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Too Politically Sensitive: Since When Is Murder Too Politically Sensitive
ISBN: 0615281036

Land of Lincoln Pr Inc. 2009

Since when is any crime "too politically sensitive" to search for the truth? Dyke and Karen Rhoads, Randy Steidl and Herb Whitlock never got a search for the truth, only cover-up and deceit from a state more concerned about image, money and politics. The morning of July 6, 1986, Dyke and Karen Rhoads were found murdered in their bedroom. Brutally stabbed over fifty times, their house was set on fire to cover up the heinous crime. With no motive and no physical evidence linking anyone to the crime, the investigation seemingly floundered. Less than one year later, two men, Randy Steidl and Herb Whitlock were arrested and convicted for the Rhoads murders. Their convictions based upon the bizarre and inconsistent stories of two unbelievable eyewitnesses, one the town drunk, the other a self-described drug addict and alcoholic, both with histories of mental illness. But the question arose, were the police and prosecutor behind manipulation and cover-up which lead to the two men being convicted? One man was put on Death Row, the other sentenced to life in prison. The two men adamantly denied their convictions and even the victims family questioned the state's version of the alleged truth. In 2000, rumblings from the Innocence Project and an impending episode on 48 Hours caused deep concerns within the Illinois State Police upper command and the corrupt administration of Governor George Ryan. Therefore, the Investigations Commander, Lieutenant Michale Callahan was assigned to review the fourteen-year-old homicide. Lieutenant Callahan's review revealed the contradictions and lies by the two unbelievable eyewitnesses, concerns of misconduct by the original investigators and prosecutor, evidence and witnesses that was withheld,and other suspects either purposefully ignored or never documented. One politically connected to Governor George Ryan.Callahan's life was changed forever when the State Police command deemed a reinvestigation of the Rhoads case, "Too Politically Sensitive." For the next three years Callahan and others tried to reason with the State Police command to quit turning a blind eye to the two innocent men in prison and that the real killer or killers remained free. Each time their efforts were stonewalled by the politically compromised upper command of the Illinois State Police.Eventually Callahan turned in his upper command into the State Police's internal investigations. Callahan was betrayed by his department. The Division of Internal Investigations refused to conduct an investigation and leaked the criminal allegations back to his command who retaliated against him. Callahan fought back and filed a First Amendment civil rights law suit. In 2005, a federal jury agreed Callahan's freedom of speech was violated. One year later, the George W. Bush administration pushed the U.S. Supreme Court to take away a government employees freedom of speech while "on the job." In 2008, Callahan's case was reversed when the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, "Mr. Callahan was not speaking as a citizen, but as a government employee and that speech is not protected by the First Amendment." This story is a frightening example of what government, at its worst, is capable of doing, a government that also wants to silence those who would expose its wrongdoing. Both men would eventually be freed when it was determined that "evidence favorable to their defense was withheld." But unfortunately, there is still no closure for Dyke and Karen Rhoads.