WAS THERE A PLOT
By Virginia McCullough
The domestic violence/terrorist trial of attorney Richard Hamlin has run the conspiracy spectrum from high profile prosecutions in the Sacramento County District Attorney's office to CIA operations on the Cabazon Indian Reservation in the 1980's. Former prosecutor Richard Hamlin finds himself in a face off with El Dorado County's controversial District Attorney Gary Lacy. Lacy is asking that Hamlin serve 25 years to life for allegedly terrorizing his wife and mother of his four children, attorney Susan Hamlin.
On February 26, 2004 Susan Hamlin had confessed to molesting her children and to conspiring with a satanic cult to murder her husband. The satanic cult was allegedly controlled by Susan's father, Dr. Sid Siemer. Two days later, following her husband's arrest on February 28, 2004, Susan Hamlin retracted her original statements to the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department.
In the late fall of 2004, held in jail without bail since his arrest, Richard Hamlin hired private investigator Ted Gunderson who was located through an Internet search. Hamlin hoped that Gunderson, who advertised himself as an expert in Satanic cults, would uncover the cult involvement of his father-in-law Dr. Sid Siemer. Susan Hamlin had claimed her father had molested her throughout her childhood and into her adult married life.
This bizarre, wide ranging case landed in the courtroom of Judge Eddie Keller. Keller, a former United States Attorney, closely examined the full plate before him and began slicing the service into manageable portions.
Defendant Richard Hamlin made a verbal request of Judge Keller to bring self described CIA asset Michael Riconosciuto to the Placerville courtroom to testify as a defense witness. On November 15, 2004 Riconosciuto had written a letter to his attorney is which he said:
I have received letters from Ted's (Gunderson) client Richard Hamlin. When TLG (Ted L. Gunderson) first began writing to me about the case with his client and client's father-in-law Sid Seimer (sic) , I was horrified........I know Sid Seimer (sic) from the Wackenhut/Cabazon operation. Sid was close to J. P. Nichols and Wayne Reeder. My reaction to the allegations of Sid's cult involvement was one of horror because of how powerful he is in military and intelligence circles........Sid is at the top in the cult scene on the international level! This guy is extremely dangerous. Sid is a expert in plant biology and epizoology. He was directly involved with the Wackenhut/Cabazon operations biowarfare work with DARPA and the University of California.
Keller decided in an open court hearing that Riconosciuto would not be allowed to testify because his testimony was not relevant to the case.
The intrigue of CIA black operations and the heat of the Cabazon Reservation in Indio, California was neatly severed from the case by Judge Keller who thought that his ruling would sever the fat from his full plate. His honor did not comprehend the persistence of Michael Riconosciuto. On March 30, 2005 Riconosciuto wrote a cover letter to the Chief Judge of the California Superior Court in El Dorado County. In that package he included a "Letter of Judicial Notification" addressed to Judge Edward T. Keller. Both letters tied the cases of Richard Hamlin to the case of Philip Arthur Thompson who was being held in the El Dorado County Jail charged with the 34-year-old murder of Betty Marie Cloer. (Click.) Judge Keller did not respond to the Riconosciuto letter.
Several months later Michael Riconosciuto sent another letter to Judge Keller which was returned unopened to the sender. It was now obvious that His Honor would not allow Hamlin's witness to inject his testimony into the case.
On April 15, 2005 the prosecution conducted a grand jury hearing. No testimony or evidence was allowed that showed the pattern of letters, emails, and phone calls originated by Susan Hamlin over a two-year period as she contacted friends and family seeking help in reconstructing her recovering memories of incest and child abuse by her father Dr. Sid Siemer. (Click.) The end result was that the Grand Jury brought down an indictment of Richard Hamlin doubling to 18 the number of charges against him. Because this exculpatory or "Brady" evidence was never shown to the grand jury the defense filed a motion challenging these additional indictments.
On Monday June 27, 2005 Judge Keller conducted a pre-trial hearing to hear the defense motion and examine some other issues before the court. One major problem stood out during this hearing - the credibility or lack of credibility of the prosecution's main witness, Susan Hamlin. The prosecution alleged that Richard Hamlin took Susan Hamlin and family members on a "joyride of hell in Roseville" where a woman name Lisa lived with her husband and family. The Hamlins were apparently going to confront this woman because Susan had said that she was part of the satanic cult conspiracy to kill Richard Hamlin. Susan had handwritten a letter to Lisa that said in part:
As you now know, I couldn't go through with our plan to take Rick down to Fresno to have his killed. The truth is that I want to be with him exclusively. I want to be totally committed to him and to Christ. My involvement in the past with incest and prostitution was under my dad's control originally - but was engaged in on a "choice" level as I got older. I have always struggled with where my allegiance was. I don't know what your feelings have been over the years related to the satanic beliefs and the prostitution you have been involved in.
My marriage was entered into by me knowing that Rick was a Christian who stands up for what he believes in. I planned to use him to get back at Sid. Rick never knew any of this - and loved me in spite of all that I have done to him over the years.
Finally, at 47, I choose to reject Satan, reject Sid, and reject all the lies and commit the rest of my life to Christ, Rick, my children and set on a path to right the wrongs I've done.
It was on this trip to Roseville on February 1, 2004 that the prosecution stated Richard Hamlin pistol-whipped his wife and threatened her with a gun. The night before Susan Hamlin said her husband had chased her with a sword and cut her right ring finger. This occurred before she wrote the letter to Lisa that Susan testified her husband ordered her to write. Mrs. Hamlin also testified that her husband said "We want to plant this on her (Lisa's) body after killing her." Richard Hamlin denied that he chased his wife with a sword or cut her finger. Hamlin also said that Susan wrote the "Lisa letter" on her own without any instruction from him.
Other interesting issues were brought up during the June 27th hearing. However, in the end Judge Keller made a determination that the extensive correspondence written by Susan Hamlin to others describing incest and satanic cult involvement were not illegally denied to the grand jury because they were not relevant to the charges against Richard Hamlin. Judge Keller filleted the Hamlin case to bare bones eliminating all of the excess fat and perhaps, in so doing, serving up Richard Hamlin's head on a silver platter.
Virginia McCullough © 7/7/05
Click. OPENING STATEMENTS IN
THE RICHARD HAMLIN TRIAL
Click. WAS THERE A PLOT TO MURDER
Click SIDNEY SIEMER vs. RICHARD W. HAMLIN
Click. WOULD YOU CONVICT RICHARD HAMLIN
ON SUSAN HAMLIN'S WORD?
Click. RICHARD WILLIAM HAMLIN ON TRIAL
Click. MICHAEL RICONOSCIUTO EXPLAINS WHY HIS TESTIMONY IS ESSENTIAL IN
THE CASES OF RICHARD HAMLIN AND PHILIP ARTHUR THOMPSON
Click. RICHARD HAMLIN CONVICTED OF TORTURE. VERDICT CARRIES LIFE SENTENCE 1/10/06
Click. THE RICHARD HAMLIN TRIAL - DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OR TORTURE?