But don’t take his word for it. One of the St. Louis police detectives who investigated car bombings during that violent era, said in an affidavit that the family’s ties to the mob — the “organized crime fairy tale,” as Callanan calls it — were exaggerated.
“The truth is, I never heard Mr. Callanan’s name being mentioned as being associated with organized crime, nor did I ever see his name in any intelligence file memorandum to that effect, nor was he being investigated for connections to organized crime,” wrote retired St. Louis police Sgt. Stephen Sorocko in 2016.
For Callanan, returning to life in St. Louis is a bit of a back to the future moment. He’s working as a pipefitter again, like he did as a teenager, before a wrongful conviction changed his life forever. It’s a wrongful conviction that shouldn’t have taken so long to overturn. More than 19 years ago, Diemer signed an affidavit admitting that he told a witness to withhold evidence that she might have seen a different vehicle leaving the crime scene.
“It shouldn’t have taken 25 seconds, let alone 25 years,” Callanan says. “I never gave up. It took a lot longer than I thought it would. It’s a little overwhelming being 46 years old and starting over, but the feel of St. Louis is very similar” to the place he left as a 19-year-old, he says. It’s still a city with a small-town feel, he says, and that’s one reason why it’s important for him to help people understand a different narrative about his family than the one they might have read in headlines years ago.
Originally Appeared Here