20. The Imperfections of the Justice System
The United States is known for having one of the most progressive justice systems in the world. The phrase “innocent until proven guilty” rings true across our nation’s courts. However, sometimes, people can find themselves caught in a system of loopholes with justice always out of reach.
For Cal, the last 15 years have seemed like a bad joke—it all began on September 11th, the day that would change his life forever.
19. A Marriage on the Brink
Cal Harris and his 35-year-old wife were parents to four amazing children. Living in upstate New York, the couple appeared to be living the picture-perfect marriage. Unfortunately, raising four kids and the stress that goes with it can take a toll on a person.
Beneath the smiles, was a strained relationship that was on the brink of failure.
18. A Messy Divorce
Cal had hoped for an amicable split, but the divorce was setting itself up to be very nasty. Michelle not only wanted a settlement of $700,000, but full custody of all four of their children. To say Cal was displeased would be an understatement.
However, before the divorce was finalized, Michelle disappeared on September 11, 2001.
17. The Empty Minivan
No one knew where Michelle had gone. The entire neighborhood began to search for her, but they didn’t have to go too far for clues…her empty minivan was at the end of her driveway with the keys still in the ignition.
With the world up in arms after a violent terrorist attack, this small community was desperately trying to find one of their own.
16. Prime Suspect: Cal Harris
Detectives believed that the only person with a motive to make Michele disappear was her husband, Cal. He was arrested and put on trial, where the prosecution painted a terrible picture of a man who fatally beat his wife with a hammer and hid her body.
There was just one big problem with this: there was no body.
15. Four Years Later: Innocence Maintained
Cal Harris would maintain his innocence for four years, as the prosecution tried to manifest evidence against him. All the while, he denied any role in Michele’s disappearance and his children even vouched for his innocence.
So, what really did happen to Michelle that day?
14. The Wrong Man?
As the trial raged on, Cal’s defense team argued the investigators had wrongly accused Cal and overlooked a Texas man who had been seen by the Harris home the time of Michele’s disappearance.
After all the arguments were heard, the judge made a shocking verdict.
13. Cleared of All Charges
The judge who had been hearing the case for eight weeks, Judge Richard Mott, decided to clear Cal Harris of all charges due to lack of sufficient evidence. After four years, it seemed Cal’s nightmare was finally coming to an end.
Unfortunately, the district attorney had other plans.
12. The Second Trial in 2007
Now over seven years after his wife’s disappearance, Cal Harris was put on trial again. Sadly, this time the jury would find him guilty of second-degree murder. However, new information was brought to light about his wife’s disappearance, setting up a third trial.
Would this ever end?
11. The New Witness
According to a new witness, Michele Harris was fighting with a man on the edge of her driveway only hours before her disappearance. While it wasn’t much to go on, the new information was enough to shatter the prosecution’s already flimsy case.
What would the jury do for the third time?
10. Once Again…Not Guilty
After eleven days of deliberation, the jury could not reach a decision. Since there was no proof that Cal had done anything to Michele, he was finally declared not guilty in 2009.
However, this was far from the end of Cal’s legal troubles.
9. Cal Fights Back
Completely fed up with the way his case had been handled, Cal Harris and his defense team filed a civil lawsuit against the state of New York. He believed he was abused and the professional misconduct of the police violated his rights.
Would the case actually move forward?
8. Seeking Revenge
Harris’ mission to take down the state, soon became personal as he targeted retired police investigator Sue Mulvey who oversaw his case. Fueled by hatred and the need for revenge, Harris would end up committing his very first crime.
It seemed Harris was no saint…
7. Stalking the Investigators
A few years later, Harris would become involved in a feud with the state law enforcement. Now 15 years after his wife’s disappearance and being acquitted of her murder four times, the repercussions of the situation still hurt. This turned Harris from a kind man into one that was bitter and wanted justice, no matter what the cost.
6. Threatening and Vindictive
Harris began to stalk investigator Terry Schultz who had been a witness during his fourth trial. According to Terry, she believed he had intended to harm her.
It seemed Harris wanted revenge for how the investigators mishandled his case…
5. Charged with Harassment
The situation reached a boiling point when Harris arrived at Terry’s residence and began screaming threats. Even worse, he had been recording her house and vehicles for quite awhile.
Had Harris finally become unhinged?
4. A Different Side to the Story
When the altercation reached became overly heated, Harris ended up threatening Terry’s son. Of course, this was a big mistake resulting in his arrest. However, Harris had a different story to tell and held a press conference where he claimed the state law enforcement were trying to ruin his life.
After 15 years of injustice, it’s hard not to understand why Harris would crack.
3. A New Full-scale Investigation
Harris maintains his innocence regarding the harassment and claims he was minding his own business that day. He believes the police set him up and that one of the officers were trying to provoke him by repeatedly asking where he buried his ex-wife.
2. A Family in Turmoil
With another full-blown investigation underway, Harris found himself, as well as his family on the receiving end of death threats. The police seized his car, wallet, and cellphone, and even found a pellet pistol.
After being arraigned, Harris was released and he now waits to find out his fate. It seems there will be no rest for the weary Harris family anytime soon.
1. A Case Unsolved
For now, the case of Michele Harris’ disappearance remains unsolved. No one knows what happened that fateful day, but it certainly has caused 15 years of turmoil for the family she left behind. We hope one day the family, including Cal, will find peace.