Barton McNeil

Soon to be exonerated and released from a near-quarter century behind bars of a life sentence for a murder he didn't commit, please help this victim of injustice evade impoverishment during his few remaining years.

For over two decades Barton McNeil has served a sentence of death-by-prison in Illinois worst maximum-security prisons.

Wrongfully convicted for the 1998 murder of his own daughter from his previous marriage, 3-year-old Christina McNeil, Barton has steadfastly maintained his innocence throughout, insisting that his child died at the hands of a late night intruder through her ground floor bedroom window, she killed instead by Barton's estranged psychotic girlfriend, Misook Nowlin, AKA Misook Wang.

A now-undeniable serial killer having gotten away with killing Barton's daughter, Nowlin-Wang later went on to commit the Bloomington, Illinois, murder of her then-husband's mother, Linda Tyda - an easily foreseen killing paid for by Barton's wrongful conviction.

Throughout Barton's first decade behind bars, his determined lone pursuit of justice on behalf of Christina (and for himself) proved futile. Alone, forgotten, destitute, and deemed a child-killer, each successive appeal centering on Nowlin-Wang-related evidence only served to rubberstamp his (wrongful) conviction. Barton's prospects only darkened, his eventual final resting place certain to be behind prison walls, the truth of his child's killing forever hidden. Living among genuine killers and depraved criminals of every stripe, Barton's only path of escaping a remaining lifetime of cruel injustice rested with recurring thoughts of taking his own life, the weight of his burden crushing his spirit.

During Barton's 13th year behind bars, at the high cost of the life of her taking the life of mother-in-law Linda Tyda, Misook now finally facing murder charges of her own Nowlin-Wang was now widely recognized as the same shady ex-girlfriend at the center of the long-ago murder of Barton's daughter - the very same wicked woman that Barton has long-vocally expressed certainty was behind his child's 1998 killing.

Because of this extraordinary tragic development beyond any chance of mere coincidence, an intense spotlight manned by the news media and legal community has been turned back to learn the truth of the Nowlin-Wang-related circumstances of Christina McNeil's 1998 murder.

Still behind bars but now widely known as innocent all along (except by dark-hearted authorities pretending to believe otherwise in service to maintain the known-wrongful conviction), today Barton is the lead client of BOTH the Illinois Innocence Project  and Exoneration Project . An otherwise extreme rarity, Barton's joint representation by two law school innocence advocacy projects out of only THREE TOTAL in the State.  This is quite an extraordinary testament to his innocence all by itself.  That is now taking place in  Bloomington's McLean County, now known to be a chronic producer of wrongful convictions during the era Barton was wrongfully convicted along with others.

Since her 2011 killing of mother-in-law Linda Tyda, Nowlin-Wang has been the subject of four true crime documentaries aired on cable TV (Oxygen's Snapped and Investigation Discovery's Deadly Women and Evil In-Laws.  In 2018 Nowlin-Wang's connection to the 1998 Bloomington child-murder and related wrongful conviction of Christina McNeil's father were featured in the 14-part National Public Radio related podcast entitled “Suspect Convictions”.  Click HERE to listen to Episode 1 .

A reprehensible ongoing injustice now a decade since Nowlin-Wang's latest serial killing of her husband's mother, Barton is finally back in court with his attorneys' who filed what is essentially a petition to have his wrongful conviction reversed based upon newly-discovered evidence of Nowlin-Wang's transparently obvious child-murder culpability, not limited just to the fact of her later Bloomington killing of mother-in-law Linda Tyda.

The featured case of several wrongful conviction forums manned by esteemed panelists, more recently still the Nowlin-Wang twin murders are the subject of the two-hour “Misook Wang" episode of Snapped:  Behind Bars currently airing on TV's Oxygen Network, notwithstanding the unholy injustice of Barton's ongoing incarceration.  The show is S1 EP 2 (which stands for Season 1, Episode 2).  It airs usually a few times per month and can be found on Oxygen.com show schedule or can be streamed on the Oxygen network platform  as well.  Click HERE to view a promotional video about the episode .  The next show times are Thursday, October 21st, at 1 am EST / 12 am CST and Thursday, November 4th, at 12 pm EST / 11 am CST. 

In the meantime, Nowlin-Wang's indisputable connection to the killing of 3-year old Christina and her father's ongoing unjust suffering has been a prominent topic in wider wrongful conviction circles, and has been the subject or countless recent news reports, Barton himself having been interviewed many times.

The bottom line here is that after his now-23 years in Illinois maximum security prisons, Barton's unjust incarceration is coming to an end, certain to have his wrongful conviction reversed and be exonerated, his innocence long self-evident.

Because of this inevitability, this plea on his behalf for your assistance is coming to you beforehand, so that the remainder of Barton's life can be jumpstarted promptly upon his release, his many basic needs immediate.

Born in 1959, Barton's remaining years are few. As things stand, Barton's sole assets upon his release will be confined to only the shirt on his back. In prison for over two decades, he will not even receive Social Security of any significance.

Marginally better than being in prison, Barton only has to look forward to impoverishment, at best employed as a minimum-wage part-time Walmart greeter, his only home rotating between the temporary sofas of his few remaining acquaintances, if not heading straight to the nearest homeless shelter soon followed by a nursing home.

Arguably a post-prison life even harder than when behind bars where basic necessities are provided for, Barton will have immediate needs upon his upcoming release, beginning with a place to call his home. Without significant aid, he will not remotely be afforded the minimum standard of living that he would've easily maintained had his child not been the victim of murderous villainy, and Barton himself the victim of such abhorrent injustices.

The amount of the set goal sought may seem high at first glance. But even if met, divided by the near-quarter century that Barton unjustly spent behind bars, the goal would amount to a measly and modest $43K for each year he spent in prison.

How much is a year of your own life worth? How much money would be just compensation were it your own year confined to a prison cell? And how much greater the deserved compensation for your unjust suffering were it accompanied by a widespread public belief that you killed your own child?

Likewise, at today's high cost of living, divided by the number of years Barton has likely remaining given his current age, how low will his year-to-year standard living be even were the seemingly high donor-goal met?

Headlines are made by successful wrongful conviction compensation lawsuits. But that's hardly the norm. Countless big hurdles need overcome and hoops need jumped through during lengthy lawsuit efforts in court, most wrongful convictees never compensated at all.

Alan Beaman an earlier wrongful conviction victim of Bloomington's McLean County was finally exonerated in 2007 after serving 13 years of his own death-by-prison sentence. Since then his effort to seek financial redress for his wrongful imprisonment has bore no fruit, his legal efforts having fallen flat.

The hands of time moving swiftly, unlike the younger Alan Beaman who served a decade less of his sentence than Barton has, Barton doesn't have the luxury of time should he ever be granted just compensation many years down the road for the injustice he has already paid the high price of. In the unlikely event of a favorable judgement in civil court probably not until he deep into his 70s or 80s, it will come too late to be of much use to him.

Barton is no hardened convict. Still walking the straight and narrow, throughout it all Barton has fought to keep his head high and maintain a sense of dignity, despite the forces of injustice arrayed against him at every turn. He remains the same person that he was before death came intruding through his daughter's bedroom window, if a whole lot older now - despite a two-decade environment that would crush the less resilient.

Steadfast in his now-23-year pursuit of those who stole his daughter's life, had Barton's effort not been opposed by law enforcement and the entire weight of the criminal justice system, Nowlin-Wang would never have been able to kill mother-in-law Linda Tyda - Barton alone shouldered with ending the getaway of Christina's manifestly-certain true killer.

Nowlin-Wang's child-murder getaway paid for by Barton's wrongful conviction led to her later killing of mother-in-law Linda Tyda - just as Linda Tyda paid the ultimate price with her life for Nowlin-Wang's child-murder getaway, led by Barton's wrongful conviction.

A true tale of reprehensible multiple injustices of a most wretched character, we humbly implore that you open your hearts and contribute to the deserved minimum welfare of he who has earned meaningful compensation for his (still-ongoing) near-quarter century of unjust suffering.

All proceeds will go directly toward Barton himself in order that he may promptly begin his life anew upon his upcoming exoneration and release, his needs immediate and many - the remaining years of his tragic life numbered.

Thank you in advance for generous consideration of our appeal on Barton's behalf, grateful for your interest in his welfare.

For more information visit www.FreeBart.org or just Google “Barton McNeil", “Misook Nowlin", or “Misook Wang".

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Barton McNeil the year he was arrested at age 39 with a promising career in the restaurant and hospitality industry having worked at Red Lobster for 12 years and a job offer he had just accepted from Perkin's to manage a restaurant in Springfield, Illinois.
 
 

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Chris Ross 
Organizer
San Diego, CA
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