Mary was my sister and I firmly believe that Kaitlyn Conley has been wrongfully convicted of her murder. A flawed and incomplete investigation was conducted by the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office. Kaitlyn was indicted despite urgent pleas (from my sisters Sallie, Sharon and myself), to the investigators and the prosecuting ADA to consider the possibility that she was being framed. Our brother-in-law Bill Yoder, had both financial and romantic motive to kill our sister. We had information to show that he had probable knowledge and use of Colchicine in the early 1980s to grow a crop of super marijuana. The investigators were not interested in what we had to say. They made up their minds that Kaitlyn was the killer after meeting with Bill Yoder and Adam Yoder (Mary’s son/my nephew), both of whom we believe are the persons responsible for Mary’s death. To our horror, Bill and Adam were given full immunity in exchange for their testimony against Kaitlyn in a grand jury hearing. From that point forward, the prosecution team along with the DA and the Judge, appeared to be hell-bent on convicting Kaitlyn any way they could.
Mary died of Colchicine poisoning and that’s all that was ever proven. She was a master gardener. Bill was no slouch in that regard either. The Colchicine was ordered and sent to the Chiropractic Office that Bill and Mary owned and operated. The drug company required a letter explaining the intended use for the Colchicine. The letter was signed by Mary and Adam and included sophisticated verbiage regarding a process of genetically modifying plants that results in all female plants. (This is not something that Kaitlyn would have knowledge of and nothing was found on her devices to indicate that she had ever researched it.)
Despite the verbiage on the letter of intent and our efforts to explain the connection between Colchicine and Bill’s pot crop, the investigators refused to consider the possibility that it had been ordered by anyone other than Kaitlyn or for any purpose other than to kill Mary. Kaitlyn was the Office Administrator at the time the Colchicine was ordered and delivered. (Note: there was a six-month span between the delivery of the Colchicine and Mary’s death.) The prosecution asserts that Kaitlyn ordered it and that she forged Mary and Adam’s signatures on the letter of intent. The signatures appear to be legitimate however and the defense attorney clearly made that point by comparing them to other documents. Given how much the prosecution spent on less critical witnesses, one can assume that they would have called in a handwriting expert if they truly believed the signatures were forged.
I believe that the Colchicine was ordered by the Yoders (whether by Bill and/or Adam and/or Mary). I also believe that when Mary’s cause of death was determined to be Colchicine toxicity, that Bill and/or Adam knew it would eventually be traced back to the office. To protect one or both of them, they worked together to implicate/frame Kaitlyn. Adam was living with my son (David King, who became a witness for the defense in both trials), at the time. Bill and Adam never got along but right after Mary’s cause of death was determined, they started spending an unusual amount of time together. Two to three days per week for many hours at a time. I believe they used this time to work on their plan to frame Kaitlyn.
Bill Yoder has been underestimated throughout all of this. He is a brilliant scholar with two PhD’s and was the Valedictorian in at least one of them. He is an avid murder mystery buff and the quintessential detail-ist. If anyone could pull off a murder and frame someone, he could. He has far more computer knowledge than he admits and had access to the devices that incriminated Kaitlyn Conley, as did Adam. I can’t know exactly who did what, but I believe both Bill and Adam had a hand in my sister’s death. Adam is an extremely troubled young man with alcohol and drug dependency issues. He is 27 and until recently had not worked for several years. (At the retrial he testified that he is currently working part-time selling vacation timeshares). He admits to blackouts and fits of rage and violence. He is impulsive and vengeful, later regretting his actions. Mary enabled Adam by giving him money as much and as often as she could. Shortly before her death, however, she began to take a firmer stand with him and they had a falling out. Maybe Adam meant only to get Mary sick, so as to get back in her good graces by taking care of her, as has been said. This is consistent with Adam’s behavior. But consider the fact that the level of Colchicine in my sister’s system was far greater at her death than when she first entered the hospital, and was high enough to kill her, many times over. She had had severe diarrhea and vomiting for two days which should have cleared her system. The fact that the Colchicine levels were so high at her death, suggest that she was dosed at least one more time. The only family member with access to her then was Bill. There was a CT drink brought to her hospital room and left there for her to drink. Bill testified that he brought Mary's Advair Discus to the hospital and also cough drops. Why would he do that? The hospital team could/should have provided anything Mary needed. (Note: The medicine that goes in an Advair Discus is a fine powder, as is Colchicine. Unfortunately, the medical examiner didn’t test Mary’s lungs for the presence of Colchicine.)
Bill had everything to gain from Mary’s death. He wanted to retire but he and Mary had ongoing financial problems and there were no retirement savings. Just a lot of debt. Mary had told me that the little bit of retirement savings that they had set aside had been used for advertising to promote Bill’s latest book. The advertising efforts did not pan out. Bill admitted to his daughter, my niece, that the inheritance he received was not enough for two people to live on, but now that Mary was gone he had enough to retire. This was contained in a statement my niece gave to the Oneida County Sheriffs. Given the amount of debt Mary told me they had, (which was confirmed by a private investigator), the amount of the inheritance that Bill claimed he received was NOT enough to cover the debt and still live comfortably. He is currently involved with my eldest sister Kathy. Kathy’s neighbor testified in the first trial that she saw Bill at Kathy’s house often before Mary died and that she and her daughter had witnessed a passionate embrace and kiss between them on Kathy’s front porch, just days before Mary’s death. (My sister Kathy has a neurological disease and therefore I do not believe is fully accountable for her actions/choices). Bill testified in both trials that his relationship with Mary was wonderful and “getting better every day”, yet there was a call to a marriage counselor, presumably made by Mary, from their land line, just days before her death.
My sister Kathy is financially well off by most people’s standards. I believe that is Bill’s primary attraction to her and I have told her that and also that I worry for her safety.
The information I have provided here is just barely the tip of the iceberg. Losing my beautiful sister is painful enough. Add to that a young woman falsely accused and wrongfully convicted of her murder, while the probable killers have total immunity, along with fear that another sister is in harm’s way, is almost too much to bear. My sister Mary loved Kaitlyn and Kaitlyn loved my sister. The justice system has failed both of them in a horrifying way. My sister Mary is gone but we can help Kaitlyn. Please consider writing a letter of support for her. Your letter could mean the difference between a lenient sentence and a harsh one and could also be helpful to ultimately overturn this unjust verdict.