On April 19, 2016, Eddie Bolden walked out of jail, exonerated and a free man for the first time in 22 years, thanks to the efforts of private investigator Susan Carlson and a legal team led by RSHC founding partner Ron Safer.
Susan Carlson became convinced that Eddie Bolden had been wrongfully convicted of murder, so she tracked down and interviewed alibi witnesses who were not called during his trial. Then she approached Ron Safer, a former federal prosecutor, and asked him to take the case after several other lawyers turned her down.
"At first, I told her that I had a full plate and was too busy to take it on,'" Safer admitted, “She was completely convinced that he was innocent and told me that if I had any doubt in my mind after I read the trial transcripts, I could say no. But after reviewing them, I agreed with her and took the case.”
Ms. Carlson, who became a private investigator at age 51, passed away due to complications from asthma, at age 63, three years before she was able to witness the rewards of her tireless efforts on Bolden’s behalf.
Immediately after he was released, Bolden, who had been sentenced to life in prison, thanked Carlson and her investigative partner, William Sheehan, as well as Safer and his other lawyers for working so hard to see that justice was done. Susan Carlson’s son David, quoted in a Chicago Tribune story about the case, challenged others to follow their example by asking, "What can we do for people who are the next Eddie Bolden?"