Although there is very strong Evidence Esar Met is not guilty, there are other issues a person could look at.
For example the police initially said he confessed and told the public that there was strong evidence against him, the victim was said to have a handful of his hair clutched in her hand, a footprint that matched his was found in blood at the scene, and so on.
If he were to be released at that time without the police having admitted their mistakes, in other words if he had been acquitted, he would have led a dangerous life. A 'proven' 'confessed' rapist and murderer of a small child, and he did not speak English? The public did not know that the 'evidence' did not exist, and that the 'confession' bore no resemblance to the crime.
Is it possible the defense and prosecution worked with the judge to convict him in order to save his life? Unlikely, but possible.
This page will list alternate theories and possibilities surrounding several aspects of the case.
In the six years between the time he was arrested and the time he was tried, Esar Met tried to get his story told, but not one media outlet in Utah was interested in interviewing him or letting him speak to the public.
Instead Salt Lake media catered to the prosecution, reporting everything the prosecution said as if it were fact, and quietly ignoring the mountain of evidence which contradicted the prosecution.
When the judge issued a gag order preceding some evidence which was especially problematic for the prosecution, none of the media present at the hearings violated the order.
The one time Esar Met spoke up in court, to say that he had not killed the girl, the judge banned him from appearing at future hearings. His own lawyer then requested more time to force a guilty plea, which the judge granted.
His own defense attorney admitted several times during recorded hearings that he did not want his client to have an opportunity to speak in court.
At sentencing, the defense lawyer and the judge were both aware of evidence that was hidden from the jury, and which indicated Esar Met was not guilty. They said nothing and acted as though the guilty verdict was based on all of the evidence.
Both of them ignored the facts they knew in order to play along with the sham trial at the time of sentencing, portraying themselves as protectors of the interests of Hser Ner Moo when in fact they were the opposite.
The judge pretended the 6 year delay was in order to ensure a fair trial. The truth is that she knows that was not a factor in the delay. She herself said in 2013, 5 years after the arrest, that she was baffled as to why, after 5 years, the DNA evidence was still not available.
The judge says that Esar Met should have shown remorse, but she neglects to say that she had access to quite a bit of evidence which contradicts his conviction, evidence which she herself prevented the jury from seeing.
At the time of sentencing, 6 years after he had been arrested, at 9 minutes 51 seconds on clip 1391 above, Esar Met reminds people that the FBI agent had been pointing his feet at him during the interview while the translator made threats. That can be seen on the video.
The words 'feet' or 'foot' occur 33 times on the page https://factsanddetails.com/southeast-asia/Myanmar/sub5_5c/entry-3040.html
There was never any point in Esar Met's custody, from his arrest to his sentencing, when he was anything other than polite. At sentencing his final statement was that even though he did not kill the girl he would accept the laws of the country, along with his sentence.
This page will play devil's advocate and give alternate possibilities different from what the website promotes.
The defense is criticized heavily on this website for their collaboration with the prosecution on many issues.
There is a famous Christian saying "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sufficient_unto_the_day_is_the_evil_thereof. If your mechanic decided to make your car worse rather than better, using the excuse that he was helping you against your will, letting you learn about mechanics, you would call him an idiot. Unfortunately, a lot of people in the legal field maliciously sabotage the cases of vulnerable people, and the cover is often some variation of 'for their own good'. That kind of malicious 'help' is intended only to make the person 'helping' gain. Often the victim is obliged to pretend that they benefited, that's often a condition of the cure, in this case an exoneration or retrial. Should wrongfully convicted people in prison pretend that they are grateful, or should those committing this sort of harm take their place? Everything creates some harm and some good. You can throw a rock at somebody and then pretend you taught them something or improved their situation, and you will always find enough evidence to convince yourself.
Defense lawyers made no effort to defend the accused and took significant steps to help the police and prosecutors cover their mistakes. But there is an alternate way to view their actions.
Here are three clips from the defense opening statement.
Clip # 1037 is a brilliant statement by the defense, a Scopes Monkey Trial moment which was largely ignored by the jurors and the press because it was delivered in a polite, quiet voice.
Whether that negates the improper conduct by the defense is a matter of opinion, and is discussed below.
There was a lot of 'covering up', a lot of misconduct and so on, and there were some very suspicious actions by some of the 'authorities' involved in this and several other cases in the Salt Lake area over a period of years.
For example, the first person sent to talk to the missing child's mother was a SWAT officer. A fair number of police officers are also SWAT officers, so it could easily be a coincidence that the first person to talk to the mother would be a SWAT officer, and he would later be sent to participate in the 'raid' to capture Esar Met.
A lot of aspects of the playing out of the investigation suggests that there was some 'group' surveilling the parties involved, including police officers, and that they had some control over how the investigation unfolded. An example of this is the fact that FBI agents were sent to #472 specifically, and then an elaborate charade was conducted to make it appear as though this was part of a new door to door search, and it was 'coincidence' that the body was found immediately once that second search started. The police report contains abundant evidence that somebody fictionalized this aspect of finding the body.
Notice that, at this point, the number of officers involved in the final raid ranges from about 10 cited here by this officer to about 60 cited by another of the people involved, and other numbers in between.
So the final raid involved some officers who were quite out of the loop, but who considered themselves the primary assault force. In other words information about the raid was being precisely managed, but distributed in a compartmentalized way by some 'uber authority' which could manage dozens of heavily armed men converging on one location.
The various people involved can be divided into two groups with regard to the 'final search' which found the body. The vast majority of supplemental narratives in the police report do not mention a 'final search'. Worse, all of the people who testify about that search are very cagey with details, they are not testifying honestly. So the FBI knew where the body was, they went and got it without involving local law enforcement, then they fabricated a 'final search' to provide some artificial context in which the body was discovered cooperatively with SSLPD.
This will be developed on a separate page but is briefly discussed below.
1) Is he guilty after all?
This websites suggests he is not guilty, and presents a lot of evidence to point in that direction, but could a person who looks at all the facts reasonably find enough evidence to consider him guilty? Any evidence that could point to his guilt will be listed here.
The DNA evidence used at the trial does not point to his guilt, so it is not listed below.
The items below can be discredited, but at first glance a person could see these as potential indicators of guilt or avenues to pursue if a person wanted to look for guilt.
a) During the police interview he made a lot of mistakes in describing the crime, but he correctly said that the shoes had been thrown in the bathroom, something only the killer should have known for sure. That was the only detail of the crime he got right on the first or second guess.
b) Some material was found upstairs which tested positive for human blood. During the interview one of the versions Esar Met gave was of the girl running up the stairs and him grabbing her foot and pulling her down.
c) His interview was never followed up on, it was simply suppressed. If the prosecutor or police actually believed he was guilty they could have reinterviewed him, but they did not. Still, a person could point out that there are many contradictions between his version of events during the interview and other testimony. A significant discrepancy involves who called him at his aunt and uncle's house. He says it was 'Yenoot', but he was probably wrong. He had been awake for about 36 hours, had just gotten a mild beating, was unclear what was going on, so it isn't a surprise that there were things he misremembered, even aside from the things the FBI agent told him to change.
d) Another discrepancy in the interview was when the three children stopped by the apartment. It could have been Sunday, the day before. He was also changing his story whenever the FBI agent told him to change it, he was trying to tell them what they wanted to hear. 239pm is the latest he could have left his apartment, but he probably left much earlier. Yenoot told a news outlet that he had stopped by around 1pm to watch tv, and it could be that he and Yenoot and the children watched tv there and not at apartment 472.
e) For him to have been guilty, he would have had to carefully arrange the evidence so that it appeared somebody was trying to frame him, while eliminating any evidence that actually pointed to him. That would make him quite an impressive master criminal. There have been a lot of brilliant scientists and scholars from the region he is from, so it is possible he arranged a vast fake crime scene designed to fool police into thinking he had been framed, but the police missed part of the charade.
f) It isn't clear at all what time Hser Ner Moo actually went missing. The police deliberately fudged the timeline to make themselves look less incompetent, but the truth is that she could have disappeared within a much wider window than the public was led to believe, and the 'suspect list' is much bigger than just Esar Met and 'roommate #1'. The last person to have reliably seen her was the neighbor who disappeared shortly before the trial and whose testimony the police tried to change.
g) Although there is not actually any solid evidence which could be used to prosecute Esar Met, there are things like his comment about the shoes, mentioned above, which could be used to look for an avenue to find evidence against him. Another thing in this category was the sexual assault. In the confession he said there was not any rape, and despite the police telling the public that there was a rape, the medical examiner believed there had been no sexual assault. Here are three audio recording used with item 16 on the Hidden Evidence #2 page.
As with the entirety of the case, no real investigation was done, nothing was done, aside from the efforts by police and prosecutors to cover their mistakes.
2) Was the defense competent? Or incompetent? Or something else?
Conventional wisdom says the job of the defense lawyer is to provide an adequate defense for their specific client, but any person working within a system may also have their own agendas and goals.
Esar Met's defense team prevented people from seeing his police interview, and that contributed to his conviction. They also prevented him from speaking at the trial, which contributed to his conviction. Unfortunately, and most significantly, the defense also assisted the prosecutor in stacking the jury with people likely to vote for conviction.
Here is a stipulation, entered as evidence, which the judge read to the jury after the first day of testimony. It protects the prosecution from many challenges it should face, excuses any questions about the police perimeter around the crime scene, and eliminates the ability of the defense to effectively put any burden on the state with regard to the unusual behavior of the roommates during the search. The defense, Esar Met's defense attorneys, agreed and endorsed this stipulation, astonishingly.
Here is an incredibly brazen example. It is almost not possible to believe that the defense agreed to this and the judge allowed it.
There is quite a bit of evidence against 'roommate #1', including a certain aspect of the work environment. That stipulation simply prevents the defense from using a piece of that evidence to show the jury that there is evidence which points to somebody other than Esar Met. It does absolutely nothing to benefit Esar Met but is a magnificent gift to the prosecution. And yet the defense agreed to let it be entered into evidence.
Devil's advocate / One of the points the main defense lawyer raised in his opening statement at trial is that a defendant should not have to prove his or her innocence. In other words 'the state' should not prosecute any person simply because that person cannot prove they are not guilty. In fact, enough information was available, and provided to the jury, that they reasonably should have found him not guilty.
It is possible that, consciously or subconsciously, the defense may have deliberately limited their defense to common ground available to all defendants, with the goal being to showcase the deficiencies of the U.S. legal system.
Deliberately doing this is what some people would consider unethical and others would consider 'a higher motive'.
In the U.S. it is common to teach 'exceptionalism', the idea that every person is the boss of all other people, and any person can pretend they are 'guiding' or 'teaching' or 'helping', as long as they are wearing a costume that is widely respected or if they have a prestigious job.
This is a variation of the 'Christian conqueror' theme, any member of a conquered group can look a little lower than him or her self and find an even lower, more conquered person or group and replay their own group's conquest, except this time as the conqueror or leader. The high level end point, or goal, from the perspective of the original conqueror race is a sort of domino game which ultimately ends in the conquest of all tribes, their subjugation to the dominant group. Sacrificing somebody like Esar Met is easily justifiable in this mindset.
There is very strong evidence this was part of the defense calculation.
The good side of efforts like this is that they could potentially improve the very narrow system within whose rules they follow, so efforts like that may improve aspects of the judicial system under some circumstances.
The bad side is that these efforts are only available to use against vulnerable defendants. If Esar Met had been white and prominent, or otherwise had any public support, his defense team would have been roundly criticized for what they did.
Up until 1978 the Mormon church taught that non white people had deficient souls or spirits, and most of the people involved in both the prosecution and defense would have been raised within that belief system to some extent. So sacrificing a person like Esar Met would not be considered as grave as sacrificing a white person. Some people might even see it as a path to salvation for him, a way for him to 'pay his dues' and 'become white'.
Unfortunately, in places like the United States where everybody is trained to be a chief and nobody is trained to be an Indian, typically nothing is done as a result of cases like this. Anybody who sees the problem says 'Now, I am a chief' then they step back and wait for somebody else, an Indian, to do something. Nobody does anything.
When a country has reached the point where everybody defends groups but nobody defends individuals it is on a steep slope down. The 1930s Soviet Union was one of the best recent examples of the next step.
3) Are the Salt Lake City child murders part of a conspiracy?
There are some amazing coincidences in the string of child murders, and a strong statistical case could be made that there is enough evidence that a group of people involved in law enforcement committed at least three of the child murders, along with some related crimes.
This will get another page, this space is just a placeholder.
The original officer in charge of the Hser Ner Moo missing person case was Officer Matthew Jewkes. His ex wife had died just 15 days previously, and he would go on to die in 2010 as attempts were being made to push the Esar Met case to a quiet plea deal.
The next person put in charge of the Hser Ner Moo search would join him in 2018.