Michael Sirois grew up wanting to be an actor, or a writer, or a drummer, all of which he pursued during high school and college, adding a three-year stint as a radio disc jockey to the mix. He worked at a variety of odd jobs while paying his own way...
Michael Sirois grew up wanting to be an actor, or a writer, or a drummer, all of which he pursued during high school and college, adding a three-year stint as a radio disc jockey to the mix. He worked at a variety of odd jobs while paying his own way through college. In the late 1970’s, armed with drama and English degrees, he taught creative writing, drama, and technology to Houston students for twenty-three years, but continued to act and write.
In 2002, he accepted a position as a program manager for Rice University’s Center for Excellence and Equity in Education, retiring in 2009 to write full time. He is primarily a novelist, but has also dabbled in a variety of other works (poetry, short stories, plays, screenplays, and non-fiction). His published books include The Jagged Man (which will be republished in 2023); the If a Butterfly series (published 2021); and Aggravated: The True Story of How a Series of Lies Sent an Innocent Man to Prison (published 2020). Aggravated is about Michael’s brother, Steve Sirois, who was falsely accused of a horrific crime, sexual assault of a child, and was sentenced to 35 years in a Texas prison. The book, using court transcripts, affidavits, interviews, and a variety of other factual data, lays out a devastating portrait of an untruthful accuser, an overzealous prosecutor, a jury that made a deal to swap votes in order to gain a conviction, and the series of lies that led to that outcome.
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Word of mouth. It can be dangerous. People all over this country get convicted every day based on word of mouth testimony with no evidence. But what happens when the person that is convicted you know? What happens if that person that is convicted you know would never do the crimes that he was accused of? Now what happens if that is your brother?
you become aggravated. Join me as I talk with author Michael Siwa on this episode of True Crime in Authors. Welcome to True Crime in Authors podcast where we bring two passions together. The show that gives new meaning to the old adage, truth is stranger than fiction. Here's your host, David McClam.
What's going on everybody? Welcome to the episode of True Crime and Authors. Of course, I am your man, David McClam. Hey, if you guys haven't already, make sure you're checking us out and follow us on all of our social media. One link to a link tree will get you every link you need for the show in the show notes. If you follow the show or if you've been paying attention to your calendar, you know it is yet again time for another author interview. And boy, do I have a good one for you today.
Let me introduce to you who our guest is. He grew up wanting to be an actor or a writer or a drummer, all of which he pursued during high school and college. Adding a three-year stint as a radio disc jockey to the mix, he worked at a variety of odd jobs while paying his own way through college. In the late 1970s, armed with drama and English degrees, he taught creative writing, drama, and technology to Houston students for 23 years.
but continued to act and write. In 2002, he accepted a position as a program manager for Rice University's Center for Excellence and Equity in Education, retiring in 2009 to write full-time. He is primarily a novelist, but has also dabbled in a variety of other works, poetry, short stories, plays, screenplays, and non-fiction. His published books include
The Jagged Man, which would be republished in 2023. The If a Butterfly series, which is published in 2021. And Aggravated, the true story of how a series of lies sent an innocent man to prison, which is published in 2020. Aggravated is about Michael's brother, Steve Sawah, who was falsely accused of a horrific crime, sexual assault of a child, and was sentenced for two 35 years in a Texas prison. The book using court.
Transcripts, affidavits, interviews, and a variety of other factual data lays out a devastating portrait of an untruthful accuser, an overzealous prosecutor, a jury that made a deal to swap votes in order to gain a conviction, and the series of lies that led to that outcome. He is the author of Aggravated. Please welcome Michael Sawah. Michael, thank you for joining me today. Hi, pleasure to be here. So-
Before we start, I just want to say, is there anything else you want the audience to know besides the outstanding intro I just gave you with all of your bio here? That pretty much covers everything. I just want to say that this book was something that I had to write. I literally had no choice once I found out the situation my brother was in.
I'd love to talk about it and any questions you have at all. Yes, guys. So we're going to talk a lot today about the book, aggravated. This is the reason I do true crime is because of books like this. Um, and as we get into it, you guys are going to want to go read it. So the first goes off the top is I believe in the back of aggravated. You did state that you and your brother wasn't always close. What made you want to take up this fight for him at that point?
Well, one of the reasons we weren't close is the difference in age. I'm the oldest brother out of a family of six kids. He was the youngest. So there were 14 years between us. And by the time I was leaving the house to go to college, he wasn't even a teenager yet. He was still nine years old, I guess, at that time. My memories of him growing up, and I moved away at some point.
So my memories of him were just as a little kid. I didn't really know him as an adult at all, except for occasional little trips back and forth between Houston area where I live and a town that in the book I call Deep Springs, which is not the name of the real town, but the town in central Texas where he lived. We talked occasionally, but...
I really didn't know him. And then suddenly I heard that he had this situation. I can relate to that because my wife is the youngest child by I think 22 years. So I married the bread of the family. Yeah, by the time she came along, her two sisters and brother had already married, had children of their own, and they were pretty much taking care of her. So I understand that huge age difference dynamic. I've seen her go through it. So I totally understand that. You came out of the gate.
at the beginning of Aggravated letting people know that you were biased, but you wanted everybody to know that and to pay attention though to not to that, but to what you were saying. Why was that important to point that out at the beginning? There are probably a lot of books or blog posts or other things of people whose loved ones have been accused of a crime and are claiming to be innocent. And so it's natural for a family member to want to defend their
their brother or their sister or their parents or whatever. I didn't want any of the audience to assume that just because I was his brother that I was defending him with no valid reason. And so I needed to let them know that there was a family association, that I could have taken his side if I felt he was guilty and lied about it.
My search was for the truth. I really wanted to know what happened, and I wanted to know if there was a way that I could prove that my brother's assertion that he was innocent was actually true. And so that has been the main goal in the entire book, is to take everything that he was accused of step by step and prove that it didn't happen. When did you decide to write this book?
And I think we know the why, but I'll ask the why. Yeah. He was accused in 2006. And I'm sorry, he was incarcerated in 2006. He was accused in 2004. I didn't really hear about it till close to the time of the trials. And that's all covered in the book. But.
After he was incarcerated, he decided to defend himself, and he was appealing his case. I helped him with the appeals, an English major and teacher. And so basically, I was correcting his grammar. He'd send me the appeals, and we'd go over. He knew a great deal more about the law than I did. At the time, as you said earlier, I'm primarily a novelist. I'm not a lawyer. I have no legal training.
I was just doing what I could, taking a skill I had and trying to help him appeal his case. And as I began to read the trials transcripts, read his appeals, to go through all of this material, I started seeing things that just didn't make sense to me. My first idea actually was to write a novel.
show the legal system the way it worked, or didn't work in some cases. And then I realized that I really couldn't do my brother any good by writing a completely fictional story that was simply based on a similar case. So I figured that I had to write the actual story as a nonfiction of what happened to him before the trial, during the trial.
how it turned out and why it turned out the way it did. And so somewhere around 2008 or 2009, while he was still appealing his case, I pretty much decided by that time I was going to write the book. But it still took a number of years after that for me to be able to analyze all of this material. There's trial transcripts, there were interviews, there was all kinds of things that I needed to go through to be able to sort the facts from...
the non-facts. Well, let me be the first one to say this to the audience in case there's people out here because I know in the beginning, some part of your book, I think it was right at the 30% point. You did make the statement of that you are sure that people had their own judgments already. They had already decided what they were going to think about the book before they opened it. And I know a lot of people thinking, here's another guy writing a book about his brother who didn't do anything.
But the thing is this, your book is different because it was like opening up a briefcase from a lawyer. You had every transcript, you had every word that was said that you could get your hands on. You had all the comparisons all the times. You laid out perfectly, I think the way you should have done it, which is exactly what you did, the case before you wanted to talk about, now let me tell you why Steve is innocent. If you guys read this book, you're gonna get the same thing I got
When you start bringing down certain things, especially about Hannah, the track meets, you know, number of people that was supposed to be there, the bathroom, the ways he changed her story three, four, five, six times, and you actually analyze that and you break it down, it is totally, you cannot turn away from it. I don't know why Steve doesn't have a new trial now just based on your book. There are a lot of reasons why. In fact, he's finished with his appeals. He can't appeal it any higher.
He appealed it twice to the Supreme Court, got a hearing both times. Nothing came of that. I explained in the book pretty clearly what that is, and I don't know how much detail you want to go into on any of this stuff, but I'm glad to talk about any of the different aspects of it. And so he really, he's in prison. He's going to be in prison until he comes up for parole, which is a couple of years from now.
and he still may not get out at that point. It's very unusual in a case that has an aggravated charge on it for anybody to be released the first time they come up for parole. They have what they call a set-aside. They'll look at your case, but they'll usually push it off for another few years. And then you get to try your parole again. The other thing too that's typically been very common is that
if you are accused of a crime and you don't admit to your crime and show remorse, parole boards are really reluctant to grant parole. And Steve has steadfastly said that he is innocent of the charges, that he didn't do what he was accused of, and for him to admit the crime just to get out would be a lie, and he won't do that.
Because of course, admitting to that crime adds extra things to him now. He's probably not the register as a sex offender. He'll always be known as the band who raped Hannah and did nothing. So I totally agree with him not doing that. I wish that that law would change to where people don't have to admit that they're guilty, that the parole board would have people go out and do research like you did and say, Hey, there's a probability. I mean.
I don't want to get too deep in, I want you to read your book, but I know through Steve had all kinds of tests to prove that he wasn't a sexual predator, prove that he wasn't a psychopath. I mean, these things should be easy to say, okay, maybe we made a mistake listening to this man out of prison because he spent a lot of years there. There's a test called the penile plasthismograph test that is administered to sex offenders when they get out of prison to, along with another whole battery of other tests.
to determine his risk to society, risk of reoffending, you know, whether it's safe to let him out, basically. Steve had heard about this test and knew that they administered them to sex offenders when they were released, and he decided that he wanted to take these tests in advance of the trial. He hired the person in Dallas that actually runs most of the tests in the state of Texas, and he took...
a whole battery of psychological tests and other tests, and this one test that actually measures whether you get aroused when you're shown certain pictures. That's literally what the test does. The test showed that he had an interest in adult females, but not in underage females. It's not admissible in court because it's just like a lie detector, it's not admissible in court. He couldn't use it in the trial.
I think it gave him some satisfaction to be able to say that, hey, look, I'm not this guy. So after all this time and all these years, you still decided to change all the names in the book. Why did you decide to do that? Good question. I had a bit of concern for a while about being sued for libel. I'm retired. I'm on a fixed income. That would be quite a burden for me to have to hire an attorney and go to court with that.
I have no doubt that a trial for libel would come out in my favor in this case. But just having to go to court, I thought I'd avoid that. At some point, I was investigating the trial, going back to this town that I call Deep Springs, talking to various people, attorneys and police and some friends of my brother's accuser. Had a very interesting conversation with someone who talked to her just before.
she made the accusation. And I won't reveal what that is. It's in the book. You can read it. As I was driving home back from central Texas back to Houston, I got a phone call on my cell phone from the girl's mother. And she and I had a lengthy conversation. I got it all on tape about what she thought I was trying to do, that I was trying to railroad her daughter.
really believes that her daughter did have something happen to her. I'm still open to believing that, that somebody did molest her. What I think I've proven pretty thoroughly in the book is that it wasn't my brother if it did happen. During the course of talking to the girl's mother and seeing how worried she was and how upset she was, I promised her that I would be using pseudonyms for her daughter and for her. I decided at a later point to...
People could still figure out who she was if I used real names of the town, of other people. It's not a huge town. People would figure it out. So I determined that other than my brother and his family, I was going to change the names of everybody else, every town, every business, everything that could possibly connect her. So in a way, I...
protecting her from being discovered for the sake of being able to tell the story as completely and as fully as I could. So Hannah, which is the name you chose to give her, she's a grown woman now. Yeah, she's probably 30. Why do you think that she's never come forth with the truth? I honestly don't know. I wish at some point that she would be able to read the book and might spur her to come forward. Quite honestly, I think she
She probably thinks about it from time to time and hopefully maybe she has some regret for what she did, but I can't speak for her. I don't know. Well, I hope she reads it too in seven jars that because, you know, from reading the book so far, I do believe that something probably happened to her. I won't go real deep into it so we can read it, but you know, the Billy Gaskin case came up and the possibilities of all of that. It does feel to me that she's protecting somebody and Steve just made a perfectly good scapegoat.
was kind of bringing to the next question of, you know, do you feel that he was set up for this? Not intentionally. I really don't. Part of what I think was happening was that she and some of her friends got together from time to time for sleepovers and parties and stuff, sort of played truth or dare kind of games or things like that. And at some point she started saying she was having sexual experiences with an older guy.
And I think that this was just something that she decided to do at this party for maybe for fun, for whatever. But over time, I think she had to continue to do that and continue to embellish those stories and add to them. At some point, she was faced with a situation where she and the other members in her school were invited to talk to a person if they had ever been abused. She must have felt her friend's eyes turning toward her.
because of these stories she'd been telling. This is my theory. I have no proof that that's actually the reason she did it, but it's the one thing that makes real sense to me is that she felt pressured to tell this lie to an adult. And the adult naturally counseled her to go to the police with it. Well, there is one part where you break down.
I'll probably say it wrong. I think it's Vordaerri about how jury selection is done in the jury. I want to read a quick excerpt because this kind of hit home to me. And I kind of tell you a quick story about that. You were talking about the biases because of all the rumors, things that was going around. You said, I hope to be able to show you in the jury stuff chapter, how only one or two members of a jury with the mindset like that could have swayed the other jurors into trading votes. Possible violation of the judge's instructions may have made decisions that sent Steve to prison for 35 years.
We'll cover that in the next section, the trials. I've been jury-former on the jury twice. The last one that I was on here in California, this resonated with me because it was a trial of a young man who had got the police called on him from a hotel because he was supposedly barbecuing outside and he shouldn't have. And the cops came and it got into a big scuffle and they supposedly found drugs on him in the whole night. The problem with this whole trial was the police was clearly lying because there was two cops that had showed up
But one cop told a different story than the second cop, and his defense attorney was twisting her up all the way around to where any person on the jury that's reasonable minded would have said, these cops are lying. We're not saying he's innocent, but based on what we're supposed to be here to determine, these cops are clearly lying. Long story short, the trading vote thing came up because of the fact that me and another lady were the only two African American jurors on the panel. This guy was a white guy. The rest was white jurors.
And one person just said, well, let's just vote him guilty because it's Easter time. I don't want to be stuck here next week. And I got to get home to my Easter ham. And me and the other lady was like, are you serious right now? So you got this dude that is facing 10 to 20 years of his life in prison, and you just want to throw him away because you want to go and you want to eat Easter ham. And we both said, we can't do that. So we were hanging. So basically what ended up happening was the judge was like, okay, we're coming to the final hours. We're going to be closed for Easter.
They all just decided to vote not guilty because of that. And it was appalling to me, and when the attorneys came and talked to me, because they always came, the judge like, you can say whatever you want, I was like, it's appalling that your client almost went to jail. I said, if it wasn't for me and this other lady, they would have went to, she would have went to jail because they wanted to go and spend time with their family for Easter. Even though there was nothing hindering them from doing that, they would just had to come back next week. So I totally can see how-
A jury member who has an agenda can destroy your whole case. I have a nearly identical story to that. I was on a jury. The one and only time I've actually, I've been called for jury duty hundreds of times, it seems like when you're a teacher, they seem to call you all the time. But I was on a jury and it was a statutory rape case. The guy was 19, the girl was 13. They were hanging out. The mother caught them.
and mother brought this suit. Once we were on the jury and we were in paneled, the judge, before any evidence was presented even, said, I have a letter here from a psychiatrist that has examined the defendant, and I want the jury to take this letter, go into the jury
fit to be tried right now. And that's basically what the letter said, was that he'd examined the defendant, he didn't think he was fit to be tried. That was the only evidence we had. So as soon as we got into the jury room, there were four or five jurors that were saying, let's string this guy up, let's get him off the street. I and a couple of other people said, wait a minute, that's not what we're here for. We have instructions from the judge to examine this letter.
and that letter is our only evidence, regardless of what you think about the person or what he might have done or didn't do. And so it took 15 or 20 minutes of discussion before everybody agreed that, yeah, okay, this is our evidence. We need to go back and tell the judge that you might try him at a later date, but you cannot try him now based on this evidence. And I think that there are juries too often, there are jurors that go into a case...
with their mind already made up, just try to force their will on the rest of the jurors. And I won't go deep in that because I want you to read that, but he does break this whole thing down, even down to a point that there was a lady that wanted to get on for her own reasons. And it is a fascinating part of that read because I think it also, as society, shows us the kind of people that sometimes we deal with and don't know because they lie, just to get on the jury so that they can have some kind of effect with that.
It's scary. Do you feel like, you know, after he was accused or before he was accused, for whatever reason that there was a bias against Steve beforehand? It wasn't a bias I was aware of because, like I said, I didn't have that much contact with him. But once I was able to go up to Deep Springs and interview people and talk to people, plus listen to a great deal of tape recorded interviews that the investigator did.
I was able to see there was a suspicion that Steve had been connected to a previous case, which was totally unrelated to this case. This person raped and murdered his daughter, his stepdaughter, and he was eventually executed for it, actually. Because of lies that the family of this person was trying to...
blame this murder on other people. My brother was one, the girl's uncle was one, several people that they tried to pin this murder on instead of this guy. Because of that, there was sort of a residual feeling out there in the community that Steve might have had something to do with this. And so, yeah, even before he was accused of this and before the trial happened, there were people that...
suspected that he was at least shady or something like that. It's interesting that a book about this murder trial came out just about the time that Hannah started telling these stories about her fooling around with this older guy to her friends. Yeah. And you do show that connection very well in the book between the two books, which you gave the book also that you're talking about, um, a different name.
I know that's because if you can figure out that book, you can probably figure out who everybody else is. You went to great lengths, even to the point of having your own webpage about aggravated. You gave us all kinds of graphs. There's various different lengths of you did digitally, especially, that you can click and go see like the courtroom, the bathroom. How many hours, days or weeks of research did you put into this book?
took a lot of photographs, did some measurements in some cases and things, so I could be very accurate about the things that I was going to say in the book because I didn't want there to be any doubt about what I was saying. I did a lot of investigation. Over the space of five or six years, I made a number of trips up there. It's about 180 or I guess closer to 200 miles away from where I live now.
So I made trips up there and spent a weekend usually, and then came back. Talked to as many people as I could every time I was there just to try to establish as much fact as I possibly could on my own. When you went and investigated this, did you get anybody that showed any kind of hate towards you or ask you why you're doing this or just say, just give up your brother's guilty? There was a point at which, especially after the mother called me on the phone and we had our talk.
people refused to talk to me when I called them on the phone or, or sometimes when I appeared at their doorstep, but there still were some people who were willing to talk to me. A lot of people were very cooperative in every case possible. I video, I'm audio taped my conversations with them so that I would have an accurate complete record. I didn't want to leave any stones unturned if I could. Now you make it very clear in the book too, that your brother's no angel.
that he's made a lot of mistakes in his life. Other than what you wrote in the book, just on your personal convictions, why do you feel 100% that he's innocent? When I first heard about this, I was willing to believe either way. People are human, they make mistakes sometimes. This is a pretty horrific thing to make a mistake about, you know, and it didn't seem to me that my brother was the kind of person that could do that. But again, I had not had that much contact with him for, you know, decades.
really. I'm 76 now. This happened to him when he was in his 40s, mid-40s. I did the best I could with what I had, I guess, is what I'm trying to say. But the first time I visited Steve, let me put it this way, I said, before I go any further with this, I need to ask you one question. The first time I visited him in prison, I'm saying, I said, did you do this? He seemed shocked that I would even ask him that. He said, no, I didn't do it.
never happened, you know, there's no way I would have done that. So if nothing else, by having that statement from him, I had as much evidence of his guilt or his innocence as anything that anybody had accused him of. He was convicted on the word of somebody else. There was not another single person throughout the trial that had any evidence of any kind.
And the remarkable thing is that some of the accusations she made about him said that there were people in the room, even on the same bed, when she was molested. The more I looked at it, and the more I analyzed her statements, it just, I couldn't believe it. And I think that's why I spent so much time going back, because I would read these things and I was like, wait, wait, wait, is that really what happened? Like for instance, I'll just give one, this is with the appetite. You talked about a cross country meet that she said that she ran.
She came in 16th out of 300 people. Now I ran cross country in high school and when I read that I'm like, I've done a lot of meets and I can't name one where there's 300 people. If we were lucky, we had 100, but usually it's somewhere between 20 and 50 in the middle range of that that runs these meets. That's just one thing guys that's in here that he breaks down because that's one of her stories. Like you said, you call it the first lie and that's why.
Uh, and I mean, you went to great lengths calling coaches and everybody. So yeah, I probably, I probably spent as much time investigating that one thing as anything else, and it didn't have actually have anything to do with the trial, except that it was something that she claimed to be true in the trial. And since I had a transcript, which was legal document of her saying that and
have her on an interview, a taped interview with an investigator saying the same thing, but with slightly different twists each time she said it. I figured that this is something that I needed to do to be able to just illustrate her pattern of lying. Now, I know that you said all of his appeals are done. I know there's been cases in history where attorneys will come back and say, hey, we may have some more evidence and we want, you know, to go to a judge or whoever to see if we can get this reopened.
Is it possible that that can happen with Steve and is there anybody legally still working on his case right now? Dr. C. C. C. Nobody working on his case as an appeals attorney. I believe he's at the point of trying to hire a parole attorney to be able to prepare him for the parole and make sure that he gets the fairest possible hearing in front of the parole board. I'm trying to remember how long ago it was. It seems to me like it's now at...
been something, maybe close to 10 years when his last appeal went through. We thought we had some, actually I know we had some new evidence that actually implicated not only this juror, but possibly even the judge. And we put it into an appeal, we sent it up to the court, and they said, nope, it's been too long. We won't even look at it.
It's called the rule of latches. You have a specific amount of time. And they said no. And I think they were trying also to negate that evidence that we had simply because we could have discovered this evidence earlier because it had been published in a newspaper. Since we weren't even looking for this kind of evidence, we didn't see it till a decade after it happened.
I won't go into detail with it, but yeah. Yeah. That's all in there. Is Steve bitter? I mean, I know you've talked to him since then. What's his feelings on this? You know, he's in jail for something that he didn't do and he's paying this price. Is he bitter? What's his spirit like? He's great. He's actually, I wouldn't say he's thriving, but he finished a, a, a, an undergraduate degree in college.
He's taken several courses in trade skills. He's learning air conditioning repair right now. And he's looking forward to being out in the real world again. I think that keeps him alive. He's not bitter about it. I think he wishes it never happened, but I think he knows that that's not gonna do him any good. So he's kept his spirits up.
And you can answer for Steve too, maybe you've had this conversation with him. Do you two feel like that there could have been more that could have been done for him to prove his innocence, but now they have the person that they say did it and they're not going to let go of that? Literally, that's, uh, I think why it happened to him is because once he was accused, they never really did any investigation. They didn't look for anybody else, any other possible, you know, reason why it might've happened as far as I know, they never.
actually come at the sheriff's department or the courts never actually investigated any of her friends. She claimed over and over again that she's told all of her friends all of this different stuff. And to but to my knowledge, they never investigated her. They just took her word and ran with it. And unfortunately, that happens a lot. I've told my wife has a friend who had a daughter.
whose mom put her to do the same thing. Now he didn't end up going to jail because they found out the truth, but I think the one thing that people need to understand is there's power in words, and especially nowadays with children, if somebody of a child says this happens, you're supposed to run with that. And sometimes you don't stop to look into it beforehand and ask yourself common sense questions. Because there was a lot of common sense things in there. No, I'm not saying you shouldn't believe your child.
Sure, go to the authorities, but the authorities should have the wherewithal to look deeper into that before they put somebody away for practically what could be the rest of his life going to jail at 40, 35 years. It's a long time. They don't know where it's going to be. I understand that a lot of things happen in his life. I won't go into that because it's in the book, since he's been incarcerated. If he's in good spirits and not bitter...
he's a better man than me because I think at some point I would be right. You know, I have family members I've been seeing, you know, probably kids growing up, things like that. And I'm blocked in here with something I didn't do. So, you know, I commend him on that, you know, being in the situation that he's in, what do you want people to take away from aggravated? The system doesn't always work the way it's supposed to. If you, uh, ever find yourself being accused of something, make sure that you have a way to prove.
You didn't do it. I don't know how you do that. You know, I mean, but today, I guess with our smartphones following us around and tracking all of our moves, it's probably a lot easier than it was back in the early 2000s. She was able to accuse him of all kinds of things because he had no way of actually proving that he wasn't there or didn't do anything because it was just her word.
Yeah. And I hope people is listening that yes, things can happen to you just based on words. And that's really what this whole case is. In closing, what would you like to say to all of your fans and readers out there? Keep reading. Reading is good for you. Well, Michael, I thank you for joining me today. It has been enlightening. I would love to have you back. You know, I'm going to complete the book. I'm really deep into it now. And we have some of the people reading here. I'd love to have you back, you know, as you get updates. We'll also have you back to talk about some of the other great books that you have out there.
but I really appreciate you coming on the show and you have an open invitation anytime you want to come back. Thank you. It's been an honor. I am still writing, so I will have more books out in the future. They're hopefully, they're not going to be non-fictions. They're novels. Yeah. I'll get back in touch with you later. All right. Sounds good.
All right, everybody, that was the incredible Michael Siwa. You can get his book right now, aggravated on Amazon. And if you have Amazon Kindle Unlimited, you can get that under your subscription. So you have no reason not to read it. I always remind you guys with this, but he doesn't make a dime unless you are flipping pages. So just don't download it. Make sure you read it. Let's support him and his brother, Steven. I believe when you read this book, you will have the same thoughts that I have and that Michael has.
which is that Steven is completely innocent. All right, guys, I thank you for tuning in. Everything you need to know about Michael will be in the show notes as well as on my website attached to his episode. So make sure you do check him out. All right, so hope you guys are all being good out there and always remember, always stay humbled. An act of kindness can make someone's day. A little love and compassion can go a long way.
And this is the podcast where two passions becomes one. I'll catch you guys in the next one.
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Michael Sirois grew up wanting to be an actor, or a writer, or a drummer, all of which he pursued during high school and college, adding a three-year stint as a radio disc jockey to the mix. He worked at a variety of odd jobs while paying his own way through college. In the late 1970’s, armed with drama and English degrees, he taught creative writing, drama, and technology to Houston students for twenty-three years, but continued to act and write. In 2002, he accepted a position as a program manager for Rice University’s Center for Excellence and Equity in Education, retiring in 2009 to write full time. He is primarily a novelist, but has also dabbled in a variety of other works (poetry, short stories, plays, screenplays, and non-fiction). His published books include The Jagged Man (which will be republished in 2023); the If a Butterfly series (published 2021); and Aggravated: The True Story of How a Series of Lies Sent an Innocent Man to Prison (published 2020). Aggravated is about Michael’s brother, Steve Sirois, who was falsely accused of a horrific crime, sexual assault of a child, and was sentenced to 35 years in a Texas prison. The book, using court transcripts, affidavits, interviews, and a variety of other factual data, lays out a devastating portrait of an untruthful accuser, an overzealous prosecutor, a jury that made a deal to swap votes in order to gain a conviction, and the series of lies that led to that outcome.
Here are some great episodes to start with.