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Reclaiming Lives

Pursuing Justice for Six Innocent Men

Second Edition

Joan Treppa


Publication Date:  June 14, 2021




The 1992 death of mill worker, Tom Monfils, and the resulting trial of six men accused of his murder shocked a community. In 2009, Joan read a factual book about the case which sent her on a mission to seek justice for these men. Realizing a deep emotional connection to them, she ignites the interest of a retired crime scene expert/private investigator who initiates a reinvestigation.


Reclaiming Lives provides an uncomplicated examination of our nation’s criminal justice system. Its overall message validates truths in the face of adversity, delivers hope where there was none, and demonstrates the capacity to overcome insurmountable obstacles.As of April 30, 2021, the National Registry of Exonerations reports that some 2,776 actually innocent, but wrongly convicted, individuals in the U.S. have been exonerated since 1989. As “Reclaiming Lives” painfully reveals, however, this number represents only a fraction of the total number of actually innocent people who have been wrongly convicted since 1989, but not yet exonerated. Joan Treppa’s dedicated, years-long effort to obtain justice for the “Monfils Six” defendants is testament to the inherent difficulty in overturning wrongful convictions, even when the evidence of actual innocence compellingly refutes the prosecution’s case.


“Reclaiming Lives” teaches the reader why it is not only critical to prevent wrongly convictions from occurring in the first instance, but also why the criminal justice system must be far more willing than it has often been to correct these injustices after they are shown to have occurred. – Steve Kaplan, former post-conviction counsel for Keith Kutska.


Joan Treppa has taken her life on a path many would be fearful to venture on. As she learned about this case, she began supporting these wrongfully convicted men in generous ways. She’s a strong voice for them. This book helps you to realize and feel how wrongful convictions happen, and how hard the fight for truth is. Her perseverance, love, and determination show what a strong-willed, beautiful person she is. She continues to fight for the truth and awaits the VICTORY of freedom for all six of these men. – Audrey Edmunds, WI exoneree


Joan Treppa is a writer and social justice advocate for the wrongfully convicted. Though she has no legal training, her determination and commitment to become an outspoken voice for the wrongfully convicted was born out of having been bullied as a child. Her motto, “Nothing about me truly matters unless I matter to others,” speaks to the familiarity of feeling left out, forgotten, and traumatized. Joan is a wife and mother who lives with her husband, Mike, in the suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her first edition of Reclaiming Lives won three national independent book awards.


ISBN: 978-1-952976-16-2

Reclaiming Lives: Pursuing Justice for Six Innocent Men by Joan Treppa

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