Michael Brodkorb, former reporter with the Star Tribune, and online commentator, gives himself credit for helping to locate the runaway Rucki girls – but does the end justify the means? Explosive new evidence from Lion News describes, and includes evidence, that Brodkorb has significantly interfered in the Grazzini-Rucki case, including direct interference while the investigation of the runaway Rucki girls was still active. Evidence also suggests that Brodkorb has a close relationship with David Rucki that has given him access to confidential information, which was then used by Brodkorb to manipulate the public opinion in Rucki’s favor. Lakeville Police Refuse To Take Criminal Complaint from Dede Evavold
While working for the Star Tribune, Brodkorb says his contract ”...allowed me to write about any topic I wished…” Brodkorb initially wrote about politics then began to focus exclusively on the Grazzini-Rucki case. After being booted from The Star Tribune, Brodkorb began a blog, exclusively dedicated to the Grazzini-Rucki case. Much of Brodkorb’s comments on the blog include emotional outbursts, rambling opinions and inflammatory statements about Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her attorney, Michelle MacDonald. The tone and content of this blog are one sided, and do not include or discuss any of the volumes of evidence showing the Rucki children were abused by their father. How can Brodkorb determine that the Rucki children were not abused when he is not even willing to look at the evidence that suggests abuse did occur? The public has a right to see all sides of the case but instead are being fed a narrative by Brodkorb that does not match the facts.
Lion News Raises the Following Allegations Against Michael Brodkorb:
1) Talking to a witness wanted for questioning by police BEFORE police could contact this person. Lion News offers new information proving that Brodkorb pursued contact with the witness even after he was asked to stop. Brodkorb then lied to Detective Dronen by saying he would not contact the witness – then does anyways. Did the pressure Brodkorb apply to this witness contribute to why she changed her testimony – or fuel the hate the witness now professes for Sandra?
Lori Musolf: So on Sunday this past Sunday this blogger who has been blogging the story called me. And started asking me questions. I have no idea who this guy even is.
Detective Dronen: Okay
Lori Musolf: Michael
Detective Dronen: Brodkorb?
Lori Muslof: Yes! And I refused to tell him anything. I just told him that I want nothing to do with this. I have not had anything to do with these people in a couple years. And I want absolutely nothing to do with it. And he was insistent. And I continued to tell him I want nothing to do with this. And I hung up. Okay? … 8:30/41:24 from 13001278 Loralie Musolf.mp3
Lori Musolf: Just so you know, I think this blogger is … I don’t know if you’ve talked to this blogger at all.
Detective Dronen: I have from time to time.
Lori Musolf: Okay.
Detective Dronen: I talked to him on Monday. The interesting thing is that he told me on Monday that he wasn’t going to call you.
Lori Musolf: Yes he Detective Dronen: Apparently he already had. So.
Lori Musolf: He already had. He called me Sunday. 2:54 p.m. I even have it in my notes. Yes, he had called me on Sunday. He had tried calling me I think it was on Friday and I totally avoided his phone call.
Lori Musolf admits that she did talk to Brodkorb, and credits him for changing her perspective on the Grazzini-Rucki case. Which means Brodkorb influenced a witness, and affected her testimony, before she spoke to police. Lori’s testimony was used to help build a case against Grazzini-Rucki, this information suggests that her testimony may have been tampered with, and not accurate. Potential State Witness Wrote Letter to Judge Knutson – Criticizing Court’s Failure to Protect Rucki Children from Abuse
Lori has maintained contact with Brodkorb and frequently comments on his social media.
2) A close relationship exists between David Rucki and Michael Brodkorb that goes beyond professional courtesy. Recent evidence from Lion News suggests that relationship has influenced articles written by Brodkorb, who used his blog to promote Rucki’s narrative (propaganda). Brodkorb’s interference compromised both the case of the runaway Rucki girls and Sandra’s criminal case.
Brodkorb has been intensely following the Grazzini-Rucki case for over a year, and posting on social media and blogs that swing in favor of Rucki. Brodkorb does not hide his strong feelings for Rucki, in an intensely intimate passage he writes, “When I first met David, I was so overcome with emotion I had to excuse myself from our table at a restaurant in Minneapolis. I went to the restroom, splashed cold water on my face and took a moment to compose myself. “
Brodkorb despises Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, evident by the wrath he writes in posts about her. In one post, Brodkorb shamelessly exploits the tragic death of Jacob Wetterling to drum up interest for his own blog, exclusively dedicated to the Grazzini-Rucki case. In an article, Brodkorb compares Rucki to Patty Wetterling, even going so far as to say that Rucki’s “unimaginable pain” when his daughters ran away and went missing for 2 years, is comparable as what Patty Wetterling has experienced at the death of her young son. Brodkorb goes on to compare Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her attorney, Michelle MacDonald, to the pedophile monster, Danny Heinrich, that murdered Jacob and molested countless other boys. How the disappearance of Jacob Wetterling helped find the Rucki sisters
Brokorb glosses over allegations of physical, emotional and psychological abuse against Rucki, and the pain the Rucki children have endured. Is David Rucki really someone you would compare to grieving mother, Patty Wetterling? In a CPS report, S. Rucki reports, “She was 12 when her parents divorced. Home life was awful prior to the divorce. They tip-toed around Dad and he was physically abusive to Mom. Dad ripped the leg off the organ and ran after Mom. She would have bruises here and there. Dad was rough with S on a few occasions and he would grab her a few times and shook her… Only when they were not with Dad (living with Mom) was there no more tip-toeing and no more yelling. S said it felt good and free in her own house.” https://www.scribd.com/doc/316692570/SamiRucki
Brodkorb defends his writing saying he has “free speech” and claims protection as a “journalist”. Sandra has recently filed a harassment restraining order against Brodkorb. Brodkorb has admitted online that he intends to violate the order and may have already has because Twitter posts indicate that he was interviewed by police. Brodkorb continues to post comments and pictures about Sandra, and even has disclosed sensitive information. Brodkorb’s exploitation of both of these tragedies is horrific, and should be treated as libel – not protected as “journalism”.
Another crucial piece of evidence that demonstrates the close connection between Brodkorb and Rucki, is posted on Lion News. Brodkorb secretly recorded a conversation with Dede Evavold, friend of Sandra who is also charged in connection of the disappearance of the runaway Rucki girls. Evavold obtained a copy of the audio, and other evidence, after filing complaints against Dakota County Attorneys James Backstrom, Phil Prokopowicz, and Kathryn Keena. The audio was labelled “13001278 Evavold audio given by D. Rucki.MP3 “. Meaning Brodkorb recorded this conversation then handed it over to Rucki. What journalist reveals their sources to anyone – let alone to the subject of their investigation? What journalist hands over information they have gathered in the course of an investigation? Clearly Brodkorb has made a deal with Rucki.
In part of the audio, Brodkorb alludes to having a previous connection to Judge David Knutson: “Michael Brodkorb: No, let me just say. I knew David Knutson when he was a state senator, the last time I saw Knutson was, I think in 2007 when Pawlenty was inaugurated for his second term. So that’s the last time I’ve ever seen him that I remember. I have tried repeatedly to interview him, to speak with him, about this case. The person that I’ve probably tried to interview the most, has been David Knutson and anyone affiliated with the court system. I’ve gone down to the court, I’ve called him and I’ve done everything I could to try to get him to speak on the record. I’ve spoken with his clerk and I’ve spoken with everyone that I could possibly think of to try to get him to speak…” Has Brodkorb maintained contacts in the court system? Perhaps so – Brodkorb has admitted in one article,”The contacts I had made in the political world ended up being very helpful in generating leads on the Rucki case.”
Brodkorb also acknowledges there are serious problems existing in the family court system, “There is no way and I believe this, if someone reviews the matters involved in this case and doesn’t immediately come to the conclusion that there are problems in the family court system, they are purposely trying for there not to be a problem with the court system, because a blind person could see that.” Brodkorb goes on to say that he does not believe the Rucki girls ran away, and has a strong suspicion that Sandra has been helping them.
In her criminal trial, Sandra argued the affirmative defense – claiming her actions were taken to protect her children from imminent harm. What loving parent wouldn’t act to protect their children from abuse? This tragedy could have been avoided had Judge Knutson, and the Dakota County court and social service taken concerns of abuse seriously, and worked to protect the children – not enable the abuser.
3) Allegations of Witness Tampering – On June 24, 2016, Dede Evavold attempted to file a complaint with Lakeville police, accusing David Rucki and Michael Brodkorb of witness tampering in the Sandra Grazzini-Rucki case. Dede says officers with the Lakeville police quickly walked away and refused to take her complaint, which she documents with photographs. Officers were ordered by Deputy Chief John Kormann not to take the complaint.
The incident happened on June 12th when Dede received a letter in the mail from David Rucki, via his high buck attorney Marshall H. Tanick at Hellmuth and Johnson PLLC (how does a recipient of public assistance afford these expensive legal services??) that raised several allegations against her, which could result in criminal charges or civil damages. Dede writes, “After returning home on Sunday, June 12, 2016 I found what I consider a harassing and threatening extortion letter in my mailbox. The extortion letter was from David Rucki’s attorney Marsahll H. Tanick, Attorney at Law, Hellmuth & Johnson, PLLC. I had a reasonable suspicion the wild, outrageous and unsubstantiated claims contained in the harassing and threatening extortion letter were meant to intimidate me into deleting the blog, Red Herring Alert, that I shared with Susan Carpenter. I also had a reasonable suspicion that Rucki’s harassing and threatening extortion letter was designed to coerce me into changing not only my plea but to coerce me into changing my testimony in Sandra’s rigged case.” The same letter was sent to S.C. and Lea Dannewitz, owner of the Carver County Corruption blog. In response, Lea deleted her blog, and denied involvement with any posts written about Rucki. S.C. responded by stepping down from her role in the Red Herring Alert blog and deleting any posts connected to her. It is clear that both were frightened of Rucki, and his threats against them.
Just two days after Rucki’s attorney sent this letter, Brodkorb raised his poisoned pen and took to the internet to dish the breaking news that rocked entire State of Minnesota like an atomic bomb… “Facing potential civil litigation in Rucki case, owner deletes blog.” Really – is that news worthy? No wonder Brodkorb lost his job the Star Tribune, his obsessive interest in the Grazzini-Rucki case has caused him to lose touch with reality! What is interesting about this article is that Brodkorb gained access to the attorney letter Rucki sent out, which was not made publicly available. Brodkorb also knew details about the letter which had not been released – such as the name of the firm Rucki retained, and that “others” were sent this same letter. Brodkorb also cited portions of the letter in his article.
Dede also questions how Brodkorb obtained this letter, “ How is it possible that former Star Tribune hack Michael Brodkorb magically & mysteriously knew that Lea received a private harassing and threatening letter from David Rucki? How is it possible that former Star Tribune hack Michael Brodkorb magically & mysteriously knew that Lea would pick that time to delete her blog? It couldn’t be a coincidence if Star Tribune hack Michael Brodkorb is knowingly and intentionally delivering Star Tribune work product to David Rucki, could it? “
What makes this letter, and subsequent blog article posted by Brodkorb, witness tampering is that threat of legal action, and the public humiliation of Lea Dannewitz, was being used to pressure Dede and other bloggers into remaining silent about the Grazzini-Rucki case. Dede felt that Rucki, and Brodkorb, were threatening her to delete the Red Herring Alert blog, and to change her testimony in the Grazzini-Rucki case. Rucki had successfully employed these bullying and coercive tactics on others – Lea is one example, his son N. Rucki another, and audio from a police interview shows the same tactics were used on runaway daughter S. Rucki to attempt to get her to change her testimony. The Lakeville police has an obligation to take Dede’s complaint, and given the evidence she has provided, as well as the history behind it – this complaint should be investigated.
The irony in all of this is that Brodkorb defends his own blog and social media posts as “journalism” and “free speech” but at the same time is gleefully reporting that the blogs of other people are being threatened with legal action, and taken down. It does not appear that Brodkorb supports free speech at all.
Brodkorb’s writing serves to protect David Rucki as well as Judge Knutson and the Dakota County court system, who has destroyed the Grazzini-Rucki family, and enabled abuse to continue. Judge Knutson and the family court has worked to cover up their illegal actions and hide the fact that abuse did occur in this family; they use press coverage to continue their lies, and to elicit public sympathy.
In turn, Brodkorb receives recognition and is able to salvage his tarnished reputation by being the reporter who broke the story, by playing the hero.
The sad ending is that Sandra and the Rucki children were once a closing, loving family who now have been forcibly separated and without contact for over 3 years. Sandra’s dream was to be a mother to a large family, and to devote her life to her children – that dream was shattered first by domestic violence and then by a corrupt family court system. The Grazzini-Rucki family has been decimated by the illegal and unjust actions of Judge Knutson, and Dakota County. The Rucki children are growing up in a home where they are potentially endangered; so much so that 4 out of 5 children have ran away from their father at least once, and threatened to run away again (the two older girls succeeding in April 2013). The Rucki children have begged to return to their mother – their pleas havebeen ignored. It is reprehensible that the courts of Dakota County would order the Rucki children into “reunification therapy” with an abusive father while, at the same time, alienating the children from the healthy parent, their primary caregiver, Sandra. These children are growing up without their mother, a loss that can never be replaced.
Every level of the court and legal system has failed to protect the Rucki children. Their mother, Sandra, may be sent to prison for trying to protect them. She will have a felony record while the abuser goes unpunished. This is the story that should be told. Instead of reading Brodkorb’s nonsense, PLEASE read, like, re-post and share the courageous voices who speak out about abuse and family court failures. Share the articles that expose the truth about the Grazini-Rucki case, in doing so you can help reveal the evidence the court has denied, and obtain justice for the Grazzini-Rucki family.