Louise O'Connell

Louise O’Connell is a senior banking audit executive, accountant, and fraud investigator at a $9 billion financial institution outside of Houston, Texas. With over four decades working in both the public and private sectors, Louise has extensive experience conducting financial, operational, and information technology audits as well as performing fraud examinations. She earned her master’s degree in business administration, from Central Michigan University and a B.A. in business administration/accounting from Michigan State University.

In addition to her degrees, Louise is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with the State of Michigan; a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE); a Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM); a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS); and a Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional.

Until recently, Louise was a lifelong resident of Michigan, growing up in Troy, 25 miles outside of Detroit. So attached to the community, Louise continued to live there after marrying her husband Jim in 1985. Together they settled there and raised their two children in a tight-knit neighborhood and church community where both of them extensively volunteered. A joint passion the couple held was collecting antique toys and vintage marbles, something Louise started as a child and later got Jim hooked on. So expansive their collection, it has been profiled in various books and publications.
Louise and Jim were living the American dream until tragedy hit. In 2013, Jim was falsely accused and then wrongly convicted in a “he said/she said” case that was factually impossible and did not happen. Yet with a powerful governmental system leading the charge, her innocent husband was convicted and given what amounted to a life sentence.

Like one of the thousands of spouses, parents, and siblings in this country who have watched a loved one be wrongfully convicted, Louise’s dreams have been shattered. Today they aren’t about a carefree retirement with her husband or the luxury of slowing down and enjoying the life they used to share. Louise now dreams about seeing justice, being heard, and bringing change to a legal system that fails to live up to its principles.
Inside this book, Louise takes you through her husband’s harrowing case, providing a detailed account of the claims, how they were sparked, and the evidence overwhelmingly pointing to Jim’s innocence. She walks you through a real-world false allegation in the making and how her family was not prepared for the witch hunt to follow. It is a gut-wrenching account of what it was like to be the wife of an accused man and profiles the failures of a legal system that the O’Connell family counted on to be the hero, not the actual villain.

While it is a charged topic and not for everyone, it is a must-read for those who work in the legal and child welfare system, psychologists, or those working in academia and study false claims in children. It is also a cautionary tale for anyone who innocently works around children, be it as a teacher, babysitter, or volunteer like Jim was. What happened to Jim and the O’Connell family can happen to anyone. Nobody is fully immune from false allegations. Not even you or a loved one.

Ultimately, Louise is seeking justice for her innocent husband who has been behind bars far too long for a crime never committed. A situation that is sadly not unique to just him is also covered in this book. With lots of lessons to be shared and questions to be answered, please join Louise on this most personal of journeys as the wife of a convicted toy collector.