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The Author

The Author, Bill Clutter, is a private investigator based in Louisville, Kentucky.  He was elected to the city council in his hometown of Springfield, Illinois in 1987.  He went on to start what is now the Illinois Innocence Project which is based at the University of Illinois in Springfield.  

He moved to Kentucky in 2012, after Illinois abolished the death penalty in March 2011, and was recognized by Chicago Tribune as one, of many, who were responsible for the abolition of the death penalty in Illinois.  Clutter continues to work defending those facing the death penalty and recently started a national not-for-profit organization called Investigating Innocence. Proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit Investigating Innocence and Coal Tar Free USA.

About 'Coal Tar'


The gripping, TRUE STORY about how corrupt politics and corporate greed are killing America’s children.

"This is the true story of two small American cities — Taylorville, Illinois and Morgan City, Louisiana — where the air, water and soil were fouled by coal tar. About how two governors and their agencies in the late 1980’s allowed corporate polluters to spew contaminated dust over these picturesque communities. What followed was an epidemic of a rare childhood cancer — neuroblastoma— that swept through both communities.


Told by a private investigator who dedicated years to finding truth, this story details the political and legal struggle to expose how corporate greed, operating in the shadows of the two state capitals, influenced government policies . . . how corporate polluters and state agencies engaged in collusion and cover-up in an effort to obscure the truth after the damage had been done to the environment, affecting young children, teens, adults, and even animals."


This is a classic story with very good good-guys and very bad bad-guys, a tale of corporate greed, lethal pollution and sick children and the heroic people who fought to make things right. A wonderful read.


This story needs to be told to the world. These large industries and many state agencies need to be exposed for what harm they cause our people and how they will go to any length to protect themselves at the cost of the citizenry...THIS IS A MUST READ!!!! 


Bill Clutter holds nothing back while telling the truths of the heartbreaks that should never had happen. Emotions rise and fall throughout, as Clutter’s steadfast determination takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride! 


This is what the practice of law is REALLY like. Devoured this book front to cover in one reading. A “David versus Goliath” story that shows how lawyers and investigators search for truth and demand justice. A must read for anyone wanting to work in the legal field.








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Read the Illinois Supreme Court opinion Zachary Donaldson et. al. v Central Illinois Public Service Company (CIPS) et. al. 


Read the 5th District Illinois Appellate court opinion:

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) tried to prevent the public from accessing the Cancer Registry, that was intended to help citizens investigate the association of hazardous waste sites with outbreaks of cancer epidemics. IDPH violated the statute which created the Cancer Registry, which explicitly states that the data is to be made available to the public. The Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health was held in contempt of court for his refusal to turn over the Illinois State Cancer, which resulted in an appellate court decision May v. Central Illinois Service Company. 

After that decision, IDPH continued to deny access to the Cancer Registry when a reporter requested the same information. This resulted in a second appellate decision involving the same issue Southern Illinoisan v. Department of Public Health.