Crooked City

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An Open Letter to PLO Attorney Joey Mogul...

Dear Ms. Mogul,

I am in receipt of your letter, reprinted in part, sent yesterday to my attorney, Tom Osran. In it, you accuse him of “bullying” and being “offensively aggressive” toward you when he called you to discuss the relevance of certain seemingly superfluous emails you were requesting.  

First, let me encourage you to reconsider your use of the term bullying. The request by my attorney was a simple matter in such motions, requested, he assures me, in a routine, matter of fact manner. How you could construe this as bullying or offensively aggressive is hard to imagine. 

Maybe I can help. Let me see if I can point out the difference between civilized communications and bullying by providing you with a few examples. 

When private investigator Paul Ciolino, working on behalf of Northwestern University, went to the residence of Alstory Simon in 1999, armed, and threatened with violence and trumped up criminal charges in order to get Simon to confess to a double murder he did not commit, that was bullying. 

When Ciolino and former Professor David Protess made deals with other witnesses to provide false testimony to free sociopathic killer Anthony Porter, that was bullying. 

When Protess and Ciolino manipulated naive Northwestern students to take part in their plan to frame Alstory Simon, that was bullying. 

When Ciolino and student Thomas McCann badgered William Taylor into changing his eyewitness testimony in the Porter case, that was bullying. 

When a central witness in the Madison Hobley case described how Ciolino and DePaul University Professor Andrea Lyon came to his house and attempted to bribe him into changing his testimony, that, if true, would be bullying. 

When Ciolino, Protess, and the students publicly claimed, without any evidence, that the detectives in the Porter case, Charles Salvatore and Dennis Gray, framed Porter for the murders, that would be a kind of bullying. 

When the two detectives fought to have the case go to a civil trial and found an attorney, Walter Jones, willing to look at the evidence, and that attorney refused to settle and argued in court that Porter was the offender in the murders and then told stupified journalists after the verdict that he thought Porter was the offender, and Eric Zorn, who had not even bothered to hear the evidence in the case, lashed out at Jones in a column the following day for daring to suggest Porter was guilty, that would be bullying. 

When law firms have a cabal of “journalists” like John Conroy, Mike Miner, Steve Mills, Eric Zorn, Fran Spielman and Neil Steinberge willing to obfuscate the facts or ignore them altogether in an attempt to push a wrongful conviction narrative and vilify the police and prosecutors, well, that would be a kind of journalistic bullying. 

When a Governor renowned for his corruption suddenly pardons four inmates on death row, even one who set a fire that killed seven people, including his own wife and child, without any new evidence of their innocence, disregarding the hardship and sorrow family members of the victims must endure, that too is a kind of bullying.

When another governor commutes the sentence of a man convicted on four counts of attempted murder in the waning moments of the governor’s administration, without even explaining his decision, well that would be a kind of bullying the entire criminal justice system that spent nine years working to convict the offender. 

When a group of terrorists make bombs and set them off in public places, murdering innocent people, that is a form of bullying. 

And when a writer—a writer whose work played a pivotal role in reversing the most clear wrongful conviction case in the state’s history—is the target of a malevolent attack upon his privacy and free speech in order to vilify him and therefore silence him, well, that would be a form of bullying as well. 

But an attorney calling you to clarify the terms of a court motion, that is not bullying. That is just a mundane legal matter. 

In fact, it is your nasty, calculated letter making such absurd allegations against my lawyer that is the real bullying. 

Are you getting the picture? 

I know it is a difficult thing to sit down and reason with people who disagree with you or people you hate. Doing so is one of the principles of police work when one is a police officer in a free society. Some cops do it better than others. But I take the principle of such civility as a kind of higher calling and my successes in doing so with a sense of pride and honor. 

But then, as both a cop and a writer, I believe in democracy, and therefore conceive of the courts and legal system guided by the ideals of justice and truth seeking, not merely as instruments of destruction and vengeance.  

Very Truly Yours,

Martin Preib

Chicago Police Officer


Flint Taylor Goes After Crooked City Writer

A judge ruled this week that a Chicago Police Officer who is also an award-winning writer must turn over email messages he has received from former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge.  

Circuit Court Judge Erica Riddic ordered the release of email records by Chicago cop Martin Preib, whose 2014 book, Crooked City, played a pivotal role in undermining a central wrongful conviction case in Illinois. 

Preib is currently writing a book about Jon Burge. 

The order arose from a subpoena by Chicago Attorney G. Flint Taylor of the People’s Law Office, a law firm that has made its fame and fortune by claiming police torture and coercion. In particular, Taylor has spearheaded the thirty-year fight against Burge, claiming he and his men routinely tortured confessions from suspects. 

Preib’s attorney had argued that the subpoena violated Preib’s freedom of speech and his protection under the statute protecting journalists and their sources. 

Preib is the author of another book, The Wagon and Other Stories From the City, as well as several articles in national magazines. His blog,, also describes his investigation into corruption within the wrongful conviction movement. 

Last month, Preib published an exclusive statement from Jon Burge in response to the decision by the Chicago City Council to establish a reparations fund to men who claimed they were abused by Chicago Police, a decision by the council that infuriated many attorneys and members of law enforcement.

Here is part of Burge’s statement about the decision:

What about reparations for the families of the African American victims of the heinous crimes perpetrated by the scum who now demand reparations? This entire scenario is being manipulated by lawyers like G. Flint Taylor and his ilk. They have been getting rich for years filing specious lawsuits against Chicago Police Officers, the City of Chicago and other government entities. They know that 99% of the time the City will settle the lawsuit rather than go to trial because it’s cheaper. The City never admits wrongdoing on their part or the part of the individual defendants (police officers) when they settle.

Burge’s comments drew Taylor’s ire. Taylor responded in the Sun Times:

“(Burge) is clearly a serial human rights violator who has committed racist crimes against humanity too numerous to count. And this attack on the men who have so bravely stood up to him — and who a jury and a federal judge relied upon to send him to the penitentiary — only underscores how disgraceful and cowardly his unsworn statements . . . slandering me, my fellow lawyers and these clients are,” Taylor said.

“He says the truth will come out. The truth has come out. That’s why the city has acted as it has. No matter what kind of cowardly statements Burge may make under cover of darkness, it is not going to change the public record of his and his fellow officers’ crimes.”  

The truth has come out? 

Well, let’s take a look at that.

In Burge’s full statement, Burge cites the Anthony Porter case. 

The Porter case plays a pivotal role in the wrongful conviction narrative, including Taylor’s, because Porter’s exoneration paved the ay for other inmates to go free, including inmates represented by Taylor and the PLO.  

In the Porter case, wrongful conviction activists at Northwestern University coerced an innocent man, Alstory Simon, into confessing to the crimes in order to allow Anthony Porter to be exonerated. 

But last year, Cook County Prosecutor Anita Alvarez released Simon from prison, saying his constitutional rights had been violated by Northwestern Professor David Protess and his private investigator Paul Ciolino. 

A few weeks ago, Judge Thomas Byrne went one step further and declared that Alstory Simon was innocent. 

Just last month, former Tribune reporter William Crawford published a book, Justice Perverted: How The Innocence Project at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism Sent an Innocent Man to Prison, detailing the corruption at Northwestern’s Innocence Project in the Porter case, including evidence that other cases taken up by the school are also highly suspicious. 

Even Taylor himself has admitted the crucial role the Porter exoneration plays in his 30-year narrative about the Chicago Police. He said as much in a 2013 article for The Nation magazine about Governor Ryan’s ending of the death penalty and his freeing of several death row inmates:

[Former Illinois Governor George] Ryan’s momentous actions [i.e., the ending of the state’s death penalty] were partly inspired by the case of Anthony Porter, who came within days of execution only to later be exonerated, thanks in large part to the work of journalism students at Northwestern University. Much credit has been awarded to their work in opening Ryan’s eyes—and rightly so. 

But now with the release of Simon and the declaration by a judge that Simon is innocent, it turns out Ryan’s eyes weren’t open at all, and neither were Taylor’s. 

What makes the downfall of the Porter case even worse is the fact that Northwestern University worked with Taylor’s PLO and other law firms on several cases, yet neither Taylor nor any other law firm has explained why they did not see the corruption at Northwestern, corruption that was evident in the public record for more than a decade. 

Nor have the PLO or any other wrongful conviction law firms condemned the corruption at Northwestern.  

For the wrongful conviction law firms in Chicago, it seems that the truth has still not come out. 

Now wrongful conviction law firms are facing attacks on even more fronts. 

Alstory Simon’s attorneys have filed a $40 million lawsuit against Protess, Ciolino and Northwestern University, a lawsuit that is sure to cast more suspicion on key wrongful conviction cases. In the lawsuit, the attorneys cite a pattern of evidence in wrongful conviction cases dating back more than a decade. 

What must be of particular concern to the wrongful conviction advocates, including Taylor and the PLO, are the collection of inmates who were freed by Ryan in the wake of the Porter exoneration, in particular Madison Hobley. 

Hobley was convicted of setting a fire that killed seven people in 1987, including his own wife and child. He was exonerated by Governor Ryan—the same governor who let Porter out, buying Northwestern’s lies about Alstory Simon—even though no legal proceeding ever ruled that Hobley was in any way innocent of the crimes. 

Rather, each legal proceeding bolstered his conviction. 

In the lawsuit by Simon’s attorneys, they point out that a central witness in the Hobley conviction claims Ciolino attempted to bribe him into changing his statement. The witness’ account is chillingly similar to the claims of other witnesses who said Ciolino and Protess attempted to bribe them. 

And now extraordinary evidence of corruption within Taylor’s own law firm is emerging. 

For a long time, a key witness from the 1970s who infiltrated the terrorist organization Weather Underground (WU), Larry Grathwohl, stated that Taylor’s PLO and the Weather Underground were working hand in hand. 

Now a new book by Bryan Burroughs, Days of Rage, a history of the Weather Underground, corroborates Grathwohl’s statement. 

In his book, Burroughs quotes a founding member of the PLO, attorney Dennis Cunningham, and his wife, about their frequent visits to Weather Underground members, particularly founding WU member Bernadine Dohrn, in the days the WU was living underground and setting off bombs on the west coast. 

Burroughs describes how WU members became concerned that they would be spotted by members of law enforcement in their attempts to scout new bomb sites. In response, they hit on the idea of bringing children with them. 

But they didn’t have any children of their own. So, according to Burroughs, they used Cunningham’s children. 

Burroughs wrote in an article for Vanity Fair:

No beat cop, they (the Weather Underground members) reasoned, would suspect a family with kids out for an evening stroll. It was a brilliant idea; the only problem was, no one in Weather had children. A handful of supporters did, however, and this was how one of Dohrn’s friends, the Chicago attorney Dennis Cunningham, saw his family drawn into clandestineness. Cunningham was a key conduit for the money that paid the leadership’s living expenses. 

The truth is coming out. It’s right there in print. The children of a PLO member were used by terrorists to help them scout out new bombing locations. They were also supplying the terrorist bombers with money. Burroughs also rejects the claim by WU members that they were never out to injure anyone in their bomb sprees. On the contrary, he argues, they were a violent organization, particularly against the police. 

In the wake of all this evidence that the wrongful conviction movement is as crooked as any Chicago detective, real or imagined, the PLO narrative about the Chicago police is crumbling. 

Which begs a question: why is the PLO spending its time demanding the records of a beat cop who is also a published writer? 

Why the sudden war on a free speech?

Well, is it such a complicated question? Since the wrongful conviction narrative began to fail in the Porter case, wrongful conviction activists and their media allies have assailed anyone questioning the legitimacy of their claims. 

One wonders: Is Taylor trying to head off the growing chorus—headed by Preib—questioning Taylor’s claims about the police and the wrongful conviction narrative in general? 

After all, the Chicago FOP recently sent a letter to the Cook County State’s Attorney demanding a wider criminal probe into Northwestern’s wrongful conviction cases in light of the Porter debacle. 

The irony is thick. The PLO has allied itself with terrorist bombers for more than thirty years. Then it mastered the art of legal bombs hurled against police and prosecutors. 

Now it’s almost as if a metaphorical bomb is ticking in the offices of the law firms that have supported wrongful conviction claims for more than thirty years. 

Once it could not be heard. 

Now the ticking is clear, the actual living heartbeat of the Crooked City. 

Support for Cops Sold Out by Quinn

We're repeating an interview with Police Officer John Wrigley, who was shot in 2005 during a traffic stop. Two other cops were also shot. The offender, Howard Morgan, was eventually convicted of four counts of attempted murder and sentenced to 40 years in prison. 

Last year, former Governor Quinn inexplicably commuted Morgan's sentence without any explanation, perhaps the most disgusting betrayal of law enforcement in the last 20 years. 

Neither Mayor Emanuel nor newly elected Governor Bruce Rauner had anything to say about this blatant violation of the criminal justice system. 

Now Morgan and his supporters are gearing up to try and get him pardoned. 

Please support of the victims at the State of Illinois Building 100 W. Randolph, Chicago, Illinois on July 8, 2015, at 9:00 a.m., or send representatives from your departments. The petitioner usually has several uninformed supporters at all of his court dates. It would be helpful to have officers and civilians who are familiar with all the facts to support the officers.

Smoke in the Cockpit of Torture Commission?

Is the The Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission (TIRC) in violation of the Constitution?

That question may be put on the table this summer. 

The commission, established to investigate allegations of torture by former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge, has been condemned by critics as nothing more than an arm of the wrongful conviction movement. Murder cases that were once long considered finished in the legal system have been resurrected through TIRC, even without the discovery of any new compelling evidence.

But now there are rumors that a movement among lawyers is afoot to eliminate the commission by having it declared unconstitutional. 

If true, abolishing TIRC would be a devastating blow to wrongful conviction law firms and academics like the People’s Law Office, Loevy and Loevy, and Northwestern University, all of whom clearly supported the ability of the organization to push their police torture narratives when all other legal strategies failed.  

TIRC is comprised of a significant majority of wrongful conviction activists. Critics—particularly the family members of murder victims—have complained repeatedly about what they say is the built-in bias of the organization. 

Joe Heinrich, brother of murder victim Jo Ellen Pueschel, confronted the commission on this bias: 

Before being appointed to this Board, many commissioners were already involved in Burge-related issues and have already decided that any person interrogated by him or those under him should go free.  Some commissioners have written articles, some have added their support and names to court documents favoring the defendants, one founded an organization to investigate and sue police officers, and another runs an organization that has investigated many of the cases this commission has and will consider.  Just last Friday, Governor Quinn  announced that he wants to add a defense attorney who works for a law firm that has been involved in Burge-related court proceedings and a priest who has been arrested and sued police officers.

The move to eliminate TIRC on constitutional grounds would also come right around the time its members rule on its most controversial case to date, convicted killer Jerry Mahaffey. 

Jerry Mahaffey, along with his brother, Reginald, murdered a couple and attempted to murder their son during a 1983 home invasion. 

The Mahaffey crimes shocked the city as the story unfolded of how the brothers broke into the Pueshel apartment in Rogers Park and attacked the family, including repeatedly raping Jo Ellen Pueschel. In the end, the brothers murdered husband Dean Pueschel and Jo Ellen. They left Ricky Pueschel, the son, for dead after stabbing and beating him repeatedly with a baseball bat, but he survived the attack and testified at their trials. 

In 1984, the Mahaffey brothers staged one of the most daring escapes in the history of the Cook County Jail. They convinced a paramedic to smuggle a gun into the facility, taking a corrections officer hostage. They opened up the cells of other inmates, many of whom joined them. They were recaptured. 

Ultimately they were convicted and sentenced to death. It was an open-and-shut case. The brothers repeatedly admitted they had committed the murders. Their own brother had turned them in. They confessed to a state’s attorney, said no one had treated them badly. The property taken from the Pueschels was found in both their apartments, as were the weapons used in the murders. 

Somehow, despite the fact that every legal proceeding bolstered the clear guilt of the two men and the utter absence that they were in any way mistreated by the police or prosecutors, the commission is scheduled to rule on the torture claims of Jerry Mahaffey at their July 22 meeting. 

But if TIRC were ruled unconstitutional, what weight would their rulings hold?  

Eliminating the commission would also come at a time when the wrongful conviction movement is reeling from a series of scandals. One is the recent declaration by Judge Thomas Byrne that Alstory Simon is innocent of a 1982 double homicide. Simon confessed after being coerced by Northwestern University Professor David Protess and his Private Investigator Paul Ciolino.

Several other wrongful conviction cases have imploded after judges have ruled their witnesses were lying.

TIRC member Rob Warden, who recently retired from Northwestern’s Law School, was repeatedly confronted with the evidence of corruption in the Porter case, but refused to take action on it. 

The commission itself has been caught violating its own rules by failing to notify the family members of victims about the fact that TIRC has taken up a case on behalf of the man who murdered their loved ones. 

A key player in any move to strip TIRC of its power could be Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez. Up for re-election, Alvarez has garnered criticism that she is unwilling to make tough decisions based on the evidence and the law, and more on political considerations. Will Alvarez state publicly whether or not she believes the commission is constitutional? 

One faction that seems to be opposing Alvarez in the upcoming election is headed by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, a vocal supporter of wrongful conviction movement. Preckwinkle has remained silent about the evidence of corruption in the movement, sticking to the police coercion party line even when the evidence shows the claims were trumped up, as they were in the Porter case and others. 

The Chicago Reader, led by reporter Mick Dumke, has transformed itself almost into Preckwinkle’s personal public relations outlet. 

It’s as if the Reader—by getting Preckwinkle’s people elected to the Cook County State’s Attorney—wants a return to the good old days when the paper could write one wrongful conviction narrative after another, regardless of the facts. A state’s attorney who was ideologically allied would go a long way in allowing the Reader to do so. 

In any case,  the question of the commission’s constitutionality would raise the heat around the wrongful conviction cases once again, and likely force authorities like Alvarez to take a stand. 

Will the authorities who believe TIRC is unconstitutional stand up and say so?  

Or will political considerations rule the day? 

Behind it all looms a darker, more crucial question: Will the city allow two more killers to be set free?

Who knows in the Crooked City?

Case Against Police Commander Takes Another Hit

A Cook County judge released evidence to defense attorneys yesterday that could undermine a high-profile criminal case against a Chicago Police Commander.

Judge Diane Cannon released the findings by the city’s Inspector’s General office in their investigation of the agency that reviews police misconduct—the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA). While Cannon has placed a “gag order” on the case, information gleaned during several hearings indicates that the Inspector General’s office has conducted an investigation into IPRA, an investigation that could reveal misconduct within the agency, including possible misconduct in connection with Evans’ case. 

The evidence was brought forward by the Cook County State’s Attorney, who told the judge it contained potentially exculpatory evidence against Chicago Police Commander Glenn Evans, accused of putting a pistol in the mouth of suspect, Rickey J. Williams, a gang member, during an arrest in 2014. 

The state’s attorney stated they brought the evidence forward because they were obligated to do so under the Brady law, which dictates that a prosecutor “must disclose evidence or information that would prove the innocence of the defendant or would enable the defense to more effectively impeach the credibility of government witnesses.”

The prosecutor’s announcement of this evidence was a bombshell in the Evans’ case, delaying the trial until the judge could review it. Cannon’s decision to release the evidence to Evans’ attorneys may be another sign of its potential to bolster his case. 

Recently, IPRA investigator, Martrice Campbell, was  fired from the agency based on allegations of perjury in another, unrelated case. Campbell may also have been an investigator in the city’s investigation of Evans. 

One controversial issue is the release of a state police crime lab DNA report, one stating that Williams’ DNA was on Evans’ gun. That report was released to the media, initially at public radio station WBEZ. 

But Evans’ attorney, Laura Morask, has called into question claims made about the state police report, claims that the local media ran with in a kind of media frenzy. She has also criticized the manner in which the evidence was obtained from Evans, as well as the fact that it was released to public radio station WBEZ.

Morask—a former prosecutor with extensive experience in DNA evidence cases—has argued, for example, that the presence of DNA by the suspect Ricky J. Williams on Evans’ gun could have come from “multiple modes” of transfer, and is in no way conclusive that Evans placed the gun in Williams’ mouth. 

Evans’ attorney has also attacked the investigation by IPRA, stating that his due process was violated by the fact that neither the prosecutor nor IPRA ever interviewed him. Further, she has argued that the release of the DNA report to the media also violated his due process, by releasing evidence while an investigation was still under way. 

From WBEZ:

Morask is demanding records from WBEZ and the Independent Police Review Authority, one of several government entities that had the report. At the hearing, Morask said the records would show bias on the part of the case’s investigators.


IPRA Under Fire?

An employee of the agency that investigates police abuse was fired last week for allegations of perjury. 

Now, new allegations are surfacing that former Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) employee Matrice Campbell is also being investigated by the city’s Inspector General for misconduct in the case against Chicago Police Commander Glenn Evans. 

The allegations could be a devastating blow for the Cook County State’s Attorney, who has pursued a high-profile criminal case against Evans. 

The state’s attorney charged Evans with battery and official misconduct in 2014 for allegedly putting a gun in a suspect’s mouth. 

Media reports originally indicated that DNA evidence from the suspect, Rickey J. Williams, had been obtained from Evans’ gun. 

But in a court hearing today, defense attorneys for Evans reportedly revealed that Campbell is under investigation by the city’s Inspector General for a host of other abuses in connection with Evans’ case. Attorneys in the hearing also reportedly indicated that other IPRA employees may be targeted by the Inspector General. 

In today’s hearing, it was clear that defense attorneys—as well as Judge Cannon—believed that the allegations against Campbell in both cases may comprise a pattern of evidence. 

The termination of Campbell and the admission by attorneys that Campbell is the subject of a wider investigation is a clear sign that the case against Evans—which generated a media frenzy—is falling apart. 

Mick Dumke, Chicago Reader Stick With the Party Line...

In a democracy, the purpose of the media is to meticulously investigate the actions and claims of institutions to make sure the people occupying positions of power in them are truly obeying the law and fulfilling the obligations of their office. In doing so, the media serves a crucial, almost sacred function in preserving the system of rule by the people through elected representatives.

Read More

A City Descends Into Madness

It began in 1983. 

A sergeant working the south side of Chicago was flagged down by a man. The man, Cedric Mahaffey, told the sergeant he had information about a double murder that had occurred in Rogers Park on the north side of the city a few days earlier.  In response, the sergeant called Area 2 detectives, who came out and interviewed Mahaffey. 

Read More

An Open Letter to Sun Times Reporter Fran Spielman

Dear Fran,

About your recent article on Jon Burge’s statement condemning city reparations to exonerated offenders. 

The first word in the title of your article was “Disgraced.”

Burge’s statement mentions two cases, Anthony Porter and Madison Hobley. In your article, you do not discuss them, though Burge points to them as examples of rampant corruption in the wrongful conviction movement. 

It’s clear why you wouldn’t want to bring attention to them.  

Madison Hobley was angry at his wife because he had a mistress and he didn’t want to give her up.  So he set a fire in January of 1987 outside the door of his apartment while his wife and baby boy were sleeping inside. The fire engulfed the building. Seven people were burned to death, including his wife and child, 17 others badly injured. Some people were severely burned, others broke bones jumping from the windows to escape the flames. 

No wrongful conviction lawyer or Chicago journalist has ever explained how it could be that detectives, supervisors, and a host of other officers, scattered around the city at various hospitals, the morgue, the homes of witnesses, and the crime scene, could somehow conspire to pin the murders on a man they never knew hours after the fire. They never explain why the detectives would frame a man who had just lost his own wife and son in an arson, beyond some vague conception of these officers as completely evil. Nor do they explain how they could establish their fraudulent claims, never knowing if other evidence would arise revealing their fraud. 

In the twisted, self-indulgent mindset of the wrongful conviction activists and their journalist supporters, explaining such facts are inconvenient and unnecessary. They are, however, crucial in a trial, one reason Hobley was found guilty. 

Here are the established facts of the case. Jon Burge actually had nothing to do with the case whatsoever. Some of his colleagues investigated. They found Hobley, amassed a great body of evidence, including his confession, twice, and provided the basis for his conviction. He was sentenced to death. All of his appeals failed. 

The wrongful conviction activists in Chicago defied the entire criminal justice system that convicted Hobley. After a secret meeting between Hobley’s attorney, Andrea Lyon, and former Governor Ryan, a man renowned for his shocking absence of morality, Ryan pardoned Hobley, along with several other inmates who could never convince a court that they were innocent. 

Hobley’s attorneys, indeed, the entire wrongful conviction community, could never have gotten away with freeing Hobley had not reporters like you bought into their wild claims without questioning them or looking at the facts of the case.  

There was never any doubt that Hobley set the fire that killed seven people. 

But that’s not the worst of it. 

Up until Hobley was exonerated, wrongful conviction activists, particularly Flint Taylor, whom you quote at length in your article, were never able to get a criminal conviction against Burge. When Burge denied abusing anyone in the civil case brought by Hobley, federal prosecutors charged him with perjury and obstruction of justice. That’s how Burge was convicted. 

You and the Sun Times, indeed, the entire Chicago media machine are engaged in a vast coverup about the Hobley murders.

The Hobley exoneration, therefore, is a testament not to police corruption, but to a level of media corruption that is difficult to describe. 

It’s just as bad in the Porter case, when reporters like you ignored overwhelming evidence of criminal conspiracy by wrongful conviction activists, who freed killer Anthony Porter and sent an innocent man, Alstory Simon, to prison for more than a decade. Burge was trying to point this corruption out to you, and all the reporters in Chicago, in his statement, but you, true to form, will not give it any attention. 

“Disgraced” would be an understatement for you, your paper, and your colleagues in the media.

After all, to convict Burge, wrongful conviction activists and their media sycophants like you had to liberate a man who incinerated his own family.

Very Truly Yours,

The Conviction Project





Exclusive: Jon Burge Responds to Torture Reparations

In an exclusive statement to the Conviction Project, former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge responds to the decision by the Chicago City Council to establish a reparations fund for exonerated offenders.

Jon Burge:


What about reparations for the families of the African American victims of the heinous crimes perpetrated by the scum who now demand reparations? This entire scenario is being manipulated by lawyers like G. Flint Taylor and his ilk. They have been getting rich for years filing specious lawsuits against Chicago Police Officers, the City of Chicago and other government entities. They know that 99% of the time the City will settle the lawsuit rather than go to trial because it’s cheaper. The City never admits wrongdoing on their part or the part of the individual defendants (police officers) when they settle.
Evidence is slowly emerging that clearly shows what happened to the dedicated Chicago Police Detectives who fought, as best we could, the worst, most violent predators on the South side of Chicago. To understand, all one has to do is review the long record of unethical criminal activity exhibited by academics and students at Northwestern University, particularly in the case of Anthony Porter, a man obviously guilty of two murders, but released from custody after an "investigation" conducted by NU professor David Protess and his students. There has never been a case with more blatant Subornation of Perjury than when they framed an innocent man, Alstory Simon, for the crime committed by Porter.

States Attorney Alvarez admitted the criminal behavior on the part of the crew from Northwestern when she announced she was dropping the case against Alstory Simon and petitioning for his release. This is not an unusual instance on the part of the Northwestern crew and slowly emerging evidence will condemn their participation in helping free other guilty criminals.

Working to free guilty, vicious criminals by the likes of G. Flint Taylor and others like him, as well as the Northwestern cabal, all with a radical political agenda, has created a thriving cottage industry in Chicago. These private attorneys grow rich because the City of Chicago is afraid to defend the lawsuits filed by these human vultures. Ask the mayor and City Counsel members how many relatives of the victims of these crimes they spoke with before deciding on their "Reparations".

The chief spokesmen for G. Flint Taylor's reparations campaign are Darryl Cannon and Anthony Holmes. Cannon is a former El Rukn General who has been convicted of three separate murders in his long career, pleading guilty to the last one after cutting a deal for "time served." His first murder conviction was as a juvenile, so the police can't mention it, but I can. He still stands convicted of all three murders.

Anthony Holmes also had a long career. During one of his first visits to prison he was the "Barn Boss" at Statesville, when Statesville was the toughest prison in Illinois. That means he ran the prison. He was on Chicago's "10 Most Wanted" list when he was arrested for Murder. He subsequently gave a court reported confession to the crime. There was NO MOTION TO SUPRESS the confession. In fact there was no mention in public by Holmes that he was "tortured" until over a decade later, after he met G. Flint Taylor.

By the way, he claims he did 30 years for the murder. The truth is he was paroled after 11 years and got busted making a hand-to-hand dope buy from an undercover agent shortly after he was released. He went back to the joint for the Parole Violation and served a few more years. Holmes was one of the leaders of a group called "The Royal Family" which consisted of 31 ex-cons who patterned their operations after the mafia. They committed a string of commercial armed robberies unheard of at the time, and, if one of their crews got caught, they simply murdered the witnesses. I find it hard to believe that the City's political leadership could even contemplate giving "Reparations" to human vermin like them.

The media's long silence on these activities makes them complicit in the fraud being perpetrated on Chicago and the citizenry. When the true evidence finally rules the day and the record is set straight, the people who conspired to free a man like Madison Hobley, who was awarded six million dollars by the City after he burned seven people to death, including his wife and infant son, will have to pay the piper.

At that time I believe I and all the outstanding men and women I had the privilege of working with, as well as the Chicago Police Department itself, will be vindicated.