Thread: Chilling

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    Default Chilling

    Judge's husband, mother slain


    March 1, 2005

    BY ABDON M. PALLASCH, FRANK MAIN AND LISA DONOVAN Staff Reporters







    Federal Judge Joan Lefkow arrived home from work Monday to find her husband and her mother dead in a basement study of her Edgewater home.

    Labor lawyer Michael Lefkow and the judge's 89-year-old mother, Donna Humphrey, visiting from Denver, were found in a pool of blood, sources said.


    The bodies were in the basement of the home with gunshot wounds to the head, according to a federal source who spoke only on condition of anonymity.

    No weapon was recovered, but police found two .22 caliber casings, said another source close to the investigation. That source also said police found that a window had been broken at the house.

    "It looks like a possible break-in," said the source.


    A special police detail had been assigned to Lefkow's home since white supremacist Matt Hale threatened her life two years ago. Hale has been incarcerated at Chicago's Metropolitan Correctional Center since Jan. 8, 2003, under tight control, usually reserved for terrorists, to keep him from sending out violent edicts from prison.

    His only contacts with the outside world are twice-a-month visits from his parents, who are allowed to spend one hour each with him as two FBI agents listen in, said Hale's father, Russell Hale.

    Police have not identified Hale or anyone from his World Church of the Creator as a suspect in the killings. But on Monday night, with just a few key strokes, reporters found anti-Semitic Web sites carrying detailed descriptions of Lefkow's family, including her husband.



    The judge and her family were placed under the protection of the U.S. Marshal's Service, said Charles P. Kocoras, the chief federal judge for the Northern District of Illinois.

    "All of us are horrified by the murder of Judge Lefkow"s husband and mother. Nothing can prepare us for such a stunning, tragic event," Kocoras said in a statement.


    Followers alleged a conspiracy



    Chicago Police, the FBI and the U.S. Marshals office were at the home investigating Monday night as family, friends and federal judges stopped in to console the family.

    Lefkow, a federal judge since 1982, presided over a trademark lawsuit an Oregon church filed against Hale and his group. At first, the judge ruled for Hale. She had to change her decision after the appellate court reversed her.

    Hale responded in a press release: "There is only so much we as a Church can endure before a minister can no longer look the people in the eye with a straight face preaching legality when an individual like Judge Lefkow indulges in unbridled terrorism against people who simply want to practice their religion."

    Hale later wrote next to Lefkow's name: "PROBABLE JEW OR MARRIED TO A JEW."

    Neither the judge nor her husband is Jewish. Both are active in the Episcopal Church.

    "Michael [Lefkow] served as the secretary of the standing committee of the diocese," said William Persell, bishop of the Chicago Diocese of the Episcopal Church. "This is a real shock. I'm really saddened and outraged. I hope the people responsible will be apprehended soon. It's a great loss to the church, to the family, to the community if that's the way we treat one another when we disagree."

    'Consider it done'



    Hale was convicted on April 26, 2004, of soliciting the judge's murder and obstructing justice.

    Among the more damning evidence against him at trial was an e-mail he sent to his chief of security asking for Lefkow's home address.

    The chief, Anthony Evola, was secretly working for the FBI as an informant and recorded a conversation with Hale.

    "We gonna exterminate the rat?" Evola asked, referring to the judge.

    "Ah, my position's always been that . . . I'm gonna fight within the law and but, ah, that information's been provided," Hale said. "If you wish to, ah, do anything yourself, you can, you know?

    "So that makes it clear?" Hale asked.

    "Consider it done," Evola said.

    "Good," Hale said.

    Sources said those involved in prosecuting Hale's case were being alerted of possible violence -- including two assistant U.S. attorneys and Indiana U.S. District Judge James Moody, who presided over Hale's trial.

    "They're looking at everybody right now who needs to be protected," the source said.

    Waco anniversary



    Friends and neighbors described the Lefkows as a model, loving family.

    Joan Lefkow grew up in rural Kansas attending a one-room schoolhouse. She met Michael when she was a student at Wheaton College and he used the school's library for research. They worked together in legal aid clinics. They raised four daughters, the youngest still in high school.

    "This is someone who adored his daughters," said Nan Sullivan. "They were the kind of family everyone aspires to be, very close-knit, very supportive."

    Michael Lefkow drew up a constitution spelling out the rules and rights his daughters had in the home.

    He left his office in the Monadnock Building every day and stopped at federal court to pick up his wife to drive home together. Hand-in-hand they took nightly strolls through the Lakewood-Balmoral neighborhood where they have lived for 20 years.

    Michael Lefkow ran for judge three years ago. He recently sported crutches because of an ankle injury.

    Among the snippets from church bulletins Hale's fans posted on their white supremacist Web sites:

    "Michael and Joan lived in Spain at one point in their life, explaining why foreign travel is on his list of interests, which also includes the opera, reading, and jogging. He is also known to sing a few tunes and engage in a bit of flamenco dancing. Friends say he always is seen in a tie . . . and then there's the signature [fedora] hat."

    A neighbor who lives across the street from the Lefkows on the 5200 block of North Lakewood said about 6:25 p.m. Monday she saw one of the judge's daughters crying hysterically as she was escorted down the steps of the home by a police officer. She climbed into the car of a friend, but soon after got out and started pacing around, still sobbing.

    Monday was the 12th anniversary of the U.S. government's raid on the David Koresh compound at Waco, Texas, a cause celebre for radical militia groups

    "We know the police will look strongly [for] an extremist connection in this case," said Adam Schupack of the Anti-Defamation League. "While Matt Hale's 'Creativity' movement has largely fallen apart, we know that he still has followers who are out there and who are potentially violent."

    Contributing: Steve Warmbir, Natasha Korecki, Annie Sweeney, Art Golab and Cathleen Falsani
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    The judge and her family were placed under the protection of the U.S. Marshal's Service, said Charles P. Kocoras, the chief federal judge for the Northern District of Illinois.
    Uhhh, yeah that worked

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    City gears up slaying probe
    March 1, 2005

    BY FRANK MAIN AND ANNIE SWEENEY Crime Reporters




    Chicago police have called in detectives from all over the city to investigate the shooting deaths of the husband and mother of U.S. Judge Joan Lefkow.

    “We are committed to getting to the bottom of what happened in that home on Lakewood,” said Hiram Grau, deputy superintendent in charge of investigative services.

    Grau said two police shifts will work around the clock on the case and that anyone with any information should call (312) 744-8445.

    Lefkow found the bodies of Michael Lefkow, 64, and Donna Humphrey, 89, Monday night in the basement of the couple’s home in the Edgewater neighborhood







    Police suspect the shootings occurred between 10:30 a.m., when Humphrey spoke to a granddaughter on the phone, and 5:30 p.m. when Lefkow found the bodies. A daughter came home and left at 4 p.m. without seeing her father or her grandmother, Chief of Detectives James Molloy said today.

    Molloy said both victims had been shot and that a lot of physical evidence had been recovered from the home and was being analyzed in both Chicago and Washington.

    Further details were not released, and Molloy said police were pursuing several angles, including the possible involvement of white supremacist Matt Hale, who threatened Lefkow two years ago and has been incarcerated at Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center since 2003.

    “We are looking in many, many directions,’’ Molloy said.

    Lefkow, a federal judge since 1982, presided over a trademark lawsuit an Oregon church filed against Hale and his group. At first, the judge ruled for Hale. She had to change her position after the appellate court reversed her.

    Friends and neighbors are planning a memorial service for Michael Lefkow at 7 tonight at North Shore Baptist Church, 5244 N. Lakewood (on the block where the Lefkows live).
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    This should scare the hell out of every American regardless of politics etc. When Judges and thier families are killed it rips at the very fabric of our justice system.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    Judge enraged at 'hit' on family


    March 3, 2005

    BY SHAMUS TOOMEY AND NATASHA KORECKI Staff Reporters





    A shocked and furious U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow said Wednesday the slayings of her husband and mother this week were "a hit -- not a random thing,'' and said her great fear is that the crime could be linked to her job.

    "If someone was angry at me, they should go after me. It's not fair to go after my family," Lefkow said.

    She made her first public comments about the murders as Chicago Police released a sketch of two men they would like to interview.

    With a weary voice that cracked with emotion at times, the federal judge told the Chicago Sun-Times that if her job played a role in the murders, then being a judge wasn't worth the cost. But she said she will likely return to the bench and will not let the killers keep her away.

    "Nobody is going to intimidate me off of my duty," she said quietly and matter-of-factly.






    'Not a random thing'



    Speaking by phone from an undisclosed area where she is under protective custody, Lefkow said she didn't know if her past dealings with white supremacist Matt Hale played any role in the killings. Hale, who lost a trademark infringement case that was before Lefkow, was convicted of trying to have the judge killed.

    "I don't know whether it has anything to do with Matt Hale or any of his followers, but I do believe it was a hit -- not a random thing. I do . . . because of circumstances I don't want to talk about," Lefkow said.

    Her "great fear," she said, is that the slayings are linked to her work.

    "I fear that to be true, and that's the great tragedy of it," Lefkow said. "I aspired to this position. I've always been, I think, a dedicated public servant. And I enjoyed the work, and I do enjoy what I do. But if I'd known it would cause this to happen, no, it isn't worth it."

    Lefkow came home after work Monday to find a pool of blood in her family's basement on Lakewood Avenue. She summoned police, and the bodies of her husband, lawyer Michael Lefkow, 64, and her mother, Donna Humphrey, 89, were discovered on the floor. Each had been shot to death.

    Donna Humphrey, who used a walker and canes, had come to Chicago from Colorado to live with the Lefkows. Michael Lefkow was still recovering from Achilles' tendon surgery.

    "It's just so cruel," Lefkow said. "He was on crutches after some surgery, and they didn't have a chance. It was just coldblooded. Who would do this? I'm just furious.... They're just two very decent, hardworking people who were struck down for no reason. No reason."

    Chicago Police said Wednesday they were seeking two men in connection with the slayings. The first man -- described as white, 5-foot-8 to 6-foot, in his mid-20s with strawberry blond hair -- was seen north of the house near a car



    The second also was white, with hazel eyes, in his 50s or 60s, and was 5-foot-10 to 6-foot, large build, and wearing dark green coveralls, a black watch cap and a grayish green coat. He was seen by witnesses near the side of the house, police said.

    On the day of the murders, a witness told investigators he saw two men with short, military-style haircuts sitting in a car in a no-parking zone on the Lefkows' block around 8 a.m.

    As police were drawing up the sketches Wednesday, investigators were questioning Hale, a federal source said. He was removed from his cell at the downtown federal lockup for the interview, which lasted only a brief period, the source said. Hale, who was convicted last year and is still awaiting sentencing, was not eager to cooperate.

    "It didn't break the case,'' the source said.

    Sources cautioned that it's too early to classify the investigation in any one way, saying they're still looking at many different options in addition to a hate group.

    "Nothing could be fast enough progress for me," Lefkow said in her interview with the Sun-Times. "I know they're working on it, and it's a top priority investigation."

    Lefkow confirmed reports in the Sun-Times that she received phone calls Sunday night from a correctional facility, but she said she did not believe they came from the Metropolitan Correctional Center where Hale is being held.

    Hale's brother David Hale said the family was scheduled to have their first phone call with his brother since the murders Thursday morning. David Hale, 36, said investigators interviewed him Tuesday about his whereabouts the day of the murders and that he told them he was at work.

    Judge urges more security



    People who sat in on just one day of the Hale trials said Wednesday they also had been approached for interviews by investigators.

    In fact, Hale is not the only defendant to have made a threat on Lefkow's life. In 2004, three weeks after he was declared mentally fit to stand trial on charges he shot a cop, Daniel Salley went off on a bizarre diatribe in Lefkow's court that ended with this statement directed at the judge: "You can run but you can't hide. You reap what you have sown."

    Salley remains in custody.

    A federal judge in Chicago made a call Wednesday for stepped-up security at the homes of other judges, saying Washington needs to give more guidance and more money for protection.

    Said she wasn't worried



    U.S. District Judge Wayne Andersen, who visited Joan Lefkow at the police station the night her husband and mother were found slain, said he wants more direction on how to protect himself and his family.

    "I think this horrible tragedy has got to be a catalyst for what can we do to protect ourselves and our families outside of these buildings," Andersen said.

    On Wednesday night, the block where the Lefkows lived remained cordoned off by police tape, open only to those who lived there. Investigators were still scouring the neighborhood for clues, using flashlights to look through shrubs on a nearby block.

    Lefkow had stepped-up security provided for her during the Hale case, but that ended when Hale was taken into custody. She said she wasn't worried about her safety after Hale was locked up.

    "No, we really haven't had any signs," she said. "At around the time that broke two years ago, there were no approaches to our house that we ever saw. And we eventually went back to living life as usual."

    Lefkow said her current protective custody could continue for some time. She is preparing for the funerals, set for Saturday morning in Evanston. The couple's four daughters have assembled in town. Michael Lefkow also has a fifth daughter from a previous relationship.

    "They sob and they laugh about good things that happened and their dad's nutty behavior and various things," Lefkow said of their daughters. "But they're heartbroken. They're heartbroken."

    One daughter is to be married this summer, a ceremony Michael Lefkow was eagerly awaiting.

    'He won't be able to do that'



    "I think one of the most tragic things about this is that our first child was to be married this summer," Lefkow said. "He had gotten himself a tux to wear to the wedding, and was so looking forward to walking his daughter down the aisle. And now he won't be able to do that. The daughters cry and say, 'I never had a grandfather, and I wanted my children to have a grandfather.' "

    Lefkow said her fellow judges have been very supportive, and several judges -- including U.S. District Court Chief Judge Charles Kocoras -- showed up at a North Side police station Monday night to be with her.

    "They're a wonderfully supportive community," she said. "They're all outraged and heartbroken for me."

    Anyone in Chicago with tips about the case can call 311. Outside the Chicago area, the number is (312) 744-5000.
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    Last edited by MIKEYLIKESIT; 03-03-2005 at 05:51 PM.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    Sorry to keep posting on this, but this is a nationwide manhunt. Killing a Federal Judges family should outrage all of us.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    Hale denies involvement in murders
    March 3, 2005

    BY MIKE ROBINSON ASSOCIATED PRESS



    Jailed white supremacist Matthew Hale said Thursday the shooting deaths of a federal judge's husband and elderly mother are a "heinous crime" that "only an idiot" would think he ordered, according a statement released by his mother.

    "There is no way that any supporter of mine could commit such a heinous crime," Hale said in the statement, released through his mother after her weekly telephone call to him at Chicago's Metropolitan Correctional Center. "I totally condemn it and I want the perpetrator caught and prosecuted."

    The shootings at U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow's home came a month before Hale was to be sentenced by another judge for soliciting an undercover FBI informant to murder Lefkow. Lefkow had ordered Hale to change the name of his extremist group as part of a trademark lawsuit.


    "I only hope they sincerely wish to apprehend the animal instead of railroading the innocent," Hale said. "Only an idiot would think I would do this."

    Lefkow arrived home after work Monday to find the bodies of her husband, Michael Lefkow, 64, and her mother, Donna Humphrey, 89, in a pool of blood in the basement.

    Lefkow vowed Wednesday to return to the bench. "Nobody is going to intimidate me off my duty," she told the Chicago Sun-Times in an interview published Thursday.

    The judge said she always knew her job could put her at risk but never thought it would endanger her family.

    "I think we all sort of go into this thinking it's a possibility, but you don't think it's going to happen to you because it's so unthinkable," she told the Chicago Tribune in an interview published Thursday.

    Lefkow is now in protective custody along with her four daughters.

    Police released sketches late Wednesday of two men, saying they want to interview them based on witness statements. One, a man in his mid-20s, was seen in a car near the Lefkow home. The other, a man in his 50s, was wearing dark coveralls and a dark knit cap. Both are white.

    FBI agents investigating the slayings were focusing on white supremacist groups, and a federal grand jury was convened to issue subpoenas, the Tribune reported, citing unidentified sources.

    Hale's father, retired East Peoria police officer Russell Hale, said he also spoke to his son by telephone for about 15 minutes Thursday morning. The younger Hale is despondent over the turn of events and "knows it's going to bode terribly bad for him if they don't find out who did this," Russell Hale said.

    Jail officials moved Hale this week from a cell with a radio and legal materials he used while serving as his own attorney to a cell with nothing but a bed, sink and toilet, his father said. He said jail officials gave no reason for the move.

    Russell Hale said neither he nor his son have any idea who is behind the killings.

    "Anything's possible. It could be people in other organizations that want to put it on Matthew," he said. "Whoever did it were animals, I don't care who they were."

    Authorities questioned Hale on Tuesday, and he denied any involvement in the killings, his father said.

    Hale's father said he has not been contacted by the FBI, but other relatives have, including his son and ex-wife. Family members say the FBI has inquired about the whereabouts of relatives when Lefkow's husband and mother were killed.

    Hale's mother, Evelyn Hutcheson, told The New York Times that federal agents who visited her home in East Peoria on Tuesday had asked whether Hale communicated in code from prison. The newspaper reported that she also said the FBI questioned a friend of Hale's who lives in a Chicago suburb.

    Federal agents this week also interviewed Hal Turner, a white-supremacist radio host from New Jersey, the Times reported.

    "They wanted to know if I had any information about the killing, and they wanted to know where I was when the killing took place," Turner told the paper.

    Both victims had been shot multiple times, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office, and a source told the AP that police found two .22-caliber casings at the scene. Investigators believe the victims were forced to lie on the basement floor before being shot, the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday.

    A federal source who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity said a shard of glass from a broken window in the home contained a fingerprint and was flown to Washington for examination. The source said police also were analyzing a bloody footprint left at the home.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    Originally posted by MIKEYLIKESIT
    Hale denies involvement in murders
    March 3, 2005

    BY MIKE ROBINSON ASSOCIATED PRESS



    Jailed white supremacist Matthew Hale said Thursday the shooting deaths of a federal judge's husband and elderly mother are a "heinous crime" that "only an idiot" would think he ordered, according a statement released by his mother.

    "There is no way that any supporter of mine could commit such a heinous crime," Hale said in the statement, released through his mother after her weekly telephone call to him at Chicago's Metropolitan Correctional Center. "I totally condemn it and I want the perpetrator caught and prosecuted."



    "I only hope they sincerely wish to apprehend the animal instead of railroading the innocent," Hale said. "Only an idiot would think I would do this."

    Didn't OJ say the same kinds of things????
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
    We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
    IACOJ

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    Outraged is putting it mildly Mikey....I hope the cops find these two tools quickly and I hope they resist arrest.
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

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    Moe, maybe they should let the TPD and LCSO have a go at them with the Tasers.........
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
    We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
    IACOJ

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