Saturday, April 7, 2012

Special Prosecutor in 7-year-old case

Should a special prosecutor be appointed to thoroughly investigate the June deaths of Jack and Audrey Feldkamp and Doran Bloom?

The Associated Press has reported "the appointment of a special prosecutor in Cook County to investigate the 2004 death of a man during an altercation with a nephew of former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley." The Northwest Herald copy of the AP story can be read here.

What helped Judge Michael Toomin make his decision?

Allegations of police misconduct in the initial investigation.
Ignoring or falsely recording witness statements
Labeling the victim as the aggressor
Appearance of institutional conflict

The Chicago Sun-Times carried a series of articles containing questions about the investigation by the Chicago Police Department, which decided it was a case of self-defense. The Illinois State Police began looking into the case in March 2011 but "backed out days later without explanation."

What McHenry County case immediately came to mind, when I read that  this morning? In June 2011 Jack and Audrey Feldkamp were stabbed in their home near Marengo, and Doran Bloom was shot to death by Scott Feldkamp, who accused Bloom of having stabbed the senior Feldkamps.

Sheriff Nygren quickly returned to McHenry County and held a press conference, from which local bloggers were excluded. He announced "what happened", repeating Scott Feldkamp's version. Without supporting facts, he blamed Bloom's mental illness for the Feldkamp deaths. In effect, the case was closed.

The report of the McHenry County Sheriff's Department is, in the words of an expert who has read the file, one of the worst examples of a report involving a triple homicide that he had ever seen. The file contains no extensive detail of any "investigation". There are many unanswered questions about what happened.

In one strange twist of circumstances, the inquests into the deaths of Jack Feldkamp and Doran Bloom were conducted in Winnebago County, rather than in McHenry County, where the deaths occurred. Audrey Feldkamp died in a Rockford Hospital, and the McHenry County Coroner's Office decided to go to Rockford for its two inquests. State law seems to require that inquests are held in the county in which the death occurred, and the jurors on the inquest panel are to be from the county in which the death occurred. Yet that was not done in for the Jack Feldkamp and Doran Bloom inquests.

The Winnebago County Coroner uses a "professional" jury - the same people, time after time. In fact, for the inquests, it convened two hours before the announced starting time and considered all the evidence it wished to consider. At the appointed time, the inquests were convened, open to the public as required by law, and the jury merely announced its findings. But the public was excluded from the presentation of the evidence.

Afterwards, I objected to Coroner Fiduccia, and she said I was one of only a very few people who had objected to her manner of doing things during her many years in office. Well, her "manner" of doing things is wrong - probably unlawful. Why does she do it that way, and why don't others object?


Know better said...

My word Mr. Gus. Why would you say such bad things about our hard working police.

Gus said...

Start reading the 260+-page MCSD report into the triple homicide last June. You'll get a sense of why I say such "bad things".

What if it didn't happen the way that the report relates? What if it didn't happen the way that the Sheriff so quickly said it did? What if?