Monday, December 25, 2017

Dangerous Decision by Sheriff Prim?

Has McHenry County Sheriff Bill Prim made a dangerous decision regarding the safety of drivers and pedestrians in McHenry County, as well as that of deputies?

Rooftop emergency lights have been replaced on some squad cars with inside, behind-the-windshield emergency lights. Taking them off the roof of the squad car lowers them and reduces their visibility. While a driver immediately in front of a squad car won't miss the lights in his rearview mirror, other drivers may not see them quickly enough, especially at intersections.

On Thursday, Dec. 7*, a female deputy was involved in a crash. The deputy and others were conveyed to Centegra Hospital-McHenry by ambulances. Was the squad car one of those with the "new" emergency-light configuration?

And just a few months ago two deputies were involved in crashes while responding to the same call. One was a supervisor. Did either squad car have the new, inside lights? As I recall, one of the crashes was at Hwy. 47 & McHenry Ave., and the other was at Hwy. 14 and Lake Ave. Were the deputy drivers at fault in one or both of those accidents? Were they cited? (OK, you can stop laughing now.)

What do deputies think about the new deal? Do they like it? Do the squad cars now look "cooler" with no emergency lights on the roof? Can deputies follow a driver without being immediately identified as being in a squad car? Most deputies don't work traffic, where hidden emergency lights might be a benefit.

Most deputies respond to calls and use emergency lights to pass slower traffic and pass legally through red lights and stop signs. State law allows that, but the burden is on the deputy to do so in a manner that avoids crashes.

There is a time and place for squad cars without rooftop lights. Drivers of those cars should receive special and advanced training regarding reduced visibility.

This past week I passed three marked squad cars on a two-lane road. The officers were parked at 1/4-mile intervals with their overheads on. The lights on those particular cars, belonging to Forest Acres (S.C.) PD, were so bright that it was almost impossible to see around them. This caused traffic in both directions to slow almost to a crawl. There was no doubt about safety (unless, of course, an officer had stepped into the path of a passing vehicle, not realizing that a passing driver would not see him in time).

I invite MCSO deputies to email me at and let me know what you think of the new lights. Like them? Dislike them? Why? You can rest assured that your identity will not be revealed. Or post your comment below this article.

Readers may remember when former Sheriff Nygren tried to force me to reveal the names of all former and present (in 2010) employees of the Sheriff's Department who were feeding information to me, as part of Zane Seipler's lawsuit in Federal Court to get his job back. A subpoena was mailed to me, and I filed a Motion to Quash pro se. When I appeared in court, the judge asked me one or two questions and then turned on the sheriff's attorney, telling her that she was just on a "fishing expedition" (his words) and that the subpoena had nothing to do with Seipler's case. Sweeter words were never heard by me in a courtroom: "Mr. Philpott, you have won your Motion."

* The original article incorrectly reported that this crash happened on December 23. Clarification was added about the subpoena from Nygren's attorney, which I considered an attempt to bully me.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Beth Bentley - Missing 396 Weeks (7 yrs. 7 mos.)

There was a lot of activity in Judge Chmiel's courtroom on Thursday, December 21, in the case related to the probate of Beth Bentley's Estate. Did anyone (besides lawyers) go?

The probate case is No. 17PR000295. You can follow it at

The entries in court records for December 21, 2017 are:


These documents are all public record. Anyone can go to the McHenry County Courthouse, 3rd floor, and read them on the Court's computer system, without charge. If you want to buy printed copies, the cost will be $2.00/page.

On August 28, 2017, there was filed a PETITION-TESTAMENTARY.

Somewhere in the process Beth is going to have to be declared dead. She hasn't been seen or heard of for more than seven years. It seems to me that a Petition should have been filed for a Presumption of Death Order before the Estate was ever opened for probate, but the court must have accepted it among other papers.

If she had a Will, the Will can be read at the courthouse. I thought I had read a newspaper article that she did not have a Will. If not, then she will have died intestate. But since the August 28 filing reads TESTAMENTARY, I wonder whether there was a Will. If there was a Will, it can be read as filed.

The name of her husband at the time of her disappearance, Scott Bentley, appears in online court records as Independent Administrator of her Estate.

The lawyer for the estate is Guy Youman, of Rupp & Youman.

The Illinois Attorney General is listed as ATTORNEY - INTEREST OF. Is this normal in cases of Petitions for Presumption of Death? Or is the State interested for another reason?

The ORDER-IMPOUND may be related to any records from law enforcement agencies that police want withheld from the public view while they continue their investigation.

On December 1 Judge Chmiel issued a HIPAA QUALIFIED PROTECTIVE ORDER. There were rumors in 2010 of a health condition of Beth that, if true, would have interested police investigators. Could this Order impede a police investigation that could proceed after a Presumption of Death Petition is granted?

The Illinois State Police have assigned FOIA Response No. 17-2930 to my FOIA request, filed December 18, for the location at which suspected human remains were found in Jefferson County by the Illinois State Police. Several people from southern Illinois have told me where police activity was on December 4, but I'm waiting for official response.

The address of the property visited by Jenn Wyatt and Beth Bentley on that May 21-23, 2010 week-end is 17974 N. Miller Lake Road. It's a Mt. Vernon (Ill.) mailing address, but the house is in Jefferson County, outside the city limits of Mt. Vernon. According to the house was on and off the market. The listing and sales activity from shows
December 2010
6/13/10 Listed by Century 21 $126,000
7/31/10 Listing removed
8/5/14 Listed by owner $156,900
5/28/15 Listed by Century 21 $156,900
6/26/15 Pending sale $156,900
8/7/15 Back on market $156.900
9/9/15 Price change (-5.4%)
1/19/16 Pending sale $148,500
3/4/16 Sold $142,500

The Zillow information may or may not be complete.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Court Should Delay Issuing Death Certificate

A Petition for Presumption of Death in the disappearance of Benedetta (Beth) Bentley has apparently been filed in the McHenry County Circuit Court. It seems to be part of the probate filing on August 28 in Case No. 17PR000295.

Burned human remains were found on December 4th in Jefferson County, Ill. by the Illinois State Police, and the Woodstock (Ill.) Police Department has referred to the Beth Bentley in a press release about the ISP finding. In my opinion, it is unusual for police to refer to any particular missing-person case after remains are found, in the absence of positive identification.

The location at which the burned human remains were found may have something to do with the decision at the Woodstock Police Department to report a possible connection to Beth Bentley, who reportedly failed to return to Woodstock on May 24, 2010 from a week-end jaunt to the Mt. Vernon, Ill. area.

It may be possible to determine whose remains have been found through DNA testing.

The next court date for the probate filing is this Thursday, December 21, 9:30AM, in Judge Chmiel's courtroom, Room 202, 2200 N. Seminary, Woodstock. The hearing should be open to the public. Hopefully, reporters will be there.

If Judge Chmiel has not already granted the Petition, he should delay it until the remains have been identified. If they turn out to be those of Beth Bentley, then an investigation into the cause and manner of her death must be intensified.

Finding these remains seven-and-one-half years after her disappearance cannot be the result of coincidence. The State Police didn't just "happen" upon them. Once the location is disclosed, one big question may be "Why wasn't that location searched then?"

If the remains were found on December 4 as a result of new information or a tip, the source of the information should be protected. It has been my opinion for more than seven years that a number of people know exactly what happened to Beth. If one of them is talking now, the others won't be happy about it.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Is your OneDrive out?

Do you use

How's it working for you today? I haven't been to access it since early this morning. At first, I thought it might be computer, so I re-started it and then turned off and back on. Still nothing. Tried a second computer. Same problem.

Then I found and found that there seems to be a very wide outage for OneDrive in different parts of the world.

You can see a world outage map here and then click on the button at the upper right to view an outage chart.

Have the hackers been at work? China? North Korea? Oh, I know. The Russians.

Remains - where found?

The press release that appeared on the Facebook page of the Illinois State Police (ISP) District 13/DuQuoin about the burned human remains found in Jefferson County, Ill. and published later the same day in the Northwest Herald doesn't reveal where the remains were found. It says only "rural Jefferson County (Ill.)".

It seems to me that the location could be disclosed without harming any investigation. And so today I emailed a Freedom of Information Act Request to the Illinois State Police headquarters in Springfield. Why there?

Back in about 2013, when I tried to get information from the DuQuoin district office, I was informed that all FOIA requests must go to Springfield headquarters.

Filing the request starts the clock ticking. ISP will have a certain number of days to reply. And reply it must, even if only to deny the request. Then a Request for Review can be submitted to the Illinois Secretary of State's Public Access Counselor. All this takes time; perhaps in the meantime the Woodstock Police or the ISP will disclose the location.

As I wrote recently, it is very unusual for police to associate the finding of human remains with any missing person case, until a positive identification has been made. There must be solid grounds for doing so in this case.

Were the remains found on the property outside of Mt. Vernon owned by a Woodstock resident and in the possession of his sons? At this property?

Or were the remains found nearby, in the vicinity of Miller Lake?

And what happened to the $5,000 Reward that was offered in June 2010?

Was any of it ever paid out? Where is the $5,000 today?

Friday, December 15, 2017

If it's Beth ...

If the Illinois State Police are able to confirm that the remains found on a rural property in Jefferson County, Ill. are those of Beth Bentley, it certainly will create an interesting situation for Jennifer Wyatt-Paplham.

As you may recall, Jenn told police that she drove Beth to the Centralia (Ill.) Amtrak Station on Sunday afternoon, May 23, 2010. Police charged Jenn with Obstruction of Justice after they believed she had spoken with Beth on May 25. Those charged were dropped.

While speculation is rampant that the remains could be Beth's, one needs to remember that the police usually do not associate the finding of remains with any particular missing person, until a positive identification has been made.

How long can it take to identify the remains?

Hopefully, the Illinois State Police will soon release the rural location. That will go a long way in raising or lowering hopes.

Beth Bentley Probate filed in August

When I posted yesterday about the news release pertaining to suspected human remains in Jefferson County, Illinois, which includes the Mount Vernon area, I made an assumption that the Illinois State Police had made the news release. I first found it on the Facebook page for Illinois State Police District 13 (DuQuoin), after a southern Illinois follower of this blog emailed me.

Upon reflection I paid closer attention to the Woodstock, Ill. source line, and then the Northwest Herald published the release at 4:37PM yesterday.

The remains were found, according to the article, on December 4 at an as-yet undisclosed rural location in Jefferson County. At this time it is unknown to me whether the remains were found on the property visited by Beth and Jenn Wyatt during their get-away week-end in May 2010.

In the past, when remains have been found in southern Illinois, law enforcement officials were careful not to associate them with a name of a missing person until a positive identification could be made.

The news release repeats the "Amtrak story" that many quickly felt was "fake news". I think there is only one person on the planet who thinks that Beth went to Centralia to take a train to Chicago, and I wonder whether she really believes it. That story would be a good subject for a polygraph.

Several years ago pieces of a burned brassiere were found in a burn pit by a downstate woman who was searching for Beth. I never learned at the time if the pieces were turned over to law enforcement authorities.

On August 22 I wrote a long article on this blog about Beth and mentioned the seven-year statute for filing a Presumption of Death Petition. At that time there was no record in the McHenry County Circuit Court online records of any legal activity beyond attempts in 2012 and 2014 by two apparent creditors to collect monies owed by Beth.

On August 28 a court filing (17PR000295) was made to open Beth's Probate Estate. Reading of this filing yesterday caused me to wonder when, or if, a Petition for a Presumption of Death Determination had been filed, heard or granted. You can follow this case on

On October 24 a Motion of some type was filed in this case.

On December 1 a Motion was filed and granted for a Protective Order. I've been watching court cases for years and this is the first time I've seen a Protective Order in an estate matter.

On December 5 a Hearing was conducted by Judge Chmiel on a Petition pertaining to Administration of the Estate. Could this be the Presumption of Death Petition?

On December 21 at 9:30AM Judge Chmiel will hear more on a/the Petition pertaining to Administration.

On October 16, 2018 Judge Chmiel will conduct a conference in the Estate matter. This is probably scheduled as a routine court date six weeks before a normal Estate closing hearing.

If there is a local reader who would like to go to the courthouse and read the October 24, December 1 and December 5 Motions, I would appreciate your assistance. If I were in McHenry County, I would go. I don't need copies of the Motions, unless they warrant close inspection. They are available online through a paid-for subscription that attorneys maintain.

Please contact me for authorization regarding a purchase of any court documents. Confidentiality assured. Email or call 847/971-7083.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Possible news - Beth Bentley Disappearance in 2010

The following new item appears on the Facebook page for the Illinois State Police District 13 DuQuoin. It seems to me that they must have a pretty strong feeling that the remains could be Beth's, or they would not mention a name at all. Click on the link to go directly to the original ISP Facebook posting. If you are not reading this on December 14, scroll to the December 14th postings.

There are many articles on this blog about Beth, who went missing in May 2010. Rather than re-hash them at this time, you can search on this blog for "Bentley" and read them, if you wish to do so.

It has been my contention for seven years that there are more than a few people in Woodstock and in McHenry County who know exactly what happened to Beth.

27 mins · 
Woodstock, Illinois – The Illinois State Police (ISP) and Woodstock Police Department (WPD) are seeking additional information related to the 2010 disappearance of Benedetta “Beth” Bentley.
On May 23, 2010, a friend reportedly dropped off Beth Bentley at an Amtrak Station in Centralia, Illinois. Bentley was reportedly taking a train back to her home located in Woodstock, Illinois. Bentley did not return home and was reported missing. Information was developed which led the ISP to a rural location in Jefferson County. On December 4, 2017, suspected human remains were recovered at the location. Investigators are working to positively identify the remains which were badly burned. The ISP and Woodstock PD are actively investigating Bentley’s disappearance.
Anyone with information about the disappearance of Benedetta “Beth” Bentley is encouraged to contact the ISP at 618-542-2171 or the WPD at 815-338-2131.
This is still an open and ongoing investigation. No further information is available
Jefferson County is where the house was that Beth and Jenn Wyatt supposedly spent the week-end with two brothers with Woodstock family relatives. This may turn out to be another false alarm. Expect more information on the ISP page.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Boycott Progressive Insurance?

Are you insured by Progressive Insurance?

If so, you'll want to read what Dennis Prager has to say about George Soros and Peter Lewis, who is the chairman of Progressive Insurance.

Read it here:

How do you feel about these efforts to destroy America?


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Best police recruiting video

You have to go to New Zealand to find the world's best police recruiting video. American cities have tried their own, but they won't top this one. Enjoy!