Friday, February 3, 2017

Some criminal acts won’t wither away

Crime is all about us, and sometimes we get a quick resolution.
Tinley Park P.D. still searching

Either the so-called stick-up man falls asleep in the getaway car, or does something else absurd (think of those people now sitting in Cook County Jail on criminal charges they beat a mentally-retarded man, and videotaped it to post on Facebook) to give themselves away.

BUT MANY TIMES, we don’t get the quick resolution. Sometimes, we never get an official end to a case – even though the masses of us have to figure out a way to get on with our lives; or else we’d be a neurotic mess if a lifetime’s worth of horrors accumulated.

What brought this to mind was a pair of stories that turned up this week about criminal acts from a decade or so ago that technically remain unsolved to this day.

Although in one case, the man many suspect of committing the crime is now “doing the time” (remember “Baretta?”) has been in prison for several years and likely will rot away what remains of his life at the Menard Correctional Center in Southern Illinois.

We’re talking about Drew Peterson, the one-time Bolingbrook cop who a decade ago was all over the news because of the disappearance of wife number four, whom he married not long after wife number three died drowned.

THAT DEATH INITIALLY was thought to be accidental, but was later ruled a homicide, and Peterson is now serving a 38-year prison term for it, along with more prison time he picked up for supposedly trying to hire someone to kill the state’s attorney who prosecuted him.

But the disappearance of wife number four, Stacy, remains an unsolved incident, even though Peterson’s son, Stephen (himself a former police officer in Oak Brook) said recently during the “Monster in My Family” program on the Lifetime cable TV network he now thinks his dad killed his step-mother Stacy.

Not that he knows anything specific that would result in a resolution of the case – the public’s suspicions that “Drew did it” may well linger on for decades to come.
Peterson still rotting in prison

Although I’m sure the Lifetime network will be the big beneficiary. They are, after all, the same one that gave us that 2012 film “Untouchable” that purported to be the Peterson story starring actor Rob Lowe in the lead role, Maybe they’ll find new reasons to keep putting the Peterson saga on television?

THERE ALSO REMAINS the incident that in some minds will forevermore cling to the name of the Lane Bryant chain of clothing stores – the slaying of five women at a store in suburban Tinley Park that occurred nine years ago Thursday.

Officials in Will County (the crime occurred just right across the county line from Cook) say they’ve chased down some 7,000 leads, and Tinley Park police have one detective who remains on the investigation.

Not that there has ever been anything close to an arrest. Or the finding of anyone who bears a resemblance to those police sketches of the man who supposedly forced six women into a backroom of the store, then shot them with a pistol.

Five died. One survived.

THIS INCIDENT STICKS in my mind because my mother at the time lived in Tinley Park just a few short minutes drive from the store, and I remember trying to visit her that day only to encounter local police who were searching everyone in the area.

I had to justify to a cop that my mother actually lived nearby. Then again, I later learned the shootings had occurred within the past half hour.

The frustrating part is that I really don’t know any more about this criminal incident now than I did that day. The rumor mills out in the suburbs have spewed their share of stories and theories about what happened that day.

But for those with a direct interest in the case, they don’t even get the Drew Peterson outcome – that sense of someone being locked up for a differing crime!


No comments: