According to the latest Chicago Sun-Times article regarding the death of David Koschman, I believe it is time for federal authorities to intervene and investigate the Chicago Police Department’s (CPD) investigation. For the first time, the CPD has revealed that they know who threw the punch that led to the death of Koschman, but they won’t say.
The Chicago Police Department said they have closed the case without asking the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office to charge anyone because they concluded the punch was thrown in self-defense. They released a half-inch-thick stack of documents on Friday, blacking out most names in the reports and then classified it as –
“CLEARED CLOSED / EXCEPTIONALLY.”
According to the same Sun-Times article, though, based on the descriptions found in police reports (made public on Friday) and the accounts given by witnesses and others to the newspaper, they have concluded that the person is Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko. R.J. Vanecko is the nephew of Mayor Richard M. Daley and White House Chief of Staff William Daley. Vanecko, 36, has refused to speak to police on the advice of his criminal-defense lawyers, including Terence Gillespie, according to the police.
As I noted in my previous post, there have been numerous irregularities in this case and after I read the comments made by Richard Kling, a law professor at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, I have to agree that there is something not adding-up here. After my first post, a person who went to college with R.J. Vanecko left a comment and insisted that he was “not a violent person and never has been.” Of course that is entirely possible and Vanecko could be the nicest guy in the world, but I am perplexed as to why R.J. Vanecko, and his friend Craig Denham chose to run away, jump into a cab and head to another bar while Koschman lay bleeding on the ground?
A law-abiding citizen claiming an act of self-defense wouldn’t run, would they? I would think they would have waited for the police to show up and offer their version of the events so that there would be no questions raised later. We are not talking about a young teenager here, he was an adult and should have known that was the right thing to do. If it was self-defense, then all the witnesses were there for immediate corroboration. The fact that he ran and then later showed-up with an altered appearance for a lineup (that was conducted thirty days after the event?), leaves me with doubt. I could be wrong here, but there have been recent revelations made by another witness calling a police interview as a “flat out lie” and that raises the concern that a fair police investigation was not made in this matter.
Even the notion of Koschman, a 5’5″ 140 pound person, charging a 6’3″ 230 pound R.J. Vanecko has me shaking my head in disbelief. I do not doubt that both parties were three sheets to the wind and that Koschman was mouthing-off, but that wouldn’t justify a self-defense claim in my mind. Besides, as the one witness said, Koschman did not charge anyone and that he was punched. So, does a 140 pounds versus 230 pounds sound like a fair fight in the first place? Think about that for just a second and try to visualize that.
Like I said, the damning thing here, at least in my mind, is the fact that Vanecko and Denham ran. Add in the fact that the CPD delayed their investigation and then held a lineup with someone who had changed their appearance, all lead me to believe that there was plenty of time for those involved to “get their stories right” – as well as corrupting the the trail of evidence. And what about that missing felony file? That should have people stepping back and questioning. It is all too convenient and tidy.
I don’t really know what to make of this story, but the fact that the Cook County Medical Examiner ruled it a homicide from the onset, and then you add in the events shortly thereafter on top of a much delayed police investigation (that includes a missing file) would lead me to believe that this case needs another serious look.
Because something still doesn’t sound right with this whole story.
And the time has come to take a deeper look into the Vanecko Investigation.