Since the first reports of Chicago police torture
surfaced a quarter
century ago the
list has swelled to
nearly 200 cases
involving dozens of
public employees—and still no one has
been prosecuted.
Now, with the
results of a four-year,
dollar investigation
due any day, here’s
a guide by staff reporter John Conroy to the key
figures in the
Some of them
may look familiar.

Fred Rice

AP/Wide World Photos

Leroy Martin

Bill St. James

Lawrence Hyman

Richard M. Daley

AP/Wide World Photos

Jack O’Malley

Dick Devine

AP/Stephen J. Carrera


As police superintendent in 1984
received report from the Office of
Professional Standards (OPS) on
allegations of electrical torture
made within the previous 12
months. The document, compiled
by OPS supervisors, mentioned
Burge and three incidents
from Area Two—not including
the Andrew Wilson case and others
that occurred earlier—in
addition to allegations of electric
shock in Districts 1, 9, 11, 14, 19,
and 20. Subsequently gave Burge
a double promotion—from lieutenant,
skipping the rank of captain—to deputy commander. In
1992 testified as character witness
for Burge at Police Board
hearings, saying he had no
regrets about the promotion.


Burge’s supervisor as commander
of Area Two in 1983, during
which time torture continued. As
superintendent of police in 1990
received two OPS reports on torture
at Area Two: one concluded
that Wilson had indeed been tortured
with electric shock, the
other stated that physical abuse
was “systematic” at Area Two
under Burge’s command and
that it “included psychological
techniques and planned torture.”
Sat on these reports for more
than a year, finally ordering
administrative hearings, which
resulted in Burge’s dismissal in
February 1993. Now chief of
investigations for Cook County
medical examiner.


As high-ranking assistant state’s
attorney failed to ask brothers
Andrew and Jackie Wilson if
their confessions had been given
voluntarily, a highly unusual
mistake for any experienced
prosecutor but particularly one
interviewing a cop killer. Did he
have evidence of torture in
February 1982? If he did and if
he’d exposed it then, would the
torture have ceased? Took the
Fifth before the Burge grand
jury. May be the John Doe now
asking the Illinois Supreme
Court to block publication of the
special prosecutor’s report. (See
What Does John Doe Know,”
June 9, 2006.)


More than 50 men alleged that
they were tortured by Burge and
his detectives during Daley’s
term as Cook County state’s
attorney, from 1981 to 1989. He
was put on notice several times,
most dramatically in the case of
Andrew Wilson. Photographs of
Wilson’s stitches, burns, and alligator-
clip wounds made compelling
evidence in court, underlined
by Hyman’s failure to ask if
Wilson had given his statement
voluntarily. Received copy of letter
from Dr. John Raba, who as
medical director of Cermak
Hospital examined Wilson’s
injuries, urging police superintendent
Richard Brzeczek to
investigate. Brzeczek told Daley
he had promised to investigate
all cases of police brutality but
did not want to jeopardize
Wilson’s prosecution and asked
for guidance. Daley sent no reply.
Mayor of Chicago since 1989.


As Cook County state’s attorney
from December 1990 to
December 1996 had far more
information than Daley that a
torture ring had been in operation
at Areas Two and Three, and
on his watch torture continued
at Area Three. By March 1994
even the city’s own lawyers had
admitted that torture had taken
place at Area Two. Prosecuted no
one. Currently serving on the
Illinois Appellate Court.


First assistant state’s attorney
under Daley when Wilson and
more than 20 others were tortured.
Went into private practice
in 1983, and in 1989 briefly represented
Burge in Wilson’s civil
suit. Also profited from his firm’s
million-dollar defense of Burge
and fellow detectives, paid for by
the city. After taking the o8ce of
state’s attorney in December
1996 he fought victims’ appeals
relentlessly and moved to quash
the petition to appoint a special
prosecutor despite clear conflict
of interest. Before clearing death
row in 2003, Governor George
Ryan pardoned four Burge victims,
saying not only that they
had been tortured but that they
were innocent, a clear rebuke to
Devine and other prosecutors.
Devine denounced the pardoned
men as “evil.”

An archive of John Conroy’s reporting on the police torture scandal is available at