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.

Patrick Fitzgerald

AP/Charles Dharapak


Victims’ lawyers don’t expect the
special prosecutor’s report to
contain indictments. They speculate
that Egan will say that the
statute of limitations precludes
state charges, and that the prosecutors’
job was made extremely
difficult when so many witnesses—police officers, former prosecutors,
and perhaps even sitting
judges and active prosecutors—took the Fifth rather than testify
before the grand jury.

But Egan’s report may provide
the pry bar needed to get new
trials. It may also lead to federal
prosecutions for civil rights violations,
violations of the RICO
statute, and possibly perjury. The
key audience for the report, after
an investment of four years and
millions of dollars, may be the
U.S. attorney, the person who
can make a case for prosecutions
on the federal level.

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