The Story: Chicago Tribune, April 28

Couple in Custody in Connection With Dismembering of Man, 54 River Grove residents Mark Turnes, 27, and Melissa Brooks, 24, were charged with felony concealment of a homicide after police discovered the body of their tenant on the floor of their bedroom. They told police they’d killed Terry Finucane a month earlier in self-defense.

The Rest of the Story: The body was just lying there on the bedroom floor?

River Grove Police Lieutenant Dennis Raucci: That’s correct. It was covered with a plastic bag.

TROTS: It was in a plastic bag?

Raucci: Not inside, simply lying on the floor covered with a plastic bag.

TROTS: And it was a month old–wasn’t it kind of smelly?

Raucci: It was very smelly. It was smelly and it was ugly.

TROTS: Was the body decomposed?

Raucci: Yes, decomposition was well on the way….There were the inevit-able maggots on the body, there was a lot of discoloration on the skin.

TROTS: This house–it was rather small?

Raucci: It’s approximately the size of a one-car garage.

TROTS: But the couple was living there?

Raucci: They were. In fact, the day we conducted the investigation, the 25th of April, Mr. Turnes had been sleeping in that home.

TROTS: Does that seem odd to you?

Raucci: Very unusual.

TROTS: What was their explanation?

Raucci: There are some conflicts to their stories, but if you sift it down and mush it all together, you got Brooks and the deceased arguing about either money that Brooks owed to Finucane or about the fact that supposedly Turnes and Brooks were unhappy that Finucane allowed a drug dealer to come to their home and sell drugs to him. So whatever the source of the argument, the ultimate outcome was supposedly Finucane arms himself with a knife while he’s arguing with Brooks, and she calls for help. Turnes is in another room and he comes out of the room, pulls Finucane off of Brooks, and while Turnes and Finucane are fighting, Brooks hits Finucane in the head with a baseball bat….At some point in the fight Turnes stabs Finucane in the throat.

TROTS: Was the body cut up into tiny pieces or just a few big pieces?

Raucci: He was dismembered into five parts–torso and head was part number one, then each leg was cut off at about mid-thigh, and his arms were cut off about mid-forearm. So basically the hands were cut off with two or three inches of wrist.

TROTS: Wait a minute, it’s a house the size of a one-car garage and they had a renter?

Raucci: Yeah….I don’t know, I think it was basically a place where this guy crashed. But he paid them rent.

–Cate Plys