By Doug Book, staff writer
The Daley’s of Chicago, always a family of ignorant, power hungry thugs, appear to have added murder to the list of their timeless contributions to the Windy City way of life. On April 25th, 2004, 21 year old David Koschman and four friends were drinking in Chicago’s downtown. Upon exiting a club, Koschman bumped into someone from another group which had been covering the bars. A moment later, a member of that party struck Koschman, driving his head into the street causing brain damage from which the young man never recovered. His mother buried him 20 days later, disconnecting life support after 2 failed surgeries to relieve pressure from a brain swelling so severely that it was causing his eyes to be pushed from their sockets. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office called it a homicide.
Seven years passed and on March 5th, after briefly re-opening the case–in order to call it an “open investigation”, thereby preventing the Chicago Sun-Times from issuing a public records request–the Chicago Police Department declared the case closed, refusing to prosecute, refusing to identify the members of the other party and refusing to identify the individual who struck David Koschman. His mother remembers that, in 2004, a condescending police detective, tracked down by the attorney wife of a friend she had asked for help, told her. “you would be impressed by the names of the people involved in this.” Apparently the detective was impressed because R. J. Vanecko, nephew of Mayor Richard Daley, was one of those people.
R.J. Vanecko is the son of Mayor Richard Daley’s sister Mary and Dr. Robert M. Vanecko. He had been drinking that evening with longtime friends and other Daley intimates, Craig Denham, Kevin McCarthy and McCarthy’s wife Bridget. After the blow which cost Koschman his life, Vanecko, Denham and Kevin McCarthy began to run. One of David’s friends tackled McCarthy, detaining him until police arrived. Vanecko and Denham piled into a cab and went to another bar. Heavily redacted police reports were finally made available on March 4th of this year. Although they do not reveal the name of the individual who threw the punch, “…the descriptions they provided and accounts given by witnesses and others to the Chicago Sun-Times make it clear that it was Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko.”
And now for the Chicago way of doing things: police did not interview witnesses until after Koschman had died, nearly 3 weeks after the event; Vanecko has NEVER been questioned, refusing to talk to police; Vanecko shaved his head to change his appearance before appearing at a line-up held ONE MONTH after the crime; witness Michael Connolly claims that police misrepresented his statements to them; the case file is now missing from the public prosecutor’s office; the States Attorney refuses to reveal the name of the prosecutor who decided to neither file charges or ask for a grand jury; the prosecutor’s office claims no charges were filed because the 5’5″, 140 pound Koschman was the aggressor and the 6’3″, 230 pound Vanecko had, “…the right to defend himself”, although witnesses call police claims of Koschman being the aggressor “…a flat-out lie.”
“If the case was there and we could have charged it, we would have charged it, no matter who it is,” said Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Darren O’Brien in a March 4th Sun-Times interview. So Richard Daley’s nephew, R.J. Vanecko received no preferential treatment and will never have to answer for the killing. And as for David Koschman’s mother…at least she can be comforted in the knowledge that her son was murdered by a very important person.
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This day in history March 11
2004: Over 200 people were killed and over 1400 were injured when a series of bombs exploded in Madrid train stations. They were set by Al-Qaeda which achieved its purpose of scaring the Spanish people into electing a cowardly government which knuckled under and withdrew its troops from Iraq as the murderous thugs had demanded of them.
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