“House of Screams” Revisited – Chicago Reader

In January 1990 Chicago Reader She did something different about herself: she launched a crusade. But even though John Conroy’screaming houseIt was the first of 23 articles he wrote about Commander John Berg and police torture, at the time he and reader He wouldn’t have guessed it would be there until a second. The subject of police torture was so intriguing, Conroy assumed that the dailies would take over and take over.

“House of Screams” was Conroy’s accurate description of the problems of a person who was impossible to care about. Andrew Wilson was arrested in 1982 for the murder of two police officers who had stopped his car. Absurdly, Wilson appeared as victim number three. He insisted that after his arrest he was brutally treated at District 2 Police Headquarters, and electric shocks were among the most sinister tactics used. The scars on Wilson’s body supported him. Furthermore, his lawyers, from the People’s Law Office, discovered other suspects in unrelated investigations who claimed that they had been similarly tortured in the same location.

Like Andrew Wilson, they were convicted of murder. Unlike Wilson, many were not necessarily guilty. “You men under sentence of death!” Conroy says today. “We were sure the dailies would pick up on this.”

Wilson sued the city, the suit went to trial, and six weeks later, the first trial ended, in 1989, with the trial set aside. Conroy was there every day. The retrial took eight weeks, and the jury came to a strange conclusion: Yes, Chicago had a de facto policy of mistreating suspected cop killers; And yes, Wilson’s constitutional rights were violated. But no, it is not necessarily violated because Of this policy – the jury chairman told Conroy that the alarming scars may have been due to the “emotional outrage” of the police. Berg, who was leading the District 2’s violent crimes unit, and the other defendants under him were all acquitted.

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