RichardWanke.Com

  • Attorney Desperately Needed!!!

    Since 2008, the murder of Attorney Gregory Clark has been the single highest-profile unsolved murder in Winnebago County, IL and an overall priority case statewide. Richard Wanke’s prosecution will now become the highest-profile criminal case prosecution in Winnebago County and be followed closely by regional, if not national media. It is doubtful that Richard Wanke has any chance of receiving an impartial trial in the Rockford community as he has been tried in the local media, in community electoral politics, and in the legal community now since 2008.

    Richard needs top-level, competent legal trial representation. He has past conflicts with the Winnebago County Public Defender’s office, so it will not be able to represent him. The conflict counsel representation available by Winnebago County is extremely limited and likely conflicted as well. It is critical for Richard to immediately find unbiased, conflict-free representation, probably from outside the Rockford legal community.

    Richard desperately needs an experienced private criminal defense trial attorney or law firm willing to defend him to avoid the further injustice of spending the rest of his life behind bars. We know that this is a financially rougher time for attorneys in general, but we hope that Richard can find an committed attorney to undertake his case because his is the only true protection the criminal justice system has available to offer.

    If there is the possibility that you can offer any assistance, please call Diane at (815) 980-6582, immediately! Thank-you!

    Click here to help.

  • Four Years of Injustice!

    Read our summarization of the events of the 5 year old investigation to date and our perspective as to why the allegations made against Richard Wanke, and Diane Chavez, are wrong. Please click on the tab on "Year Five: Where the Clark Murder Investigation Stands" in the top left center area of this page to read why we believe the investigation went astray and not only needs to be redone, but the charges against Diane Chavez also immediately dropped.
  • Richard Needs Your Help on Appeal!

    Richard is filing a post-conviction petition, and needs help. Please click on the "Help Needed" tab to read further. You can find all of his appeal court filings by clicking on the tab "Richard's Appeal Briefs.
  • Massive Clark Murder Investigation Fails to Link Richard or Diane

    Incidentally, the State's evidence comprising it's case against Richard and Diane (consisting of over 700 pages containing over 200 individual Rockford police reports and evidence summations) has been reviewed by an authoritative source who found nothing contained in that information which links either Richard or Diane to any involvement in Clark's murder other than the original claimed "witness reports" in February 2008. No DNA, no fingerprints, no weapon, no gunpowder residue, no questionable contacts, phone records, or transactions: nothing, zilch....
  • Why does this blog exist?

    On February 6, 2008, our friends, Richard Wanke and Diane Chavez, were arrested in alleged connection to the murder of a well-respected, local attorney, Gregory Clark. The vague scenario the Rockford police have submitted is problematic and more than five years later; the Rockford police still haven't been able to build enough of a case to charge Richard or Diane (or anyone else) with anything connected to the murder. We know Richard and Diane as gentle people; local community activists, who routinely participate in volunteer projects in the community. We hope, for the sake of our friends, and the family and friends of attorney Gregory Clark, that the Rockford police will rethink their current course and renew effort toward finding the real truth in this case.
  • How the Police Investigation of the Greg Clark Murder Went Astray

    The scenario on Wednesday, February 8, 2008, about 1:50 pm in the afternoon:

    The snow fall in Rockford, Illinois began the evening before and continued throughout the day. The snow accumulation was the heaviest experienced by the city in 10 years. The snowfall was so heavy that most businesses and all offices closed early or never opened, and for the first time in memory mail delivery did not even occur. At 1:50 pm, snow on the streets reached above car bumper level and visibility was poor.

    What happened: News media report that at 1:50 pm, attorney Greg Clark was home at his house in a quiet neighborhood on the east side of Rockford. According to the RRSTAR's latest summation of events from 2008: "A gunman springs from a van and opens fire, killing Gregory Clark, a Rockford attorney, who is clearing snow from his sidewalk." Clark was brutally shot in the back three times by an unknown shooter. He was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time later.

    News accounts and subsequent police action show that more than one perpetrator actively participated at Clark's shooting. Media reports show the police immediately focused upon Richard Wanke because of what they thought of him and not because of any of the evidence found at the murder site.

    The news reporter was told the next day that the police did not believe he shot Clark, but just that he was somehow involved. Subsequent questioning of Richard's acquaintances showed the police asking questions indicating they sought information about at least one other person other than Richard.

    Read the whole essay.

  • Sitemeter

  • About the Articles on this Blog:

    RichardWanke.com is written and updated by community volunteers. It's mission: publicity and assistance for the legal defense of IDOC inmate, Richard Wanke. This blog also features articles on topics affecting IL, IDOC, and IDOC inmates. Article information is gleaned from a variety of public media accounts and from other internet sources and reflects what we believe to be accurate. Readers are invited to respond and submit their own experiences.
  • Help Investigate This Story! Support Our Spot.us campaign! See Below!

    Click here to link to Richard's campaign Spot.us is a non-profit project to pioneer "community funded reporting". Through Spot.us, the public can commission investigations with tax deductible donations for important and perhaps overlooked media stories. Read this article at link to more information
  • IDOC Early Release & Good Time Credits About to Change!

    If you are reading any of our earlier posts concerning All IDOC Early Release Programs, MGT, or Good Time, please be aware that the IL legislature has now passed new legislation replacing MGT to address giving inmates good behavior "sentence credit" which could release them early. However, the terms of who is eligible to receive sentence credit is more restrictive. Sentence credits have the potential to begin to reduce prison overcrowding, but have so far not been used to do so. IL now has a new governor who has expressed more concern with prison issues. We will wait to see what changes Bruce Rauner will make to IDOC and policy. You can read more here: (here)

    Sentence credits are more restrictive in accordance with the suggestions contained in the Erickson Report. You can read the Erickson Report and IDOC's official plan for implementing MGT (here).

    We will keep readers posted of any news or changes when these occur. We also urge readers to check these online sites: (ILprisontalk.com), and the (John Howard Association), for other information

  • Important Email Addresses:

    Send a letter with your thoughts or questions to Richard Wanke. (If you want a reply, you must include your name and a regular mailing address.) freerichardwanke@gmail.com, or snailmail (and it is slow):

    Richard Wanke, 20605 Winnebago County Jail 650 W. State St. Rockford, IL. 61102

    ____________________

    Express your frustration about IDOC, prison issues, or anything else to your IL State Representative or IL State Senator! Use this link to email them directly!: (Rep or Senator here)

    Send your thoughts to Congress!

    Thanks to reader prisonrightsadvocate, for letting us know of the following weblinks which you can use to directly email our US Rep, Don Manzullo and State Senator, Dick Durbin

    ____________________

    Send an opinion letter to the Rockford Register Star. (To be printed it must be less than 200 words, with name, address, and daytime phone number.) Opinions@RRStar.com

    Send an opinion letter to the Rock River Times. rrtimes@rworld.com

    Have you experienced problems with the Winnebago County legal system? Please write a short story about your incident for us to post. You can choose to add your name, or not. freerichardwanke@gmail.com

  • Subscribe

  • Archives

  • Spammers:

    Wordpress has excellent spam protection, and over 7,000 spams have been eliminated from this blog. Not to discourage legitimate postings and links, but REMEMBER: if you post or comment to this blog with commercial content which is not informational and is not related to any of the topics featured on this blog, you are wasting your time (please note this jersery or shoe poster) and all your postings are removed in 2 secs daily. This blog is offered as an avenue for those interested in wrongful convictions, prison issues, misconduct, and social & economic issues pertaining to them, and to others who offer services to assist others on those issues. Every one else spamming with junk will be removed!
  • Police Misconduct Newsfeed

Third Ohio Man Wrongly Accused of 1975 Murder Exonerated

Posted by scornn on December 11, 2014


An Ohio man who spent 27 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit was brought to tears Tuesday when a judge dropped all charges against him. Kwame Ajamu, 56, was the last of three men exonerated in the 1975 robbery and murder of a Cleveland-area money order salesman.

The men won their freedom after a witness last year recanted his testimony from the trial, saying he was coerced by detectives at the time. Ajamu was originally sentenced to death, but it was vacated because of a paperwork error.

….

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/crime-courts/third-ohio-man-wrongly-accused-1975-murder-exonerated-n264821

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Great systemic analysis of why injustice prevails within the American legal system

Posted by mikethemouth on December 6, 2014


Read the article below about why and how a double standard exists in holding cops responsible for killing civilians such as in the Ferguson and Garner cases. The article spells out at least 10 ways the public either ignores, is not aware of, or doesn’t care about biases which are inherent and pervasive in our judicial system and police operations and which fail to hold cops responsible for actions which we would feel to be unlawful in under any other circumstances. Most of us don’t know how easily anyone can be endangered by the police who we automatically assume are always right. We never see how police departments, the courts and the prosecutors work to excuse or coverup their misdeeds when presenting to the Grand Juries and making determinations. It is shocking to read that literally hundreds of police killings have not been reported to the feds and that the exercise of excessive force is disregarded and common. Instead, we assume that our local controversies, (such as the Barmore shooting) are the rare exception in our local communities and resent being reminded of them. We need to wake and familiarize ourselves with exactly how our authorities operate. Grand juries need to stop rubber-stamping the perspectives of the State’s Attorney’s office and exercise the power they have to thoroughly independently call and investigate every matter brought before them to ensure that injustice does not continue to squeak by every day….

10 Ways the System Is Rigged Against Justice for People Wrongly Killed by Cops

STEVEN ROSENFELD DECEMBER 4, 2014
Why is the legal system so biased against holding abusive officers accountable?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bad Cops, Barmore Shooting, Local Issues, Prosecutorial Misconduct | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tech Toys: Using body cameras can help police, public | Business Desk

Posted by scaryhouse on December 1, 2014


BY MIKE ZITZ FOR THE FREE LANCE-STAR

Something good is likely to come of the ugliness in Ferguson.Michael Brown’s family is pressing for police use of body cameras to become a nationwide standard, and it’s almost certain to happen in the near future.

It’s already being tested in some cities around the country. Fredericksburg police, for example, wear body cameras. And Ferguson police began wearing them after Brown was killed.It’s wearable tech that will protect both the pubic from undue use of force and the police from unfair accusations.

It’s likely to begin with the most basic, webcam type devices clipped on shirts near the collarbone, but the technology exists to make this trend one that helps police in their work beyond basic documentation.A Google Glass type headset or visor could not only record incidents, it could deliver critical information to police hands-free, with heads-up displays.

via Tech Toys: Using body cameras can help police, public | Business Desk.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

After Wrongful Conviction, Three Lifetimes Spent With Hope In Check

Posted by scaryhouse on December 1, 2014


They were young men when they went to prison in 1975 for a murder they did not commit. The last two of them were freed this month, releasing a joy they could finally savor together.

via Overcast.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Winnebago County Justice Center population drops to 4-year low – News – Rockford Register Star – Rockford, IL

Posted by scaryhouse on November 21, 2014


By Susan Vela
ROCKFORD — Population at the Winnebago County Justice Center dipped to a four-year low earlier this month. After the first week of November, inmate numbers were at 765, a nearly 35 percent from an all-time high of 1,170 in May 2012. Local officials attributed the dip to effective teamwork among agencies.

“This dramatic drop in numbers would never have taken place without the cooperative and collaborative work ethic of all departments involved in the criminal justice system,” said County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen in a written statement.

He credited the drop to more staffing. County employees in court administration, court services, the Circuit Court and the sheriff, state’s attorney’s and public defender offices numbered 834 for October, compared to 781 for the same month in 2011.

via Winnebago County Justice Center population drops to 4-year low – News – Rockford Register Star – Rockford, IL.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Possible misstep by prosecutors

Posted by mikethemouth on May 31, 2014


Defense: Prosecutors intentionally misled jury on Richard Wanke murder charges

By Kevin Haas

Rockford Register Star

Posted May. 30, 2014 @ 1:45 pm

Updated at 3:39 PM

ROCKFORD — Richard Wanke’s defense says prosecutors intentionally misled a grand jury in order to secure murder charges against him in the death of attorney Gregory Clark.

Wanke’s attorney, Sami Azhari, filed a motion to dismiss the charges today during an appearance around 1:30 p.m. before Judge Rosemary Collins. The motion claims that prosecutors led a grand jury to falsely think gun residue was found on Wanke’s clothing.

State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato said his office will not comment on pending litigation.

Clark, Wanke’s lawyer in a previous burglary case, was shot in the back on Feb. 6, 2008, while clearing snow from a sidewalk in front of his house. Wanke was out of jail awaiting sentencing on burglary charges at the time of the shooting. He has denied any involvement in Clark’s death. Wanke is currently being held in Winnebago County Jail.

Six years after the shooting — on April 16 — prosecutors sought first-degree murder charges against Wanke in a hearing before the grand jury. It was during testimony from Rockford Police Sgt. Kurt Whisenand, the state’s only witness at the hearing, that prosecutors misled the jury, according to Azhari’s motion.

A portion of the transcript of the grand jury testimony, which was included in Azhari’s motion, shows that Deputy State’s Attorney Jim Brun asked Whisenand whether a bag of clothing found during the investigation had been tested for gunshot residue. It was, Whisenand said. Brun then asked Whisenand whether he was familiar with a Illinois State Police Crime Lab report that “indicated they did, in fact, detect particles characteristic of background samples on the clothing in that bag.” Whisenand affirmed that background particles had been found.

The problem, Azhari says, is that the background particles are not actually evidence of gunshot residue. But he says Brun led the jury to believe they were.

“He’s insinuating that the background particles are gunshot residue and, in fact, they are not,” Azhari said. “Background particles are just natural environment particles.

“If they tested my hands or your hands, or my clothes or your clothes right now — and we’ve never fired a gun — we would have background particles.”

When a grand jury member later asked Brun for a clarification, Brun said, according to the transcript: “There were particles — the way the lab report and the testimony was presented, there were particles consistent with gunshot residue.”

Azhari said prosecutors had not presented anything new in the six years since the shooting

Page 2 of 2 – “There’s been no new evidence that I’m aware of in the 967 pages of discovery that I’ve reviewed that has anything that’s come up since 2008,” he said.

Kevin Haas: 815-987-1410; khaas@rrstar.com;@KevinMHaas

via http://www.rrstar.com/article/20140530/NEWS/140539935/

Posted in 2008 Clark murder investigation, Attorney needed, Attorney needed: high-profile case, Gregory Clark's murder, High profile criminal defense, Prosecutorial Misconduct, Richard's Cases, The Causes of Wrongful Convictions | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Appeal to the Legal Community: Attorney Desperately Needed for Richard Wanke!

Posted by parchangelo on April 17, 2014


Since 2008, the murder of Attorney Gregory Clark has been the single highest-profile unsolved murder in Winnebago County, IL and an overall priority case statewide. Richard Wanke’s prosecution will now become the highest-profile criminal case prosecution in Winnebago County and be followed closely by regional, if not national media. It is doubtful that Richard Wanke has any chance of receiving an impartial trial in the Rockford community as he has been tried in the local media, in community electoral politics, and in the legal community now since 2008.

Richard needs top-level, competent legal trial representation. He has past conflicts with the Winnebago County Public Defender’s office, so it will not be able to represent him. The conflict counsel representation available by Winnebago County is extremely limited and likely conflicted as well. It is critical for Richard to immediately find unbiased, conflict-free representation, probably from outside the Rockford legal community.

Richard Wanke is not a violent criminal. He is not a habitual criminal. He has no gang or criminal affiliations. He is an intelligent, articulate, responsible, caring, and giving, human being who is now in danger of spending the rest of his life behind bars due to political pressure perhaps, but certainly a rush to judgment by the authorities. He will be an exceptional and cooperative client. He has already served a 14 year sentence as a result of suspicion from this murder. He has survived the current overcrowded and inhumane conditions within the IL Department of Corrections, including unwarranted physical assaults. He is knowledgeable and knows everything what is at stake here.

We appeal to the legal community at-large on Richard’s behalf.

Richard desperately needs an experienced private criminal defense trial attorney or law firm willing to defend him to avoid the further injustice of spending the rest of his life behind bars. We know that this is a financially rougher time for attorneys in general, but we hope that Richard can find an committed attorney to undertake his case because his is the only true protection the criminal justice system has available to offer.

If there is the possibility that you can offer any assistance, please call Diane at (815) 980-6582, immediately! Thank-you!

Posted in 2008 Clark murder investigation, Attorney needed, Attorney needed: high-profile case, Gregory Clark's murder, High profile criminal defense, Legal assistance needed | Leave a Comment »

Update: Regarding Today’s Arrest of Richard Wanke, by Winnebago County for 2008 Murder of Greg Clark

Posted by mikethemouth on April 16, 2014


There is going to be a lot of hype going around since today’s announcement  by the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s office of charges against Richard Wanke regarding the 2008 murder of his attorney, Gregory Clark. For the record, we do not believe that any charges are merited in this murder case which has been (and still is as of today) listed as an UNSOLVED MURDER  for several years on the Rockford Police Department website. As we understand it, the murder investigation has been at a stand-still for years with no new evidence being uncovered. The existing evidence in the case to-date has been described to us as chaotic at best  since the murder occurred in an open neighborhood, in the middle of a major Rockford snowstorm,  and resulted in speculation about potential multiple suspects,  contradictory statements and sparse information. As far as we know, no direct evidence connects Richard Wanke, to the murder, and NO NEW EVIDENCE IS BEING ADVANCED EVEN NOW by the SA, as justification for charging him 6 years after this heinous murder.

What we do know is that this particular unsolved murder is has been a thorn in the side of the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s office since it happened. It has been a contentious issue raised often by contending candidates in electoral elections for the office. It has been the subject of unsubstantiated public opinions aired in the press by various law enforcement and related individuals. And, from the outset, the investigation and resulting criminal process has been handled, as some would say, as a “rush to judgment” directed against Richard Wanke, who received an arguably the maximiun  prison term possible in another minor infraction as a result. So, the real question we should all be asking ourselves at this point  (instead of assuming) is: Is this justice? Does the evidence really justify the charges, or is this just an attempt by the SA and Rockford to save face with the community and the public by charging the usual suspect?

Posted in 2008 Clark murder investigation, Gregory Clark's murder, Richard's Cases, the Responsiblility of the Media, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Six years after slaying, Richard Wanke charged in Rockford lawyer’s killing – News – Rockford Register Star – Rockford, IL

Posted by scaryhouse on April 16, 2014


By Georgette BraunRockford Register Star

Posted Apr. 16, 2014 @ 10:45 amUpdated at 11:46 AM

ROCKFORD — Richard E. Wanke was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder in the Feb. 6, 2008, shooting death of local attorney Gregory H. Clark, 60, Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato announced at a news conference.

The charges come six years after the killing. Although investigators named Wanke, 52, a person of interest, no one was charged in the slaying until now. Clark had served as Wanke’s attorney before he was killed. PHOTOS: See a gallery of the Clark caseA grand jury indicted Wanke on charges of first-degree murder, Bruscato said.Bruscato would not comment on whether any new evidence was uncovered or what led to the charges years after the killing.

Rockford Police Department Deputy Chief David Hopkins said “nothing has dramatically changed at all,” with regard to the investigation into Clark’s death. He described the lengthy investigative process as “methodical, sometimes grueling.”Wanke has denied any involvement in Clark’s death. He faces 25 years to life if convicted. Wanke was arrested on a warrant Wednesday and is being without bond, Bruscato said.

An inmate at Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, Wanke was weeks away from being released. He is serving prison time there after he was convicted on a 2006 burglary charge.Clark was appointed to defend Wanke against the charge.Wanke will make a court appearance in Winnebago County next week, Bruscato said.

Clark was killed while clearing snow from a sidewalk outside his Rockford home in the 1700 block of Oakforest Drive. Police said a gunman jumped out of a van and opened fire, shooting Clark several times in the back.Wanke has been in prison since 2008 on a 14-year prison sentence after he was convicted of burglary for stealing a laptop from a Rockford University professor. Clark was Wanke’s attorney in that case. Wanke’s projected parole date on the burglary charge had been set for May 7.

Diane Chavez of Rockford, Wanke’s former girlfriend and landlord, was found guilty in 2013 of obstructing police investigating Clark’s homicide, but an appellate court has sent the case back for retrial and prosecutors are planning a new trial on the obstruction charge. A jury had decided she lied to investigators when she told them that Wanke did not live with her at 1113 Grant Ave. That ruling was later overturned and Chief Judge Joseph McGraw vacated the conviction.

According to statements made in court hearings for Chavez and Wanke, police had provided prosecutors with eyewitness accounts placing Chavez, Wanke and the vehicle they shared at the scene of the shooting.

via Six years after slaying, Richard Wanke charged in Rockford lawyer’s killing – News – Rockford Register Star – Rockford, IL.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Inmates lend a hand: Partnership forms to fight local floodwaters

Posted by scaryhouse on April 14, 2014


April 11, 2014 1:00 am  •  By Becky Malkovich0

DU QUOIN — A collaboration between state and private entities put 12,000 sandbags in reach of those affected by flooding — at no cost to taxpayers.

Inmates at the Illinois Department of Corrections Inmate Impact Incarceration Program in Du Quoin shoveled about 126 tons of sand into bags Thursday as part of a joint effort by IDOC, the Du Quoin State Fair and Nikki’s Place, a video gaming business with 13 Southern Illinois locations.

The business donated the sand and about 12,000 bags and the boot camp and inmates donated the labor.

The fair is providing covered storage for the bags.

The collaboration was the idea of the donor and Thomas Spiller, warden at Pinckneyville Correctional Center. The Du Quoin camp is a satellite of the Pinckneyville facility.

“Everybody benefits,” Du Quoin IIP superintendent Clem Campanella said. “We’re being proactive and doing this in advance so if there is flooding we aren’t all of a sudden trying to coordinate the effort. These are ready today for anybody in an emergency situation.

”Inmates convicted of non-violent offenses are sentenced to the camp that offers educational, work, community service and physical activity opportunities.

via Inmates lend a hand: Partnership forms to fight local floodwaters.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 75 other followers