Richard “Speaks”

“I’d like to thank everyone who helps me with this blog. It is a chore. My friends and family all have full-time jobs and responsibilities. Many have families themselves and small children. So free time is at a premium. But they choose to help. And, for that I am exceedingly grateful. For those of you that I do not know and have signed on to this project-you have my gratitude. We hope to build a resource here. Making something good out of something bad. A resource which may help others in the future. To all, my special thanks and appreciation for your efforts and a job well done.   Peace”

Richard Wanke


A Questionable Coincidence, from a defendant’s perspective

The Richard Wanke prosecution clock ticks on for his April 2014 demand for a speedy trial. Yet his case has been delayed and continued due to “inclement weather”, the illness of his assigned Public Defender, and now again, for personal reasons by the judge who has set the next court date for Friday, February 6, 2015, at 1:30 pm in courtroom 478 of the Winnebago County Courthouse, located at 400 West State Street, in Rockford, IL.

This rescheduled hearing on the disqualification of the Winnebago County Public Defenders office has languished for more than 60 days as Richard’s conflicted counsel walks the fine line between advocating for his offices’s removal from Richard’s representation to protecting it from having to air dirty laundry in public (such as the details of its own involvement in it’s client’s arrest). This divided loyalty lies at the crux of this Friday’s hearing.

Karen Sorensen, the head Public Defender of Winnebago County, withdrew from the case in 2008 citing conflicts-of- interest, and other experienced public defenders who knew the murder victim have also stepped back from the case. Attorney Gregory Clark, was highly respected and well-connected locally. Inadvertent coincidence or not, the wisdom of scheduling this hearing, critical to decide the very constitutional direction of the defendant’s case, on the exact day of attorney Clark’s death, seven years ago is questionable; at least it is to this defendant.

As Richard Wanke states, “I have been held responsible and without bail in some sense since 2008 in this case and my charging in April 2014, was just the formality of my on-going ordeal. And, so far, while I have also filed a speedy trial demand and repeatedly requested conflict-free counsel, I have yet to receive either. And, somehow, I feel that I am not the only Winnebago County defendant exposed to an unusual degree of jeopardy in the county legal process.”

If you are interested in learning more about Richard’s case, then pull down the tab above labelled “Who is Richard Wanke” and click on the “Greg Clark Murder” tab beneath it to read more about Richard’s murder case and predicament. The page is updated as the case progresses with court filings, transcripts, and explanations of events as they unfold. Please feel free to add your comments as you read. If you wish to help out, please attend the court dates as they are announced. If you are media, we hope your coverage will be balanced in it’s approach. If you are an interested defense attorney and will consider either pro bono assistance or court appointment, please call (815) 980 – 6582, anytime to prevent further injustice. Anyone is also welcome to contact us via and we also welcome Facebook readers of richardwanke and injustice everywhere to this site.



Richard Wanke’s Response to the One-Year Anniversary of his Attorney’s Death

This is a copy of a letter received from Richard Wanke which he requested be posted today. The frustration he feels after a year spent in isolation and limbo, cut off from news of any efforts or progress and with no public scrutiny of his extraordinary legal detention, is evident.

To: Joseph Bruscato, Winnebago County States Attorney             January 19, 2009

First, let me congratulate you on your impressive electoral victory. I wish you well in your new duties as States Attorney of Winnebago County. You will have many challenges, choices, obstacles and pronouncements. One dependent challenge left behind by your predecessor, Mr. Nicolosi, is attorney Greg Clark’s murder investigation. I am cognizant of your obligations and struggles.

Being alternately named a suspect, not a suspect, a person-of-interest and all points in-between publicly has shown the disarray of the investigation and polarization of the previous administration.

Rarely have I commented on the tragedy, answered criticism or negative correspondence. But after a year of counseled silence and noting little has limited the landscape of idle speculation, gossip, purposeful false rumors and misrepresentations; I have taken your election as a positive change for our community.

I have stated both publicly and privately numerous times that I have no knowledge or responsibility for the death of my attorney Greg Clark. Though I have not been charged, little has stemmed the flow from unnamed authorities with promises of numerous witnesses, excuses for delayed forensics; but with outright pronouncements of my guilt without proof or public inspection.

So, I say to you here, emphatically, I did not murder my attorney, Mr. Clark and have no knowledge who did.With the systematic change that has overwhelmingly swept the country, what with the election of Barack Obama as president, the shift to the left with both houses of Congress; state and local officials being voted out of office and new faces being voted in, our county like our nation itself has an opportunity for true political systemic change.

It is hoped, not feared, that this letter creates a situation, that it opens a door to negotiation and creates an opportunity for dialogue.

I was arrested on February 6th 2008, at 5:30 pm and read my Miranda rights. Next, the subtle prosaic manipulations of the facts by specific police officers distorted the public record. The time-frame of the events of that evening were purposely flipped. The press were utilized in spreading the falsehoods – told that I was sought for questioning at my apartment and my landlord questioned. This has been repeated over and over until thought to be true. But even as those words were being spread and my landlord’s door was approached – I had already been in police custody for over an hour. To create a reason to search and obtain a warrant certain police claimed that my landlord lied to them, thus giving cause before a judge for their warrant. Too bad it was a wasted effort and nothing was found there – just an innocent woman’s life ruined.

Over the next few days of early February of 2008, the spin to the media solidified. Someone was being detained, questioned by police. The truth is: specific police seemed to have no need to question me. Did not want to. Felt no need to. Just wanted to hold me. I requested an attorney and was jokingly told, “you’ve killed your attorney…you only get one!” Being so blatantly and insensitively denied counsel – I remained silent. For a year now. Since then, for a year no police have sought to question me with counsel present. Plant informants in my cells, berate, interrogate and intimidate anyone I’ve come in contact with while at Winnebago County Jail; plant false information with the media; put words in others mouths; wiretap my friends and family’s phones; intercept my legal mail…but not question me. Hasn’t happened.

Excuses, silence, promises, wait you’ll see statements have replaced inquiry. Has the forensic evidence been lost? Tampered with? Tainted? Come back negative? Have the witnesses recanted? Changed their identification? Were there ever witnesses? Were they even needed? Evidence?

Mr. Buscato, when you first took office, I am certain that you were brought-up-to-speed on pending cases. Both under investigations and charged through indictment. I can only imagine the sheer magnitude and weight of casework which had to be summarized for you by your staff and officers. The Greg Clark murder would have been one that bore special attention; because of its’ open status, public prosecution by the Nicolosi office (in naming a person-of-interest) and importance in protecting the sanctity of the officers of the court.

The supervising officer in the Greg Clark murder is Deputy Chief of Police, Greg Lindmark. We attended high school together. Throughout those school years we had a history. He was a jock – I was a longhair. I regard him then and now as a bully. He has brought his Javertian intensity to this Victor Hugoesque melodrama in his pursuit of his – Jean Valjean. “…the poor are crushed by the prejudices of organized society.” In this inquiry, Mr. Lindmark’s sanguinary intent has been to “lock you up however possible” despite the facts of evidence.  I took this direct threat seriously, as I have before.

You see, he may not have appraised you adequately of his motivation when briefing you on the Greg Clark murder; but I have sued Mr. Lindmark in Federal Court (filed Oct. 29, 1993, Case #93C20298) for previous civil rights violations.

True to his nature, Mr. Lindmark has in these sequestered investigations repeated his prior threats and extended them to include my neighbors, landlord, acquaintances, friends and family. he’s made clear he will get me. In this portentous inquiry he warned me, as before when I’ve complained of his prejudices, with a helpful, smiling semblance, for me to not make more problems for myself – to keep my opinions to myself – warning: “who ever would believe you?” To make his point ever clearer and to further exemplify, to underscore his power to injury me at will, with or without evidence and just on his word; you must vet his absurd, self-serving, timely recollected, undocumented statements in court during my sentencing hearing. He testified that I somehow spontaneously and for no apparent reason boasted of multiple burglaries and aspired…”to be known as the Ted Bundy of burglaries…” This is a total fabrication.

By conjuring up such an opportune statement while investigating the murder of my attorney, Deputy chief Lindmark makes good on his threats. While avoiding to mention any conflicts of interest or personal motivation for payback.

Infusing an infamous mass-murderer into a burglary sentencing hearing and at the same time contradicting prosecuting attorney Margie O’Connor’s assurances to the McGraw Court that she was “…not going to bring out evidence regarding the death of Greg Clark…”at the hearing.

She technically kept her word? Or, are these unwarranted commingling tactics of police and prosecutor one of the reasons for her dismissal from your office? Political expediency? Economic downturn? Did Mr. Lindmark get what he wanted. Was I really under investigation for the murder of Greg Clark?

You have a choice. Admittedly not a desirable choice. Will you take the word of a decorated senior officer who kept his conflicts of interest from your office? Who kept his conflicts secret from the sitting judge at trial who revoked my bond? Who kept his conflicts secret from the presiding judge who sentenced me to 14 years for an attempted burglary? In a burglary where key 911 calls for the case were “lost”? Where the victim could not identify his face-to-face assailant, both in a photo lineup or at trial? Where the only witness, with a few seconds view described the burglar suspect as a stocky 250 lb. man, with long grey hair and a grey beard? Where I am 180 lbs, with brown hair, no beard and glasses? Or will you listen to a convicted criminal profess his innocence.

Is it coincidence that Deputy Chief Lindmark is the senior supervising officer on the Greg Clark murder? And a key spokesman with the press?

I need either your help or your strength of resolve. I am reminded of a quote by Martin Luther King Jr. when seeking understanding of white ministers into the struggles for equality. “Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”

Finally, I regret the manner with which this correspondence has been conducted. if given a choice, I would have chosen a better, more private, less public manner. But given the public nature that certain police and prosecutors have chosen from the beginning of this investigation to take it to the media, I must play by the rules Deputy Chief Lindmark has enacted.

I have implicit trust in the government, the courts and law enforcement despite what has been reported and thus far experienced. I have faith you will do the appropriate thing.                                                                                              Peace

Sincerely, Richard Wanke, Jr.




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