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 Illinois Co-Chairs


Bobbie Ecker-Blatchford, Chicago

Daughter, Lynn Ecker-Barrett, 39, was brutally beaten to death

 by her fiancÚ, in their apartment, January 17, 1988. The suspect stomped her to death causing a cerebral hemorrhage and then called 911.  Lynn was declared brain dead at the hospital.  Her killer was arrested one month later.  It was not a trial by jury. the judge sentenced him to first-degree murder, to serve twenty-five years.  The killer was released after only serving just twelve and one-half years.


Lisa Bobb, Lincoln*
   Son, Brian, 18 had his throat cut and died while in the company of where meth was being manufactured, September 27, 2002. Many people were present and Brian's Mother believes that because of the drugs there has been a cover-up and information was kept from them and the community.  Four suspects were arrested in 2004.  They negotiated a plea agreement with a sentence of thirty years.  Brian's family still believes that the real truth has not been made known.


Jennifer Bishop Jenkins, Northfield*

Sister, Nancy Langert, 25 her husband, Richard and their unborn baby were shot to death in their home, April 7, 1990. The shooter, David Biro, 16 shot and killed this family to see what it would feel like to shoot someone - he was considered to be a "thrill killer."  Nancy & her husband, Richard lived across the street from the police department and that  was believed to be the only reason the perpetrator chose to murder them.  The 16 year-old had been in trouble before but none of the early warning signs had been taken seriously.  He was convicted and sentenced to three life sentences without the possibility of parole.


Ray Minor, Benton

Son, Frankie Allen, only 9 months old, was thrown by his baby sitter,

 and died two days later, November 4, 1983. The hospital staff explained that the extent of the baby's injuries could not have come from a single fall as he had suffered a severe skull fracture which ran from his right eye around the back of his skull to his left ear.  The babysitter was charged with murder after an investigation and later confessed that Frankie had been thrown by his feet to the ground. There was another incident like this a year earlier but the child had survived.  Arrested and tried July 1984: convicted of involuntary manslaughter, given three years probation, $1000 fine & three days in jail.



Colleen Mirkovich, Morton

Her husband, Michael P. Mirkovich, Jr., 30, stabbed to death

in his own home by his downstairs neighbor, John Coffey, 27 at 3:00 a.m. in the morning, on  September 2, 2000. The perpetrator pounded on their door and when Michael answered it, he was immediately attacked and stabbed.  Michael's remains were discovered hidden in a muddy creek bed a week later. Coffey claimed that his life was a mess and he was high on drugs at the time.  Convicted of first degree murder and in violation of probation; sentenced April 2002 to thirty-seven years.



Ted and Suzette Simpson, Bloomington.

Daughter, Terri Horton, 30, shot to death in the back, April 6, 1992.  Terri had been living and working in a restaurant in Colorado when a man who had followed her there, shot her during an argument.  He buried her under a duplex in a shallow grave.   Her body was found three months later when her killer, arrested for a theft, blurted out to the police, "Oh by the way, I killed my girlfriend."  He pleaded "no contest" to first-degree murder, convicted and is sentence to life without the possibility of parole.



Mata Weber, Belleville 

Daughter, Karen Weber Hock, 21, abducted from where she worked, was kidnapped, beaten with a tire iron, strangled, and drowned in a reservoir. Her body was found the next morning on April 27, 1982.  The killer was arrested a few days later with evidence of the murder found at his home on his trousers.  He was tried, convicted and found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to fifty years. That sentence was appealed.  At the second trial, plea bargained to 25 years and he ended up being released from prison in June 1994!

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