Timeline: Brown's Chicken murders and the aftermath

 
Updated 1/6/2018 5:04 PM

Jan. 8, 1993: Seven people murdered in a Brown's Chicken and Pasta restaurant at Smith Street and Northwest Highway in Palatine. Victims include the owners, Richard and Lynn Ehlenfeldt; two high school students, Michael Castro and Rico Solis; and three men, Guadalupe Maldonado, Thomas Mennes and Marcus Nellsen. Their bodies are discovered after worried family members call police to report them missing.

Jan. 15, 1993: Police arrest five men but quickly release all but one, who was held on an unrelated charge. The five had nothing to do with the Brown's Chicken murders, police said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Jan. 25, 1993: Reward reaches $100,000.

March 21, 1994: Palatine police arrest, then release a Chicago man.

April 1995

• A new Brown's Chicken and Pasta quietly opens in a mall near Northwest Highway and Hicks Road in Palatine with a state-of-the-art security system.

• Former FBI investigator James F. Bell is brought in to the investigation by Palatine police. He worked on the cases of serial killer Ted Bundy and the Green River murders of 49 prostitutes in the Pacific Northwest.

April 27, 2001: The building that once housed the restaurant is torn down after a dry cleaners and restaurant in the space went out of business. "God bless their souls," general contractor Ted Avgoustis said of the victims before beginning demolition.

May 16, 2002: Police arrest Juan Luna at a Carpentersville gas station and James Degorski near Indianapolis after authorities receive a tip from a former girlfriend of Degorski and link Luna's DNA to a chicken dinner saved from the restaurant. Luna and Degorski were friends at Fremd High School in Palatine in the early 1990s. Luna makes a video statement; Degorski begins a video statement but stops as the camera rolls.

May 17, 2007: Juan Luna sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Oct. 20, 2009: James Degorski sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.