Barrington murder case from 1992 to be featured on national cable show

Program explores discovery of dismembered body found by train tracks near downtown Barrington

  • Paul Modrowski is led from the Barrington Police Department by detectives Kevin Croke, left, and Ray Peters on April 30, 1993. Barrington police will be featured on a national cable network for a 1992 murder case that began when detectives found Fawcett's dismembered body.

    Paul Modrowski is led from the Barrington Police Department by detectives Kevin Croke, left, and Ray Peters on April 30, 1993. Barrington police will be featured on a national cable network for a 1992 murder case that began when detectives found Fawcett's dismembered body. Daily Herald file photo/1993

  • Paul Modrowski is serving a life prison sentence for the first-degree murder of Dean Fawcett in Barrington in 1992.

    Paul Modrowski is serving a life prison sentence for the first-degree murder of Dean Fawcett in Barrington in 1992. Courtesy of Illinois Department of Corrections

  • Barrington will be featured on a national cable network for a 1992 murder case that began when police found Dean Fawcett's headless and handless body near railroad tracks close to the village's downtown. The victim's mother, Mary Kay Fawcett, holds a picture of her son. She'll be on the Investigation Discovery show "Dead of Winter."

    Barrington will be featured on a national cable network for a 1992 murder case that began when police found Dean Fawcett's headless and handless body near railroad tracks close to the village's downtown. The victim's mother, Mary Kay Fawcett, holds a picture of her son. She'll be on the Investigation Discovery show "Dead of Winter." Daily Herald file photo

  • Investigation Discovery's "Dead of Winter" show will look back at the Barrington Police probe of a 1992 murder case that began when detectives found the headless and handless body of a man, later identified as Dean Fawcett of LaGrange.

    Investigation Discovery's "Dead of Winter" show will look back at the Barrington Police probe of a 1992 murder case that began when detectives found the headless and handless body of a man, later identified as Dean Fawcett of LaGrange. Daily Herald file photo

  • Investigation Discovery's "Dead of Winter" show will look back at the Barrington police probe of a 1992 murder case that began when detectives found the headless and handless body of a man, later identified as Dean Fawcett of LaGrange.

    Investigation Discovery's "Dead of Winter" show will look back at the Barrington police probe of a 1992 murder case that began when detectives found the headless and handless body of a man, later identified as Dean Fawcett of LaGrange. Daily Herald file photo

  • Robert Faraci was found not guilty of the 1992 execution-style shooting and dismemberment of Dean Fawcett in Barrington. He agreed to a telephone interview for Investigation Discovery's "Dead of Winter" episode on the Fawcett slaying called "Last Christmas." It'll air at 9 p.m. Feb. 7.

    Robert Faraci was found not guilty of the 1992 execution-style shooting and dismemberment of Dean Fawcett in Barrington. He agreed to a telephone interview for Investigation Discovery's "Dead of Winter" episode on the Fawcett slaying called "Last Christmas." It'll air at 9 p.m. Feb. 7.

  • Dean Fawcett's father, Charles, discusses the case outside the Rolling Meadows courthouse Feb. 14, 1995. Barrington police will be featured on a national cable network for a 1992 murder case that began when detectives found the Dean Fawcett's dismembered body.

    Dean Fawcett's father, Charles, discusses the case outside the Rolling Meadows courthouse Feb. 14, 1995. Barrington police will be featured on a national cable network for a 1992 murder case that began when detectives found the Dean Fawcett's dismembered body. Daily Herald file photo/1995

  • Charles and Linda Fawcett, the father and stepmother of Dean Fawcett, leave the Rolling Meadows courthouse Feb. 17, 1995. Barrington police will be featured on a national cable network for a 1992 murder case that began when detectives found Dean Fawcett's dismembered body near railroad tracks.

    Charles and Linda Fawcett, the father and stepmother of Dean Fawcett, leave the Rolling Meadows courthouse Feb. 17, 1995. Barrington police will be featured on a national cable network for a 1992 murder case that began when detectives found Dean Fawcett's dismembered body near railroad tracks. Daily Herald file photo/1995

  • Retired Barrington police Sgt. Kevin Croke will be on "Dead of Winter" at 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, on the Investigation Discovery cable network.

    Retired Barrington police Sgt. Kevin Croke will be on "Dead of Winter" at 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, on the Investigation Discovery cable network.

 
 
Updated 2/3/2019 9:50 AM

Barrington will be featured on a national cable network for a 26-year-old murder case that began when police detectives found the headless and handless body of a man near railroad tracks close to the village's downtown.

Investigation Discovery's "Dead of Winter" will spend an hour next week on the slaying of 22-year-old LaGrange resident Dean Fawcett. He was killed Dec. 28, 1992, but his body, also without the left arm, was found almost two weeks later in a thickly wooded area near the tracks in January 1993.

 

Making the case more sensational at the time was a briefly alleged connection to the killings of seven people at Brown's Chicken & Pasta in Palatine on Jan. 8, 1993.

Retired Barrington police Sgt. Kevin Croke will be among those on the show's "Last Christmas" episode at 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7. He was in his fourth year on the force and his third as a detective when he wound up on the high-profile case.

Barrington police arrested Paul Modrowski and Robert Faraci about three months after Fawcett's body was discovered. Faraci was found not guilty of the slaying.

"I felt a real sense of satisfaction having solved the case and giving Dean Fawcett's mom a sense of closure," said Croke, who retired in 2017. "For a young detective, I was fortunate to work with and learn from such a talented group of detectives. They really taught me a lot."

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Under the theory of accountability, Modrowski was convicted in 1995 of first-degree murder in the execution-style shooting and decapitation of his friend, Fawcett, because Modrowski told police he discussed plans for the murder and offered his gun and car for the committing of it, court records show. Now 44, Modrowski is serving a life sentence at the maximum-security Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill with no chance for parole.

Cook County prosecutors said Modrowski, Fawcett and several other friends, including Faraci, had a falling out over a check fraud scheme.

Barrington Village Manager Jeff Lawler said he won't be on "Dead of Winter," but he was a police lieutenant there when Fawcett's body was found.

"Obviously, it became a difficult investigation because there was no identification on the body -- no hands, no head," Lawler said. "So, the investigation began from there. But our detectives were able to track down who the individual was and find the offenders that were involved."

Lawler added that Fawcett's mother, Mary Kay, who will be on the program, was "very, very helpful" in the investigation. He said Barrington police were on the trail of Modrowski and Faraci sooner than was known to the public but had to keep their information under wraps because the men were out of state and investigators were awaiting their return.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Widespread media attention landed on the Fawcett killing after it was revealed Palatine and Barrington police were investigating a potential link to the Brown's slayings. There never was a connection.

Kevin Fitzpatrick, an executive producer for New York-based Red Marble Media who works on "Dead of Winter," said the company researches murder cases from across the country and found Fawcett's. He said the most compelling aspects of the story are the insider details about Barrington's investigation and the killing's effect on Fawcett's family.

Along with Croke and Fawcett's mother, the late man's cousin, Robert Swanson, and the now-retired Cook County prosecutor who handled the trial, Jim McKay, will be on the program. Fitzpatrick said there also will be audio of a telephone interview with Faraci.

Fitzpatrick said Barrington police and Croke were "incredibly helpful in providing information and materials from the investigation." The "Last Christmas" episode will have interviews and actor re-creations of events.

In 2000, the Illinois Supreme Court refused to hear Modrowski's appeal, which contended his lawyer poorly represented him at trial. A federal appeals court rejected Modrowski in 2003.

Fitzpatrick said information about the production was sent to Modrowski's family, but they never responded.

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