New trial begins for Geneva man accused of murdering wife, putting body on train tracks

  • Shadwick R. King

    Shadwick R. King

Updated 6/6/2022 8:07 PM

Was Kathleen King really dead when she was found lying on a railroad track in Geneva? Was she still breathing?

Or were Geneva police and paramedics wrong when they decided not to even try to resuscitate her?


A new trial began Monday for Shadwick R. King, 55, of Geneva, who is charged with first-degree murder in the July 6, 2014, death of his wife. A jury convicted him in 2015, but an appellate court overturned the conviction in 2018 and ordered a new trial.

"He was not content with just murdering her," Kane County Assistant State's Attorney Greg Sams said in opening remarks to Judge John Barsanti, who is hearing the case. "He tried to cover up the crime by dressing her up as if she was going for an early morning run and dumped her body on the railroad tracks that run east and west through the city of Geneva."

Sams said King strangled his wife.

Defense attorney Kathleen Zellner said she will present new evidence that shows 32-year-old Kathleen King walked the tracks, including rust and flecks of metal on the bottoms of her running shoes. An expert will testify that all her injuries were from falling, possibly tied to her having consumed more than 13 alcoholic beverages the night before, Zellner said.

"The state's case is built on 'where there's smoke, there may be fire,'" Zellner said. "There's no smoke. There's not even a spark."

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Kathleen King was found on a stretch near Esping Park, which is a few blocks from where the Kings lived on Oak Street.

Engineers driving a Metra train saw a woman lying perpendicular to a track, with her head on a rail, at 6:38 a.m. A conductor and a brakeman then got off the train to determine what happened.

The conductor testified that as he walked toward the body, he thought he saw her breathing. But as he got closer, he saw she was dead, and a breeze was moving her hair and shirt.

Geneva police Sgt. George Carbray, the first officer there, said Kathleen King's skin was "very grayish, not pink like a normal person who is living."

He checked her pulse and shook one of her shoulders to see if she would respond. A few minutes after arriving, he told fire officials he believed she was dead.


Paramedic Gary Grandgeorge testified that paramedics arrived about 14 minutes after they had been called because they had been advised to access the tracks from a business to the east but were blocked by a fence. They then went to the park, which has an opening to the railroad.

He and his partner brought only a heart monitor with them to the tracks, he said, because that's all an unspecified fire department person told them to bring.

They took an EKG, which showed there was "pulseless electrical activity" in the body, but nothing to indicate Kathleen King's heart was working, he testified. He radioed the information to Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital, and a physician pronounced her dead.

Grandgeorge will continue testifying Tuesday morning.

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