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What happens when Dugan the murderer asks for mercy?
By Chuck Goudie | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 7/27/2009 12:01 AM

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• Brian Dugan, the child-killer who has played a leading role in more DuPage County elections than any candidate, is at it again.

Dugan, serving two life sentences for murder, confessed years ago to also murdering 10-year-old Jeanine Nicarico of Naperville. But his admission was made allegedly while under hypnosis and not allowed in court.

Without a deal to spare him from the death penalty, 52-year-old Dugan declined to officially plead guilty. Now though, according to an exclusive story by Daily Herald Legal Affairs Writer Christy Gutowski, Dugan is willing to roll the dice on a guilty plea and bet that a jury decides against the death sentence.

"After a lifetime of violence, Brian J. Dugan wants something his victims were denied - mercy," wrote Gutowski last week.

You can't earn mercy or buy it at Wal-Mart.

Mercy is always free.

And when you ask for it, you don't deserve it.

• In the drone of dismal news from the next-biggest city to our east, Detroit, come two headlines that you may have missed: "Honda losing more money than Ford" and "Toyota losing more money than GM." Buy American or bye-bye America.

• What happened to all the flags we saw after 9/11? They were everywhere; hanging from overpasses on the Ike and houses in Inverness, on suction-cups stuck to car windows along the Tri-State, and taped to Loop office windows.

What happened to them all? For many people I suspect they were packed away just like those red, white and blue feelings that overcame the nation in late 2001.

• As fast as the Internet has changed our lives, three Internet terms have come and gone in a nanosecond. World Wide Web, cyberspace and information superhighway. Nobody seems to use them anymore.

• A term that I wish would be permanently deleted is "at the end of the day." It has replaced "when all is said and done," which overstayed its welcome as well.

• Since the shame of Burr Oak Cemetery, I have spent a lot of time in Chicago-area graveyards and come to realize this: Cemeteries are great retreats for the history, the shadows and the peacefulness.

• From Island Lake to Cicero, Chicago, Springfield and Champaign; from Detroit to Dallas and back up to New Jersey-the corruption bug seems to be spreading faster than ever.

This is good news only if your name happens to be Blagojevich. The more passengers onboard the corruption express, the more likely you'll hear Blago sing " Everybody's doin' it, the locomotion."

• If you want to have some fun with a group of teenagers, show them an analog watch and ask them to tell you what time it is. You will be surprised at how many have never learned to tell time the old-fashioned way.

To them, if it isn't digital then it isn't worth knowing.

• If you don't think soccer as a spectator sport has a future in America, check the attendance at this month's Mexico vs. Haiti game in Dallas. There were 82,252 at the new Cowboys stadium.

• Who said this?

"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it."

The author, George Bernard Shaw.

• And this?

"I am a slow walker, but I never walk back."

The President, Abraham Lincoln.

• What about this?

"Independence is the freedom FROM. Democracy is the freedom OF. Liberty is the freedom TO."


• For a few days last month, one of the most popular names on Facebook was Maria Chapur. That was the name of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's girlfriend. You know, the Argentine beauty who had mesmerized Sanford and broke up his marriage?

There was just one problem with the Maria Elisa Chapur who had so many new Facebook friends.

Sanford's mistress is named Maria Belen Chapur.

• If your dog has noise anxiety and shakes like Jell-O during severe storms or fireworks shows, at the sound of low-flying helicopters and when power tools are humming, there is a savior now being advertised.

The "thundershirt" is supposed to help dogs with noise anxiety. It's like a fire blanket, but envelopes against ear-rattling sounds.

• Here's what I preach:

Belief and faith are both like lights.

Belief is controlled by an on/off switch.

Faith is on a dimmer.

• If you don't drive by Oak Street Beach this summer, you will miss one of the most ridiculous spectacles in the city: live palm trees lining the beach.

During the past few years, the park district's contract-cafe brought in palm trees to surround its beachfront restaurant, which was fine. This year, the cafe leased dozens of trees and planted them along the beachfront - spoiling the greatest urban beach vista in the nation.

• One of my favorite quotes is, "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans." I was surprised to find out that one of my least favorite writer/actors said it. Woody Allen.

He also said, "Life is divided into the horrible and the miserable," which is probably why I never liked his lifelike movies.

• Chuck Goudie, whose column appears each Monday, is the chief investigative reporter at ABC 7 News in Chicago. The views in this column are his own and not those of WLS-TV. He can be reached by e-mail at and followed at