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O'Malley: 'I'm not giving anyone false assurance'
By Laura Janota | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 8/4/2009 5:03 PM | Updated: 8/4/2009 9:56 PM

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Originally published Jan. 12, 1993

While local residents, the media and the entire region waited for answers Monday about seven slayings at a Palatine chicken restaurant, Cook County State's Attorney Jack O'Malley didn't offer those answers. The state's attorney, a crime fighter who is accustomed to announcing indictments and tough action against accused criminals, couldn't assure anyone Monday that they're safe from further violence

And in an interview with the media, O'Malley even acknowledged "Yes, there is a killer still on the loose." Here are some of the questions and answers from the O'Malley's briefing.

Q. Is former Brown's Chicken & Pasta restaurant employee Martin Blake a suspect?

A. There were some indicators early on that raised questions about Mr. Blake. Because of the work of Palatine and the other police agencies involved here, all of those questions at this point have been answered. We have no basis to charge Mr. Blake in connection with this crime. We are not in a position to exonerate him or to exonerate anyone else.

Q. Are there other suspects?

A. Obviously there are leads and individuals that are being followed up on by the police department.

Q. Why aren't you going to give us specific details on what went on?

A. Because it would be a stupid thing to do from a law enforcement perspective. The only reason one might want to give out facts is that facts could serve to reassure the community, but we'd never do that to jeopardize the investigation. We are not going to release facts.

Q. Why don't you feel a need to reassure this community?

A. Oh you misunderstand me. I do feel a need to reassure this community, but I can't do it and I'm not going to give anyone false assurance or reassurance.

Q. If you're not going to reassure the community, are you urging people and businesses to take extra precautions because there is a killer still on the loose?

A. Yes, there is a killer still on the loose. The businesses ought to take extra precautions. The police department is taking extra precautions. The direct answer to your question is, yes, there is no doubt about it. This crime has not been solved and there is a murderer or murderers on the loose.

Q. The community is extremely frustrated by the lack of information. To what degree are you frustrated?

A. Extremely frustrated, as are the police officers and the investigators who have worked around the clock. They would love nothing better than to be able to stand up here and reassure the community and tell the people things that would give them a sense of security. But we can't do that.

Q. With Mr. Blake's release, are we now back to square one in this investigation?

A. I wouldn't describe it as square one, but obviously we've decided to release Mr. Blake and there was a fair amount of attention focused on him by the investigators, but those questions have been answered.