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Palatine police await word from Tenn.
By Diane Dungey | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 8/4/2009 5:03 PM | Updated: 8/4/2009 9:51 PM

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Originally published Feb. 1, 1994

Palatine police are in contact with authorities investigating the weekend murders of four fast-food restaurant workers in Clarksville, Tenn., but they say it's too soon to determine whether the crime has similarities to the murders of seven people a year ago at Brown's Chicken & Pasta.

No one from the task force investigating the Palatine murders has gone to Clarksville to compare notes on the two cases, said Palatine Deputy Police Chief Walt Gasior. He added that Palatine police don't have enough information yet from Clarksville authorities to decide whether anyone will make the trip.

"It's too soon to say how closely it parallels other crimes. What we know at this point is we're interested in finding out more about the crime," Gasior said. With the crime just a few days old, Clarksville police aren't far enough along in the investigation for that to happen, he said.

"I'm not sure they'll even be prepared to talk to us tomorrow," Gasior said Monday. "I don't know if we would have, either, at that point in our investigation. There's so much information you're trying to gather."

Palatine authorities are interested in the case because the victims were fast-food workers killed at closing time in an apparent robbery. They declined to make comparisons between the two cases.

On the surface, however, there are few similarities.

The four victims, Patricia Price, 28, Marsha Klopp, 22, Angela Wyatt, 22, and Kevin Campbell, 22, each were killed by four to six gunshots from a large-caliber handgun, Tennessee Chief Medical Examiner Charles Harlan said. Police said shells from a 9 mm pistol and a shotgun were found at the site.

The gun in the Palatine murder was a .38 revolver, and the killer or killers removed all of the bullet casings, investigators have said. Several of the seven Brown's victims also had knife wounds.

The Clarksville victims had been working a Saturday night shift at a Taco Bell restaurant near a shopping mall in the northern Tennessee city of 70,000.

Police believe the murders occurred about 2 a.m. Sunday, an hour after the last customer left. The restaurant's drive-up window remained open until 2 a.m.

The crime was discovered by the manager when he arrived for work Sunday. Three victims were in one storage room in the Taco Bell restaurant, and one was in another room.

At least one Clarksville newspaper reporter already had called Palatine police Monday to ask how police and the community coped with the Jan. 8, 1993, murders, Gasior said.

Last month, investigators in the Palatine case disclosed members of the task force have traveled out of state numerous times during their investigation, including a trip to Kenosha in August following a shootout at a McDonald's restaurant that killed two people.

Gasior said police went to Kenosha immediately because the assailant, who also killed himself, was a former Arlington Heights resident who mentioned the Palatine case on a videotape found by police.