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Possible lead in Brown's Chicken case
By Laura Janota | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 3/29/2007

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First published: August 23, 1998

The probe of the 1993 Brown's Chicken & Pasta murders may be turning to Colorado.

The task force investigating the Jan. 8, 1993, Palatine murders has been questioning a former area resident who moved to Colorado sometime after the murders, according to news reports Saturday.

The man, who once told police he wasn't in the restaurant on the night of the killings, has changed his story, according to a published report. Palatine Police Chief Jerry Bratcher refused to confirm or deny the report Saturday.

"We're not going to step forward and say anything about this. There's going to be no comment," said Bratcher, who described himself as "aggravated" over the report.

"It didn't come from me or the task force. I'll guarantee you that," Bratcher said, referring to the new information.

The report in Saturday's Chicago Tribune said the man, who once lived in the area, changed his story about being in the restaurant - perhaps as the last customer - on the night of the murders. The man's fingerprints are being reviewed by authorities.

On Friday, Palatine Task Force head James Bell said there were no new developments in the case. Bell said arrests in the case weren't on the horizon. He could not be reached for comment Saturday.

While the lead could be promising, it also may be another dead end in the controversial, unsolved case whose handling has drawn both criticism and praise.

"All I can say is I hope it's him," said Frank Portillo, owner of Brown's Chicken & Pasta and a critic of the investigation.