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America's Most Wanted to spotlight Brown's case
By Steve Warmbir | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 5/29/2008 4:33 PM

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First published: April 23, 1997

For the first time, Palatine police will use a national television show spotlighting unsolved crimes to try to generate leads on the Brown's Chicken & Pasta massacre. A segment on the Jan. 8, 1993, slayings of seven people at the fast-food restaurant is scheduled for the May 10 America's Most Wanted program on Fox Television.

Viewers will be encouraged to call in their tips on potential suspects.

"It only takes one phone call," said James F. Bell, who supervises the Palatine task force investigating the slayings.

Palatine Police Chief Jerry Bratcher said no new information about the slayings would be released on the program.

Rather, the program will spotlight in dramatic fashion some key pieces of evidence that police have discussed.

Police have said the killer wore a Nike Air Force shoe, size 12 1/2 to 14, used a .38- or .357-caliber gun and drove a light-colored or white car similar to a late-1980s Chevrolet. The murders took place between 9:08 p.m. and 9:48 p.m. that Friday night.

Bratcher said Palatine police would have put information on the Brown's slayings on one of the national crime programs years ago, but there was not enough interest because police did not have a suspect.

Bell said police contacted America's Most Wanted producers earlier this year to see if they were interested in doing a segment on the case.

Bell said the segment on the Brown's slayings may be about 6 minutes long, about twice as long as the typical one on the show.

The daughters of two of the Brown's victims, Lynn and Richard Ehlenfeldt, have been interviewed for the program, Bell said.

Palatine police recently examined similarities between the Brown's slayings and two separate mass murders at fast-food restaurants in the Nashville area. Authorities are now speculating the same man could have committed the crimes in Palatine and the Nashville area. The connection may be mentioned on the America's Most Wanted program.