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March 10, 2005
Lefkow Case Solved?

In a strange twist to a tragic story, a suicide on a Milwaukee street may explain why a federal judge's family was brutally murdered -- a reason that has no apparent connection to white supremacists, as first feared:

A suicide note claiming responsibility for the killings of a federal judge's husband and mother was found with the body of a Chicago man who shot himself to death after being pulled over for a traffic violation in a Milwaukee suburb Wednesday night, Chicago's police superintendent said this morning.

Supt. Phil Cline identified the North Side man as Bart Ross, 58.

In his note, Ross said he killed U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow's husband and mother at the family's North Side home because the judge had ruled against him in a medical-malpractice case, authorities said.

Ross has no known ties to white-supremacist groups, Cline said. Authorities had been pursuing possible white-supremacist links to the killings because the judge had ruled against jailed white supremacist Matthew Hale in a trademark-infringement case involving the name of his World Church of the Creator. Hale is to be sentenced next month for soliciting an FBI informant to kill the judge after she ordered him to stop using the name World Church of the Creator for his group.

Investigators found more than just the suicide note to connect Ross to the slayings of Lefkow's husband and elderly mother. Ross' vehicle had a number of .22 shell casings inside of it, even though he shot himself with 9mm handgun. The Lefkow murders were committed with a .22 weapon, although the weapon itself has yet to be recovered. The crime scene had a clear fingerprint on a pane of glass that couldn't be matched to any of the known residents or any criminal records within the national crime base NCIC. If Ross had no criminal record, it would explain the miss on NCIC.

Hale may find himself off the hook for this case, but he still needs to answer for the attempt to smuggle out coded messages to his drooling toadies followers. I doubt Hale just wanted to exchange season's greetings with his gang of racists. (via CQ reader Jim)

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 10, 2005 7:37 AM

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» Free Speech and Cryptography... from TriggerFinger
That's exactly wrong. No one should have to "answer" for their speech, whether or not anyone else can understand it. The right to free speech is meaningless without the right to speak in code. [Read More]

Tracked on March 11, 2005 12:19 AM

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