Timeline: A look back at Burge case

June 28, 2010 1:36:34 PM PDT
A look at Jon Burge's career and the allegations that followed.Approximately 1981-1986: Burge held rank of police lieutenant and supervised detectives in the Violent Crimes Unit in Area 2.

1982: Murder suspect Andrew Wilson claims Burge tortured him. Wilson is convicted of killing two police officers. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley was the state's attorney at the time of Wilson's alleged torture. The special prosecutors' report found enough evidence to seek an indictment in the Wilson case but the stature of limitations had expired.

1980s-90s: A pattern of torture complaints develop against Burge.

January 1987: Madison Hobley claims police tortured him to coerce a confession. Police allegedly put a plastic bag over Hobley's head until he lost consciousness.

1991: Burge suspended by the Chicago Polide Department.

1993: Burge fired from the Chicago Police Department after the police board found he tortured Andrew Wilson. Officers working under Burge keep their jobs.

April 2002: Cook County's chief Criminal Court judge, Paul Biebel, appoints a special prosecutor to investigate allegations of torture.

January 2003: Former Gov. George Ryan frees four men from Illinois death row after they claimed they were tortured by or under Burge - Leroy Orange, Aaron Patterson, Madison Hobley and Stanley Howard.

May 2003: Hobley files federal civil rights lawsuit.

November 2003: Burge submits written answers in the Bobley case in which he states he did use torture and did not know of any officers using torture to coerce confessions.

2003 to 2005: Freed inmates file lawsuits against Burge and other police detectives claiming torture. In the course of investigation for the lawsuits, dozens of witnesses give depositions against Burge. Among them: the use of cattle prods and electric shocks administered to suspect by a black box.

September 2004: Burge testifies in civil depositions, invoking his Fifth Amendment right. He is served with a subpoena from a grand jury investigating police torture.

December 2005 - McWeeny, Hoke, Kushner and Grarrity testify before the special grand jury under immunity.

2006: Cook County special prosecutors Edward Egan and Robert Boyle release the results of an independent investigation into torture allegations. They found evidence that dozens of suspects were tortured. The $7 million study concludes systematic torture occurred under Burge's regime but concluded no charges could be filed because of statute of limitations.

September 2007: U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald announces investigation focused on possible false statements and obstruction of justice connected to pending civil lawsuits over torture allegations from the 1980s.

December 2007: City pays out nearly $20 million to settle the lawsuits brought by the four freed death row inmates.

October 2008: Chicago FBI agents arrest Burge at his Florida home.

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March 2008: special prosecutor Edward Egan died

November 2007: special prosecutor Robert Boyle died


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