Reward offered in cold case double murder in Schiller Park

SCHILLER PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- A reward is being offered years after a beloved Schiller Park bar owner was killed.

Loved ones hope it will yield answers in the 2011 cold case.

Investigators discovered someone set a fire to cover up the murder of George Markopoulos.

"Anybody who walked through the door he considered a friend," said Bob Bier, Horseshoe Inn manager.

In 2011 the Horseshoe Inn burned down in Schiller Park. The beloved bar owner George Markopoulos was found in a back bedroom. Wendy Bonder, who Markopoulos had hired and allowed to live in an apartment above the bar, was found behind the bar. Autopsies later revealed they were beaten to death, and the fire was started after they had died.

The double murder has yet to be solved.

"I think somebody out there knows something that isn't talking and we are hoping the reward will help because we'd like nothing more than closure, not just us at the Horseshoe but Schiller Park," said Bier.

"To see this happen to George kind of struck a lot of us because we all knew him personally so we are just hoping that whoever has information will finally see it and come forward and give us what we need to rest easy again," said Frank DeSimone, a detective with the Schiller Park Police Department.

Schiller Park Police Detectives - many who knew Markopoulous - continued to work the case over the years.

Now, the Village of Schiller Park is offering a $20,000 reward.

"Those close relationships may not be close now and sometimes money is a motivating factor," said DeSimone.

The anniversary of the fire is this Sunday.

Friends eventually bought and rebuilt the bar with Markopoulos in mind.

His friends hope the case is closed soon. In the meantime they try to always honor Markopoulos by being of service.

"The reason the picture is on the wall to remind us . Do the right thing and give back," Bier said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Schiller Park Police Department tip line at (844) 777-3847 or (844) SPPD-TIP.
Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.