Seeking to clear his notorious client’s name, a Chicago lawyer has told prosecutors he’s uncovered evidence that mobsters fatally beat three suburban women at Starved Rock State Park in 1960 and that a relative of one of the victims arranged the killings.
Chester Weger, known for decades as the Starved Rock Killer, was convicted of bludgeoning Lillian Oetting, who was found dead with her friends Frances Murphy and Mildred Linquist after they went on a hike in the park about 90 miles southwest of Chicago. Prosecutors said he acted alone.
Weger, who worked at a lodge at the park, confessed months after the killings but quickly recanted and continued to maintain his innocence during more than 60 years in prison. He wasn’t tried for the other two killings after he was sentenced to life in prison.
In 2020, the Illinois Prisoner Review Board paroled Weger, finding he was a model inmate, but his conviction remains on the books.
Now, in a 12-page letter delivered to the Will County state’s attorney’s office Oct. 3, attorney Andy Hale, who is representing Weger in trying to vacate his conviction, says he has found evidence that LaSalle County authorities conspired to frame Weger and that “the murders were committed by the Chicago mafia at the request of” a family member of one of the victims.
Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment. He was named special prosecutor in the case, which the LaSalle County state’s attorney’s office originally handled.
Relatives of the victims say they’re outraged by Hale’s new accusation.
Kathy Etz, a granddaughter of Murphy, calls it “a desperate act by man in search of money, conveniently preying upon the deaths of all involved. Public fascination with these tragic murders has led to many outlandish theories.