In the murky manslaughter case involving Richard Vanecko — the nephew of former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley — a newly-released report is shedding some light on an old mystery.
A recent report by the Chicago Sun-Times reveals key documents from the Vanecko case thought to have disappeared before mysteriously reappearing were never lost or misplaced at all: They were “removed” without authorization, apparently by someone in the department.
According to WGN, an internal affairs report says Lieutenant Denis Walsh "searched the sergeants’ office at Belmont and Western several times over six months, beginning in January of 2011" and found the missing records in a file cabinet in the office in June.
The files contained the handwritten note “V Dailey Sister Son.”
"Missing file syndrome" had been an issue in the Vanecko case, prompting a Cook County judge to appoint a special prosecutor to look into how the death of David Koschman, who died from what prosecutors say was a fatal punch thrown by Vanecko after a bar fight in 2004, was investigated, NBC Chicago reports.
The June 2011 discovery of the files came months after detectives closed the investigation into Koschman's case without charging Vanecko, concluding he threw the punch in self-defense.
A separate Sun-Times report reveals Walsh, who made the mysteriously file discovery, nearly lost his job after allegedly assaulting a woman in Michigan almost ten years ago. The report also says Walsh’s sister-in-law, another Chicago cop, was a member of the security detail assigned to then-Mayor Daley.
Koschman's family has alleged a cover-up job in the case given the Vanecko's powerful political family ties in the city. A judge previously appointed to hear the case recused himself from the trial this year after it was learned he had ties to the former mayor.