With the help of the Prospect Heights police, the Daily Herald may have placed a whistle blower into danger by reporting an August 25 explosion in a quiet Prospect Heights residential area was intended for another victim.
In a story that ran first last Friday afternoon in its online version followed by one in the DH's print edition on Saturday entitled "Cops: Prospect Hts house bombed in case of mistaken identity," reporter Madhu Krishnamurthy said Prospect Heights' Police Commander Al Steffen speculated the August 25th explosion set off at a home in the 200 block of Gail Court South was likely intended for the home of "an area political activist."
"The intended target of the bomb 'was a whistle-blower in a political campaign,'" Steffen told the DH. "We were aware that there was an investigation going on involving that person."
(Our apologies for the first mistakenly published version of this story. The corrected version was posted at 10:50 PM Sunday night.)
The brick-faced home's front window was blown out in the 3 am bombing. While there were people at home at the time of the explosion, no one was injured.
Illinois Review learned immediately after the attack that police suspected the intended victim of the August 25 bombing to be the same person that revealed evidence last spring that led to a state's attorney investigation of State Rep. Paul Froehlich. Froehlich's admitted hand-written memo of a hotel owner in his House district agreeing to purchase campaign signs and provide lodging for Froehlich campaign workers led to questions about the donor's then-favorable ruling on a property tax appeal, saving the donor over $300,000.
IR queried the DH reporter as to which police blotter he obtained the information from, and how he learned of the previously non-reported explosion. We have found no reference to the bombing in the area's online police records, raising questions as to how the reporter learned of the story. We have not received a response from Krishnamurthy.
Also, it is highly improbable that without an inside lead of alleged mistaken identity that any reporter would learn of such an explosion and on his own connect the address of the bombing directly to any one else's address, especially an area political whistle blower. And why did the DH refer to the intended victim with the more negative "political activist" term rather than a more sympathetic term such as "whistle blower"?
We also asked Commander Steffen why the Prospect Hts. police so readily confirmed to a local reporter the mistaken identity theory? Why did he not simply say an investigation was ongoing?
IR has not yet received a reply from either query.
Sunday night, Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica will be featuring the whistleblower on his 560 AM WIND talk show at 9:00 PM CST.