Judge Puts Gag Order on Hickory St. Double Murder Case, Seals Case File
Judge Gerald Kinney also wants prosecutors and attorneys representing the four murder defendants to investigate the supposed leak.
The judge presiding over the Hickory Street double murder case put a gag order on all the attorneys involved and instructed them to investigate an alleged leak of police reports that led to a series of stories published by Patch.
"I don't think it's inappropriate to start the process of saying, 'Where did this come from?'" Judge Gerald Kinney said during a brief hearing Friday morning at the Will County Courthouse.
"I do think we need steps to get to the bottom of it," Kinney said. "I don't know who did it but I think we need to make a good faith effort to find out, and where it goes it goes."
Joliet lawyer Chuck Bretz, who represents one of the four charged with last month's murder of Terrance Rankins and Eric Glover, both 22, asked Kinney for the gag order. Bretz claimed no one from his law office leaked the police reports.
In the reports, police provided accounts of interviews with the alleged murderers: Joshua Miner, 24, Adam Landerman, 19, Bethany McKee, 18, and Alissa Massaro, also 18.
Police said Massaro told them she and Miner had sex on top of the bodies of the two dead men. McKee reportedly told detectives she had invited Rankins to the house on Hickory Street and he brought along Rankins. She led the two men to believe they would have sex with her and Massaro, the reports said.
Miner reportedly told officers he first punched Rankins to stop him from sexually assaulting McKee. After further questioning by police, the four conceded they had planned to rob Rankins and Glover, with Massaro reportedly telling officers McKee knew a man who sold drugs and “kept a lot of money on him.” Detectives asked her what she meant by a “lot of money,” and she “stated approximately $100,” a report said.
Massaro's father, Phillip Massaro, lives with her in the same Hickory Street house where Rankins and Glover were found dead. Phillip Massaro was home at the time of the killings, police said, and heard a crash while Landerman and Miner were strangling Rankins and Glover to death. He threatened to call police but never did, the reports said.
McKee's father, Shorewood resident William McKee, ended up alerting the police in that town to the murders after his daughter called him and asked for help with disposing of the bodies, according to the reports. The Shorewood police passed the information along to the Joliet Police Department.
Massaro, Miner, Landerman and McKee reportedly planned to dismember the bodies. Once the corpses were cut up, reports said, the four alleged killers considered dumping the remains in a body of water or bagging them and leaving them on the curb in another town on garbage day. Landerman reportedly told officers he took steps to dismember the bodies by gathering “supplies,” including rubber gloves, bleach, a saw and a blow torch, a report said.
McKee told officers that Miner “wanted to keep the teeth of both deceased as trophies from killing them after they had cut up the bodies,” a report said.
Bretz said the the alleged release of the reports was "unfair."
"It's completely unfair to let the press have this field day," he said.
The attorneys for the three other defendants joined Bretz in his motion for a gag order and to have the case file sealed. Public defender Frank Astrella asked Judge Kinney to appoint a special prosecutor to the case, apparently to investigate the alleged release of the police reports.
Judge Kinney set a March 11 court date to address the matter. In the meantime, he has sealed the file and instructed the attorneys not to talk to the media.