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Judge Orders Patch Editor to Reveal Confidential Source

A Will County judge gave Patch editor Joe Hosey 21 days to turn over police reports and reveal who leaked them in connection with a brutal double murder in Joliet.

A Will County judge ordered Patch editor Joe Hosey on Friday to reveal within three weeks who gave him confidential reports in a grisly double murder case.

Judge Gerald Kinney stripped Hosey, who has worked at Patch since 2010 and been a professional journalist for more than 10 years, of his reporter's privilege. Hosey will need to turn over any leaked documents and, possibly, testify about how he obtained police reports on the Nightmare on Hickory Street double murder in Joliet, according to the judge's decision on a motion filed by a defendant's attorney.

The judge gave Hosey 21 days from the date the decision was filed to comply.

The reports, obtained exclusively by Patch, reveal that Terrance Rankins and Eric Glover, both 22, were lured to the home of 19-year-old Alisa Massaro. It was there that Adam Landerman, 20, and Joshua Miner, 25, strangled them, the reports state.

Minor and Massoro then had sex on the dead bodies, according to the reports. The victims were found in the Joliet home on Jan. 10.

Landerman, Massaro, Miner and 19-year-old Bethany McKee of Shorewood, were charged with the murder of the two men.

Attorney Chuck Bertz, who is representing McKee, filed the motion to determine how Hosey obtained the reports. Kinney's decision on that motion, which came down Thursday, ruled that the court had exhausted all other available sources of information when signed affidavits were obtained from more than 500 people at law firms, police agencies, the Will County State's Attorney's Office and Will County Public Defender's Office stating they were not responsible for the leak.

The decision further states that obtaining the source is necessary for the public interest, because it could impact the murder trial or prove the person responsible violated grand jury secrecy or broke the law.

Hosey will be ordered to identify the source if the documents don't reveal who the leak is, the decision states.

"We respectfully disagree with the court's ruling," Patch's attorney, Ken Schmetterer, told reporters after the ruling was issued. "Shield laws should apply in this case."

Reporter's privilege ensures a journalist's right to protect a confidential source, but state law makes an exception if the petitioner can show that the information is relevant to the proceedings and that the public interest would be "adversely affected" if the information were not disclosed, the decision states.

A status hearing will be scheduled for Oct. 3 in Will County court, the decision states.

Hosey covered the murder trial of former Bolingbrook cop Drew Peterson and authored the book Fatal Vows.

Related Story: The Chicago Headline Club issued a statement in opposition to the judge's ruling.
Buddie August 31, 2013 at 03:51 PM
It couldn't happen to a better reporter . I also bet he got it from the defense lawyer. It is obvious in most of his articles and his one sided reporting
Fester Bestertester August 31, 2013 at 05:11 PM
Perhaps the it was the sensationalistic, almost flippant way it was reported (ala National Enquirer) was what set the judge off. It set me off.
WA Mama August 31, 2013 at 06:53 PM
Good, because Hosey can't be cited for bad journalism. The way he reported this story was horrendous, tasteless and reckless.
Gerard H Schilling August 31, 2013 at 06:58 PM
Tell the judge to go to hell!
Grandpamike August 31, 2013 at 07:20 PM
@WA MAMA The story, as you put it, was also published in just about all of the newspapers, TV News and International, so if it was tasteless, we are all guilty of salacious and prurient interest in the story. The story was written from the material in the reports.
Watchful Eye August 31, 2013 at 07:34 PM
@Grandpamike - in reality, this is just a blood sucker that keeps multiplying, although I don't know how so when it comes out before the sun goes down. We all know that they need to crawl out of their boxes in the dark. Woo hoo. Get the wood stake.
Harry Callahan August 31, 2013 at 08:38 PM
@Grandpamike go play with your Obama doll jo. @ grandpamike
Harry Callahan August 31, 2013 at 08:51 PM
@Grandpamike, look up the Christian Newsom case and tell me and others why this case should not have been covered by the National media,tell me smarty pants,if the Trayvon Martin case got all the press why wasn't this one,because why?Because I'm a crazy as cracker.
common sense August 31, 2013 at 09:18 PM
come on all of you focus on this case...... 1. kinney the judge, is a conservative he is the same guy who would not turn over porn sites his fellow judge was visiting to the tribune. a bit hypercritical dont you think. 2. i dont like hosey much but he should not have to turn over his source. 3. none of this side show will effect the jury selection process. why ? because 90% of the public (jury pool) dont read the paper, watch the news, etc....
Grandpamike August 31, 2013 at 10:38 PM
@Harry http://www.snopes.com/politics/crime/newsom.asp and, yes you are.
Patrick Newp September 01, 2013 at 02:46 AM
Decisions like this destroy the American ideal. You're free to secure all your information until we feel something is important enough to take it from you. Starting to feel like we are living in Belgium.
Mark September 01, 2013 at 04:45 AM
This is total bullshit! He helped find the killers now they are putting him on trial?
I'm a mom September 01, 2013 at 10:54 AM
Harry Callahan, the reason that some cases don't get as much attention is that the killers are found, prosecuted and go to prison. In the case of the Christian/Newsom murders, the perpetrators were all tried and convicted. The system worked. It makes news when perpetrators are not convicted (in the case of Trayvon Martin the perp wasn't even brought in for questioning, that is why it was newsworthy. Back to the case at hand. What the heck??!!?? In what way did the story compromise the defendants' rights? I thought the shield laws were specifically written to allow journalists to act in the public interest. So, how can it be "in the public interest" to shut them down?
Einstein September 01, 2013 at 05:31 PM
We have too many Incompetent Judges and Idiotic Lawyers. Where was this Judge, and Judges like her, when people involved in the various scandals were pleading the fifth.
MagtheHag September 01, 2013 at 05:49 PM
I think the "problem" herein lies that there was a grand jury that was sworn to secrecy. One would seem to think if you were on trial for your life and say you were maybe innocent. If there was a gag order for your trial wouldn't you like those involved to honor the ruling of the court for a fair trial. With that said, those murdered do deserve the trial and now maybe the murder's will go free due to the information being released. They have already gone as far as having 500 people sign sworn affidavits to find the informant. Tough call on the shield act on this one.
Gerard H Schilling September 01, 2013 at 06:03 PM
Only in our nonsensical judicial system are jurors expected to act like and be mushrooms. English common law of which ours evolved clearly took into account a persons past transgressions and activities as potential indicators of present guilt and the jurors were expected to know the individuals they were judging. (Jury of his peers) didn't mean getting together a bunch of morons.
Ron September 02, 2013 at 08:15 AM
tell the judge to hit the road
Sal September 02, 2013 at 08:44 AM
Patch editor Joe Hosey is merely just one more really dumb news reporter. All reporters should know by now that the courts have been compelling reporters to reveal their sources. All he had to say to begin with was that "a copy of the written police report was sent to me autonomously through the mail in an envelope that did not have a return address on it", and I have absolutely no idea who sent it to me and I have absolutely no way of controlling or preventing anyone from sending me anything through the mail".
Watchful Eye September 02, 2013 at 10:02 AM
@Sal - I can't stand when people like you take personal shots before saying what it is they have to say. This reporter did a series of pieces that relied on police reports pertaining to a double homicide. Now, he's being asked to reveal his source. Why does that earn a STUPID personal remark from you? Seems to me, I can clearly see who the "dumb" one is here. So, getting back to the issue here, in your infinite wisdom, what exactly did Joe Hosey "say to the Court about his source?" How do you know what he did and didn't reveal about how he obtained his information? Are you involved in this somehow, and have the facts available to you to make this kind of comment? How do you know he didn't say he received a copy of the written police report "autonomously" through the mail? As I understand it, 500 people had to sign an affidavit saying they didn't give him the report. Whatever this judge knows or doesn't know so far, it isn't stopping him from exhausting whatever means available to him to uncover the source, and I highly doubt it a statement such as yours would have satisfied him. But, then again, you're so smart, aren't you?
laura September 02, 2013 at 01:23 PM
Wondering exactly how revealing certain details of this case constituted an action in the "public's interest?" Piqued it, maybe, but what service did the disclosure perform? If these details were important for the public to know, such as often is the issue in political corruption cases, great. But was it imperative or in the public's best interest to have these details in this story? How would having these details affect the public? I don't see why the reporter thought it was important to include this information other than to flesh out the back story or give him an exclusive. From what I've read, disclosing this info didn't change the fact that there were two murders and the police had suspects in custody. If anything, perhaps these disclosures weakened the ability of the state to try this case.
Gerry Reeves September 02, 2013 at 03:24 PM
The judget is absolutely wrong. Confidential sources are a vital part of American journalism. Stop them, and government will have a heyday riding rough-shod over an uninformed America public!!!
JaB September 02, 2013 at 03:57 PM
Does it really matter where Hosey got the information? Is anyone believing that by some stretch of the imagination these sick punks are not guilty? Quit wasting tax payers dollars and get their butts in court and lets get on with the trial.
Jason Rahall September 03, 2013 at 09:55 PM
Not sure why it matters to defense how or from whom the reporter received the police reports. It is typical of police agencies to release info to the press incrementally after arrests are made especially in cases like this. The police intent in releasing such info is likely to inflame/prejudice the local citizens in case a jury is needed for a trial. Unless this info was somehow different than other murder cases in which post-arrest info is regularly released to the press. I support Joe Hosey and a reporter's right to confidential sources.
Edward Andrysiak September 04, 2013 at 11:36 AM
We should not be diverted in our thinking here. The rights of the reporter are but one issue...the real concern is who the hell the judge thinks he is!!! We need to watch this and see that judges do not take on powers they were never intended to have. This judge should be recalled!!!
Denise September 04, 2013 at 11:57 AM
I'm a mom - george Zimmerman was taken in and questioned and police found no reason to hold him or charge him. racial politics caused his trial. he was declared not guilty because of FACTS. it had nothing to do with this horrific case. reporters sources areconfidential
Herc September 04, 2013 at 12:27 PM
I don't think you can recall judges.
sweet heart September 04, 2013 at 02:38 PM
This was on the new:s the other night,
Mike Schauer September 04, 2013 at 04:02 PM
In Illinois judges can be removed in 2 ways. A judicial inquiry board files a complaint with the courts commission. And after the notice and a hearing the commission can reprimand, censure suspend retire or remove a judge. Judges can also be impeached by a majority of the house of reps. And removed by a two-thirds vote in the senate.
just me September 06, 2013 at 09:35 AM
My previous comment was removed. Is it because I do disagree with Patch? My opinion is this: Joe Hosey should release his source. If someone in the states attorney's office is releasing information that they are not supposed to; they should be fired.
iCAN September 11, 2013 at 10:24 AM
Brace yourself Joe. This is Will County, Illinois. As we have learned here with a previous high profile murder case, law can be re-written to satisfy the powers that be at the moment...very frightening. I pray that people reading of your plight truly understand the gravity of this case. I wish you success in your stance.

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