Riley Fox family aims to unseat Will County Sheriff

October 10, 2006 – The family of murder victim Riley Fox is on a mission to get the current Will County Sheriff out of office. They held a fundraiser Tuesday night for the candidate running against Sheriff Paul Kaupas.
Rich Girot has been campaigning for the Will County Sheriff’s job for a year, mostly at small gatherings like Tuesday’s fundraiser at a home in Wilmington. But this is no ordinary campaign stop. This is the home of Kurt and Dawn Fox, grandparents of Riley Fox, the 3-year-old whose kidnapping and murder remains unsolved. The sheriff arrested their son Kevin. Charged with the crime, Kevin Fox spent eight months in jail before DNA prompted a judge to set him free.
Girot sympathizes with the Fox family.
“I could not imagine losing a grandchild,” said Rich Girot, (D)-Will County Sheriff candidate.
Riley’s parents Kevin and Melissa Fox have filed suit against the sheriff’s department and state’s attorney alleging they botched the case and wrongfully prosecuted Kevin.
The grandparents say they want the current sheriff, Paul Kaupas, out of office.
“Our family’s been through hell,” said Dawn Fox, Riley’s grandmother.
“I’ll never get over her murder, and we almost lost Kevin, and that would have been really bad,” said Kurt Fox, Riley’s grandfather.
Kaupas has been sheriff of Will County for four years. He is a 30-year veteran of the department and a decorated Vietnam veteran. His spokesman says he “stands by his record of what he has done. He is the only qualified candidate.”
Democrat Rich Girot has been a sheriff’s deputy for 17 years and was president of the deputies union. He has also served as mayor of Braidwood.
The sheriff declined to be interviewed Tuesday night. But Kaupas and the Fox family agree on one thing: they both want to find the killer.

News 7

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About The Angry Jolietan

Joliet,Will County

10 responses to “Riley Fox family aims to unseat Will County Sheriff”

  1. Anonymous says :

    I remember that and something about Jeff Tomczak being involved, they tried to railroad that guy Kevin fox Right?

  2. Anonymous says :

    It makes me mad to know that somebody can be forced to confess on them self.

  3. Anonymous says :

    WHEN POLITICS CLOUDS A MURDER CASE

    Daily Southtown Article on Oct. 29, 2006

    I don’t know how heavily Will County voters should consider the Riley Fox murder investigation when they cast votes next month for Sheriff.

    But I can tell you this: I’ll take the word of a dead 3-year-old’s family any day over the word of prosecutors. detectives and deputies now trying to explain why they charged and jailed her father before DNA results had been processed.

    Riley Fox, you’ll recall, was murdered in June 2004. Hikers discovered her body hours after she disappeared from her Wilmington home. Her killer pressed a strip of tape across her mouth.

    Four months later, Will County sheriff’s detectives requested that her father, Kevin Fox, answer some additional questions. He confessed 14 hours into the interview, claiming to have accidentally killed her.

    Sheriff Paul Kaupas, of Mokena, stood with then-State’s Attorney Jeff Tomczak to announce the charges against Fox; Tomczak was days away from being booted out of office in a heated November election that swept Jim Glasgow into office.

    Eight months later, Fox was released from custody and the charges dropped.

    Now Kaupas is up for re-election. He faces Democrat Rich Girot, of Braidwood, a sheriff’s deputy shunned by his fellow officers for speaking out against the department: its staffing levels, jail overcrowding, patronage bloat and the Fox case. The Fox family hosted a fund-raiser for Girot’s campaign earlier this month.

    The Foxes blames the Kaupas-led sheriff’s department for wrongfully jailing Fox and failing to find the real killer. They believe Fox was distraught, grief-stricken and in shock over his daughter’s death and, therefore, gave a confession that was coerced.

    The department, and Tomczak, sent DNA evidence swabbed from Riley’s body to a back-logged crime lab; then canceled the testing after Fox’s confession, a federal lawsuit alleges. It took a new state’s attorney, Glasgow to get the sample tested. The test eliminated Fox as a match. Fox was released after eight months in Will County jail.

    In its defense, the sheriff’s office stands by its handling of the case. Fox after all, confessed. Some sheriff’s supporters bristle at Girot’s allegiance to the Fox family.

    So in essence, Sheriff’s police are further victimizing the Foxes -who are the victims here – by failing to acknowledge mistakes in the investigation and by trying to disgrace Girot, a Fox family ally. Girot still works for the sheriff’s department, but he has fewer friends and less credibility.

    Ethicists and even Glasgow chided Girot for attending a fund-raiser hosted by the Fox family because Riley’s parents are waging a federal lawsuit against Girot’s own department. Based on the vitriol, you’d think Girot attended a fund-raiser hosted by the perpetrator.

    I say hurrah to Girot for standing with the victims when the rest of law enforcement wants to snip ties, obey the “no comment” demands of pending litigation, and fall into line, obediently, behind a department that botched a murder case. No one has been charged with her death, and a killer remains at-large.

    If elected, Girot says he will make Riley’s death a top priority, accept responsiblity for department mistakes where due, and ask an independent agency, such as the attorney general’s office or the FBI, to handle the investigation. On a very basic level, the case ought to raise questions about the investigative capabilities of the Will County Sheriff’s Department. Its leader is the sheriff himself, Paul Kaupas.

  4. Anonymous says :

    Just remember that the murder is still out there and it could of been your child that was killed. Unlike the current adminstration, Girot will make sure that this case gets top priority.

  5. Anonymous says :

    More options Sep 27, 11:00 am

    Newsgroups: alt.true-crime
    From: indigo…@seesignature.com (Indigo Ace)
    Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2007 16:00:16 GMT
    Local: Thurs, Sep 27 2007 11:00 am
    Subject: Riley Fox: New details emerge in Fox’s lawsuit
    Reply | Reply to author | Forward | Print | Individual message | Show original | Report this message | Find messages by this author
    From the Chicago Tribune–

    New details emerge in Fox’s lawsuit
    Wife denies asking, ‘What did you do?’

    By Hal Dardick | Tribune staff reporter
    September 27, 2007

    The Will County Sheriff’s Department had probable cause to arrest
    Kevin Fox in his daughter’s sexual assault and killing even before he
    made an incriminating statement that he later said was coerced, the
    department’s attorneys contend in responses to Fox’s civil rights
    lawsuit.

    Whether detectives had probable cause is a matter for jurors to
    decide, U.S. District Judge John Darrah concluded in a 37-page order
    that shot down attempts by the attorneys to dismiss the case before
    trial.

    In his civil complaint, Fox contends detectives did not have probable
    cause after he made his statement, which was “the result of trickery,
    deceit, coercion and gross negligence.”

    The judge’s order, released late last week, includes details of the
    investigation never before made public. It also notes many of the
    issues are contested, hinting at the possible courtroom battle to come
    this year in a case that attracted national media attention.

    Among the new details is the allegation that Melissa Fox said to her
    husband, Kevin, “something to the effect of, ‘You better not be
    involved in this’ or, ‘What did you do?'” after she learned their
    3-year-old daughter, Riley, was missing on June 6, 2004. Melissa Fox
    denies making such statements, Darrah’s order notes.

    Kevin Fox, meanwhile, submitted an affidavit from an attorney who said
    he told sheriff’s personnel long before Fox made his statement that
    they could not interview any family members without him being present.

    The defendants in the suit filed by Fox, 30, and his wife include
    former State’s Atty. Jeff Tomczak, six sheriff’s detectives, three of
    their supervisors, a jail guard and a polygraph examiner. The suit
    alleges Tomczak orchestrated the coercion of Fox’s statement six days
    before an election as his poll standing plummeted.

    “There are no facts to support the claims against [Tomczak],” said
    John Partelow, his attorney. “The state’s attorney in this case didn’t
    do anything wrong.”

    Fox was arrested after making the incriminating statement on Oct. 27,
    2004. State’s Atty. James Glasgow, who defeated Tomczak at the polls,
    released Fox on June 17, 2005, after laboratory tests excluded him as
    a match to DNA from Riley’s rape kit. The investigation remains open.

    Darrah set a Nov. 5 trial date, but defense attorneys are seeking a
    pretrial appeal to Darrah’s ruling that police and prosecutors named
    as defendants are not immune from legal action.

    “We respectfully disagree with the judge’s ruling,” said Gerald
    Haberkorn, who was hired by Glasgow to represent the defendants. “If
    need be, we are anxious to get the trial going — if we can’t proceed
    with the appeal issue. We are anxious for the back story to get out
    there.”

    Kathleen Zellner, the Foxes’ attorney, said, “We are confident of our
    position, and we will prevail at trial.”

    Among other disputed allegations noted in Darrah’s order is the police
    assertion that a June 6, 2004, surveillance tape from a Wilmington gas
    station shows a car similar to one driven by Fox on the street at 4:59
    a.m. the day Riley was reported missing.

    Riley’s body was found in Forked Creek, about four miles from the
    family’s home, less than eight hours after she was reported missing.

    But Chicago Police Officer David Heppner, who helped investigate the
    tape, told sheriff’s detectives it was “inconclusive,” Darrah’s order
    states. Fox’s complaint says the attempt to identify the vehicle
    “failed at every level.”

    Another disputed claim is that Fox failed a lie detector test
    administered by a Cook County sheriff’s deputy who was a licensed
    polygraph examiner. A polygraph expert later determined, “No
    definitive conclusion can be reached about the truthfulness of Kevin
    Fox on the basis of the polygraph examination,” the order states.

    Fox, after waking up to find Riley missing, called a police
    non-emergency number. After hanging up the first two times, Fox spoke
    on the third call, according to the order.

    “Fox called the non-emergency number because, at that time, he did not
    yet think an emergency was at hand requiring a 911 call,” his
    complaint states.

    The night before, Fox had arrived home from a concert in Chicago,
    where he drank about five beers, the order states. He and his
    brother-in-law, Tony Rossi, went in search of a party but found none,
    it states.

    At 1 a.m., Fox picked up Riley and her 6-year-old brother, Tyler, from
    his mother-in-law’s home, the order states. After placing his children
    on a chair and couch in the living room, Fox “watched a pornographic
    video,” the order states, recounting what Fox allegedly told
    detectives during his interrogation.

    Darrah’s order also cites an affidavit from attorney Ryan Stephan, who
    said he sent the sheriff’s department a letter on June 7, 2004, saying
    he represented the Foxes and “no further questioning of any family
    member should occur without his knowledge and attendance.”

    Tomczak filed an unsuccessful motion to dismiss the affidavit, arguing
    it was contradicted by the deposition testimony of Melissa and Kevin
    Fox.

    Detectives told Fox that if he confessed, he would “get involuntary
    manslaughter,” which carried a 3- to 5-year prison term, as opposed to
    murder, the order states. Tomczak decided to seek the death penalty
    about 29 hours after charging Fox with murder.

    During his statement, Fox said he accidentally hit Riley in the head
    with a bathroom door, knocking her out, the order states. Fox said he
    thought he had killed her and drove to Forked Creek, where he left
    her.

    When asked if he had anything to add, Fox said, “I’m just sorry what
    I’ve done. I didn’t know. I didn’t know she was alive and stuff. I
    just, uh, I, I just didn’t know what to do.”

    When asked how detectives had treated him during his interrogation,
    which lasted more than 14 hours, Fox replied, “Respectful, and you
    guys are a little pushy.”

    In jailhouse notes that Fox wrote for review by an expert in coerced
    confessions, he said Detective Scott Swearengen told him he would
    “stop me if something doesn’t match up. … I just sat there crying,
    trying to make something up. … Then it popped in my head that she
    was in the bathroom, probably going to the bathroom, and I opened the
    door and she fell and bumped her head.”

    The Foxes allege in their suit that the “accident story originated”
    with the detectives, not Fox. They also allege he was told that if he
    didn’t implicate himself, he would be repeatedly sexually assaulted in
    jail.

    ———–

  6. SickOfSlimeMinds says :

    I just saw the story on Riley Fox on 20/20.
    My sympathies go out to Kevin, Melissa & Tyler Fox & to their new baby daughter Teagan.
    Praise to the Fox attorneys, Kathleen Zellner and Paul DeLuca – GOOD & EXCELLENT JOBS, you two (& more, I’m sure….)!! You all saved an innocent, railroaded & lied to man’s life, & saved unanswerable corrosive & corruptive anger in several families from possibly developing. Things slimey shithead cops who frame people don’t think about……
    Anyway, what do I think of this (& the 20/20 people don’t have any ax to grind, so it had to have been objective)…..

    DissssssssssssssssssGUSTING!!!!

    I HOPE that those Will County “police” & “sheriff” chiefs who pushed through lies, & the detectives who went along with their chiefs’ ugly, evil demands ALL LOOSE THEIR HOUSES *&* THEIR VEHICLES *&* THEIR MARRIAGES *&* THEIR CHILDREN *&* THEIR PETS *&* THEIR OWN GOOD HEALTH !!!!
    They are wicked.
    They & those like them need to disappear.

    One thing I remember clearly about the 20/20 presentation: Near the end of the show, after it was determined that Kevin was innocent & set free from jail, a segment showed members of the Will County “law enforcement” people gathered behind some guy giving what was PROBABLY some kind of spin story to cover their SORRY f*kkin’ asses, and I remember looking at that group gathered behind the speaker, on my TV. I looked at that group, & all I felt, all my intuition told me, was a sense of *deadness* in the group that correlated with what my eyes were seeing — like some kind of emotional or spiritual, for lack of a better word, collective BLACK HOLE. Just….. dead. They’re all dead. Sucking up all things good into the black hole that they are good & just making any & all goodness just… disappear.
    Well, THEY must be made to disappear.
    I hope the populace & the people manning the political machines of Will County cleans up their slimey, 2-faced, amoral 2-LEGGED SNAKES with badges on.
    I am certain that there are some good law officers there, but YOU guys need to get rid of the scum in your ranks, too.

  7. Anonymous says :

    OMG!Dosn’t Anybody know?Riley Fox’s Dad,Kevin Fox Killed Her.He’s Been In Jail For 8 Months The DNA Tests Failed To Link He Was The Crime Suspect.He Got Out Of Jail As Soon As He Could. Ok!! Theres Your Answer!!!

  8. dwhuff says :

    Great site! Nice to see others sharing model railroading ideas

  9. Gage says :

    Will County Sheriff’s Department most evil of all cops i hope they all get a bomb planted in their station and blow up !

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