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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Wednesday, March 2, 2005

U.S. District Judge Lefkow Finds Her Husband and Mother Slain in her Chicago Home

U.S. District Judge Joan H. Lefkow of Chicago came home to tragically find her husband Michael Lefkow, a 64 year-old private practitioner in employment law, and Donna Grace Humphrey, her 90 year-old mother visiting from Denver, both fatally shot in the head.  Judge Lefkow had been the target of death threats from Michael Hale, a white supremacist whom Lefkow held in contempt of court.  Judge Lefkow and her husband increased security at their home because of these threats, but after he was convicted in April 2004 for soliciting Judge Lefkow's death, they stopped some of these measures.  As they begin their investigation, Chicago police are not necessarily connecting these murders to Hale, who is being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center while awaiting sentencing on his conviction.  Former Attorney General Ashcroft ordered Hale to be held at this facility under special restrictive measures taken against suspected terrorists since 9/11.  He has been prohibited from communicating with people through the media, mail, or telephone, or from having visitors.  So far, investigators have found bullet casings, but no weapon, and signs of a forced entry.  The Chicago Tribune reports: "Within the last two weeks, federal agents in Chicago received a bulletin saying the white supremacist Aryan Brotherhood was possibly planning to harm "law enforcement and their families," according to a source. Information on what security measures might have been put in place in the wake of that alert was not immediately available," but federal investigators said Monday night that a protective detail was organized to protect Judge Lefkow. The Chicago Tribune's full story... [Mark Godsey]

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