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Patch Re-Opens Unsolved 25-year-old Shorewood Murder Case

The Shorewood police wanted to keep information about its oldest murder case under wraps, but Patch unwrapped it.

The first murder ever in the Village of Shorwood has gone unsolved for more than a quarter century.

The former police chief brought it up when he retired a year and a half ago, and Patch asked to see the file.

The police said no. Patch fought, and won. Here's what we found out:

Chicago resident David Wolfson, 31, was reported missing April 13, 1987. Ever since his skull was found the following July along the Interstate 55 frontage road in Shorewood, the case was never officially solved.

Oliver North was testifying about the Iran-Contra scandal the day the Shorewood Police Department was called out to 600 Northwest Frontage Road. It was July 8, 1987, at 10:40 a.m. when George Honiotes, owner of Honiotes Precision Auto, found a human skull under a mailbox fastened to the shop's entrance gate.

His secretary, Rhonda Bly, explained that the shop's pet dog, Spike, "had been bringing bones to the body shop and depositing them around the area of the body shop," Officer William J. Data said at the coroner's inquest.

Honiotes and Bly figured the bones were from another animal. That day, however, they found the human skull and realized Spike had found a grave.

According to the coroner's report, much of the upper body had been disturbed. The lower body was intact. The cause of death was homicide by asphyxia, and probably strangulation, according to the death certificate. No other trauma was discovered on the remains. 

"The only evidence of trauma found is the presence of 'pink' anterior teeth, i.e., the upper portions of the roots and the lower crowns of the anterior teeth have a definite pink color," wrote forensic consultant Robert Pickering in his report to the coroner. "Some forensic investigators have suggested that pink teeth may result from asphixiation."

The family offered a $25,000 reward two years later. Several people were questioned. Sources close to the investigation believe Wolfson was involved with some bad business dealings that led to his murder. However, there have been no convictions.

When former Police Chief Robert Puleo retired in July 2011, he told Patch he regretted never solving this crime. As a courtesy, Patch offered to revisit the case. However, when Puleo's recollections were sketchy, the Shorewood Police Department was not forthcoming with reports. It denied Patch's Freedom of Information Request. 

Police Chief Aaron Klima, who was the acting police chief at the time, denied the request, saying he was doing so on the advice of counsel. The village's attorney, David Silverman of the Joliet firm Mahoney, Silverman & Cross, is a former Shorewood cop. He was also one of the responding officers who processed the Wolfson crime scene.

After winning a Freedom of Information Act appeal through the Illinois Attorney General, Patch gained the public documents.

george January 22, 2013 at 08:37 PM
POLICE = THUG'S with a badge!
Bob Gustafson January 25, 2013 at 02:45 PM
To anonymous and george, you two are nothing but cowards! I hope the cops continue to write tickets there, because aholes like you don't know how to drive, or think you are above the law. I can guarantee the next time either of you two get pulled over, you don't have the balls to tell the cop what you wrote here. Keep hiding behind the wall you phony bastards!!!Doeither of you have a job? Do you all still live in Mommies basement? Grow up! Go in the military so you can become MEN and not little pansies!
Bob Gustafson January 25, 2013 at 03:11 PM
Also, it is JEWEL, not JEWELS!
george January 25, 2013 at 04:51 PM
Bobby oh bobby,You poor little mind hurting fool, When stupid people beat thier head's against a wall for long enough they sooner or later wipe away the trail of blood and say,Hey this hurt's....So there is hope for you soner or later don't worry
fukthepolice April 17, 2013 at 05:00 PM
Bobby...don't be a douchebag. The cops are much worse then actual gang bangers. And George wouldn't be stupid enough to tell the cops what he wrote because deep down inside you know the truth of what would happen. He would get arrested and beat up or possibly put into the hospital by those fucking pigs. And who loses? George would....his time, money and his health. The police is a gang with a badge. Fuck them all. And if you have to correct him with his spelling of the Jewel grocery store...who is showing there pettiness and idiocracy?? George: keep on keeping on....

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