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Missing file in Koschman case ended up in Chicago cop's NW Side bungalow

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Updated: February 18, 2014 4:33PM

With the heat on in the high-profile David Koschman homicide case, the original Chicago Police Department case file — a file that had been presumed lost, then suddenly surfaced — ended up in a brick bungalow on the Northwest Side.

It was taken there by the owner of the home, Lt. Denis P. Walsh, a well-connected cop with a troubled past who’s now been tied to four instances of missing records in the case, for which former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s nephew Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko began serving a 60-day jail sentence Friday after pleading guilty Jan. 31 to involuntary manslaughter.

The file had been missing for months — possibly years — when it mysteriously turned up one summer’s night three years ago on a shelf in the police station at Belmont and Western.

The officer who reported finding it? Walsh.

He told investigators for the special prosecutor in the Koschman case, Dan K. Webb, that he alerted his commander and the department’s chief of detectives.

And then, Walsh said, he held onto the file for about three weeks, at some point taking it home.
All of this was going on as city of Chicago Inspector Joseph Ferguson was reviewing whether the police mishandled the original investigation of the Koschman case in 2004 and also their 2011 re-investigation. The 2011 police probe ended as the first one had, without any charges filed — and the police falsely concluding that Vanecko acted in self-defense when he punched Koschman during a drunken confrontation on April 25, 2004.

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