Alvarez Asks State Cops To Probe Death Tied To Daley Nephew

CHICAGO (CBS) — Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez has asked Illinois State Police to look into the Chicago Police Department’s handling of a homicide case involving a nephew of Mayor Richard M. Daley.

In 2004, 21-year-old David Koschman died almost two weeks after he was punched and knocked to the ground on Rush Street during a confrontation with a group of people including Richard J. Vanecko, a nephew of the mayor. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office ruled the death a homicide.

According to a series of reports in the Chicago Sun-Times, police reports indicate Vanecko was the one who threw the punch, but he was never charged with a crime.

Police re-opened the case earlier this year, but closed it again after saying they determined Vanecko acted in self-defense. Detectives reportedly determined Koschman was the aggressor, based on witness accounts.

But those witnesses now say they never told police Koschman was the aggressor.

Alvarez’s office has also declined to press charges, saying there’s not enough evidence to sustain criminal charges against Vanecko. But she’s asked state police to take another look at the CPD investigation.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Nancy Harty reports

As CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports, Koschman’s mother, Nanci Koschman, is still looking for answers, seven years after her only son’s death.

“I close my eyes sometimes at night and I still him in that hospital bed, laying there, wondering why it happened,” Nanci Koschman said Friday.

It happened seven years ago on Rush Street. Koschman’s son David was out drinking to celebrate his 21st birthday with friends.

At some point the friends had a confrontation with a group of strangers. One of them was Richard J. Vanecko, the nephew of Mayor Richard M. Daley.

They got into a fight and, supposedly, my son was mouthing off and there were words exchanged.

Koschman says Vanecko punched her son…causing him to fall and hit his head on the curb. He was hospitalized for a short time, but eventually died.

“The person who hit my son was 6’3”, 230 pounds and my son was 5’5” and 140 pounds. So, it’s hard for me to understand how that person felt threatened by my son,” she said.

At the time, the police wrote in their report that David’s friends said he was the aggressor and could not identify Vanecko as the hitter.

But recently, amid a series of reports in the Chicago Sun-Times, David’s friends have said the police lied; that they did identify Vanecko and they never said David was the aggressor.

Asked if she thinks Vanecko got special treatment because he is related to the mayor, Koschman said, “I don’t know if was a cover-up, but I never really got any information.”

Koschman said she hopes that will change.

Alvarez has asked state police to look into the Chicago Police Department’s handling of the case. CBS Legal Consultant Irv Miller said it’s the best move.

“I think that Anita Alvarez is absolutely correct in referring this over to Illinois State Police, to have a fresh set of eyes look at it, have a clean set of eyes look at it, so there is no appearance of any type of misconduct whatsoever,” Miller said. “If the Illinois (State) Police looks at it and comes to the same conclusion, I think that the family should be happy that justice did prevail.”

Koschman said that, if nothing else, maybe she’ll finally get some answers.

“When I was looking for the picture … I saw his cards that he wrote me when he was five and six years old. ‘Happy Birthday Mom, I love you.’ I’ll never hear those words again.”

Chicago Police declined to talk about the case on Friday. The Illinois Police released a statement saying they are prepared to review the investigation.

  • ChicagoCitizen

    It sounds like both guys were equally involved in the dispute. Niether intending on killing anyone. Leave it alone, it’s old news. Besides that, his uncle is the Mayor, forget about it!!

    • Mayor Daley

      Noting to see here …move along now, business as usual…………go on move along.

      • ChicagoCitizen


    • Demands for a Public Hearing

      Chicago Citizen, if it was YOUR son or brother, would YOU leave it alone because it’s “old news”? Didn’t think so.

      The police officers who WILLFULLY MISREPORTED the friends of David Koschman who could not have had such terrible memories that they FORGOT that the 6’3″ 230-lb. guy was the one who hit their friend must be publicly disgraced in the form of a publicized apology and then dismissal from their jobs.

      Next, the State Police investigation must also be a PUBLIC procedure with fair hearings for the witnesses — all made PUBLIC. If Richard Vanecko is found to be guilty of the homicide, he should face the consequences just like any other citizen. It’s a disgrace that the initial cover-up occurred.

      Good for you, Anita Alvarez (I’m glad I voted for you) and CBS News for bringing this back in the open.

  • Ed

    Chicago cittizen must be a Daley cousin , or just ignorant.

    • ChicagoCitizen

      You don’t really think this thing should be dug up after all this time? Don’t forget, it’s a big waste of taxpayer dollars. I’m not ignorant, nor related, just forget it, no one cares.

      • Demands for a Public Hearing

        If “no one cares,” then why do you keep encouraging people to forget about this story? Something stinks about your posts.


    “chicago citizen” Wrongooooo ,”Ignorant but “Not Related”,people do care.

  • tom sharp

    First, fire the cops who failed to follow proper procedures multiple times. The look for that lost file (the only one lost in decades!!)

    • Billy

      The cops did the right thing, his uncle is the Mayor, it’s just the way things work everywhere.

  • 125$)$

    of coarse the mayor’s family members get off, no questions asked. Just a disgusting thing for these a-hole prosecuters to cover up. The Fat ass kid is a murderer

    • Rick

      Really, how often does throwing a punch in a fight cause death? There is no murder here, just a terrible accident. You’re just a Daley hater!!

  • streamwood bill

    Watch Alvarez conclude that the re-investigation has no merit for charges against the Daley goon! Whitewash, you watch and see. This is all now window-dressing. The cracks are starting to appear for this Anita who is not what she said she was. Fair and impartiaL!

  • Ben Adamowski

    And I bet Daley the crooked irishmen played a hand in it,what a joke!

  • Sam

    This should all be left under the carpet where it belongs. Two people got into a mutual fight, making them both responsible. There is no good reason to start the fire back up, leave it alone, Daley haters are the only ones who care.

    • tom Sharp

      Right Sam, all 2 million of us “Daley Haters”!

    • Cindy

      I agree, leave it alone.

  • Sgt Friday

    Want the truth, you can’t handle the truth, the beat flat foot calls the sgt. been a murder…thats when i go to work …i carry a badage, it was monday we were work white washing and cover up and beating visting tourist dept……the mayors punk slob nephew killed some one…we called anita, she pulled the strings on her end as the file was burned….errr…misplaced by my partner, lt. bourge…..
    Just the Facts…..

  • Enough

    Really? Really? there are unsolved murders all over this city and every day when I buy the Sun Times I need to see this on the cover again and again and again….ENOUGH OR give this kind of Press to EVERY unsolved murder not just the political ones!!!!


  • A.M. Frattini

    …”mutual fight…responsible,…” Please, alcohol WAS a major factor. It was after 3:00am and all had been in bars till that time of the morning. If someone would have pushed this kid with a feather he would have fallen over into the street. Could have gotten hit by a car. Could have choked on his own vomit. I do not mean to be harsh but none of these people on either side seam to sound “responsible.” Drunks get into a fight, someone gets hurt, it is a terrible tragedy but I do no think any of them were out to kill that morning. They were having a good time in the city, right? So, who is responsible, the bar tender?

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live