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Tinley Park police chief wants consultant for Lane Bryant

A Tinley Park police car passes by vacant former Lane Bryant store.  |  File photo

A Tinley Park police car passes by the vacant former Lane Bryant store. | File photo

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Updated: March 25, 2013 6:55AM



Five years after a gunman killed five women in a Tinley Park Lane Bryant store, police there still work full time trying to solve the mass murder.

They have followed up on 6,689 leads, some more than once.

“It’s something that’s gnawing at us, quite frankly,” Mayor Ed Zabrocki said. “It’s something we need to solve.”

Now the village thinks it may be time for someone to take a fresh look at the case.

When Police Chief Steve Neubauer presented the department budget to village officials, he asked for money to hire a consultant to review the case. Neubauer hopes an outsider may see a new angle.

“I, and most other police officers in the country, have never dealt with a mass murder, because they’re rare,” Neubauer said. “It’s a good time, I think, to assess what we’ve done up to this point and see if we can get some expert advice.”

The morning of Feb. 2, 2008, a man walked into the store in the Brookside Marketplace shopping center and opened fire on six women in the store, killing five. Over the past five years, the FBI, Secret Service, South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force, Illinois State Police — even NASA — have helped with the investigation.

The village even sent investigators to London to review a new forensics tool that didn’t end up being helpful in the case.

“We may very well be doing the right thing and doing all we can do,” Neubauer said.

No consultant has been selected. The amount of money to be allocated to the department’s budget isn’t solid yet, but the village’s public safety committee will recommend $10,000 for the consultant, said village Trustee Brian Maher, who chairs the committee.

“This was a terrible tragedy, a heinous murder of five innocent women in our village,” Maher said. “We feel a strong obligation to do everything we can to make sure the offender is brought to justice.

The money would be set aside not only for the consultant, but also for potential lab tests on evidence that could come up, Neubauer said.

The village won’t approve the overall budget until May, but officials have started meeting on each department’s proposals.

Zabrocki said the consultant idea is a first for the village — but so is the Lane Bryant case.

So far, the village has spent $1.9 million on the investigation, he said.

“That’s quite a bit of money,” Zabrocki said. “We want to bring this thing to fruition, one way or another.”

Anyone with tips about the murders is asked to contact Tinley Park police at lanebryant@tinleypark.org or through the tip hotline, 708-444-5394. Tipsters can remain anonymous, but anyone with information leading to an arrest may receive a $100,000 reward.



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