Considering Chicago's most overlooked murder trial
Lead Story: In most cities, the case of a man charged with the horrific murders of his wife and three children would make headlines for the duration of the trial. But in Chicago, the murder trial of Christopher Vaughn has played second fiddle to a number of other stories this year: the teachers strike, Chicago's overall murder rate and the circus that was the Drew Peterson trial. In fact, while people were distracted by that surreal circus, they probably missed the equally strange twists and turns in the Vaughn case. But the Vaughn case heads to closing arguments today, and still, it barely registers for most Chicagoans.
Unlike the Peterson case, there’s nothing sensational about Vaughn's case — it’s just horrific. Vaughn is accused of killing his whole family; the defendant claims it was his depressed wife who killed the children and then herself. It’s hard to face a story like this, to sit through updates about a man who allegedly blew money on strippers and planned to escape to the Canadian wilderness once he murdered his family — it’s too real. If we don’t look closely at it, maybe we can pretend something this horrible just didn’t happen.
Also: Ald. Proco Joe Moreno (1st) has backed down on his stance against Chick-Fil-A and will now allow the fast food restaurant to open a location in Logan Square. Moreno had previously said he would block the restaurant from building in his ward because the chain’s non-profit arm has donated money to anti-gay political causes over the years (Chicago wasn't alone here: Boston's mayor also said the chain wasn't welcome). But now Moreno says Chick-Fil-A has assured him it will no longer donate to those causes, and the alderman, who feels more and more like he’s eyeing a run for mayor one day, has given the thumbs up. Maybe now we won't have to read Facebook posts about chicken sandwichs anymore.
And then: Fans were happy when the Chicago Cubs confirmed they would move their Single-A minor league franchise from Peoria to Kane County, putting the team closer to the city of Chicago. But who should swoop in to claim the Peoria Chiefs as their own franchise? None other than the Cubs’ hated rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals. It won't be the Chiefs first stint as a Cardinals club: They were previously a St. Louis affiliate from 1995 to 2004. Still, it’s funny to watch the (lately one-sided) rivalry extend beyond the baseball diamond to entire minor league franchises.
RIP: Russell E. Train, one of the country’s most influential conservationists, at the age of 92. Train helped found the Environmental Protection Agency and the World Wildlife Fund and served as a leader in both organizations. He also helped pass the landmark National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.
- Deflating the hopes of war hawks and U.S.-born hockey lovers everywhere, the Obama administration denied a report that we were planning to invade Canada. No word yet on what yesterday’s meeting with Blackbeard was about, though.
- In another example of complete employer overreach, fourteen part-time lifeguards at a pool in Southern California were fired for taping a “Gangnam Style” parody video.
- Clint Eastwood seems to have a sense of humor about the empty chair fiasco at last month’s RNC.
- Images from a Google Street View truck in Detroit show a teen pointing a gun at the truck.
- Say what you will about the government, at least they have their priorities straight: During atomic bomb tests in the 1950s, the government also tested if beer near a nuclear explosion was still safe to drink.
- U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is selling his D.C.-area home to help pay for medical expenses from his time at the Mayo Clinic.
- Yay, the teachers strike is over! Oh no, the pension fund is almost depleted!
- Vice magazine is apparently using a self-produced documentary about Cure Violence (formerly CeaseFire) as part of a package that also advertises a violent video game about revenge killing.
- Illinois, it’s not just those pants: You really are getting fat.
- Forbes’ annual list of the wealthiest Americans is out, so here are the 13 Chicagoans you should try to mooch off of.
- The first of what promises to be many cancellations for the NHL this season due to the lockout: All preseason games through September 30 are off.
- Because Dublin and Soldier Field aren’t enough, apparently, Notre Dame may play a game (against Big East lightweight Connecticut, ugh) at Fenway Park.
- If you loathe FOX’s MLB coverage, get ready, because the network is keeping the World Series through at least 2021.
- The greatest Jay Cutler meme yet.
Nick Offerman’s beat poetry tribute to bacon. That is all.