Skip to comments.Riley Fox Killer Left Signed Shoe at the Scene (Innocent Father Spent 8 Months in Jail)
Posted on 06/16/2010 11:28:06 AM PDT by nickcarraway
The man accused of killing 3-year-old Riley Fox, Scott Eby, left a big clue at the scene of the crime six years ago.
Eby, who was living about a mile from the Foxes in 2004, left a pair of mud-covered shoes at Forked Creek, where he allegedly raped and killed Fox. The shoes had his name written on them.
Police collected the shoes and put them into evidence but never followed up. They focused their case instead on the girls father, Kevin Fox who confessed to her murder. Charges were later dropped thanks to DNA evidence that excluded him.
Sheriffs office did miss the clue, but so did the FBI and the states attorneys office, a spokesman for the Will County Sheriffs department said. Will County Sheriff Paul Kaupas didnt address the shoe snafu, but he did issue an apology to the family earlier this month.
"I don't think that this department is that proud where we are not going to admit any mistakes. We just want to find out how to do things better and hope it doesn't occur again," he said.
Kaupas said he plans to bring in outside investigators to review the case and their investigative protocols. "Sometimes have to bring in other people who aren't familiar with the area... to come in and show you that over a period of time you might have graduated into complacency with the way your police techniques work," he said.
Kaupas now admitted his department "obviously dropped the ball" and says he's lost sleep and agonized over this case.
"I apologize to [Kevin Fox] and the family," he said. "I don't know if he would ever see things our way, but I would try to explain... what kind of ball might have been dropped in this part of the investigation or that part of the investigation and what we are going to do to fix it." Kevin Fox's attorney, Kathleen Zellner, said she admires Kaupas' courage in coming forward and apologizing to the family. Cops said they made a mistake
"Sheriff Kaupas had nothing to do with the miscarriage of justice in this case," she said.
Note: an earlier version of this story said Kevin Fox was convicted in his daughters death. He was never convicted, but spent 8 months in jail.
OK, I’m confused. The cops “focused their case instead on the girls father, Kevin Fox who confessed to her murder.” Why wouldn’t they?
Details missing here?
They could start by finding who forced a false confession. And how.
How do you know that it was coerced?
It is not uncommon for completely innocent people to confess to crimes they did not commit. The phenomenon has been studied extensively and found to be legitimate in a number of studies, private and publicly funded. For this reason, and many others, you should NEVER agree to be interviewed by police for any question more detailed than your name and date of birth, absent competent counsel.
Because that’s why innocent folks will confess to a crime they didn’t comit.
I can’t remember where the article was but it was clear his rights were violated. I think he was denied an attorney for 14 hours of questioning or something along those lines.
Sometimes they’re just nutz.
Kaupas now admitted his department "obviously dropped the ball" and says he's lost sleep and agonized over this case.
"Complacency" and "dropping the ball" might have been involved if an innocent person's car was improperly impounded over a long weekend, or if a parking ticket were wrongly issued for a car that was parked legally.
As far as this case is concerned, how about "conspiring to deprive a person of their civil rights under the color of law" for starters...
The circumstances surroundinng the confession include a grief stricken father who may blame himself for the child’s death.....
Maybe he thought he should have been watching her more closely - whatever the reason....
It doesn’t appear that the police were grossly incompetent, they had a confession from someone who had access and opportunity....They just didn’t dot the “i’s” and cross the “t’s”.....
As a result, a dangerous and disgusting criminal walked freely through their community for several months...
A conviction is a conviction. Doesn't matter whether the guy was innocent, because he's probable guilty of something.
As long as the case is cleared off the books, that's all that matters.
When I was a Company Commander, several M-16s were taken from a tent during a field exercise. The weapons were stored in a rack when near the entrance to a HQs Operation Center. The CID got involved and the investigation focused on 2 soldiers who had left during the time the weapons went missing. Under extreme pressure and interrogation the soldiers confessed to taking the weapons. Later, the weapons were found on another individual who had stolen the weapons and he admitted he was the one who had stolen the weapons.
“It doesnt appear that the police were grossly incompetent,”
Wow. I disagree.
OK, I’m lost. I didn’t kill my daughter (or son, or wife, or brother etc.) so I CONFESS to having killed her. Sure, that makes sense. Look, they could waterboard me and use bamboo splints, but if I didn’t do it I’m NOT confessing. Duh!
Coerced? How did they coerce him??? Torture? I doubt it. All you have to say id I want MY LAWYER! End of interrogation. What is it with this nuts. I didn’t kill my daughter but I better confess anyway. Duh?
Commit. BS. Every police station in America knows they can’t get away with that kind of backroom crap anymore.
Ridiculous. A father’s FIRST instinct would be to find the SOB and cut his balls off! The last thing he’d want to do is confess to something he didn’t do.
so not a one of those cops went to see the guy who’s name was on the shoes found at the scene? not one?
I WANT MY LAWYER! And you cops can go f*** yourselves!
Someone who is good at their job can get you to confess to killing Lincoln if they wanted to.
Do you know how easy it is to say that while NOT in police custody?
He easily could have felt blame as you said,uttered a ‘my fault’ and had that taken for a confession.
I believe every word of it. It’s not about catching who did it. It’s about convictions.
lets see the videotaped interrogations...they did videotape them right?
This wouldn’t be the first time that law enforcement focused their investigation on the parents and let the killer get away.
Remember Jonbenet Ramsey? The difference here is that the Ramseys saw the writing on the wall and lawyered up immediately. The police never caught their daughters killer, but at least the parents didn’t serve jail time.
You might be strong enough to resist, as hopefully I would. There are a lot of weak people out there though.
Different case but relevant.
The police put the father who saw his daughter abducted by a woman in a car under the lie detector twice (he passed both times) but he was the focus of their investigation because he was the last to claim to have seen her.
The kidnapping brought about his wife’s divorce from him.
And then decades later the girl (and her kids) were discovered living in a shack in the backyard of the couple who abducted her. Including the woman who matched the description he gave at the time.
Sometimes investigators want to go after the easiest targets to investigate. FBI told us it was two totally different people who mailed the anthrax.
I’m tired of them trying to “clear their books” rather than solving crimes.
Looking in a hallway because the lighting is better does no good to find the contact you lost in the closet.
In other words, "Our bumbling incompetence should not be held against us, since the other agencies involved exhibited the same level of incompetence."
Amen to that.
There are plausibly innocent people in the ‘Justice’ system who are being held pre-trial in horrific Gang wings simply because they haven’t yet confessed to the crime they’re accused of.
And others confess because the Feds nail them on a ‘process crime’ (imperfect memory of an event = ‘perjury’ = felony to these bozos) - after which their only way to see daylight again is to confess to whatever.
Never talk to the cops. The Justice system can so easily eat you alive.
They told him to come to the police station at 7:30 PM, telling him that they had information about the case. He'd been awake since 4:30 that morning. At 1 AM, they brought in a polygraph, gave him an exam (with an inexperienced technicican) that lasted an hour. They told him that he'd failed.
At one point, according to the lawsuit, Hayes leaned close and told Kevin that he "knew people" at the jail, "and would make sure' that Kevin was f***ed' every day unless he told them what they wanted to hear." Ruettiger straddled Kevin's legs, pressing his testicles into Kevin's knees. He grabbed the back of Kevin's shirt and pulled his face close. "Your family doesn't love you," he shouted. "So just say you did it." Finally, Kevin claims in the suit, he was shown pictures of his dead daughter, her mouth still covered with duct tape, nude from the waist down, taken moments after she had been pulled from the creek. "Riley is in the room with you right now," the lawsuit quotes Guilfoyle as saying. "She is in pain and needs closure."
Today, in recalling this part of the interrogation, Kevin weeps. "I didn't know what had happened to her," he says. "When I saw the pictures . . . I don't even know how to describe it. When you see your daughter dead, with dirt and mud on her face . . . ." His voice trails off. "But the awful truth is," he says, "I wanted to see more. I wanted to see if I could find anything in those pictures that would help me figure out for myself what had happened, who had done this to my baby."
Kevin's account of the interrogation continues: Swearengen burst into the room, out of breath and saying he had just talked to Tomczak. "Hurry back. I can help this kid if he acts now," the detective quoted the state's attorney as saying. "I can make a deal for him."
Kevin says that Swearengen suggested the same "accident" scenario that he had proposed to Melissa nearly nine hours earlier. "It's now or never," the lawsuit claims the detective said. "Say it was an accident. Get your help from the State's Attorney so you can go home to your family. If you pass it up, you will spend your life in prison. If you say it was an accident, it's involuntary manslaughter with a three to five year sentence. You'll serve half. Go home now on bond."
Promising a suspect leniency to confess is forbidden under Illinois law, and the detectives have denied in court pleadings that they did so. Since the prelude to Kevin's confession was not videotaped-a law requiring interrogations be videotaped would not go into effect for several more months-the purported promise pits detectives' word against Kevin's.
It was now after six in the morning. Beyond the walls of the sheriff's building dawn was arriving. Kevin had been up for more than 24 hours and he'd had little to eat. He had been undergoing questioning for nearly 12 hours. The terms of the "offer" echoed in his head. He knew he was innocent, he says. But if he could get out on bond, he could straighten this mess out.
At 8:32 a.m., detectives turned on the video camera and began to tape Kevin's statement. According to the sheriff's summary, this is what he said: He came home at about 1:30 a.m., ate a snack, and then watched television, including an adult video. Around 2:15, he went to the bathroom and swung the door open quickly, striking Riley and knocking her down. The girl appeared "lifeless," and Kevin thought she was dead. Panicking, he scooped her up and carried her to his car, retrieving some duct tape from the back. According to the summary, Kevin thought of driving to his mother-in-law's house, or perhaps taking Riley to the hospital. Instead, he decided to make her death look like an abduction. He duct-taped his daughter's mouth and bound her wrists together with tape. He drove to a bridge over Forsythe Creek and then carried the girl down a muddy bank, slipping on the way down. Before putting the girl in the water, he inserted his finger inside her to make it look like she had been sexually assaulted. He then went home, cried for a while, and went to sleep.
A copy of the tape has not been released to the public, but Zellner has viewed it and she claims Kevin's manner is vague and halting. "They were putting words in his mouth," she claims. Rather than providing a running narrative, she says, Kevin often simply answered "yes" or "no" to the detectives' questions. Beyond that, she says, the details left several obvious questions unanswered. Why would a father with CPR training make no attempt to revive his daughter? Why was no duct tape found? If he slipped in the mud, why were his clothes not muddy? How could a lightweight bathroom door knock a little girl out so completely that she appeared dead? Why was no blood or other physical evidence found in the Ford Escape? And, most telling, how could detectives ignore that Kevin had not provided a single piece of information that only the killer would have known, such as the whereabouts of Riley's capri pants?
All told, Kevin was interrogated that night for more than 14 hours; only 20 minutes were taped. Just before he was booked and taken to jail, Kevin says, the last thing he heard was the sound of the detectives in the hallway, laughing and congratulating themselves.
Apparently it did not fit the agenda the LEO had been indoctrinated with. So they ALL ignored a blatantly obvious key piece of evidence found at the scene and went with the "daddy is a pervert" crap.
Yea, that is getting to be so typical. Fits right in with all the "zero tolerance" BS as well. More like zero thinking. Freedom from responsibility, just following orders, etc...
Absolute perfection of the communist agenda, the manufacturing of good little drones.
It’s like delivering a pizza. You don’t want too many cases on the files that took more than 30 minutes to deliver.
There is an organization that does nothing but try to free wrongly imprisoned people. It's called the Innocence Project. Of their "first 123 DNA exonerations, 37 involved murder cases, of which 2/3 involved false confessions". That should be a sobering statistic.
Trained interrogators can get people to admit to just about anything, given the right conditions. Psychologists have a scale called Gudjonsson suggestibility scale that actually measures an individual's susceptibility to suggestion. Interrogators are trained to look for these traits, and exploit them. During times of exaggerated emotion and stress - like a murder investigation - it serves as an amplifier to an interrogator's ability to suggest guilt to a suspect. Pretty soon, you have an emotionally drained suspect confessing to just about anything.
Yes, anger at first followed by grief and self blame as well.....I don’t know any more particulars on this case but this reaction is not unusual....
If during the intense interrogation questioning that Police investigators would perform, and they caught him at the point of self blame, he might confess hoping to be punished for whatever demons are dancing through his head at that moment.....
Obviously, that is the case, since the fact is he confessed to a crime he didn’t commit....
The idea is not just to get a confession, it’s to get the suspect to reveal details they wouldn’t have known about otherwise in their confession. Confessions can be unreliable, just like any other witness testimony. If the suspect reveals something that they shouldn’t know unless they were at the crime scene, then that’s good evidence.
Well, that's the idea or the ideal, anyways. Unfortunately, incompetent investigators are too often prisoners of the conventional. They see a dead little girl and because statistics tell them that it's likely a family member is responsible, they stop looking anywhere else and miss clues that would point them in other directions.
Instead, they focus on the confession rather than the investigation. It happens all the time. It clearly happened here.
I’m with you on this issue.
However, have you noticed that some people don’t seem to have an inner core? That they can be led to say what they think someone wants to hear?
My daughter was that way until she reached adulthood, and still may have that tendency, but in her case it was Asperger’s.
Coercion doesn’t occur as if in some 1950’s B movie. For instance, coercion occurs when the police convince the subject that someone else has given them all the information they need for a conviction, but that a confession would go a long way to soften the judge’s sentencing.
Also from the article I quoted: “The timing of the charges also seemed curious, coming just six days before a tight election for state’s attorney between Tomczak, the incumbent, and a bitter rival, James Glasgow. What’s more, Tomczak’s father, Donald, second-in-command at the City of Chicago’s water department, had just been named in a federal indictment for corruption.”
except in forced false confessions, there are no details to reveal.
Sure, people should refuse to talk to the police, but most of them don't.
Well, exactly. Until you hear those details, a confession is just another witness statement.
Not really as they can and will arrest you for a confession, false or not.
I found out the hard way that police will fabricate witness statements in order to make an arrest. It happened to me personally. I gave a statement regarding something that happened to me and I signed it without reading it thinking I could trust the police to write down what I said. Instead, they wrote a work of complete fiction. Very hard lesson to learn.
He already got it. $15.5 million dollars.
Sounds about right.