Annabel Kent, Chicago Media Critic
Does anyone really think a Daley would have been indicted, after nearly a decade, for killing David Koschman if there was still a Daley in the Mayor’s Office?
If you do, see me. I’m selling $100 tickets to the Grand Opening of Al Capone’s recently discovered hideout containing his cache of money and secrets – this time for real.
Does anyone really think those intrepid “Watch Dogs” at the Sun Times – an affiliate of the Chicago newspaper combine we call the Sun Tribune – just decided that, about seven years after Koschman died in a late-night street incident involving a Daley, that the event should be…revisited?
If you do, see me. I’ve trained a Pekingese to sing Irish drinking songs and he rents for only $1,000 a night to entertain at parties – that is, if he’s in the mood to sing. If not, you’re still out the grand.
And now, on the heels of those two improbabilities come statements from Uncle Bill Daley about his nephew, the recently indicted for manslaughter Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko. Innocent until proven guilty, of course.
Uncle Bill said that R.J. is “basically a good kid“. The “kid” is 38 years old, by the way. Uncle Bill added, “The death of the young man was a terrible tragedy. The pain which his family has felt over those years — anyone who has lost a child knows that. It’s irreplaceable pain.”
The Times’ soberly reminds us that “Daley lost 8-year-old son Richard J. Daley II to a rare lung disease in 1985.” That means, of course, that Uncle Bill’s empathy for the Koschman family is genuinely heartfelt.
But deadly disease, while tragic, particularly when it afflicts a young person, is not a crime.
The Times’ article tells us that “The former Commerce secretary said there are advantages to being a member of what’s been Chicago’s most politically powerful family for the past half-century, but also disadvantages.”
The Times’ quotes from Uncle Bill continue: “’I think we’ve been the beneficiaries of enormous opportunity,’ Daley said. ’Every one of us knows that. Everyone knows we were blessed to havesuch great parents and a father who decided to spend his life in public service, as did his son, my brother Rich. And all of us have tried to do it right and live good lives, as everybody does.’”
Did we miss something here? Is David Koschman accused of killing R.J.? Are we supposed to feel sorry for the “good kid” R.J.?
At the point the Times’ article has fully entered into the Land of Surreal there comes this Uncle Bill quote: “Asked if the Daley family tie had hurt or harmed the 38-year-old Vanecko in the Koschman case, Daley said, ‘I’m not going to — you know, he suffers with the fact that he is related.’”
Oh, really? Thirty-eight year old “Kid” Vanecko suffers with the fact that he’s related to the Daley family? Is that why he skated on this charge for nearly a decade, because the authorities wanted him to suffer with guilt?
The sad truth is that justice suffered because Vanecko is related to the Daley family.
Makes you wonder: Is all this high jingo a set-up for a plea bargain based on R.J.’s time-served in a prolonged state of mental anguish as he dealt with his unresolved and unacknowledged personal feelings of possible guilt?
Which brings us back to the initial question: Does anyone really think a Daley would have been indicted, after nearly a decade, for killing David Koschman if there was still a Mayor Daley –any first-name Mayor Daley?
Looks like one of the advantages Uncle Bill mentioned of being a member of Chicago’s most politically powerful family is the ability to get away with a charge of manslaughter - that is until a new regime takes over City Hall and gives its dedicated shill media outlet the green light to go after a Daley.
When Rahmbo runs for re-election, he sure doesn’t want to run against a new first-name Daley.
David Koschman and his mother are, of course, the most egregiously damaged victims here, but the by-standing citizens of Crook County are victims, too.
Because if somebody like David Koschman doesn’t count until the political winds shift – then nobody counts.
It’s Howdy Doody Time in Chicago again, folks.