1978 | Chicago Reader at Forty | Chicago Reader

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August 25, 1978

Confessions of a Red Spy

"Most of our actions were unofficial," he explains. "Nobody ever came out and told us to violate the law. Instead, word would be passed down through the ranks. At a briefing, your sergeant might say, "The best investigative aid is a wiretap. But don't use them because they're illegal. . . . Of course we can't get anything done without them.'"

August 4, 1978


Why don't Jeff Haas and Flint Taylor just give up?

About the Peoples Law Office attorneys who sued city, county, and federal lawmen on behalf of the families of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, Black Panthers shot to death in a police raid in 1969. The trial wrapped up in 1977. In the end, when [federal judge Joseph Same Perry] exonerated all the defendants (while the jury was still deliberating), neither lawyer was crushed. When the judge subsequently laid on them all the costs of the trial (including the government's cost of reproducing all the documents that the FBI had failed to submit until it was forced to), they took it as true to form. And when Perry refused to even allow an appeal of his verdict unless Haas and Taylor posted an impossible cash bond (the judge claimed all the charges were from the beginning "frivolous"), they regarded it as ultimate ammunition for their side.

Perry's verdict was thrown out on appeal and a second trial ended in 1982 in a $1.85 million settlement. That same year Andrew Wilson murdered two Chicago policemen; Haas and Taylor represented Wilson when Wilson accused Lieutenant Jon Burge of torturing him, and Taylor has been involved in torture litigation ever since.

March 3, 1978

Chicago Classics: A Springtime Sampler of Urban Architecture


“A magnificent example of the bom-bay window perfected on the west side of Chicago in the late 1960s and still very popular.”

April 21, 1978

Man of the Year

“I wasn’t laughing so much because the Harvard Club of Chicago was giving their Man of the Year Award to Marshall Field. Somebody’s always giving him an award. It’s a good way for people who give awards to get their names in the Sun-Times and Daily News. I was laughing because Marshall Field was accepting it. Here he was all dressed up in his tailored tuxedo, reading to accept the Man of the Year Award eight days before the Daily News was going out of business. The whole thing seemed to lack, if not grace, at least a certain sensitivity.”

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