VIDEO: John L. Wilson Jr. Charged in Kelli O'Laughlin Murder Case

Wilson will appear before a judge in bond court this morning on charges of first degree murder in stabbing death of Kelli O'Laughlin.


Charges have been filed in the murder of a 14-year-old Indian Head Park teen. Although police have yet to release an official statement, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and NBC5 report that the charges are for first-degree murder.

John L. Wilson Jr., 38, of Chicago has been charged in O'Laughlin's death. Wilson is set to face a judge in bond court this morning. According to Fox News Chicago, Wilson was stopped the night of the murder by a Willow Springs police officer. Wilson told the officer his car had broken down and he was getting a cab. The officer later learned that he might have spoken to the killer after of a person of interest in the case.

O'Laughlin's cell phone was also taken the night of the murder, and may have been used to send text messages to a member of Kelli O'Laughlin's family, taunting them about the crime.

Thursday night, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and Indian Head Park Police Chief Frank Alonzo announced that they had a person in custody for the murder of Lyons Township freshman Kelli O'Laughlin.

“We feel very confident about the case and about the individual that is in custody right now,” said Dart.

Dart and Alonzo would not answer specific questions pertaining to specifics about the individual in custody, but Dart did confirm that the suspect has a prior criminal record.

“The individual who has been arrested has been in the penitentiary before," said Dart. "We really don’t want to get into too many details about him.”

NBC5 and ABC7 reported earlier in the day that the person in custody is a 38-year-old man from Chicago’s South Side, who was paroled within the last year. Police say they worked hundreds of leads in order to find him.

"As far as this crime is concerned, I think we all can rest a little bit easier tonight,” said Indian Head Park Police Chief Frank Alonzo.

But community members say they wish the police would provide them with more information, particularly about whether the person in custody acted alone.

"Have they stopped the investigation? Are they done looking for anybody else, because they are absolutely 100 percent certain that this is the gentleman who committed the crime?" asked Marie Raleigh, an Indian Head Park resident and subsitute teacher at Lyons Township High School.

NBC5 reported that the killer used Kelli’s cell phone to send taunting text messages to her mother that included details of her murder.

Residents say that rumors like this are something they would like police to address.

"Now that the text messages to the family have come out into the public. We want to know, was this just a burglary—this taunting. We don’t know, and we’re a little uneasy about this," said Raleigh.

Her sentiments were echoed by another Indian Head Park resident who said he hopes this case will be resolved soon.

"It’s hard to sleep," said Darren Drake. "Every waking moment it’s in the back of my mind, because it’s been so close to home. We’re just not used to this."

Word that charges have been filed came the day of Kelli O'Laughlin's funeral.

Terry Tringle November 06, 2011 at 04:00 PM
This guy has killed. There's no chance for rehabilitation, (and why would we want to anyway). There's no question that he's guilty and should be put to death NOW. End of story. And by the way, I don't appreciate his family already trying to lay down the insanity defense. So wrong of a thing to do at this time.
cb November 06, 2011 at 05:49 PM
I actually don't think the family really cares to defend him. The grandmother said "Throw the book at him." His brothers remarks were meant in a condescending, chiding way "He's crazy, dude!" I didn't hear one of them say that he was unfit to stand trial or that he couldn't help what he did. They actually seemed to take blame very well. And sadly, I don't think Wilson himself will bother with an insanity defense. He's denied medicine in the past and seems quite apathetic to the whole thing. Unless he has some skeevy lawyer who convinces him to go this route, we can look forward to seeing garbage as such off the streets.
cb November 06, 2011 at 05:51 PM
I don't agree with this. If you see a person of a different ethnicity walking down the streets, it's pretty extreme to call the police. I'm sure most people who lived there thought he had business in the area. One would be jumping to pretty wild conclusions if he got on the phone and said "Hey, there's a black man walking down Plainfield rd." Now, when he was lingering around on the side of the house, then it's time to call the police. But my understanding is that this lingering took place after the murder as another little girl was riding by. I don't think it's anyone's fault except wilson's.
Darren McRoy November 06, 2011 at 05:57 PM
I think this is well-said. I don't blame the family for having awfully mixed feelings--how would you if it were your brother or relation? And I agree, there will be no insanity defense, although I don't think that's sad. I think what's sad is how many people are put away for years for relatively minor infractions while an incorrigible perennial offender like this is paroled--paroled!--halfway through his seventh (!) violent crime conviction.
cb November 06, 2011 at 06:16 PM
Oh wow! I didn't mean "sadly" in that way. What I was meaning to say is that 'sadly, wilson feel no remorse, is quite apathetic and doesn't even care to try to find a way to reconcile with this.' Yes, I agree. We should stop putting people who smoke pot or commit petty theft away or forget to pay for their Wendy's meal. They are clogging the system while people like wilson are on the prowl for their next prey. This animal was headed for her his life life with the life of crime, jail, etc. he's embarked on.


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