Monday, February 28, 2005


Judge's husband, mother found deadBy David HeinzmannTribune staff reporterPublished February 28, 2005, 9:25 PM CST
The federal judge whom white supremacist Matthew Hale attempted to have murdered found her husband and mother lying dead in her house when she returned home Monday night, police said.Judge Joan H. Lefkow returned to her house in the 5200 block of North Lakewood Avenue after work and found the bodies of her husband, attorney Michael F. Lefkow and her mother, Donna Humphrey, lying in blood in the house, police said.Detectives, U.S. Marshals and FBI agents rushed to the scene and were investigating the deaths as a "death investigation," police said. Other family members may also have been present when the bodies were discovered, neighbors said.Police sources were cautious about describing the deaths Monday night, and said it was too early to say how the victims were killed.Michael F. Lefkow was an attorney in private practice. He was deeply involved in the Episcopal church and ran unsuccessfully for Cook County judge in 2002. Neighbors said they did not know whether the judge's mother was living with the family. The Lefkows married in 1975 and have four daughters.Hale, the 33-year-old founder of the World Church of the Creator was arrested in January 2003 and charged with soliciting Judge Lefkow's murder a month after she had held him in contempt of court. Based largely on testimony from Hale's "security chief," a jury convicted Hale of soliciting the judge's murder in April 2004.U.S. District Court Judge James Moody is scheduled to sentence Hale on April 6. Hale is currently being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in the South Loop.Evidence in the case against Hale included an email he sent the security chief, Thomas Evola, asking for Lefkow's home address. The address was posted on a white supremacist web site.In a recorded conversation played at the trial, Evola, who was an FBI informant, talked with Hale about Lefkow and asked, "We gonna exterminate that rat?"Hale first came to prominence in 1999 as a white supremacist and head of the World Church of the Creator. Over the Independence Day weekend, former church member Benjamin Smith went on a shooting spree directed at racial minorities, killing two and wounding nine.The FBI investigated Hale's role but he was never charged.In 2000, the Oregon-based group TE-TA-MA Truth Foundation, more commonly called Church of the Creator sued Hale for trademark infringement.Lefkow ruled in Hale's favor, but a federal appeals court in 2002 ruled that Hale's group had violated the Oregon church's trademark.


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