Yesterday when Michael Scott's body being found was all the news in Chicago, along with the Thompson Prison, downstate. Many news radio, and local news stations were calling this a suicide. Yes, some of the things our Republicans in this state were saying about Thomson prison, political suicide, especially those running for office, but also Michael Scott committing suicide. Many things did not add up to me. Yes, John Kass is right, this is not an easy location to navigate day or especially night. Also how do you shoot yourself, end up in the river, fall on the weapon?
Jody Weis is now on all the local news saying it is still a death investigation even though the Medical Examiner says it was a suicide.
With all the blue light camera's in the city, the area Michael Scott was found did not have any. Was this planned on the part of Michael Scott, or the killer?
If one would of wanted a remote location, and one that is away from the blue light camera's you would easily find a remote place, say the Cook County Forest Preserves?
Many things Republicans are saying about Thomson Prison are also not adding up. Why would so many GOP oppose the use of Thomson Prison, something that is favored by the GOP constituents that make up the downstate area, and more so the area around the Thomson Prison. We have an under utilized prison, along with an area that was built up with restaurants, gas stations, convient stores, hotels and the like in anticipation that this would be a viable employer. Now the area does not have this facility, Thomson Prison, up and running, employing people, and supporting the area.
Local residents are angry at what they hear coming out of the mouths of the GOP, especially the GOP candidates. They want the jobs, and wonder why candidates, and politicians talk about creating jobs, when, right at their doorstep is the opportunity.
The area residents most affected by the Thomson Prison being utilized should also be looked at. Why not listen to the people most affected by this?
John Kass certainly makes a lot of good points
Michael Scott made his living in Chicago politics as one of Mayor Richard Daley's guys out front.
The mayor put him on a series of public boards, from the Park District to the Chicago Board of Education. He made a decent living in real estate, and for 30 years he did what all front guys do:
Talk to reporters, sit in front of news cameras and lend his face to the mayor's policies and enterprise.
What's strange is that this very public man found an extremely private place to die.
The place where Scott was found early Monday, with a single gunshot wound in the head, is on the maps as part of the vibrant and high-tech River North neighborhood.
But actually, the place where he fell is a no-man's land along the North Branch of the Chicago River, a difficult place to reach, especially for a 60-year-old stumbling around in the pitch darkness, over uneven ground, with no light and no moon.
Visitors Monday to the spot where Scott died didn't see any police or security cameras that might have recorded Scott's last living seconds. With all the high-tech in Chicago, the spot where Scott died is seemingly off the grid.
It is not a place for public men like Scott. Rather, it is a place for homeless junkies and rats. It is a place to hide.
It's certainly not a place for Daley's 1983 deputy campaign manager and, until Monday, the mayor's president of the Chicago Board of Education.
The Cook County medical examiner's office ruled Scott's death a suicide. But police aren't so sure.
"We know what the ME ruled," said Police Superintendent Jody Weis. "But there are a lot of questions out there."
Scott's blue Cadillac was found in a parking lot next to the Apparel Center building at 350 N. Orleans St. It had been left near a blue trash bin.
From there to where his body was found, Scott would have walked about 20 yards to a fence near an old, deserted railroad bridge. Commuters can see that bridge, its black steel trestle permanently raised skyward, sticking out of the River North landscape like a broken arm.
And in Monday's daylight, after the TV cameras had left, it seemed reasonable that Scott could have easily made his way there.
But the night before, in the dark, it would have been all but unnavigable. He would have had to walk right under the cement counterweight for that old drawbridge, then scramble underneath an iron fence, then down a little embankment overgrown with weeds and strewn with trash.
He'd have walked over broken bottles, old rags from some homeless wanderer. There was a syringe on the ground.
Scott would have walked out along part of the cement river wall running under the bridge. It is about 5 feet below street level, next to an old boarded-up bridge house. It's quiet, even in the day. At night it would be all but silent.
And again, remember: There are no lights, apparently no security cameras to capture the pull of the trigger and the muzzle flash.
After the bullet entered his brain, Scott fell into the shallows along the riverbank, behind some wood pilings. Police found the gun underneath him.
Phil Krone, a longtime Daley adviser and a friend of Scott's, openly questioned the medical examiner's ruling in a short article on the Chicago Daily Observer, an Internet news and opinion site.
"While the news reports indicate it was a suicide I do hope that an appropriate investigation is done to make sure that it was not a murder masked to look like a suicide," Krone wrote. "There are many angry people in this world. and you never know who might act out."
Krone told me later over the phone that he and Scott were to have breakfast next week.
"I don't believe he would have killed himself," Krone said. "And I don't believe he would have done it there. That's why I wrote it. To raise the question."
Those of us who've had friends kill themselves know that there is nothing rational about suicide.
But I just can't imagine Scott, the public man, tromping around down there, exploring during the day, running the risk of being seen. And how would he have found such a place at night, alone, by himself?
For a man who for decades maintained a public profile, it was a sad and desperate landscape. There must have been other, easier places.
This was a guy who made a living giving face time to TV news cameras, and it's difficult thinking of him crawling along that river wall at night. He must have known he'd fall either into the river proper, to wait for March and the long thaw, or onto the shallow bank, to be left for what scuttles around down there.
No man, public or private, should have to end like that.
One argument against housing Guantanamo Bay inmates at the Thomson Correctional Center in northwest Illinois could already be moot.
Administration officials have floated a plan to hold military tribunals at whichever prison ends up taking the inmates, according to the Chicago Tribune. Right now, it looks as though Thomson is the leading candidate, the Sun-Times reports.
Over the weekend the Obama administration put out feelers about potentially transferring up to 200 inmates from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to domestic prisons. The Thomson prison was mentioned as a destination, but some Illinois Republicans lambasted the plan as a bad idea.
Among their complaints is the idea that carting inmates to and from court would pose a serious security risk.
By holding tribunals at the prison, there would be no need to transport the prisoners to places like Rockford and Chicago for trials in federal courts.
"The current thinking is it will be one-stop shopping," Charles Stimson, a former Pentagon official in the Bush administration and current legal scholar at the Heritage Foundation in Washington told the Tribune.
In order to make the transition easier, some officials recommend that the government house only foreign detainees at the prison and build a secure, on-site courtroom that allowed outside groups to observe and prosecutors to present classified evidence.
The administration official, who spoke to the Tribune anonymously, said it is too early in the planning stages to theorize about what steps the government would take with detainee trials.
Meanwhile, officials who toured the Thomson prison Monday left the impression that the northwest Illinois facility is leading the pack for becoming the next Gitmo.
"My impression is this is probably their No. 1 choice," Dixon Mayor Jim Burke, one of dozens of local officials briefed Monday about federal interest in the prison, told the Sun-Times.
Other’s said it’s too early to tell who is the front-runner, because other prisons need to be inspected.
"This is a very preliminary assessment," said Harley Lappin, director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
An early estimate of the economic benefit of housing the detainees in Illinois leads some to believe the prison could create up to 500 new jobs and generate $85 million in payroll.