Illinois

Brown’s Chicken murders

January 8, 1993
Palatine, Illinois
Two owners and 5 employees (two of whom were teenagers) of Brown’s Chicken are killed, their bodies found in a walk-in refrigerator and a cooler

The murders seemed to be motivated by money as less than $2,000 was taken from the restaurant. Seven of the victims were shot to death while the eighth’s throat was sliced. Police discovered the bodies in the refrigerator and cooler.

More than 9 years later, a break in the case came when a girlfriend of one of the murderers went to police. Her boyfriend, James Degorski, was 20 at the time of the murders and accomplice Juan Luna was 18. DNA evidence linked Luna to the crime scene the day of the murder. Both men were convicted of 8 counts of murder, though both had jurors who decided against the death penalty (Luna’s jury agreed 11-1 in favor of a death sentence while Degorski’s voted 10-2), and both were sentenced to life in prison.

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