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WSPYnews.com photo by Mark Harrington.

Hidden away on the shelves of a local library, the ghost appeared. 

Raised in the Harding-Serena area, he had practiced law for a few years in Earlville. 

Back in 1960 as LaSalle County state’s attorney, he commanded the investigation into The Starved Rock brutal beating murders of three women in St. Louis Canyon.  Sixteen years later, he gave a taped interview for a county oral history project. 

No longer living, this is the ghost of one Harlan Warren. 

While Chicago attorney Andrew Hale is attempting to have the jury guilty conviction of 84-year-old prison paroled Chester Weger vacated in April, WSPY News discovered the Warren tape that may be convincing to some that Weger did commit the murders. 

Weger had an alibi for the blood on his jacket.

But Warren had FBI lab results from Washington, DC.

There is the murder weapon, a frozen tree limb found in the canyon.

Hale maintains that the murder weapon was a round object such as a steel pipe. Hale also states that the log was spongy, unable to beat the women despite several weeks of freezing temperatures in the canyon.

In a confession seven months after the murders, Weger revealed this stunning admission to authorities and the court reporter.

In the interview transcript, according to Warren, only Weger would know about the plane flying overhead. “The airplane clinches the whole thing,” said Warren. 

After Weger made the admission, a few days later deputies found the same red-white airplane  at the Ottawa airport, verified its flight logs, the airport manager, and pilot as being over the St. Louis canyon murder scene that day, while checking on a river dock and Plum Island.

Once outside the courtroom in the past year, Hale was asked about the airplane, but deflected and changed the topic as “kicking the can farther down the road.”

Weger passed six Illinois State Police polygraph lie detector tests, but Warren explained why he had John Reid and Associates in Chicago administer new tests. 

Hale will point out that Reid was friends with one of the murdered victim’s husband as a conflict.

On the third day of interviewing state park employees, Weger’s turn came up.  

Warren traced the corded twine used to bind the women’s wrists and ankles from the manufacturer to two suppliers to the Starved Rock Lodge kitchen, where Weger worked four feet away from his dishwasher duties.  

With the twine, the airplane, the tree branch murder weapon, and two failed private polygraph tests, Warren presented that and more evidence to his suspect. 

Weger confessed. 

Within that 47-year old taped interview, Warren had his man.

You can listen to Mark Harrington's radio story by clicking below: