The Secret Crime Archives

By: El Captain

In May 2002, the suspected killers of seven innocent people were captured. The seven victims were executed inside a Brown’s Chicken restaurant in Palatine.

On the cold night of January 8, 1993, Juan Luna and his friend, James Degorski, had the devil in the soul while, without any explanation, they murdered the owners of the restaurant in cold blood, along with five employees between the ages of 16 and 46.

More than five hours had passed when the police found the bodies. The family of one of the victims who worked there had reported him missing after he hadn’t returned home. When the police arrived to the restaurant at 168 W. Northwest Highway to investigate, they saw that the back door was open and found seven people shot dead inside the freezers.

At first glance, theft looked to be the motive, however, the executions did not provide any logic. More than nine years passed before an important clue helped solve this grisly crime. A woman told the police that her then boyfriend, James Degorski, confessed to her that he and his friend Juan Luna, had done something big and to not miss the news on television.

On May 16, 2002, Juan Luna was arrested and interrogated. He confessed to having committed the horrendous crime and implicated his high school friend, James Degorski. On May 10, 2007, Juan Luna was found guilty of murdering seven people and was sentenced to life in prison. All but one member of the jury voted for the death penalty, which saved Luna from being executed. James Degorski had the same fate and was sentenced to die behind bars on October 20, 2009. There are now only memories where the restaurant once stood. The land is currently a a huge parking lot for a store called Eurofresh.

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