Chester Weger has an Aug. 1 court date in La Salle County and, according to his attorney, should have DNA results from the Starved Rock murders case by then.
The Chicago law firm representing Weger, Hale & Monico, previously confirmed that the upcoming hearing before Judge Michael C. Jansz should proceed as scheduled. Now, in a new episode of attorney Andy Hale’s ongoing podcast, Hale revealed lab results should be in hand for that hearing.
“All of our DNA results are supposed to be back by the end of July,” Hale told listeners on her podcast.
Weger, 83, was paroled in 2019 after serving six decades in prison for the 1960 murder of Lillian Oetting, who was bludgeoned to death in Starved Rock State Park with two companions. Weger confessed to the murders, but later recanted, and his conviction withstood multiple challenges and appeals.
Last fall, Weger persuaded Jansz to approve the testing of several pieces of evidence from the crime scene. These were transferred from the La Salle County Sheriff’s Office in early December. Nearly eight months will have passed before the publication of the results.
While the results are pending, Hale used the podcast to lay out his theory that Weger was framed for the murders, which he says were premeditated and more likely carried out by a small group than a single individual.
Hale sought corroboration and thinks he found some from an as yet unidentified woman. In the latest episode, a 41-year-old woman described a deathbed confession from her mafia-linked grandfather, who claimed Weger was a “fall boy” for a contract murder his grandfather had helped organize.
“(My grandfather) wanted him (Weger) released because he felt guilty that this man was in jail when he knew who murdered these women,” the interviewee said.
None of this could be independently verified as the interviewee’s name and other identifiers have been removed from the podcast. Hale said he flew in to take his statement in person, which would be given to the special prosecutor.
The theory that the murders were contract killings is by no means new. Rumors have long swirled that at least one of the women was targeted for death; but La Salle County prosecutors have consistently dismissed such speculation, and families of the victims have denounced the rumors as pernicious gossip that deepened their grief.