First Prev
of 2
Next Last
Mary Beth

Edwardsville, IL

#1 Jan 18, 2009
Anyone remember this case? Not trying to find out identities but was wondering how are his victims today? How about his kids, he had two - how did they turn out?
momof4

Lake Saint Louis, MO

#2 Jan 22, 2009
Yes i remember that case. One of my sisters had him for a teacher and she was shocked when the story broke. One of my other sisters has been a close to friend to Van Hook's sister for many years. Van Hook's wife and 2 children moved out of state and changed there name many years ago. That is all i want to say about what i know.
Mary Beth

East Saint Louis, IL

#3 Jan 25, 2009
Thanks, Momof4. I recently read the book by Donald Weber. I also remember when this happened, I grew up in Caseyville and remember Van Hook. I was in high school when he taught there, although I didn't have him.

Reading the book, I can't help but wonder if he was guilty. A few things point to it, and the behavior of the other teachers was horrible.

What an awful thing for his family. I had heard they still lived in the area, although out of Collinsville. I don't know, I guess you grow up with the knowledge your father/husband/brother/son was guilty of something like this, or the knowledge he was railroaded. Either way, it must be just dreadful. I was left with such a bad feeling after reading the book.
Rocks Rules

Gretna, LA

#4 Jan 25, 2009
What was the case about?
momof4

Lake Saint Louis, MO

#5 Jan 25, 2009
Your welcome Mary Beth...i typoed in my last post i meant to say my one sister has and still is a very close friend to Richards sister....like i said i dont want to give out any more info due privacy and respect for his family. They had enough heartache in there lives. I do want to say though dont believe everything you read or hear. In my opion i think that Don Weber has a bit of a big ego and is out to make a name for himself.
Mary Beth

Fairview Heights, IL

#6 Jan 27, 2009
Back in 1982, Richard Van Hook, a teacher in the Collinsville School District, then at Caseyville Elementary, was charged with molesting some students. The Grand Jury in St Clair County refused to indict.

Then Donald Weber, then State's Attorney in Madison County (where most of the School District is located) took the case, found a victim from when Van Hook taught in Collinsville, charged, got an indictment from the Grand Jury in Madison County and got a conviction on some charges. The day before Van Hook was to be sentenced, he committed suicide at Horseshoe Lake State Park.

Most of the School District and teachers supported VH. One teacher went so far as to make a list of all the girls that testified before the Grand Jury (in Madison County) and pass it along to other teachers at all the District Schools.

There is a book out by Donald Weber - actually been out for years you can find by an easy Google Search.
Rocks Rules

Gretna, LA

#7 Jan 30, 2009
Thanks for the info. I don't remember the case. I grad. out of Troy in the '80, but also did a few years in Collinsville.
Mary Beth does your Mother in laws first name start with J.?
Mary Beth

Fairview Heights, IL

#8 Feb 1, 2009
No, my MIL's name doesn't.
susan

Draper, UT

#9 Jul 27, 2009
I think it is a sad situation. But it seems like there was just too much evidence against this man. I hope this case has helped victims speak out, and perps. get help.
old fashion

United States

#10 Sep 2, 2009
Mary Beth wrote:
Anyone remember this case? Not trying to find out identities but was wondering how are his victims today? How about his kids, he had two - how did they turn out?
i was a freshmen when his children were a senior and a graduate. they put on a good face to the community despite what tragic situations they faced. after all he was still someone's dad,husband,son. this by no means excuses anyone from hurting any other human especially a child. it was sad, i had to force my self not to put myself in the the childrens shoes of thought. very very upsetting.
Karen

Ocean Shores, WA

#11 Oct 10, 2009
I just finished the book. I'm sorry for his family, but the evidence was overwhelming against him. He was a sick man in need of help. There were too many people turning a blind eye to what he did. He destroyed those girls lives and would never admit guilt even in the end. He took the easy way out by committing suicide. There are many disturbed individuals out there who are leading normal lives with families that don't have a clue to what they really are. The way the school district and teachers acted is criminal. The girls got no consideration as to how they were dealing with what he did. The district didn't care about them, only the teachers. It has opened my eyes to watch closely what goes on concerning my children.
outoftowner

United States

#12 Oct 13, 2009
Mr Van Hook was my 7th grade teacher a North Junion High School in Collinsville..I have to admit I had a little crush on him..(girl stuff)he lived down the street from my Aunt off of Zupan..One thing that always stuck in my mind was at Maryville homecoming he had stared alot at me I was filling out well at this time of my life..I remember feeling a little flattered..I still have the book and my 14 year old finished reading it about a month ago (it's ironic I seen this on Topix)she asked me questions and I told her he was a nice teacher but felt uneasy at times..I thought it was sad what happened to him and his family..and the victims..
Mary Beth

Collinsville, IL

#13 Dec 20, 2009
Does anyone know if his son's first name is Ryan? Just curious.
Sharobyn

Collinsville, IL

#14 Apr 22, 2010
I have read all of the comments about Dick Vanhook. It is hard for me to believe that there are still people out there who believe he might have been inocent or "railroaded". I am one of his victims. I liked Mr.Vanhook, because he was a really nice and funny and charming. That was until he tried touching me in the wrong places and when he tried kissing me. I was one of the lucky ones. I knew enough to run and to tell my Dad. I was also lucky, because my Dad believed me. That was highschool, but it wasn't till I had graduated and was on my own, that I heard about what he did to all those other girls. It was my Dad who encouraged me to testify, when I got the call, because he said that someone had to speak for those girls that know one believed.
Silver

United States

#15 Jun 13, 2010
outoftowner wrote:
Mr Van Hook was my 7th grade teacher a North Junion High School in Collinsville..I have to admit I had a little crush on him..(girl stuff)he lived down the street from my Aunt off of Zupan..One thing that always stuck in my mind was at Maryville homecoming he had stared alot at me I was filling out well at this time of my life..I remember feeling a little flattered..I still have the book and my 14 year old finished reading it about a month ago (it's ironic I seen this on Topix)she asked me questions and I told her he was a nice teacher but felt uneasy at times..I thought it was sad what happened to him and his family..and the victims..
That was really nice of you to remember to include the victims - the ones that were hurt and abused and had their innocence taken away by such a nice teacher - eventually. I wonder, if you had been one of those victims, would have so easily just made the other little girls, as young as 10 who now deal with this nightmare, such a nice afterthought? I find you're adding the victims as an afterthought more offensive than if you had just left them out entirely.
Student of Life

New York, NY

#16 Aug 11, 2010
Mr. Van Hook was my 8th grade teacher at NJHS. I don't think I'll ever believe he was guilty. I thought he was a wonderful person. I will always regret not contacting his attorney to be a character witness on his behalf b/c Mr. Van Hook would drive me home after school and there was never anything inappropriate. For those naysayers, has anyone read "The Crucible."
cali kid

Glen Carbon, IL

#17 Jul 19, 2011
Student of Life wrote:
Mr. Van Hook was my 8th grade teacher at NJHS. I don't think I'll ever believe he was guilty. I thought he was a wonderful person. I will always regret not contacting his attorney to be a character witness on his behalf b/c Mr. Van Hook would drive me home after school and there was never anything inappropriate. For those naysayers, has anyone read "The Crucible."
I swam at gaslight swimming pool, rumor had it Richard was caught with young kids in the bathroom twice by two families that were friends with him, they refused to tell on him until he got charged.... They wished they would've told someone sooner.

Richard had lots of women who were attracted to him and excused him for
What he did.

He was a good looking guy and very cocky and confident..

I know many people involved, the family, the mother, the wife and some of the molested.
Cville

Ontario, CA

#18 Aug 10, 2011
His son's name was Robert and his daughter's name was Claire. Not sure what they are now.
Stunned

United States

#19 Aug 11, 2011
Sounds like the best thing this guy did was save the taxpayers a lot of money in appeals. AND saved future victims from himself. Sex offenders never get enough time and their recidivism rate sucks. One less pedophile on the streets. More of them should take a cue.
Thehermit

Garfield, NJ

#20 Aug 11, 2011
I had Mr. Van Hook at North and I remember being shocked when everything came out. He was a charming, inspirational teacher that the students were in awe of.

I recall it being tough as a middle school boy having a crush on any girl in his class, we didn't exist in their world, as they all were so dreamy eyed infatuated with him. "Oh My! Please Mr. Van Hook, do another filp off your desk!"

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 2
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Edwardsville Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
marquitta davis (Jul '11) May 22 Knowing 5
traduction (Jan '15) May 22 Johnny Mac 3
Dead Beat Dads of Collinsville!! Post then & ro... (Dec '11) May 20 Dave 46
Dope house shot up May 20 Johnny Mac 2
Danny Guffey wanted criminal. (Sep '16) May 18 Wtfss 17
Nicole Miller Staunton paramedic May 17 FrankOPinion 5
ryan alamia (Jul '13) May 15 Big boy steve 2

Edwardsville Jobs

More from around the web

Personal Finance

Edwardsville Mortgages