Amy Leichtenberg turning pain of sons...

Amy Leichtenberg turning pain of sons' slayings into purpose

There are 42 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from May 16, 2009, titled Amy Leichtenberg turning pain of sons' slayings into purpose. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

Amy Leichtenberg clings to the memory of that final morning with her sons -- when the two boys were hers, healthy and alive.

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Mom

Wadsworth, IL

#1 May 16, 2009
Wow, did the town of Leroy screw up!
My throat closed while reading this column. I hope Amy finds peace.
CMC

Darien, IL

#2 May 16, 2009
How ironic that Ald. Nancy Bentley claims "We will handle our own." while Leichtenberg and her sons have been robbed of their future. The entire system is a joke. Someone in Leichtenbergs situation is almost forced to take the law into their own hands, take the children, and disappear forever. How many times did this woman beg for help? How many times did her ex husband break laws and violate protection orders? One time should have been enough. He should not have had any unsupervised visitation with his track record. He truly should have been granted no visitation rights at all. Shame on the authoritys involved with this case. The blood of thoses children is on their hands. I hope they can sleep well at night. Leichtenberg certainly can't. The laws neeed to change. No other family should ever have to live this terror. Connolly should have been imprisoned for his continued stalking and threats and Leichtenberg and her boys should be getting ready for the end of the school year and planning summer activitys. Instead the boys have been murdered and Connolly continues to control Lichtenbergs life even in death. She will forever wonder what she should have done to save her sons and the answer is nothing. She followed the laws, listened to the judges, and begged for someone to listen...to no avail. My heart goes out to Amy and her family. Government needs to ensure that nothing like this will ever happen to another mother and child. Pass legislation in these boys names to ensure other children the future that was taken from them. And Ald. Bentley with all due respect...shut up.
Typical

Mc Lean, VA

#3 May 16, 2009
The officer who threatened to arrest Ms. Leichtenberg needs to be held accountable for a clear lack of knowledge of Illinois law. 720 ILCS 5/10-5.5 makes it very clear that it is an affirmative defense to refuse visitation when there is a reasonable fear that a child is subject to imminent physical harm. Those who do not know and understand the law should not be in a position to enforce it.
Typical

Bourbonnais, IL

#4 May 16, 2009
I forgot to applaud the Tribune in my previous comment for sticking with this story. As this so aptly illustrates, the justice system in McLean County is a cesspool of corruption and incompetence. The 11th Circuit has had an alarming rate of convictions overturned, most notably that of Alan Beaman, who was prosecuted by the very same James Souk who was sitting on bench in the Leichtenberg case. Souk withheld evidence that eventually exonerated Mr. Beaman and instead of being disbarred and prosecuted for such egregious prosecutorial misconduct, he's now sitting on the bench. Then there's the matter of Bill Yoder, who seems to be afraid of his own shadow and unwilling to prosecute criminals. He consistently strikes lenient plea bargains without consulting with and in contravention of victims and their families. He has no business holding the office of State's Attorney.

To the Tribune, please keep digging into this story and the wider issues in the judicial system in the 11th Circuit and the rest of Illinois. It is in this sort of investigative reporting that the "old media" shines and proves that it is indeed still extremely vital as a check on those in power.
Thagg

Highland Park, IL

#5 May 16, 2009
I've worked as both cop and reporter and this is one of the saddest (and well written, Stacy) stories I've read. It's an example of how the sometimes petty bureaucracy of the criminal justice system can go awry at the very worst possible moment and how little people with authority can and do ruin lives. The cops will say the law tied their hands but officers with better training in handling domestic disputes learn to think outside the box. Too many professionals saw the threats this man posed. Too many excuses were made and continue to be made as officials deny a look at the official records of the case. Whenever officials hide their actions behind a cloak of secrecy there's reason to suspect wrongdoing. Until someone has the guts to speak, we'll never know what went wrong here.
broken

Festus, MO

#6 May 16, 2009
Thagg wrote:
I've worked as both cop and reporter and this is one of the saddest (and well written, Stacy) stories I've read. It's an example of how the sometimes petty bureaucracy of the criminal justice system can go awry at the very worst possible moment and how little people with authority can and do ruin lives. The cops will say the law tied their hands but officers with better training in handling domestic disputes learn to think outside the box. Too many professionals saw the threats this man posed. Too many excuses were made and continue to be made as officials deny a look at the official records of the case. Whenever officials hide their actions behind a cloak of secrecy there's reason to suspect wrongdoing. Until someone has the guts to speak, we'll never know what went wrong here.
The official denial of wrongdoing and shutting out of any attempts to probe what went on is why the public doesn't trust the police or government anymore. There are limitations to what officials could do, but why are they afraid if inquiry? If they did nothing wrong, then they don't have anything to worry about.
my2cents

United States

#7 May 16, 2009
Grief is such an awful, deep, searing ache. I feel deeply for Amy, for how hard she tried and for how much she misses her boys.
Obviously each person who could have made the One important difference in helping Amy protect these children did not step up. Not One hero.
I would hate to be the police officer who threatened to arrest Amy, I would not want to be one of the ones responsible for making the wrong decision.
If it were appropriate, I Would want to be the one who stands at Amy's side while she weeps over her boys graves and offers her my shoulder.
It is such a grievous pain, losing a loved one. God bless you Amy.
cheryl

Lake In The Hills, IL

#8 May 16, 2009
It saddens me that yet again the law is used to hide behind. It saddens me that the legal system stipulates children have to have relationships with both parents when it is clear one of the parent's is severely mentally unstable. It saddens me that the law seems to continue to favor father's rights rather than mother's rights.

As a mother of two, I can imagine her loss, but at the same time I cannot imagine her sorrow. I hope time eases her pain.

This is when you must believe in an afterlife; to know you will see those boys again and that father is serving his time in hell.
Blanche

Chicago, IL

#9 May 16, 2009
I wonder why nobody called the DCFS hotline on this case. With those kinds of allegations, both the police and the court personnel could and should have made a risk of harm report.
DCFS at least could have done an investigation and perhaps provided services or even protective action. They can also take a child into protective custody for 48 hours.

Or maybe somebody did and DCFS didn't do anything. The quality of their response is always erratic.
nextTime

Freeport, ME

#10 May 16, 2009
how little people with authority can and do ruin lives. The cops will say the law tied their hands but officers with better training in handling domestic disputes learn to think outside the box. Too many professionals saw the threats this man posed. Too many excuses were made and continue to be made as officials deny a look at the official records of the case. Whenever officials hide their actions behind a cloak of secrecy there's reason to suspect wrongdoing. Until someone has the guts to speak, we'll never know what went wrong here.
Dave

United States

#11 May 16, 2009
Our "so called" Justice system is so flawed. Who are these people that called themselves Judges, law enforcement. What gives them the insight of family issues and problems. Who are they do determine that 2 yng kids go to their death. Are they GOD? These are just humans too, so what right do they have to make this mother give up her kids to be killed. They are the ones that should go to trial and be in prison. This same situation goes on all over the country, but the Judges and law enforcements do NOT have to answer to anyone, they are always right. It is time laws are changed to make these so called GODS, to have to suffer too. So many Judges are so blind to all the facts, and make many bad decisions, but of course they are free of being criminal. This mother must be going through so much mental stress, knowing she was right and the enforcement system wrong and so full of errors. This has to be corrected. But who will make the corrections in our Justice system. I guess the people need to take charge.
GeneTierney

Santa Clara, CA

#12 May 16, 2009
"In the best interest of the child" is a term too loosely thrown around in tragic cases such as this. May the boys rest in peace.
Jim

Anniston, AL

#13 May 16, 2009
its the liberal ideology of everything in life is a right. i'm sorry, but not having a job, threatening yourself and your ex-wife should prohibit you from the PRIVILEGE of seeing your children.

Since: Sep 08

Taylor, MI

#14 May 16, 2009
Bravo ..to the newspaper for keeping this in the public eye! And isnt it good to know that we have people with brains in our justice system..they should all hang their collective heads in shame!..they are all pathetic!
Dave

United States

#15 May 16, 2009
Small towns and communities are the worst for Justice. Just look at what happened in the small town in Texas. Most are corrupt and really don't know the laws or fully understand them. Where is the State Attorney General in this matter. I see Judges and cops that should be fired and tried for accessory to murder. They are the reason these young boys were killed. I do hope justice comes for this mother, everyone must put the pressure on state to take action.
Joe in Austin

Austin, TX

#16 May 16, 2009
Thanks to the Trib for following up on this story. As a dad of two this affects me greatly. My thoughts are with Amy, I hope she heals fast.
YankeeBoy

Powell, OH

#18 May 16, 2009
I know it is meaningless in her grief, but she should sue the judge and the sheriff and anyone else involved in this travesty. Even if she loses their careers and their reputations should be toast. And who is this stupid Alderman "Nancy Whatever?" She's a real piece of work. The system didn't fail these boys, these individual people did. I hope they never sleep in peace again.
Tracey Alston

Athens, Greece

#19 May 16, 2009
Amy, I will be praying for your strength and comfort in the days to come. God Bless You during this time.
Jeff

Woodridge, IL

#21 May 16, 2009
CHICAGO TOUGH wrote:
This kind of crap happens all the time with fathers having to release their kids to erratic mothers.
Yet, when the situation is reversed, its newsworthy.
How pathetic.
Exactly, this isolated case is written about in the Tribune but the patterns of discrination against fathers and fathers rights are patently ignored. Read the work of Jeffrey Leving, the man who got Elian Gonzalez reunited with his father, to understand the media and much of the legal profession's war against fathers.
Harmony

AOL

#22 May 16, 2009
"At age 20, Leichtenberg overlooked the way Connolly seethed when she talked to other men or insisted on knowing her whereabouts. She was so smitten, she agreed to leave school early so they could marry and move to the Chicago suburbs.

The insecurities and jealousies that disrupted their dating followed them into marriage. She complied with his order to sever ties with her family..."

I hope that other young women see that there are early signs of an abuser and not wait until they marry or bring children into the world before they run the other way or are in a position where they have to convince law enforcement of a reality they choose to ignore.

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