Shown in the attached screen shot is the former website of Winnetka, IL Personal Injury Defense Attorney Richard Lee “Rick” Jones, Richard L. His site contains fraudulent information. Jones was the former BAILIFF in the Logan County Courthouse in Lincoln, IL during the 1976 murders of Ruth Martin (a disappearance/murder/cold case) and the triple homicide of Lloyd and Phyllis Schneider and their 17-year-old daughter, Terri. The Schneider family members were stabbed 90 TIMES on Thursday, August 19, ’76.
Richard L. Jones was a close friend of mass murderer Michael Edward Drabing, convicted of the Schneider triple homicide. My father, Logan County State’s Attorney Roger W. Thompson, brought about the conviction of Drabing. I was 19 in ’76, and employed as a deputy circuit clerk in the Logan County Courthouse.
Richard L. Jones has long been a suspect in the Schneider murders, and the same goes for former Corporation Counsel of Skokie, IL James Patrick Hanley. On August 30, ’76, State’s Attorney Roger Thompson named Hanley, in particular, as a probable accomplice to Drabing. Hanley, Drabing, and Jones were close friends, and all were 21-years-old in 1976. These three guys were intimately involved in disturbing events that took place prior to the Schneider murders, and Hanley and Jones were also involved in suspicious circumstances following the murders. I’m an important witness to numerous disturbing circumstances that unfolded prior to and after the Schneider murders involving these three men. The facts and evidence in relation to the Schneider murders overwhelmingly support that Michael Drabing did not act alone.
The day before the Schneider triple homicide, bailiff Rick Jones sought me out in the back part of the circuit clerk’s office and announced with a smile on his face, “Somethin’ big and somethin’ bad’s gonna happen.” He wasn’t at all upset about the pending bad event, instead, he seemed excited about it and also empowered by what he knew.
Hanley and Jones enrolled in law school following Drabing’s conviction, and they both became practicing attorney in the Chicago area. Hanley specialized in Election Law and had also served as a Commissioner for the IL Court of Claims. Jones pursued a career in Personal Injury Defense.
There’s additional strong evidence supporting that Richard L. Jones was also involved in the murder of Ruth Martin as an accomplice to serial killer Russell Albin Smrekar, who was also 21 in 1976. Smrekar was an expelled Lincoln College student from Joliet, Illinois, and a well known thief to the Joliet PD. Ruth Martin was a witness against Smrekar in a Theft Under $150 case involving a Kroger grocery store shoplifting in Lincoln. She disappeared from her home on June 2, ’76. Her killers shot her in her garage, hoisted her body into the trunk of her car, and then drove off with the car and Ruth. A large bloodstain and mutilated spent .22 caliber bullet were found in the Martin garage after Ruth was discovered missing.
Two days later, on June 4, ’76, the Martin Pontiac was found abandoned in the parking lot of the Bloomington, IL Holiday Inn (30 miles north of Lincoln). Blood covered the car’s trunk mat, but Ruth was not in the trunk.
On June 8, ’76, a family fishing in Lincoln’s Kickapoo Creek Park, just across the highway from the Martin residence, happened upon a burned and bloody T-shirt in a makeshift fire pit on a sandbar in the creek. Other evidence surrounding the burned shirt linked to similar evidence collected from the Martin Pontiac at the Holiday Inn. The family who found the bloody shirt called the Lincoln, IL Police Department, and the T-shirt and surrounding evidence was collected by LPD Sgt. Ron Robbins. Robbins turned the evidence over to leading LPD Detective William A. Krueger.
Krueger’s partner, Detective Tom Maurer, wrote the report on the bloody T-shirt (Item of Evidence Number 23) before submitting it to the IL State Crime Lab in Springfield on June 10, ’76. Years later, in March of 2002, I questioned Maurer in a phone call (initiated by, and in the presence of, former Logan County State’s Attorney Tim Huyett) about the bloody shirt. He grumbled in a surly tone, “I don’t know anything about T-shirt.” Maurer’s 1976 handwritten notes pertaining to the bloody T-shirt prove he knew a great deal about that evidence. Maurer lied.
The bombshell blood evidence in the Ruth Martin cold case — the partially burned, bloody (white) T-shirt found in ’76 — IS the source of an ongoing Lincoln Police Department cover-up. One of the reasons for this cover-up is that there’s a NAME on the back inside collar of the shirt. THAT NAME IS “R.JONE, with a cut occurring immediately after the E.” The name is hand-printed on the collar in indelible black ink and was obvious done with a laundry marker. The name was meant to not wash away.
Over the years since ’76, LPD detectives Krueger and Maurer lied about this evidence, especially Krueger. Krueger lied repeatedly. He lied to Logan County State’s Attorney Roger Thompson about this evidence sometime after October 18, ’76. Krueger told Thompson the bloody shirt “was never returned” to the LPD by the IL State Crime Lab. Krueger intentionally lied to Thompson to conceal the name on the shirt collar from Thompson’s knowledge. The TRUTH is that monumental evidence WAS RETURNED to the LPD on July 1, ’76. Furthermore, William Krueger signed his signature on the “Evidence Receipt” for having received that evidence back from the state lab. In March of 2002, the state crime lab confirmed that evidence “was returned to the referring agency” shortly after it was submitted to them for analysis.
Kroger produce clerk Jay Fry was also a witness against Smrekar in the Kroger shoplifting case. Jay and his pregnant wife, Robin Fry, were shotgunned to death in their Lincoln home on October 9, ’76. They were killed just 9 days before Jay was to appear in court to testify in the ongoing Kroger shoplifting case.
A third witness against Smrekar, who was also the very first witness against Smrekar, Michael Mansfield, a 19-year-old Lincoln College honor student from Rolling Meadows, IL, had been scheduled to testify against Smrekar in a Theft Over $150 matter involving a Lincoln College dorm room burglary that occurred on September 18, 1975. Mansfield disappeared from his family home in Rolling Meadows on December 31, 1975, while home for Christmas/New Year’s break. To this day, he’s never been found. Both Mansfield and Martin disappeared 6 days prior to their scheduled court appearances to testify against Smrekar in Logan County court. All three witnesses against Smrekar were murdered.
Defendant Russell Smrekar made many appearances at the Logan County Courthouse between October ’75 and October of ’76. Both of his theft cases were repeatedly continued because evidence and witnesses were disappearing. Smrekar appeared in Judge Robert Thornton court, and Richard L. Jones had been hired as Thornton’s bailiff. Judge Thornton’s wife work on the Lincoln Community High School (LCHS) Board. Rick Jones’ father, Dr. Robert Jones, was the LCHS superintendent, and James Patrick Hanley’s mother, Barbara Hanley, was Dr. Jones’ personal secretary.
Russell Smrekar was arrested at the Logan County Courthouse on October 18, ’76, while appearing for hearing on the ongoing Kroger shoplifting case. He and Michael Drabing were placed in the same Macon County (Decatur, IL) Jail cell while awaiting their separate murder trials. Smrekar and Drabing boasted to other jail inmates about their crimes and also gave out clues. One clue Smrekar relayed was the he and “another guy” killed Ruth Martin. Smrekar also said he “burned evidence in Martin’s murder in the Lincoln Community High School incinerator.” Smrekar did not attend LCHS, nor should he have been at all familiar with where the incinerator was located inside the high school. This clue Smrekar presented demonstrated that he knew someone with an intimate connection to LCHS. Drabing, Hanley, and Richard L. Jones were all very familiar with LCHS, and Hanley and Jones, particularly, had an intimate connection to LCHS. Furthermore, in relation to “another guy” who helped Smrekar kill Ruth Martin, during the 1970s the boys at LCHS were instructed to print their first initial and last name on the back inside collar of their white T-shirt for Boys PE class. Evidence in Ruth Martin’s murder was absolutely burned, but the location was on a sandbar in Kickapoo Creek Park, not in the incinerator at LCHS. I don’t believe Smrekar actually burned any evidence in the incinerator at the high school; I think he said that as an intended clue to the identity of his accomplice, “another guy.” I firmly believe Smrekar’s accomplice was/is RICHARD LEE JONES.
In 2002 and 2003, a close mutual friend of Drabing, Hanley, and Jones (a current resident of Lincoln) was pursing me and asking questions while I was in Lincoln conducting my personal reinvestigation into the 1976 murders. Their friend even directly asked me if I was writing a book, and he made it known to me that he was in close contact with Hanley and Jones and often visited them in Chicago.
Years later, it was published in the Sun-Times Media on September 27, 2012 that Hanley reportedly had ALS and was resigning as Corporation Counsel for the Village of Skokie, IL. Pat Hanley reportedly died a year later on November 20, 2013. The life expectancy for people battling ALS is 2 to 5 years, sometimes longer. Hanley’s death was expeditious.
Pat Hanley was still alive when Rick Jones’ website was created in 2012. I’d been routinely looking into Jones’ background (and his rather elusive career), and prior to 2012 he did not appear to have a website. When I came across his site in 2013, I was quite surprised. His Personal Injury Law Office was listed as being located at 36 South Wabash, Suite 1300 in Chicago. In 2014, his website was still active on the Internet, so I had a friend go to the historic Sullivan Building to see if Rick Jones was in Suite 1300. He was not there, although my friend said there was a multiple-partner law firm in the next suite over, Suite 1310, that did contain the name Jones as a partner. The Sullivan Building directory verified that the law firm of Johnson, Jones, Snelling, Gilbert and Davis was in Suite 1310. I delved further and identified the Jones in that firm as LESLIE ANN JONES, a woman. So WHY was Rick Jones claiming to be in Suite 1300? How were potential clients supposed to seek out Richard L. Jones to possibly handle their personal injury claims? How was Richard L. Jones going to secure potential clients if they couldn’t locate him? EVERYTHING about Jones’ website raised a HUGE waving red flag.
Soon after the public release of “Part One: Backtrack” of my true crime trilogy, “BURIED TRUTH,” in early July 2015, I found the website of Richard L. Jones had disappeared from the Internet, which I felt was telling. My trilogy is about the 1976 Logan County murders and the cover-up. All the facts, circumstances, and evidence pointing a damning finger at Hanley and Jones are brought out in detail in my trilogy. Both Hanley and Jones were well aware I was writing about the murders through their Lincoln friend. It was no secret in Lincoln, IL that I was reinvestigating these historical, high profile, unsolved and unresolved murders.
In April 2019, I decided to phone the law firm of Johnson, Jones, Snelling, Gilbert and Davis. I wanted to speak directly to Leslie Ann Jones. I first spoke to the firm’s secretary. She’d never heard of Personal Injury Defense Attorney Richard L. Jones. She said a “youth organization” was in, and had been in, Suite 1300. She gave me the phone number for Leslie Ann Jones. I thanked her and called the number.
LESLIE ANN JONES ANSWERED. She was pleasant, and I asked if she knew a Personal Injury Defense Attorney named Richard L. Jones. She’d never heard of him. My heart was racing. I explained to her why I was calling. I told her about the 1976 Logan County murders and that my father had been the Logan County State’s Attorney in ’76 who’d prosecuted Drabing and Smrekar. The information I provided her contained further facts about my investigation and names, and I told her Richard L. Jones’s website claimed he had a law office next to her office in Suite 1300 between the years of 2012 and 2015. I expressed it was suspicious that he’d presented on his website A FALSE and MISLEADING address for the location of his office. Bottom line, WHY would an upstanding and legitimate, self-proclaimed “Dedicated Professional” seeking clients and cases list a fictitious, BOGUS address for his alleged law office? It seemed Rick Jones didn’t want to be found. Leslie Ann Jones agreed. I told her it was interesting Rick Jones had picked a building and suite number where there was a law firm right next-door that contained the last name Jones. Leslie Ann was pissed. She said it was “criminal and fraud” for Jones to have been claiming and ADVERTISING that he was a tenant leasing and practicing law out of Suite 1300 in her building. She adamantly told me a few times that I should contact the Chicago Police Department about it. She also confirmed that a “non-profit youth organization,” was in Suite 1300. I did call the Chicago PD, but I wasn’t able to speak to anyone about the matter, and no one ever phoned me back. Instead, I called the IL AG’s Office and gave them all this information.
I then called the Sullivan Building Management. I spoke to a few different people connected to management. I also learned that Suite 1300 was the largest suite in the entire building. Richard L. Jones had consistently listed through the years that he allegedly had only a couple employees. Why would he need the largest suite in the building? I’m also assuming it was the most expensive suite in the building. The building management had never heard of Richard L. Jones, and they confirmed that no attorney by that name had ever leased Suite 1300 or been a tenant in the building. For awhile, as I recall being told, the Sullivan Building Management had moved into Suite 1300 for a period of time prior to the youth organization leasing that space. That time frame probably would have been during the same time Rick Jones was claiming he was in that suite, and also when my friend went to check out Suite 1300.
I learned additional information regarding the building and Richard L. Jones, but I will not expound on that information at this time.
Time passed, and I got caught up in other important matters. Later, in September 2020, I thought I’d check into Rick Jones, and at the same time I also googled the law firm of Johnson, Jones, Snelling, Gilbert and Davis. I was considering speaking to Leslie Ann Jones again. As soon as I googled her law firm, I was flooded with news articles on the net pertaining to the DOUBLE HOMICIDE OF WELL KNOWN AND RESPECTED CHICAGO ATTORNEY COUPLE THOMAS JOHNSON (69) AND LESLIE ANN JONES (67) OF OAK PARK, IL! I WAS ABSOLUTELY FLOORED. My stomach was in my throat, and I could not believe what I was reading! They’d been murdered in their spacious, lovely home located just 20 miles from Winnetka. In the days following their murders, more information began to surface in the media. The coverage was extensive because they were so highly revered in the legal community of Chicago. Thomas and Leslie Ann were both graduates of Harvard Law School. Leslie Ann had also earned a degree from Yale. They’d been the title partners in the firm of Johnson, Jones, Snelling, Gilbert and Davis since 1984. Barack Obama had been one of their clients in the past. Thomas Johnson had recently been “a hearing officer for the Chicago Police Board, presiding over police misconduct cases involving Chicago Police officers.” He’d conducted the hearing on the police shooting of Laquan McDonald. He’d investigated matters involving police cover-up. After speaking with Leslie Ann in April of 2019, I felt in my gut she must have relayed the information I’d provided her about Richard L. Jones to her husband, Thomas. After all, she’d said it was criminal and fraud, that I should contact the Chicago Police Department, and Thomas worked extensively with the Chicago PD. I was certain he’d also known about Richard L. Jones through Leslie Ann.
Here I’d uncovered a police cover-up connecting to the Lincoln, IL PD pertaining to the murder of Ruth Martin. That cover-up began with the bombshell blood evidence in the Martin case — the partially burned, bloody T-shirt containing the NAME “R.JONE” on the back inside collar. Former Lincoln, IL PD Detectives William A. Krueger and Thomas Maurer had lied to me and to my father (especially Krueger) about this evidence. In 1976, Krueger had withheld the critical details relating to it from Logan County State’s Attorney Roger W. Thompson — specifically the NAME “R. JONE” ON THE COLLAR. Krueger intentionally concealed that important detail while my father was preparing to prosecute Drabing and Smrekar. Rick Jones, Drabing’s close friend, was the bailiff in the Logan County Courthouse when the murders of Ruth Martin and the Schneiders unfolded. Rick Jones had knowingly told me THE DAY BEFORE the Schneider triple homicide, with a smile on his face, “Somethin’ big and somethin’ bad’s gonna happen.” The next night, Lloyd, Phyllis, and Terri Schneider were stabbed 90 times. Rick Jones and Pat Hanley were interviewed by authorities and ’76, and they testified before the grand jury in the Schneider triple homicide. They both lied under oath and committed perjury.
I continued reading all the news articles I could find, and there were many because Thomas and Leslie Ann had been found murdered on April 13, 2020. That was approximately a year from the time I’d spoken to Leslie Ann Jones on the phone. I was finding this out five months after their slayings. I was further flabbergasted when I read THEY’D BEEN STABBED MULTIPLE TIMES in the upper body region. The same was the case with the Schneiders. My hair was standing up on the back of my neck.
As the months passed, I was consistently looking into what new information was surfacing relating to this new unsolved Oak Park double murder. I learned Thomas Johnson was stabbed 17 times, and Leslie Ann was stabbed 34 times. I gasped! Phyllis Schneider had been stabbed 35 times, more than Lloyd Schneider, who was stabbed 29 times. Phyllis was stabbed more times than Lloyd and Terri, and she most likely had put up the biggest fight against her assailant(s).
One veteran homicide detective with the Chicago PD, Richard Schak, looked into the murders of Thomas and Leslie Ann and presented his opinions to the media. He said, “I think somebody planned it and had something against them.” He felt in relation to the number of times Leslie Ann was stabbed, “There’s anger and rage there. Probably twice as much as Mr. Johnson. It shows she might have put up a struggle, or the killer just went off and kept stabbing.” Could Leslie Ann have been the main target? It seemed that was maybe the case. The same former homicide detective didn’t feel the murders had been carried out by any police officers with a vendetta against Thomas. None of it sat well with me AT ALL. There were a number of other similarities (one especially that I found too disturbing and too coincidental to ignore) between the murders of Thomas and Leslie Ann and the triple homicide of the Schneiders. I spoke to Richard Schak about this on March, 22, 2021.
There are similarities between this double homicide and the Schneider triple homicide. The fact that I actually spoke to Leslie Ann about Rick Jones while she was alive, exactly one year prior to her unbelievable murder, warrants exposure; particularly since Jones was claiming to be in that office directly next to Thomas’s and Leslie’s firm WHEN HE WAS NOT THERE DURING THE PERIOD OF TIME HE CLAIMED TO BE OCCUPYING SUITE 1300 AS HIS SOLE PRACTICE UNDER HIS NAME.
To date, the double homicide of Thomas Johnson and Leslie Ann Jones remains UNSOLVED, and the Oak Park, IL community is discontent.
I had expose this suspicious and horrific information. There’s more I’ve revealed to other people.
What additional past acts of fraud (and other criminal acts) might Richard L. Jones have been involved in, and what acts of fraud might he be carrying out even right at this time?
I IMPLORE AUTHORITIES TO INVESTIGATE RICHARD LEE JONES! SINCE 1976, HE HAS NEVER BEEN PROPERLY INVESTIGATED.
Truth and Justice,
Bonnie J. Thompson, Investigative Writer/Author of “Buried Truth, The Unabridged Trilogy. Registered Copyrights 2013, 2015, 2017. All rights reserved. Content in this post is protected by registered copyrights belonging exclusively to Bonnie J. Thompson.