Guest View: Casciaro family questions unfair to innocent man

KRV Legal

Source: Northwest Herald

Pete DePierro, who worked in the butcher’s department, was the last person to see Brian Carrick alive at the store. He was clear he saw Carrick argue with Shane Lamb and Mario Casciaro. Fact.

In grand jury testimony in 2007, Casciaro testified he did not see any cut on Robert Render’s hand Dec. 20, 2002. No cut to his lip. That Render was not bleeding at all that night. Fact.

Casciaro told Johnsburg Police Chief Keith Von Allmen on Dec. 23, 2002, that he never spoke with Carrick on the day he disappeared. That was a lie, according to witnesses andphone records. Fact.

Alan Lippert testified that Casciaro told him Lamb was only supposed to scare Carrick, and things got out of hand. Fact.

Lippert’s testimony supports Lamb’s statement, and the two of them don’t otherwise have anything in common. Fact.

Casciaro sold drugs according to witnesses, and Lamb was his muscle. Fact.

Casciaro’s polygraph results on Jan. 13, 2005, indicated deception. Fact.

In his polygraph interview, Casciaro indicated he thought Angelo’s, the nearest grocery store competitor, had Carrick killed to ruin the Casciaro store. Fact.

Jerry Casciaro angrily asked Render to thoroughly clean the produce cooler the morning of Dec. 21, 2002. Fact.

Witnesses confirm Render was driven home after work that night, without a drop of blood on him. Fact.

Render did not have the means – a vehicle – to dispose of a body that night. Fact.

After he got home, Render did not leave the house until the next morning. Fact.

No witness at the time of the investigation or remotely close to it could attribute any motive to Render for this act. Fact.

If the victim had his throat slashed the way Casciaro’s appellate attorney Kathleen Zellner fantasizes, the blood splatter would have required extensive cleaning. Fact.

The soiled underpants were always disclosed, never blood soiled and not connected to Render. Fact.

Lamb’s statements were made in the presence of his own lawyer. Fact.

Why did no one see the outrageously unusual sight of Render, without underwear, cleaning up a blood soaked crime scene with a dead body next to him in all the time he took to clean the scene?

How did Render drag a dead body with a slashed throat outside the cooler without a blood trail?

If he did find a way to drag the body outside the cooler without a blood trail, why leave his bloody underwear behind?

If he could dispose of a dead body with a sliced neck, why leave behind, for months, his soiled underwear?

Even if he could drag outside the cooler a corpse with a sliced neck, without a blood trail, and without being witnessed, what did he do with the body in the absence of having a car?

If the victim’s neck was slashed and blood splattered everywhere, why did Jerry Casciaro only remember being “hot around the collar” because of the floor being stained and nothing else?

If Lamb and Mario Casciaro are not connected, not friends and, most importantly, not covering each other’s behind, why scapegoat Render?

If Lamb and Casciaro are not connected, then why is it his confession that he punched Carrick not enough?

If Lamb and Casciaro don’t have a common interest, why try to defend Lamb’s confession in the presence of his lawyer by cynically destroying State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi and Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Combs and attributing outrageously cynical and criminal motives to them?

Why defend Lamb at all? Why not simply point out that he is an admitted murderer and the only thing false and inconsistent about his story is the part where he does it on Casciaro’s behalf?

Conversely, and most importantly, why create this fantasy that requires Render to be a cold-blooded killer that slashes throats, disposes of a body when he did not even have the means to do so, attribute a motive that did not exist until after Casciaro got convicted, suggest there is new evidence when it was there all along, require Bianchi and Combs give up any semblance of honor and justice for no reason, and defend an admitted murderer with a long history of violence, unless Casciaro’s defense must also defend Lamb?

Bianchi and Combs are more than capable to defend their good names, but the cynicism shown by the Casciaro family to Render – in his grave and unable to defend himself – is the most shocking display of hatred and indifference anyone could ever see.

On his post polygraph interview, after he failed, Casciaro angrily stated that of all the suspects in this case, he had most to lose. I don’t know what self-centered universe Casciaro lives in where one person’s life is more important than another’s simply because of their status in life.

Render’s life mattered to his family, his son, his friends and to me. When we were going over this case, Render realized that to the Casciaros he was just an easy scapegoat, a stoner, a loser, a poor grocery boy that no one could care less for. He was tortured by that. Tortured that no one seemed to believe him. Tortured that he was facing charges (in stark contrast to the Casciaro family claims that he was “cleared as a suspect”). Tortured that he could never put this behind him and move on with his life.

Now the Casciaros are torturing him and his family in his grave. They raise questions that conveniently distort the facts and assassinate the truth and then want answers. For example, they claim Render was “the only one to arrive at the store at 8 a.m. to continue cleaning.”

Really? This would be mildly amusing if it weren’t so hysterically distorted. They know better than anyone that Jerry Casciaro already was at the store and he demanded Render clean the cooler (and, therefore, first in the cooler) and that Render was scheduled and did, in fact, work Saturday and Sunday until the cooler became a crime scene. Enough!

Render lived and died innocent of the disappearance and death of Brian Carrick, and I urge the Casciaros to let Render finally rest in peace. I will not rest until he does.

I guess to save Casciaro you have to save Lamb, and to save both you have to destroy anyone and anything that stands in your way.

That is not justice, but the very opposite. It is the assassination of justice. That speaks the truth about Casciaro, and it is the loudest statement about him he could make.

• George Kililis, a Crystal Lake-based attorney and former special public defender, was appointed to represent Robert Render in 2010 against allegations that Render concealed Brian Carrick’s homicide.

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