Very few cases of law enforcement officers who are “feloniously killed” in the line of duty go unsolved. The murder of officer Tom Wood in Maywood, Chicago is one of those unsolved cases, and corruption in the Maywood force may have impeded the investigation:

The ensuing homicide investigation was equally haphazard. Several witnesses whom Wood saw or called in the days leading up to his murder were never questioned. And although the flooding problems at Maywood’s police station were well known, officers allowed evidence in Wood’s case, including a cell phone, to get wet. (Officials insist that the material was not badly damaged.)

Meanwhile, Elvia Williams, who had been Maywood’s police chief for only a few months when Wood was killed, made a decision that, according to current and former police officials, complicated and perhaps encumbered the investigation: She asked for help from the West Suburban Major Crimes Task Force (known as WESTAF), a consortium of detectives and other specialists from police departments in the western suburbs.

Some Maywood officers were angered by the outside interference (Maywood isn’t part of WESTAF) from a group they thought had little knowledge of the local bad guys. And the WESTAF members—well aware of the history of corruption and brutality on the Maywood force—did not fully trust the local cops. One former WESTAF member even suggests that the Maywood cops held back relevant information.

“Maywood Confidential: The Unsolved Murder of Police Officer Tom Wood.” — Robert Herguth and Dane Placko, Chicago Magazine

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