Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Looking Through Some Photographs I Found Inside A Drawer

By Kevin Guilfoile

When I first wrote about the Cornbleet murder case it was largely because I couldn't figure out why no one had published a photo of the confessed killer. It certainly seemed relevant. It still does.

At the right is a recent photo of Hans Peterson, who savagely tortured and murdered Dr. David Cornbleet in his Michigan Avenue office last October, allegedly because Peterson believed a medicine Cornbleet had prescribed four years before had made him impotent. Although I'm not sure exactly when, I have reason to believe the picture was taken after Dr. Cornbleet's murder.

Less relevant but still interesting are these photos of the street and apartment where Peterson lived after he fled the US for St. Martin.

This morning a resolution was introduced in the Chicago City Council asserting that France's refusal to extradite Peterson "offends the notions of justice of this body and...the people of the City of Chicago." In response Mayor Daley has promised to raise the issue in an upcoming meeting with the mayor of Paris, Chicago's sister city.

I'm not sure that will have any impact at all, but as my good friend Lew Temple likes to say, good on them.

If all such efforts fail, the Sun-Times has a brief explanation of what Hans's French trial would be like.


Anonymous said...

What a great and informative article - bravo, Sun-Times. Did the Tribune bother running a similar story, or have they been too preoccupied with Carlos Zambrano?

Anonymous said...

Wow, I went to high school with this guy...what a dramatic change in appearance.

Kevin Guilfoile said...

Pete, yeah the Sun-Times has been more committed (and, as I've said before, they have demonstrated more curiosity) about this story than the Trib. I don't know why that is.

Anonymous, if you're still here can you tell us anything you remember about Hans from his high school days? We have heard from someone who described him as having been "intelligent, shy... normal" and we (or I) have heard from others who have described him as "pretty weird." What is your recollection?

Anonymous said...

I did not know him personally, just had classes with him and we graduated the same year. Like others have said, he was very shy, quiet and reserved. He always came across intelligent and did well in school. There was nothing real stand out about him in terms of very strange behavior or anything like that. I remember he was involved in cross country. He and I never had many conversations for me to come to the conclusion he was "weird" but as I said he was very quiet, shy and reserved.

It just baffles me that he went from such a quiet existence to something so brutal. I am very interested in what we find out in the coming months about him and his life since he left Oregon and the true motive behind this horrible crime.

I really enjoy reading your blogs, keep them coming!

Anonymous said...

An additional note, I did see him at our 10 year reunion in 8/06. Again, we didn't actually speak but he had the same demeanor as in high school - quiet, reserved and sort of hung back from the crowd. From what I have heard he did discuss his internet gambling with fellow classmates but I was not part of that conversation.

Kevin Guilfoile said...

Anonymous, thanks for that contribution. It's going to take many, many different perspectives on the guy to understand Hans Peterson.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous here again - I would like to hear from his roommates in NY and about his demeanor leading up to the crime and his demeanor during the months in the US after.

The thing that puzzles me the most is why...he obviouly premediated this crime and knew enough about US and Frech extradition laws to plan his escape. One visit to a doctor and a couple Accutane pills don't do it for me to explain a motive.

Kevin Guilfoile said...

Anonymous, I agree there is so much more of this story yet to be told. And if anyone else who knows Hans reads these posts, I hope they'll give us whatever insight they have into the guy.

Anonymous said...

Accutane isn't "a couple of pills". It's a 6-month daily regimen, requiring monthly doctor visits to check for liver function. It causes birth defects so frequently that each pill's container has an iconic image of a pregnant woman with the international "no" slash through it.

Kevin Guilfoile said...

Okay, we have two anonymouses here again, I think. And for the record, Accutane is "a couple of pills" if all you take is a couple of them. That would be "a couple of Accutane pills."

At this point, if I'm not mistaken, all we have is Hans Peterson's word that he was prescribed Accutane by Dr. Cornbleet. I believe it has been reported that Hans said he stopped taking them almost right away. We don't know what warnings Dr. Cornbleet may or may not have given him, or if he suggested a follow up visit, although I believe we know that Hans didn't go back to that office until four years later when he came to kill him.

Also, Hans's complaint allegedly, was not that his liver stopped functioning. Also Hans is not now, nor has he ever been, a pregnant woman.

Just to keep us on topic.

But please carry on.

S said...

I am wondering whether The Outfit has regular meetings. A friend and I (both writers) were at The Book Cellar in Nov, 2007, where we noted that you were having a get-together.

We would both be interested in attending, if the meeting is open to non-members or prospective members.

Please e-mail me, as I may miss this list:



SP1DER said...

hans is my hero!