Faked Into Confessing By Chicago Police


Howard Wiley

On December 3, 1985, Detective Foley and two other detectives came to my father’s house and asked me if I mind going to the police station to help them with their investigation. I told them that I would not mind.

Immediately after arriving at Area 3 headquarters, the detectives escorted me to an interrogation room. Soon after, Detective Rockowicz, Duffin and Foley entered the room. Detective Rockowicz asked me questions concerning my name and how long I had known the murdered victims. I told him ever since 1965. Detective Foley walked over to me and started asking me questions, and all of a sudden, he told me that I knew who killed those people and I had better tell them. I told him I did not know anything and that I was only there to assist them as much as I could.

On December 4, Detective Ptak told me I could now be charged with robbery and three counts of murder, and my wife and mother-in-law and my wife’s nephew could be charged with concealing a homicide.

That evening, State’s Attorney Michael Gerber arrived. Soon after, Detective Duffin entered the interrogation room with a wet brown paper towel and told me to wipe my hands with it. I did as he instructed and then gave the paper towel back to him. He left the room and when he returned, he told me that he ran a gunpowder residue test, and the test results were positive.

After talking to Mr. Gerber for awhile, I asked him if I could see my wife. He asked me if I would give a court-reported statement, and I told him yes (earlier that day Gerber told me that he had sent someone to pick up my wife). He then leaned back in his chair toward the door and yelled out, "Hold off on that arrest report on Wiley’s wife."

The court reporter finally arrived. By this time, I had put together things that I believed they wanted to hear, so as Gerber asked me questions, I gave him fabrications as he went along. Long before completing my statement, I told Gerber that I was tired and asked him if I could finish giving my statement the next day. He told me that if I wanted to see and talk to my wife and prevent her from going to jail, I would have to give a full court-reported statement first.

Apparently, I told him what he wanted to hear. I gave him a motive and implicated myself in the crime. My coerced confession (i.e., my conscious effort to protect my family in a highly emotional state while under duress) was the major evidence used to convict me.

State’s Attorney Gerber finally told me that my wife was never picked up and brought to the station. He walked out of the door and told the shift commander, "Let’s get out of here before Wiley changes his mind."

If anyone has questions or would like to correspond, I would be happy to receive your letters. Please write me at:

Howard Wiley A80048
P.O. Box 99
Pontiac, IL 61764