We received the news last night that Eric Hanson was found guilty in the murders of his mother, father,sister and brother in law. Its my prayer that the people's lives that have been deeply destroyed and forever altered may begin to heal now that they know he will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Here is an article...
Eric Christopher Hanson was born into a family of privilege, the youngest child and only son of two high school sweethearts.
But, instead of honoring the two people who gave him life, the Naperville man stole tens of thousands of dollars in an elaborate credit card scheme in their names.
Hanson admits being a thief, but he argued that does not make him a cold-blooded killer.
A DuPage County jury did not agree.
After three hours of deliberations, jurors swiftly convicted Hanson late Wednesday of killing his parents,sister and her husband in late September 2005 in a murderous rampage discovered in the affluent White Eagle subdivision on Aurora's far-east side.
Hanson was convicted of all counts of first-degree murder, armed robbery, aggravated kidnapping and identity theft.
The jury of eight men and four women listened to more than 50 witnesses and considered about 415 pieces of physical evidence during 10 days of testimony before rendering its verdict. The panel's work, though, if far from over in the death penalty case.
DuPage Circuit Judge Robert Anderson instructed members to return Thursday morning to decide whether Hanson is eligible for capital punishment and whether to impose it. If so, Hanson will become the 14th condemned man on Illinois' death row.
The verdict ends the first phase of a hard-fought trial. DuPage Public Defender Robert Miller argued prosecutors lack a confession, both murder weapons and, despite two crime scenes with four bodies, a single hair, fiber, fingerprint or shoe print or other forms of DNA placing Hanson at either location. In fact, seven unidentified partial bloody shoe prints found at his sister's home were not traced back to Eric.
"Tell me how Eric committed a mass murder without leaving one bit of evidence that a 21st-century crime lab could not detect?" Miller asked.
The murderous rampage was discovered Sept. 29, 2005, in the home of Katherine "Kate" Hanson-Tsao and her husband, Jimmy, in Aurora.
Kate, 31, and her 34-year-old husband were fatally bludgeoned in their home, likely at 10:43 p.m. Sept. 28, 2005, the final keystroke on Jimmy's laptop, found lying near him.
Prosecutors said 57-year-old Terrance Hanson and his wife, Mary, 55, were shot a short time later in their Naperville home, where Eric also lived. The elder couple's bodies, each clad in sleeping attire and lying on a painter's drop cloth, were transferred to Kate's home five miles away.
Police did not find signs of forced entry to either home; valuables weren't touched.
The existence of a second crime scene in Naperville was crucial in the trial because Hanson placed himself in the home that night. He told jurors he was sleeping downstairs and didn't hear a disturbance.
Police said they discovered a bloodstained mattress; a fired bullet in the attic, which is on the other side of a wall behind the headboard to the Hansons' bed; and evidence someone used a drill and wood filler to cover the headboard's bullet hole.
"I guess someone else sneaked into that house while he was sleeping and murdered the parents whom he was stealing from," prosecutor Robert Berlin said. "Who else has a motive to clean up and make it look like the murders didn't happen in that house?"
Police also found bloodstains elsewhere in the bedroom and in the passenger seat of Mary Hanson's Saturn SUV.
Detectives had developed Hanson as a suspect within an hour. His other sister,Williams, who lives in Minnesota, identified her brother and said he had threatened to kill Kate six weeks earlier if she told their father about the credit card fraud.
Hanson, though, denied making the threat. But prosecutors presented a jailhouse letter he later wrote to his cousin in which he admits threatening Kate.
Hanson told jurors both his parents knew and agreed to let him pay the money back without police involvement.
Police arrested Hanson one day after the grisly discovery after he returned from a one-day trip in Los Angeles to visit his ex-fiancee. Officers found Kate's $24,000 wedding ring and Jimmy's Rolex watch in his sport-utility vehicle.
Hanson explained he simply was returning the jewelry, but didn't get a chance before his trip. He couldn't explain another piece of evidence crucial to the prosecution.
Hanson told jurors he had no idea how a rubber glove with his father's blood ended up in a zipped plastic bag, along with three other gloves,in his SUV.
The prosecution team - Berlin, Michael and Nancy Wolfe - argued the financial motive, timeline, GPS technology, and the other evidence such as the bloody glove and Hanson's multiple lies were overwhelming proof.
Miller and Elizabeth Reed, a senior assistant defender, contend police zeroed in on Hanson from the onset, never considering any other possible suspect.