First, some background. Back in this post, A3G offered her condolences to Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow (N.D. Ill.), whose husband and mother were murdered earlier this year. During the period immediately following the murders, suspicion in the murders of Judge Lefkow's husband and mother focused on followers of white supremacist Matthew Hale, who had been convicted of plotting to murder Judge Lefkow. Evidence now suggests that the murders were committed not by followers of Hale but by Bart Ross, an unemployed electrician whose case had been dismissed by Judge Lefkow. Ross, who killed himself in March, left a suicide note confessing to the killings, and his DNA has been linked to the crime scene. (Hale, who was in prison at the time of the murders, was recently sentenced to 40 years in prison for his solicitation to murder Judge Lefkow.)
A3G would now like to share with you an email from Judge Gettleman, a colleague of Judge Lefkow. This email, which A3G reprints with Judge Gettleman's permission, was a response to a message from A3G expressing concern for Judge Lefkow and the other judges in the Northern District of Illinois.
From: Judge GettlemanTo: Article III GroupieDate: Apr 12, 2005 11:44 AMSubject: Re: Your message
Thanks for the note. I've been keeping up with your blog and always enjoy your wit and insights, even though you continue to fawn a bit much over Kozinski.
It's been a difficult time for us since the tragedy involving my colleague and friend Judge Lefkow. You'd be proud of the strength and grace she's shown in the face of unspeakable evil and loss. The court has rallied around her and her family, of course, but the strength comes from her. I think it's fair to say that things will never be the same around here, or perhaps in the federal judiciary, again. There's an interesting article in the latest edition of New York Magazine about judicial security, featuring my old friend Fred Block of the Eastern District of New York.
Keep up the good work.
A3G thanks Judge Gettleman for his moving message. And she commends Judge Lefkow for demonstrating such remarkable strength and courage in the wake of truly awful events. The next time you pick up a federal case reporter, reflect for a moment on the wise, brave, hardworking women and men whose service -- and whose sacrifices -- make possible the ordered liberty in which we live.