At age five, 1954, "the Bishop" (Chicago's Cardinal Stritch) stood over me and said, I had to "stop babbling" about what the priest did to me. It took me 40 years to talk about it again. Today, I babble.

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Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Questionable Death of Fr. Jim Chevedden

Preview: Story Coming Monday:

There is no evidence that the victim had any contact with the 42-inch high wall. There was no trace of white paint from the wall on the victim’s dark clothes or on his shoes. There was no clothing fibers from the victim’s dark clothing on the white wall. There were no victim footprints on the wall. There were no victim fingerprints at the scene. There is no evidence that the victim was on the hoods of any of the new cars parked next to the wall.

Q: What did you think was suspicious about the crime scene where your brother supposedly committed suicide?
A: Well he landed flat on his back, and he landed parallel to the building. He landed eight feet away from the building or rather ten feet from the building. His complete body was parallel and it was ten feet away from the building. So how he could have thrust himself in that position, I have no explanation for.
Q: You were describing that there was no trace evidence of-
JC: Yeah as far as we know, there’s no fibers on this 42-inch wall that has a narrow twelve inch ledge that would prevent anything from going over the side of the building. And he was dressed in dark clothing. The wall was obviously painted white. I don't believe there’s any trace that we know of any trace of white paint on his clothing. And no black fibers from his clothing on the white wall.
Q: Did you see a police report? What did it say in the police report? (About the fibers?)
JC: That wasn’t addressed in the police report at all.
Q: Why wasn’t it? It seems like they assumed it was a suicide from the start.
JC: Yeah it seems, you know, like that there was no contact with the building. as far as you look at the police report there’s no contact.

Q: You describe a scene that to me seems kind of threatening. Where Father Lindner took your brother for a ride, and drove him around in a very strange manner, just hours before your brother’s death. Can you describe that for me again?
JC: Well it seemed like Father Lindner tricked him into accepting a ride. My brother asked Father Lindner to say a Mass for him so that my brother could go to jury duty. And Father Lindner said, well you say the Mass, and then I’ll drive you. I think that my brother was very polite and he would be reluctant to turn down this favor, which would put him in a small car with a person who is credibly charged with sex abuse of young children.
And my brother was very, very dedicated to young children. He had a kindergarten, he was responsible for a kindergarten in Taiwan. And when my brother and I would take walks, I mean, he would strike up conversations with young children, and here there were all these media reports of how Lindner chose these young children as his victims.
Q: Did your brother mention Lindner to you as being a person who was kind of threatening?
JC: I believe he told me that he was concerned that he relied upon Lindner for some help with the computers, and he thought that Lindner had seen his password. And so he asked me to give him a new password on his Yahoo email.
Q: He was already not real comfortable about Lindner anyway?
JC: It seems that way. And here he awesome thrust into a situation where he had to depend upon Lindner for the, should we say, the daily necessities, you know, like for email access. And my brother also made comments that he would access certain websites at the computers at the Jesuit Center and then later on these websites were not accessible. It raises the question whether Lindner might have blocked, might have gone through the history and seen some of the websites and blocked access to them, that's a question that my brother had.


Fr. Chevedden's Bible sat where the priest "jumped" to his death.


Story coming Monday

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