Starved Rock murderer says he’s being stalked

Order of protection sought against Minonk woman

The Starved Rock murderer says he’s being stalked and he’s asking a judge to extend a no-contact order.

Chester O. Weger has an Aug. 9 court date in La Salle County Circuit Court. There, he plans to ask Judge Michelle A. Vescogni to extend a no-contact order against Brooke VanCoppenolle of Minonk. In a complaint filed late last month, the 82-year-old parolee said VanCoppenolle has stalked him repeatedly over the past year.

According to the filing, VanCoppenolle first made contact with Weger when he was at a Chicago ministry. During a face-to-face meeting, he said, she claimed to have been a home-health nurse to a deceased news reporter who was first on scene at the 1960 murders, for which Weger was imprisoned. Her story, the complaint states, did not check out.

Attempts to contact him continued after Weger was admitted to a Veterans Administration hospital in January. Weger said his social worker and hospital team summoned a meeting to discuss VanCoppenolle after she “had been calling the hospital for weeks trying to get to the phone in my room to talk to me.” Although the phone was removed from Weger’s room, VanCoppenolle talked a charge nurse into letting her speak to Weger by a portable phone, during which she said she’d arranged for him to move.

“My nurse called Brooke back and I told her that I did not want her to contact me ever again,” Weger wrote. “My attorney also sent her a text message after Brooke contacted him and [he] told her to cease and desist any contact with me.”

Weger sought court intervention after a third attempt to reach him in person at his home in La Salle.

Court records show an emergency no-contact order was granted at a hearing without VanCoppenolle, which is permissible. For the order to be extended, VanCoppenolle must have an opportunity to answer. Court records show she was served with a summons for the Aug. 9 hearing.

VanCoppenolle did not return messages left via her cellphone or through her social media account.

Calls to Weger’s lawyer did not go through Wednesday afternoon. Court records listed a phone number for Weger, but the man who answered replied, “I don’t know nothing about that.”

Weger was sentenced to life in prison for killing Lillian Oetting. He confessed to killing Oetting and two companions, Frances Murphy and Mildred Lindquist, in a botched robbery at Starved Rock State Park but later recanted. Weger still maintains his innocence and attorneys working on his behalf currently are trying to get aged pieces of evidence submitted to a forensic laboratory for fresh testing.

Tom Collins

Tom Collins

Tom Collins covers criminal justice in La Salle County.