October 24, 2015October 24, 2015
These Men Say They Were Beaten Into Confessing To Murder
They were convicted of a gruesome crime: killing two parents and kidnapping two young children. But the men say their confessions were beaten out of them, over the course of three brutal days, by a notorious Chicago cop. Now a major investigation has validated that claim — and the men are still behind bars.
posted on Oct. 23, 2015, at 7:38 p.m.
Guadalupe Mejia, fresh from a shower, flipped on the 10 o’clock news the evening of April 2, 1998, as she waited for her hair to dry. The reporters told of the brutal stabbing deaths of a husband and wife in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago and the kidnapping of their two young children. The story might have otherwise dissolved into the thrum of her evening routine until a picture of a 3-year-old boy appeared onscreen. Guadalupe turned to wake her husband. That boy was right upstairs, living with Guadalupe’s sister-in-law, and had been since what Guadalupe now realized was the day of his parents’ murders.
Guadalupe quickly dressed and headed up to her sister-in-law’s apartment on the floor above. The scene that she found there would set in motion a criminal investigation, allegations of police misconduct, and, almost two decades later, a mayoral inquiry, which was recently completed but whose implications may be debated for years to come.
Adriana Mejia, the sister-in-law, lived there on the first floor with her husband and several other people from their hometown in Mexico. As Guadalupe later told investigators, she confronted Adriana with the news and told her to take the boy to the police. Adriana resisted. They argued until 1:30 a.m., when Adriana’s husband returned home from the swing shift at a local cardboard company. He heard about the boy’s picture on the news and made a decision: The boy was going to the police station. Now.
Before leaving, he told investigators, he asked two of his housemates, who were also arriving home after late-night factory work, if they could accompany him.
The three of them waited at the station for more than two hours for a Spanish-speaking officer to meet with them. Exhausted, one of the roommates lay down on the station floor and said something that, depending on the reading of the case, could be construed as either an admission or an omen.
“We’re never getting out of here,” the husband, Rosauro, recalled his roommate saying.
Approximately 80 hours after arriving at the police station, the two roommates, Arturo Reyes and Gabriel Solache, signed statements saying they knew that Adriana, who’d had fertility problems, had faked a pregnancy; that they stabbed the young boy’s parents to death; that they took the couple’s baby daughter for Adriana to pass off as her own; and that almost as an afterthought they took the boy, too. Two years later, jurors sentenced Solache to death and Reyes to life without the possibility of parole. Neither had a criminal record. …