Capitol Crimes: The Trending New Podcast

There is a story behind every piece of legislation introduced in the Illinois General Assembly.  Some stories are light-hearted and some are maddening.  And others, like the horrific murders of Pam Knight and AJ Freund, are terribly tragic.  

While you may have heard about Pam Knight and AJ Freund from news accounts, truth-be-told, you haven’t heard the entire story. What’s more, you haven’t heard how lawmakers attempted to prevent future tragedies like these with thoughtful legislation. And, how the majority party blocked those same pieces of legislation, refusing to create new public safety laws. You haven’t heard, until now.Our new podcast, Capitol Crimes, chronicles the stories behind the legislation introduced in the Illinois House of Representatives, especially the bills crafted to keep Illinoisans safe and state government accountable.  You’ll hear from the sponsors of the legislation as well as witnesses and experts as Capitol Crimes’ host Dean Abbott unpacks the why of the legislation in a storytelling format that explains step-by-step what led to the introduction of the legislative measures. And, what happened to those measures after they were filed in the House of Representatives. 

Capitol Crimes launches with its first episode today and new episodes premiering each Monday for the next two weeks, after which you can expect thoughtful and compelling episodes each month.  We hope you will listen.

Capitol Crimes, Episode One:  The Pam Knight Story 

On a Friday night in September 2017, Pam Knight, a child protection specialist for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services took an assignment that was, sadly, all too familiar.

What happened that evening in northwestern Illinois would horrify the community and the state, and send shockwaves through not only the agency charged with protecting children, but also the state legislature.

Legislation was introduced to better protect DCFS caseworkers from violence on the job, but it shockingly failed to pass and become law.

For more than five years the fight continued to enact legislation that would give DCFS workers the kinds of on-the-job protections provided by law for police officers and other public servants in volatile situations.

On this episode of Capitol Crimes you will hear the inside story of how the attack on Pam Knight changed – and did not change – state law in Illinois. 

How a state representative was determined to do more than just have a moment of silence and a memorial resolution. 

And how the fight for justice for Pam continues.

“Supporting our DCFS workers does not just mean attending their funerals,” said House Republican Leader Tony McCombie of the need for the legislation, “it means doing everything within our power to make sure those funerals never happen in the first place.”

Rep. Rosenthal had this to say:

“Families across Illinois put their trust into state legislators and agencies to protect their well-being. DCFS workers also need protections as they often enter hostile environments. I think if we can definitely improve DCFS policies and pass legislation that better serves the agency and workers to keep them safe.”

Listen in to find out more.