Twenty-Seven-Year-Old Murder Cases Move Toward Closure.

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The families of two murder victims hope that after nearly three decades of uncertainty, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that it is shining brighter.

In the summer of 2008 a woman in McHenry County, Illinois was reading a true crime book. On page 130 of that book she found information that shocked her. The author described the murders of her father's best friend - a tavern owner in Lakemoor, Illinois, and his barmaid - that occurred in June 1981. More importantly, he also named the alleged killer.

The reader's name was Holly Hager. The murder victims were Ronald Scharff and Patricia Freeman. The book she was reading was CULLOTTA - The Life of a Chicago Criminal, Las Vegas Mobster, and Government Witness. Holly contacted her father about her discovery, who in turn reached out to the murdered man's son, Paul Scharff. As a result, detectives with the McHenry County Sheriff's Department have renewed their investigation of the cold cases. Although the alleged killer is now deceased, investigators have told Paul they are making progress and hope to close out the cases in the near future, possibly with one or more arrests.

A Website has been put up where information about the cases - including photos, videos, and links to related articles - can be found. The URL is

For additional information or interview requests for Paul Scharff or Frank Cullotta, please contact Dennis Griffin by phone at 702 454-8217, or via e-mail at griff1945 (at) hotmail (dot) com.


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Dennis Griffin

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