Brother Rice Teacher Fatally Stabbed

Al Filan, 61, was chairman of the business department and a business teacher at the high school for more than 30 years

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014  |  Updated 2:18 PM CDT
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A longtime Brother Rice teacher found dead in his southwest suburban home on Tuesday died of “multiple stab and incise wounds,” according to an autopsy, which ruled the death a homicide, the SouthtownStar is reporting.

Al Filan, 61, was chairman of the business department and a business teacher at the high school in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood. He taught at the school for more than 30 years and was a well-known soccer coach in the area.

Filan, 61, was found dead about 10:35 a.m. Tuesday in his home in the 9400 block of Georgetown Square in Orland Park, according to authorities.

They said when Filan did not report for work, police were asked to make a well-being check and found Filan lying dead on the kitchen floor.

Police had not released Filan’s identity as of Tuesday night, but the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed his death.

Orland Park police and members of the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force were at Filan’s house for several hours Tuesday. His body was removed about 5 p.m.

Police quickly cordoned off the house with yellow police tape Tuesday morning, a neighbor said. Police then began going door to door, seeking information, the woman, who did not want to be identified, said.

“It was like a ‘CSI’ episode come to life,” she said.

Brother Rice issued a statement expressing sorrow at Filan’s death, saying he had “touched the lives of thousands of students, colleagues and family members” at the school, and “will be fondly missed.” He taught at Brother Rice for more than 39 years, according to the school’s website.

Filan also was a former head coach of the girls soccer program at Andrew High School in Tinley Park.

Andrew athletic director Rich Piatchek said Filan most recently coached there in the 2009-10 school year, assisting both the boys and girls programs. Prior to that, he oversaw the girls program for at least 10 years, and the team won four or five regional titles, Piatchek said.

“He knew more soccer than most people ever knew, and the kids loved him,” Piatchek said. “He was known by everybody in the soccer community as a guru. He was a very bright person. He knew his stuff.”

Tinley Park Mayor Ed Zabrocki, a former Brother Rice teacher and guidance counselor for many years while Filan also was on the faculty, said he was sorry to hear of his death.

“He had a rough exterior, but he really had a heart of gold,” Zabrocki said. “He was quite a character. He came across as a rough, gruff guy, but that’s not the way he was.”

A woman who answered a phone number listed for a brother of Filan said no one there had a comment. A phone number listed for a sister has been disconnected. Another brother did not return a call seeking comment.

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