"Family Secrets" Attorney Halprin Found Dead

Rick Halprin found dead of self-inflicted gunshot by authorities serving eviction notice, sources say

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Rick Halprin, is perhaps best known as the attorney who represented Joey "The Clown" Lombardo during the Family Secrets Trial. NBC 5's Charlie Wojciehowski takes a look back at flamboyant attorney known for his intellect and principals. (Published Tuesday, Jun 4, 2013)

    Officials serving an eviction notice on Tuesday found the body of Rick Halprin, a Chicago attorney famous for defending mobsters.

    Sources told NBC Chicago he died of a gunshot wound.

    "He was very brilliant, and he was wild. He would make me laugh all the time," said Halprin's friend, Bill Murphy. "I'd always have to pick up his file for him because it would be all over courtroom at the end of a half-day at trials."

    Halprin is perhaps best known as the attorney who represented Joey "The Clown" Lombardo during the infamous "Family Secrets" trial.

    "Every morning he would call me over and say that Mr. Lombardo had a joke to tell me, and Mr. Lombardo would have a new joke to tell every morning, which we'd get a little chuckle out of, considering the tension in the courtroom," recalled attorney Tom Breen, who represented James Marcello, who was also accused of being part of the Chicago Outfit.

    Halprin was born in 1940 in Windsor, Ontario but moved to Chicago when he was young. He served with the U.S. Marines in Vietnam, suffering a serious back injury from shrapnel that would plague him with pain his entire life.

    Still, he played hockey at Johnny's Ice House into his 70s.

    "He liked a good fight," recalled Murphy. "Any prosecutor would tell you that. He was not afraid of anything or anybody."

    Halprin was married twice and is survived by his sister, Judy, and daughter, Eden, who friends say he adored.