Wilmette Man Kills His Family … Again

After 24 years, a man once convicted of murder, kills his wife and her son

Three people were found dead in a home on the North Shore Monday in what is believed to be a murder-suicide, police said.

Police responded to a request for a well-being check at the home in the 800 block of Greenleaf Avenue in Wilmette at about 1:30 p.m.

Officers were unable to make contact with anyone in the home and had to make a forced entry into the home. When they got inside they found three people -- Richard Wiley, his wife Kathy Motes-Wiley and her teenage son, Christopher Motes -- all dead.

Preliminary indications from the scene are that the woman and the boy were both shot by the man, who then turned the gun on himself.

In a news conference Tuesday, Wilmette police said they believe the weapon used was a Civil War-era replica pistol, likely owned by the teen, who had an Illinois license to own a handgun.  Police said, further, that the mother and son appeared to have been shot some time on Saturday and that Richard Wiley then killed himself Sunday night.  

Deputy Chief Brian King of the Wilmette Police Department said there were multiple suicide notes left at the scene.  He referred to some 40 handwritten pages as a "dissertation" from Wiley.  Police said the shooting apparently stemmed from an argument between Wiley and his wife.

King said interviews with family and friends of the victims indicate that there were no apparent signs beforehand of the violence to come in the home.

Wiley, it turns out, has a violent past.

He served time in prison for having stabbed his first wife to death in 1985.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Wiley was convicted in that killing, despite his attorney's claim that he suffered from "intermittent explosive disorder." 

The teen victim was a 17-year-old senior at New Trier Township High School, District 203 Supt. Linda Yonke told the Chicago Tribune.

"He was just a really nice, nice young man," she said. "He was very well known and loved."

Christopher Motes was a Boy Scout, and his scout mates said he was a great kid who "told great stories around the campfire." 

The Wilmette Police Department, which is being assisted by evidence technicians from the North Regional Major Crimes Task Force, were on the scene through the evening and into Tuesday morning. 

The home is next to the First Presbyterian Church of Wilmette. The pastor of the church, the Rev. Sarah Sarchet Butter, spoke at the police news conference Tuesday afternoon.  Kathy Motes-Wiley worked at the church, and it was Butter who contacted police when Motes-Wiley failed to show up for work Monday morning.

Police say there is no threat to the general public from this incident.

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