Still Not a Cover Up?
Bridget Higgins McCarthy and her husband, Kevin McCarthy, found themselves in a tough spot early on the morning of April 25, 2004.
Their friend Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko, a nephew of Mayor Daley, had just been involved in a drunken confrontation in the Rush Street area that left a 21-year-old man from the suburbs severely injured, the result of a single punch the police would conclude seven years later Vanecko had thrown.
The McCarthys — born into wealth, with a circle of friends that includes Daley’s children, nieces and nephews — knew that their friend R.J. was the guy the police wanted to talk to but hadn’t been able to identify.
But they weren’t telling.
Bridget Higgins McCarthy, 33, is the daughter of developer Jack Higgins and his wife, Marty, who are regulars at high-society gatherings around Chicago. Jack Higgins runs Higgins Development Partners, whose projects have included building the headquarters of the Chicago Police Department and the FBI’s Chicago regional headquarters. The Pritzker family, proclaimed Chicago’s wealthiest, teamed with Higgins to build a Loop skyscraper that includes the headquarters for the family’s Hyatt hotel chain.
Jack and Marty Higgins are friends with Daley and have contributed to his political campaigns. From June 2002 to February 2007, Daley’s son, Patrick Daley, 35, registered to vote from a Gold Coast condo owned by the Higginses.
- The police reinvestigation this year determined that the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Vanecko threw the punch. It also found that Koschman never struck Vanecko and had been arguing not with him but with Denham. Still, the police decided Vanecko had acted in self-defense and formally closed their homicide investigation, declining to ask the Cook County state’s attorney’s office to decide whether to file criminal charges.