Two Chicago men announced they are offering a monetary reward to anyone with information into the murders of Oak Park husband and wife Tom Johnson and Leslie Ann Jones, two prominent attorneys whose deaths shocked family, friends and colleagues in Chicago and Oak Park.
During an Oct. 9 press conference held near the couple’s Fair Oaks Avenue home, Frank Coconate and Raul Montes Jr. announced they will give $5,000 to anyone with information leading to the conviction of the person or people responsible for the murders.
“It’s a heinous murder and it’s unsolved,” said Montes. “You have two high-profile attorneys that were murdered in Oak Park, and, you know, Oak Park is a real nice area.”
Coconate described himself as a political watchdog. Montes, who made an unsuccessful bid for alderman of Chicago’s 22nd Ward in 2015, referred to himself as a civic activist.
“Me and Raul have been watching this case develop and we see nothing being done,” said Coconate.
Johnson and Jones were found dead in their home in the 500 block of Fair Oaks Avenue on April 13. Both had been stabbed multiple times. Police reports state that the crime scene showed no signs to indicate a robbery had taken place.
“Usually when a knife is used, that’s a sign of a real expert hit guy,” said Coconate. “To me, that sounds like a professional hit.”
Coconate and Montes have offered monetary rewards prior to this for information into other cases, but $5,000 is the largest sum to date. In 2018, Montes offered a $750 reward with information leading to the arrest of the person who attacked Rev. Basil John Hutsko, a Merrillville, Indiana priest who was knocked unconscious.
The two have also actively protested the removal of statues of Christopher Columbus, with Coconate’s personal website serving as home to a group called “Hands Off Christopher Columbus.”
Last year, Montes and Coconate, who was identified by the AP as being involved with the Trump campaign, held a press conference urging President Donald Trump to commute the sentence of disgraced former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.
In response to looting in the city, Montes and Coconate were among activists calling on Gov. J.B. Pritzker in August to declare a state of emergency and deploy the Illinois National Guard to Chicago.
Coconate said he would like to see greater involvement from Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago and particularly Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx in the Johnson and Jones case.
“Why is there no movement on this case? Was the mayor questioned? Why isn’t the Cook County State’s Attorney using her resources to get on this case?” Coconate asked. “She’s not doing nothing for this case.”
Wednesday Journal has reached out to Foxx’s office for comment. A request for comment regarding the reward has also been sent to the Oak Park Department of Police and to the family of Jones and Johnson.
“I just want to make a difference and try to bring justice to the case,” said Montes.
Coconate and Montes said they offered the $5,000 reward to encourage people who may know something about case to come forward.
“We’re trying to give the incentive that maybe somebody could speak or give some information to the authorities to get a lead to make an arrest,” said Montes.
Those with information have been directed to contact Coconate and Montes via social media or to send an email to email@example.com.