Triple Murder On Great Falls Dr: Joliet Police Can't Solve Killings

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JOLIET, IL — Five years have now passed since Anthony McGee held a small party inside his mother’s house at 2001 Great Falls Drive. The party in the Cumberland subdivision off County Line Road ended with a horrifying triple murder.

McGee and two close friends, Manny Hernandez of Plainfield; and Gabriella M. Rueda, of West Chicago, were all shot to death. All three homicide victims were 22 years old and all three suffered multiple gunshot wounds.

The unsolved triple murder in the Plainfield area of Joliet remains the most high-profile murder case that has gone unsolved at the Joliet Police Department in recent memory.

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For five years now, Joliet police detectives have remained unsuccessful in terms of capturing the Great Falls Drive killer and bringing him to justice.

The triple murder happened during the tenure of Brian Benton as Joliet police chief. After Benton came Al Roechner, Dawn Malec and now Bill Evans, who came to Joliet in March.

Find out what’s happening in Jolietwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

“The Joliet Police Department continues to offer condolences to the family and friends of Anthony McGee, Emmanuel Hernandez, and Gabriella Rueda,” Chief Evans said in a statement issued last week by the Joliet Police Department’s public information officer, Sgt. Dwayne English.

“Although five years have passed, the investigation into such a senseless and heinous act of violence remains a priority for our detectives. We remain optimistic that this case will be solved, and three grieving families will be granted a sense of closure.”

A Joliet officer maintains security at the crime scene in September 2017. File/John Ferak/Patch

At the time of the triple murder inside his mother’s house, Anthony McGee, the likely target, was a violent ex-convict who got out of the Illinois Department of Corrections just a few months earlier.

Gang retaliation or drugs, or a combination, are believed to be factors in the killings, Joliet Patch has previously reported.

In 2013 when McGee was 18 years old, he was charged with armed robbery. He was accused of putting a knife to a 16-year-old boy’s throat during a crime on Wesmere Parkway near Caton Farm Road. McGee was also in jail for several months in 2015 and 2016 after being arrested by the Joliet Police Department on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm and possession of marijuana.

Neighbors Still Wonder About Killer

Five years after the killings, McGee’s mother still resides at the house on Great Falls Drive where Anthony McGee and his friends were slain.

According to his obituary, Anthony McGee was a graduate of Plainfield South High School. He was survived by his wife and his two small children.

“Anthony was a caring, loyal, warm-hearted and outgoing young man who loved his family and looked out for those loved. He enjoyed drawing and was developing his skill as a tattoo artist,” his obituary noted.

Russell Guethle, who has lived on Great Falls Drive with his wife since 2000, said that someone in the subdivision he trusts once told him the Joliet police may have a good idea who committed the triple homicide.

Guethle said he was told the prime suspect was hiding in Chicago after the killings and “they never did find him.”

Guethle said the resident who told him the information about the triple murder suspect “lives two blocks away, and he’s pretty community-minded, one of those guys.”

During the overnight hours of Sept. 7, 2017, Anthony McGee and two friends were fatally shot in this home. File image John Ferak/Patch

On Thursday, Joliet Patch emailed the following question to Sgt. English, the Joliet police spokesman: “One thing that Joliet Patch/Plainfield Patch readers are going to expect my story to address is whether Joliet police detectives are completely befuddled and stumped as to a prime suspect in regard to the triple homicide at the McGee house some five years later?

“How would you respond to that particular question?”

English replied in an email stating, “As mentioned by Chief Evans, this case remains a priority for our detectives. They continue to investigate each and every lead as this case remains under investigation.”

Back on Great Falls Drive, Russell Guethle said that one of the nagging questions concerns the killer’s getaway.

Three people were fatally shot inside the McGee in the middle of the night, and none of the neighbors heard the gunshots.

The killer drove off without anybody in the subdivision noticing him. It was not until the following evening when Joliet police first learned of the grisly crime scene at the McGee home.

“I still talk about it,” Guethle remarked during last Thursday’s interview.

Joliet Patch asked the neighbor what was the biggest question on his mind now that the triple homicides remain unsolved for five years.

“How he got away with it?” Guethle replied. “How it happened, I’ve got my own theory on it.

“Why would you shoot people, if the guy got shorted $50, you know what I mean? He probably did not want any witnesses.”

On Sept. 8, 2017, Guethle had visited his sister’s house and when he returned to the Cumberland Subdivision, Joliet police had road blocks set up and “they were here all day,” he recalled.

Guethle said it became obvious to people in the subdivision that the killings were not committed by a random stranger.

He said the killer probably attended McGee’s small party.

“Why would he have a stranger in his house?” Guethle asked, referring to Anthony McGee. “As to who did it, I think they just can’t find him yet.”

Guethle said there has never been any violent crime in the Cumberland subdivision that drew the notoriety as the triple murder in Anthony McGee’s house.

“It’s not like there’s a crime wave going on that I know of,” he remarked.

As for the Cumberland Subdivision, the triple murders on Great Falls Drive will always remain a perplexing mystery on everyone’s mind until the Joliet police reveal “that the guy is in jail or at least indicted,” Guethle said.

Related Joliet Patch coverage:

Great Falls Triple Murder: ‘There Is Reason For Optimism’

Triple Murder On Great Falls Drive Unsolved 3 Years Later

Coroner IDs 3 Joliet Gunshot Victims

Will Bill Evans become the latest Joliet police chief to let the triple murders on Great Falls Drive remain unsolved under his tenure? File/John Ferak/Patch

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