Monday, May 9, 2016

Monica Hresil and Family Keeping Fires Burning For Justice For Her Son, David

By Tim Hadac
Managing Editor
Southwest Chicago Post

While many would consider a murder still unsolved after seven years a cold case, Monica
David Hresil
Hresil tries to keep the trail warm as she and others search for leads that will bring to justice the killer of her son, David.

Standing on the same sidewalk at 60th and Springfield where David was gunned down, Monica Hresil once again appealed to the public for help—any help—in providing information regarding who shot her 18-year-old son. She did so on Saturday, May 7, a day before Mother’s Day.

“This is about David, about our commitment to him, our seeking justice for him and the fact that we will never give up,” Monica Hresil said, flanked by family and friends, minutes before a crew of volunteers fanned out across the West Lawn neighborhood, distributing flyers door to door. “But it’s more than that, too. It’s about finding the killer and taking him off the streets so he can’t do this again. It’s about trying to prevent this from happening to the next mother.”

David Hresil was a senior at St. Rita High School—an ordinary guy, a neighborhood kid, by all accounts--when he took two CTA buses home from school on the afternoon of Thursday, Jan. 8., 2009: first a westbound bus on 79th Street and then a northbound bus on Pulaski. He got off at 59th Street and walked east towards home.

Monica Hresil bows her head during a prayer last Saturday.
At about 3:30 p.m. on a sidewalk near the northeast corner of 60th and Springfield, he was gunned down by an assailant who fired several shots. Witnesses described the shooter as a Hispanic male about 5-foot-7, wearing a black jacket with a white logo.

The killer then ran north on Springfield on the east sidewalk, jumped into a vehicle described as a 1990s, four-door, burgundy or maroon Chevy Suburban, which sped away west on 59th Place and then north on Springfield.

Offering support to the Hresil family Saturday were a handful of mothers who also lost sons and daughters to violence. They belong to Chicago Survivors, a not-for-profit group that provides a range of services to people who have lost family members to homicide.
The group’s founder, Joy McCormack—who lost her son, DePaul University student Frankie Valencia, to random gun violence in 2009—spoke briefly at Saturday’s event, moments after a prayer offered by the Rev. Thomas McCarthy of St. Rita High School.

“This violence across our city is senseless,” she said to the two dozen men, women and
Moms from the Chicago Survivors organization.
children in attendance. “There’s nothing normal about burying a child. There’s nothing normal about moms gathering on a street corner on Mother’s Day weekend to demand justice for their [slain] children. But here we stand—united with strength, love and in honor of David. And we will stand here next year and the year after that, if that’s what it takes.”

The group’s website,, and toll-free tip line, 1-800-UTELLUS, are designed to assist families dealing with loss as well as collect information that can lead to crimes being solved.

Saturday’s event—the sixth such event held at the crime scene since 2009--was led in part by Cook County Crime Stoppers, a not-for-profit organization that since 1985 has offered cash rewards up to $1,000 for tips that lead to arrests and convictions of those who commit crimes.

“Nothing can bring David back, and the pain of his loss is something his family and friends will bear for the rest of their lives. But David’s case is not going away,” said Crime Stoppers Chairman George McDade. “This is our sixth time here, and we will stay on this until it’s solved. Our message to the offender is clear: we’re not going anywhere until you are apprehended and have your day in court.”

Cook County Crime Stoppers Chairman George McDade
McDade encouraged everyone with any bit of information about the crime, no matter how small, to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-535-STOP. Callers may remain anonymous, yet still collect a cash reward if their tip leads to an arrest and conviction—because they will be given a code number. Tips are shared with law enforcement for follow-up. For more information, visit

Every time the group has fanned out across the neighborhood, leads have been generated, McDade added as he thanked volunteers for their tenacity and told them not to be discouraged.

“Sometimes you may even encounter someone who takes your flyer and crumples it up in your face—that’s just ignorant, walk away from them,” McDade advised. “But let us know that happened because a person who would do that may be a person who knows something, who may be trying to hide something. So what may seem insignificant to you may be a small piece of a larger puzzle that we can put together.”

Here is a video about the case:

A mother's love
and devotion to her son

By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post

A mom shouldn’t have to cry on Mother’s Day.

But Monica Hresil did--or at least she did a day earlier, on a cold, windy Saturday last week as she stood on a sidewalk at 60th and Springfield.

The same sidewalk where her son, David, lay bleeding after he was gunned down by some cowardly thug on a January afternoon in 2009.

I know that neighborhood. I grew up in the Gage Park area and spent a lot of time as a girl going up and down 59th Street, back and forth to West Lawn and West Elsdon, visiting family friends and attending Lourdes High School.

I also know David’s neighborhood because my husband and I lived about a quarter-block
away from that sidewalk, for seven years, when we were a young married couple—three houses east of 59th Place and Springfield. With our first daughter in a baby stroller (a little girl just eight months younger than David), talking with joy and optimism about our little girl’s future, we occasionally walked the same stretch of sidewalk where David would later lose his life—and Monica would lose her baby, so to speak.

I write this merely to make my connection a little more clear, to give a sense of why I shudder perhaps a bit more than most when I think about what happened to young David. 

I’ve shed tears thinking about it. Perhaps you have, too.

What happened to Monica Hresil and too many other moms like her is a depth of pain I can’t fully understand, if only because—fortunately for me—I’ve never had to bear the soul-searing pain of losing a child you carried for nine months, nursed, fed, cleaned, tucked into bed, sang songs to, read stories to, kissed, hugged, cuddled and—well, you get the idea, especially if you’re a mom. 

David, a senior at St. Rita High School, was an ordinary teenager looking forward to the rest of his life. In the flash of a pistol, he lost that, and his family lost him and his future. He would never fall in love and get married, never smile with pride as he placed grandbabies in Monica’s arms, none of that.

So what does that mean for the rest of us? Other than grind our teeth and shake our fists at how unfair life can seem, what can we do?

Well, several things.

If you know Monica or anyone else in a situation like hers (and sadly, the numbers grow each week with newly-committed homicides), offer and deliver comfort—everything from words to a hug to taking the person out to dinner, you get the idea.

Beyond that and in a larger sense, let’s all commit ourselves to refusing to put up with crime, even crimes that are years old. If we truly hope to build and maintain a community, we must understand that a crime against one is a crime against all.

So spread the word about the crime committed against David Hresil and his family. Encourage people with information—no matter how small--to call Cook County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-535-STOP.

David’s case is cold at this point, but these types of cases can (and do) break open and get solved with the slip of a lip (or a confidential tip) by someone somewhere.

I know I won't forget, and as a journalist—and yes, a mom--I’ll help to keep the fires burning for justice until the killer is caught, charged, convicted and sent away for a long time.

Will you please do the same?

A balloon release for David.

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