Officer charged in hired killing

By Jeff Coen, Tribune staff reporter. Tribune reporter Brendan McCarthy contributed to this report

July 15, 2005

A police officer and member of Chicago's prominent Leak family has been charged with murder for allegedly arranging a 2004 homicide for insurance money, investigators said.
Edward Leak Jr., a 14-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department assigned to the Central District, is expected to appear for a bail hearing at the Criminal Courts Building as early as Friday on charges of first-degree murder, authorities said. Police spokesman David Bayless confirmed that Leak is charged with murder. "This is a case that, while it's unfortunate, was investigated by the Police Department, and we did not shy away from the fact that a police officer allegedly was involved," Bayless said. Investigators said Leak, 42, is the nephew of Spencer Leak, a former executive director of the Cook County Jail and president of the Leak funeral homes. Leak was arrested early Thursday, Bayless said. Leak was allegedly involved in the murder of Fred Hamilton, 35, of the 1300 block of East Hyde Park Boulevard, said state's attorney spokesman Tom Stanton. Hamilton was a limousine driver for the Leak & Sons Funeral Home on South Cottage Grove Avenue before he was gunned down in February 2004. Two men already have been charged in the case. Alfred Marley, 44, of 7700 block of South Aberdeen Street, and John Brown, 33, of the 1200 block of West 76th Street were charged last year, according to court records. Investigators now contend the pair killed Hamilton as part of a scheme to collect on a $500,000 life insurance policy allegedly taken out by Leak.