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Eric DeGrechie, Editor
11:51 am CDT September 7, 2018
More details of a Wilmette story that made national rounds last month became available to The Beacon this week following a Freedom of Information Act request with the Wilmette Police Department.


I believe the community should be informed of who the caller is. He is a menace.

You are absolutely correct. I know who the caller is and the call was made with 100% malice and packed with lies. For example the fact that this man met my daughter two years ago when she was six and claims multiple times in this call that she is FOUR. Note the number of times he clarifies that he does not want to be identified - why would anyone with "good intentions" not want to be identified?

It could be very dangerous for a child to be walking in that busy area. There are lots of dogs & owers are not always wise about approaching another dog. When seeing a dog the wise thing to do is avoid contact ie change direction, cross the street etc.
I saw her mother on TV , she was more intrested in “ teaching her child responsibility” than in teaching her about being safe.
People who have pet care businesses are plagued by owners trying to approach because their dog is so friendly.

If you had read any of the 40+ articles written on this story you would have not made such an inane comment. I am a mother who homeschools - Safety is my single most important concern. Children walk in this "busy" area all the time to the park, school, community center all the time. We have sidewalks for a reason. As for the dog - my daughter has taken two summer camp pet care / safety classes at a "local pet shop" and two classes on dog safety at Kohls Childrens museum. FURTHER, even though I really can't afford it - I hired a PRIVATE DOG TRAINER to work with her and I on training and walking the dog - which she was working on that day. When I was kid - you got dog, you took it home and fed it. That was the extent of "classes and somehow we all survived. This is MORE than evident I've put a lot of thought, effort and money into her safety, the dogs safety, my safety the publics safety etc. etc. etc.

What exactly are the "new details" revealed in this call? Since this call was about me and my family did it ever occur to this reporter or anyone at the Wilmette Beacon to contact me? Did the welfare of my children cross anyones mind? Does it really not seem appropriate to let me hear the all before you published? Or minimally tell me you requested and received it? Something my attorney had not even yet accomplished. What this call did actually reveal to me immediately (once I was finally able to hear it) was the exact identity of the caller. It is a man with very distinctive voice and accent. Would it have interested you to know that this man came to my home and has met my children? That he met my daughter when we moved in two years ago and she was SIX. That he clearly new she was not FOUR and deliberately lied to get the call through? Would you be interested that he has come to my home claiming to be locked out of his home and asking that my son help him rig his garage door open (my son is an electronics guru) or that he and I have sons the same age which he clearly knows . Or that he has dropped of wine to my home hoping to "share" three times inside of two years even though I had repeatedly advised that I DO NOT DRINK. Some how he can get to our door for all these things but not this day he was so "concerned." He mentions THREE times in this call that his biggest concern is that HE NOT BE IDENTIFIED. Why? Were you really interested in new details or just selling subcriptions?

I did contact you right after the original Tribune article appeared and we had set up an interview for the next day, if you recall. I never heard back from you. I reached out several more times to talk, but never heard back. I thought maybe you were done with media until I saw you on "Good Morning America."
The 911 call is public information that we received from the Wilmette Police Department. As managing editor of 22nd Century Media's North Shore office and editor of The Wilmette Beacon, our goal is always to sell more subscriptions as we're a business, but my intention here was mostly to tell the story to our readers. This was accomplished in a unique way from other media outlets.
With all that, I do appreciate your concerns. I would welcome a letter to the editor if you want to express your feelings on this further in print. You can also reach me at (847) 272-4565 or

No - I have no record of ever corresponding with you. I honored every interview that I set up and I returned every voicemail and email that I received. I have no voicemails from you, no emails and no missed calls that I am aware of. Admittedly, I was completely inundated the three days following the original Tribune article. However, THIS article ran almost a full two weeks later - anytime in that period you could have contacted me. I am well aware of the FOIA laws. And although I was grateful to finally learn the identity of this criminal and get an official harassment complaint filed (my 2nd request) with WPD I'm also aware the ethical thing to do would have been to let me know - especially considering that my children were and involved and the obvious level of trauma this exposed them to that I have been VERY clear about. I will follow up with a letter to the editor.

We connected on Facebook messenger. I didn't have your phone number so I wasn't able to leave a voicemail. I understand that you got inundated. I even wrote an editorial about that and us not having the story when it first came out.
"Hi Eric - Sorry I missed this but I would be happy to speak with you. I’ll connect with you tomorrow (Thursday). Thank you for contacting me." - From Aug. 22. I then tried again Aug. 23. I never heard back.
The reason for the delay in the story was that I filled out the FOIA request on Aug. 24. The Wilmette Police told me that they needed more time than the standard five days so I granted that. Again, I'm more than willing to run a letter to the editor and/or talk by phone, but I would hope in your letter that the facts mentioned here would be present. Thank you.

Honestly if you cannot see the problem with the fact that you released a call that took days or weeks to get to me (the victim) and directly relates to the safety of my children and I who were being harassed and the subsequent nightmare that ensued for us and would prefer to quibble with me about one of HUNDREDS of messages I received then I really can't be the one to explain ethics to you. If you messaged me once on FB and I responded - you could easily message me again. I can't even find this message and as you know my daughter and I were flown to New York that day. The right thing to do was to send me this audio file when you got it or minimally let me know you had it or had requested it - anything really other than what you did. You know it. I know it. Anyone knows it. Not to mention this EXTREMELY deceptive headline based on ZERO facts and no comment or facts from me whatsoever. This is the kind of behavior that gives the press a bad reputation. Period. I'm a single mother. I do not normally deal with this - but you do and you should know what was appropriate and ethical like ALL of the other reporters I dealt with. What was in order was an apology. But I bought the subscription so I could hear the call so I guess you got what you wanted.

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