Federal Judge Finds Bodies in Her Home

Published March 01, 2005

| FoxNews.com

A federal judge, who was once the target of a failed murder plot by a white supremacist, returned home from work to find the bodies of her husband and mother.

U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow (search) on Monday stumbled across the bodies of her husband, attorney Michael F. Lefkow, and her mother, Donna Humphrey, 89, who was visiting from Denver, sources confirmed to FOX News.

Police sources have confirmed to FOX News that both victims were shot, although they're not saying how many times.

Police are expected to hold a press conference later Tuesday morning.

Authorities gave no indication whether the two deaths were related to Judge Lefkow's involvement in the case of an Illinois white supremacist who was convicted last year of soliciting an undercover FBI informant to kill her.

The Chicago Tribune had earlier reported that Michael Lefkow, 64, and Humphrey were each shot in the head. No weapon was found but authorities did recover two .22 caliber casings, the newspaper reported, citing unnamed sources.

Members of a Chicago police forensics team could be seen inside the two-story Lefkow home wearing white clothing and surgical-style headgear late Monday evening.

FBI (search) spokesman Ross Rice confirmed that agents had been called in to help with the investigation but provided no further details. Randall Samborn, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office, said he would have no comment.

The Lefkows, whose home is on a tree-lined street, were active in the Episcopal church.

"This is a real shock. I'm really saddened and outraged. I hope the people responsible will be apprehended soon," said William Persell, bishop of the Chicago Diocese of the Episcopal Church. (search)

Neighbors described the Lefkows as a model family. "This is someone who adored his daughters," Nan Sullivan said. "They were the kind of family everyone aspires to be, very close-knit, very supportive."

Lefkow received police protection after white supremacist Matthew Hale was arrested in 2003. Prosecutors alleged that he was angry after Lefkow ruled that he could no longer use the name World Church of the Creator for his group because another organization had a copyright on that name.

Hale, 33, is currently awaiting sentencing.

Lefkow, 61, served as a federal magistrate and a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge before President Clinton nominated her for the District Court bench in 2000.

Judge Lefkow is a graduate of Wheaton College and Northwestern University law school who served as a federal magistrate judge and a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge before President Bill Clinton nominated her for the District Court bench in May 2000.

Michael Lefkow was a private attorney, a graduate of North Central College in Naperville and earned a law degree from Northwestern University. The two married in 1975, and he ran unsuccessfully for Cook County judge in 2002, according the Tribune.

FOX News' Jeff Goldblatt and Cherie Grzech and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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http://www.foxnews.com/story/2005/03/01/federal-judge-finds-bodies-in-her-home