Wednesday, March 05, 2008

1981 Murder of Dawn Niles--Deaf Man Charged

In 1981, Dawn Niles, a deaf student at Hinsdale South was found murdered in a Chicago area forest preserve. My husband was a student there at the time and knew Dawn. He described her as a beautiful, popular student.

Gary Albert, a deaf man from Sugar Grove, is being held in a local jail with bond set at one million dollars.

Here are the news stories:

Long Journey for Justice

Arrest is Bittersweet

ABC News with transcript

Southtown Star

Victim's Sweetheart Arrested 27 Years Later

$1M Bond for Man Charged in 1981 Murder of Disabled Teen

Man Charged in 1981 Murder

Ex-Boyfriend Charged

Bond Set for Man Charged in 1981 Murder

Cases Never Go Cold With Someone Looking

RIP Dawn Niles

Sugar Grove Man Accused of Murder has Kane Record

Dawn Niles--Justice Will Be Served

Arrest is Bittersweet

Update: Gary Albert is out of jail. His family posted the $100,000 bond.

Gary Albert Pleads Innocent


Candy said...

Wow. Thanks for bringing this latest story to light~

Ken said...

Karen -
I'm a reporter for The Doings Newspaper in Hinsdale and am trying to learn more about Dawn's life for a story on the recent arrest for her murder. Does your husband have any other recollections of Dawn? How does he feel now that her alleged killer is in custody? I appreciate any help you can provide.

Ken Knutson
Staff Writer
The Doings Newspaper

Mal said...

As I was a '83 graduate, I remembered just like it was yesturday that Dawn with beautiful strawberry blond haired and she and Gary really stand out the crowd as a couple. They were poplar like Ken and Barbie.
One dark day when the Princpal and staff were looking and asking us for Dawn Niles. Only one rumor that she was last seen with her boyfriend, Gary. Later announced that she was found stabbed to death in the forest preserve. It had us wondering if Gary and/or his friend actually have "done" it. It really impacted to all of us.
Glad that this will bring some closer to Niles family.

Nita said...

Sounded like as if Gary did not want the baby but Niles probably refused to have an abortion or something, hence wanting to get rid of her and the baby so he could have a free life.

Jim said...

I remember this story and as I was reading this, I am glad that technology have helped solve the case.

I will keep an eye on this case.

Thanks for sharing this.


paul d said...

I knew Dawn. I grew-up in La Grange Park. We all hung out as kids in brezina woods. Thanks to a boy from La Grange Park who was part deaf ,he acted as a liason of sorts between the Deaf community and us. I remember canoeing with these guys dowm the salt creek. I hope justice prevails for Dawn but justice will always fall short to the loss of this beautiful person.

Rick K said...

I was totally shocked by this news of Gary being arrested for her murder.
I am glad to hear that the murder case of Dawn Niles has been solved, thanks to the DNA technology nowdays.
Justice will prevail for Dawn, and punish Gary to the fullest sentence for the crime he did. I do also think that there was someone else involved in this brutal crime.

Anonymous said...

The news reports that "technology" helped solve this case, but did not specifically say it was DNA test technology. I am curious - does anyone know what technology was used??

Genevieve Hinson said...

Hey Karen -- thanks for stopping by my blog. I'll add you to the blogroll. :) Thanks!

(If you want to guest post, I'm still taking folks :) :) )

Anonymous said...

I was told by my friend from Ohio last night regarding to the article. His ex wife is seeing Gary frequently. I hope Gary deserves a prison time for murdering his former sweethart. Hopefully, the justice eventually has been served for Dawn and her grieving family. It will bring closure to Dawn and her family.

Anonymous said...

As a Hinsdale South '81 deaf alumna, I hope that whoever ACTUALLY murdered Dawn Niles and her baby will not get away again!!

Thank goodness for the advanced technology with DNA tests, this cold case can be closed and Dawn's family can bury Dawn with a sense of closure.

I vaguely remember a beautiful blonde young girl who was "in love" with Gary Albert, her brutal and untimely death caught all of us off guard back then!!

If Gary DID murdered Dawn, I do hope justice will be served to him, let's hope he admits to doing the terrible deed. (I wonder if it wasn't for the DNA technology, would Gary ever admit to murdering the mother of his unborn child, he sure has gotten away with it for 27 years!!!)

Let's all hope justice will come thru this time without any "screw-ups" for Dawn Niles and her baby!!!

redemk said...

Hi Karen ,

Ahh, the last comment was mine, I'm the Anonymous deaf alumna of



Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...


LizBeth said...

Dawn was my mothers cousin, I just thought I would let you know that it makes me happy to see that her story touched you. We were all shocked to see that her killer was finally arrested for this crime. Thank you for keeping hope alive and remembering her.

DNA Testing. said...

SunTimes article addressed the DNA testing.,CST-NWS-cold06.article

Anonymous said...

I was absolutely shocked to find out Gary Albert was arrested for murder. I work with him at General Mills and he seemed like the nicest guy in the world. I guess you never really know somebody! If he is guilty of this horrible murder, i hope he gets punished for it.

Nita said...

Oh... sorry, I didn't see the part about the "stabbing over 30 times". That does make a difference. Yeah, an "overkill" is a sign of a insane person!

Anonymous said...

I was in bed really sick as a sick puppy. My blackberry went off like crazy from all of my friends telling me did you see the newspaper today? They finally arrested him for the murder of Dawn Niles. I had to get out of bed as fast as I can and before I click to, "ARRESTED HIM?" Who is him?" I poundered for a few second. As you know the name already was stamped in the back of my head since day one of March 22nd 1981 when they found the body. When I click into suntime information that my friend had copy and pasted it into my blackberry, and then I saw the name. Damn it and I knew it was him all along. What goes around comes around... One thing I have to remember is that he is still innocented until proven guilty..

Anonymous said...

I am Dawn's cousin. I am very happy that now she can rest in peace. Rose

4 - J said...

WOW ~ I went to Hinsdale South High School for two years. But, I moved to Florida in 1977. A beautiful girl, Dawn is resting in peace now. Gary deserve his jail time!!!

Anonymous said...

I am the anonymous that blasted Nita in BOLD.. When something like this happens, people come out of the woodwork. Some looking to chime in with opinions & others stories of how they knew the person. I am trying to be neither & out of respect prefer not to illaborate. This story is not about me. But while you remember & tell stories, remember that there was an immediate family, that suffered an irreparable loss; more than two lives were destroyed that day.. the arrest doesn't fill the void, but hopefully now peace will come especially for the woman who never gave up, never stopped fighting.. Thank you #1, Love #3

Anonymous said...

Yes the cops don't care about human beings. They care about pulling people over for a traffic stops and nailing our teenagers. If our children our killed they don't care. No money for them!

Anonymous said...

We are all paying taxes to get pulled over and the police do nothing for this innocent victim. It is very sad. Why hasn't this family received justice? The sister, Heather, had to beg. How long is the system going to take? Someone ought to do something.

Anonymous said...,030608coldfolo.article

Updated information on Gary Albert, Dawn Niles, and his current girlfriend, Marie Innocentini on HS picture.

Anonymous said...

Updated news from yesterday (03/19)

Anonymous said...

Here's an updated news....,CST-NWS-cold19.article

Anonymous said...

Updated news... Gary Albert appeared at his first hearing this morning and will appear for his second hearing on April 14th; pleading not guilty. Below link is the article.,032608niles.article

Anonymous said...

April 14th came and went. This is the day Gary and his lawyer went to Lakeview court to...what plea did Gary submitted? Not Guilty?

Anonymous said...,0415garyalbert.article

Anonymous said...

I am amazed how quick to judge you all are. Arrest doesn't always equate to guilt. The DNA evidence is practically useless as they were obviously dating and intimate, So what else convinced you of Mr Albert's guilt? By the way most of you have some of the worst spelling and grammar I have ever had the misfortune of trying to read, I wonder if this has anything to do with your judgment and reasoning skills.

Anonymous said... the last poster, this is a DEAF mom's blog. At least some of the posters are probably hard of hearing or deaf and sign language doesn't translate exactly as the spoken word. Try a little sensitivity.
As for Gary's guilt or innocence, they would not have charged him if they did not think he killed Dawn.

Anonymous said...

It is easy and pure speculation at this point of time.
Point 1 - DNA obtain from victim where there where "bodily fluids" were found in the victim, and in a state where the body did'nt dissolved the fluids because the body stop functioning, because she died.
Point 2 - It took 27 years for law enforcement obtain the suspect's DNA material. Whenever there is a sexual offense - a felony or misdemeanour conviction, one needs to register as a sex offender and submit a DNA sample to be recorded in the sex offender database.
Point 3 - Once the sister found out of the sexual conviction and knowing the DNA had to be submitted, the opportunity arises for one to ask law enforcement to re-open the case and cross- refernece the DNA collected off the victim to the DNA database which can be use as evident w/o subpena the court for permission.
Strong compelling evident place Gary at the time or right around the time of the killing. DNA of the unborn child also indicates he the father of the child, thus giving us motive.
Put this all together and if the prosecutor present the case beyond a reasonable doubt, no question he will be found guilty.
He also had a chance to clear his name if he had granted an interview with investigators back in 1981. But his father blocked it by getting him a lawyer.

Anonymous said...

If this means something to you, show up in court! I will look for your support. If you knew Dawn, you will know me.
I will be there.........everyday.


Anonymous said...

Gary had his court last week, May 22nd, a "status" hearing. Anyone know of the result from this hearing? Anyone know what will the next step be? I haven't heard anything on the updates of this case. Couldn't find an article in any of the Chicago newspapers.

Anonymous said...

Are there any updates on what's going on with this case? My online search efforts have been unsuccessful.