Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Maurice Possley  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult; Young Adult;

Born: 1949 in Moline, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

Maurice was born in Moline and and resided in Chicago. He currently is a Visiting Research Fellow at Santa Clara University in California.

Biographical and Professional Information

Maurice Possley is an award-winning investigative criminal justice reporter for the ''Chicago Tribune''. He has been a journalist since 1972 and has been considered for the Pulitzer Prize on four occasions for excellence in trial coverage and investigative reporting.Possley is known for his role in breaking and publishing the story of the serial killer John Wayne Gacy, who was executed for killing thirty-three people in Chicago, and for his coverage of such high-profile stories as the prosecutions of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski and the culmination of the grand jury investigation of the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. He has appeared as a legal commentator on NPR and Court TV, and on Good Morning, America.His book ''The Brown's Chicken Massacre'' pieces together the brutal slaying of seven people at an Illinois restaurant, and the breakthrough DNA evidence that helped solve the case. Possley and fellow ''Tribune'' reporter Rick Kogan co-authored ''Everybody Pays: Two Men, One Murder and the Price of Truth''.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Everybody Pays
ISBN: 0425188671

Berkley. 2002

A tense, page-turning true-crime thriller follows Bob Lowe, a young mechanic and family man, who became the sole witness to a brutal 1972 mob hit in Chicago as he struggles with his new role in life and tries to survive as a "protected" witness. Reprint.

The Brown's Chicken Massacre (Berkley True Crime)
ISBN: 0425190854

Berkley. 2003

On the night of January 8, 1993, seven helpless employees of a Brown's Chicken & Pasta restaurant in Illinois were herded into coolers and systematically assassinated with a .38-caliber revolver.

After carefully erasing all the evidence, two assailants fled with $1,800 in cash. The savagery of the crime stunned and haunted the quiet town of Palatine. Embroiled in notoriety and controversy, multiple lawsuits, false suspects, and dead-end leads, the slayings would go unsolved for nearly a decade. But the "perfect crime" was tripped up by damning evidence the killers never even knew they left behind. In 1999, a breakthrough in the forensic science of DNA testing finally gave authorities the key to unlocking the mystery behind one of the worst mass murders in Illinois history.


Mr. Possley has received the Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award, the Thurgood Marshall Journalism award, the Champions of Justice award, and the Silver Gavel award for his series ''Forensics under the Microscope''. Maurice Possley was honored at the 2004 Illinois Authors Book Fair sponsored by the Illinois Center for the Book and the Illinois State Library in Springfield, Illinois. In 2008 Maurice Possley received a Pulitzer Prize, along with five other Tribune reporters, for exposing hazardous children's products, prompting massive recalls and the most comprehensive overhaul of the Consumer Product Safety Commission in the agency's history.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)