Phillip Paske

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Paske in 1976


Early life

Murders and thefts

Mugshot of Paske from his 1971 arrest

Delta Project

Main article: Delta Project

1998 death


John Wayne Gacy case

"Tony" suspect

On the morning of the Johnny Gosch abduction in 1982, right as the man in the blue car who approached Johnny drove away, a tall man came out of the shadows and began following Johnny down the street. Paul Bonacci identified these two abductors as "Emilio" and "Tony", respectively. "Tony" was described as a tall blond-haired man with a bad complexion who came up from behind Johnny and helped load him into the car. When private investigator Roy Stephens showed Bonacci sketches of perpetrators in other missing children's cases who matched that description, Bonacci adamantly picked out the sketch from the 1988 abduction of Michaela Garecht near San Francisco. (Confirming that identification is the fact that Michaela's abductor was described as being at least 6 feet tall, just like "Tony" was.) Noreen Gosch has since claimed that "Tony" is linked to other child abductions as well. With the identification of "Tony" as a prolific child abductor, a couple persons-of-interest have been put forth. One of them is Phillip Paske. There are several traits that Paske has in common with "Tony" which make him a compelling suspect:

  • He was a child trafficker, of both boys and girls
  • The trafficking network he was involved in was connected to the Franklin scandal (as per the evidence from Paul Bonacci's account)
  • He had blond hair that was grown out long
  • According to Chicago police informants, he was known to disguise himself as a woman[1] (just like Bonacci described "Tony"[2])
  • More specific physical details match: he was slightly over 6 feet tall, thin, and had blue eyes[3]
  • As can be observed by zooming in on his mugshots, his facial skin has a bad complexion (visible pockmarks in 1971, overall bad complexion in 1976), something that was described by both the Garecht witness and Paul Bonacci as one of the abductor's most prominent features

There is one more tentative piece of evidence that makes Paske a strong suspect. Several years before Paske became widely known, a woman on Iowa Cold Cases independently proposed a suspect for the other abductor "Emilio". This man, Roger Dean Matice, looked physically similar to "Emilio" and had a record of pedophilia going back to 1966 in Cedar Rapids IA. His initials with "Emilio" as a nickname match the codename for "Emilio" seen in the letters sent to Paul Bonacci: REM6. And throughout the 1970s and 80s, Matice lived in Chicago, overlapping the Delta Project and Phillip Paske's residency there. For there to be independently-proposed suspects for both of Johnny's abductors who both came from Chicago is an incredible coincidence.

Regardless, there is still not enough information for a positive identification or ruling-out of Paske as "Tony". The investigation is continuing.

See also


  1. Chicago Tribune, "Police seek '77 killing link to slain youths", 1979/02/28: pages 19: "Informants have told police that Paske often dresses as a woman."
  2. Paul Bonacci civil trial damages hearing (Noreen Gosch, Rusty Nelson, Bonacci, and his wife testify) (original document): "That's where Tony, who is another guy, not me, he was an older guy and stuff. He had a lot of pock marks on his face, kind of skinny. He also can pose as a woman, which he has done on numerous occasions."
  3. July 2018 email correspondence with Larry Potash (TODO: Upload): "[includes the 1971 mugshot photo shown above] [...] I think I see 6’2” 150 lbs blue eyes - 2 scars on left hand Didn’ t see any aliases"

External links