Last Friday truck driver Joe Jackson killed two patent attorneys and a mail clerk at the Chicago law offices of Wood, Phillips, Katz, Clark & Mortimer. Wood Phillips immediately issued a press release lamenting the senseless and regretable nature of the incident. One of the dead was patent attorney Michael McKenna. Jackson was reportedly upset over what he felt was a patent attorney using Jackson’s money to patent Jackson’s device for a third party. McKenna had reportedly researched the truck toilet for Jackson and informed Jackson the toilet had already been patented.
After being hung up on and turned away from the building, Jackson returned to McKenna’s law office with a gun, a knife and a hammer. Jackson forced a security guard at gunpoint to take Jackson to the 38th floor offices of Wood Phillips. While not a member of the firm, McKenna rented office space from Wood Phillips. Upon reaching the offices, Jackson chained the doors and proceeded to shoot and kill McKenna, Allen Hoover, managing partner of the Wood law firm, and Paul Goodson, a mail sorter at the firm. Jackson also shot paralegal Ruth Zak Leib in the foot. After the fourth shooting Jackson took a hostage. Two SWAT officers then shot and killed Jackson. The hostage was not harmed.
Reportedly Jackson discussed the truck toilet design with his pastor, Reverend C.L. Sparks, who recommended they visit McKenna to see about protecting the design. Sparks stated Jackson gave McKenna $25,000 over several years, which included a $5,000 retainer to patent his idea. McKeena later informed Jackson that the idea had already been patented. According to Sparks, Jackson felt McKenna had used the money to patent the idea for someone else.
Our prayers go out to the families of all the victims.