Erik Runge

Erik Runge joined WGN News in November 2013 as a per diem reporter.

Prior to working at WGN, Erik spent three years as a general assignment reporter at Fox 9 Minneapolis, Minnesota. He spent several years in central Kansas where he covered the story of a serial killer named ‘BTK’, which stands for Bind Torture Kill. His work has been seen on NBC Nightly News and he has also reported live for MSNBC after Hurricane Ike crashed into Galveston, Texas. He most recently covered governmental shutdowns, a state house protest that lasted for weeks and several natural disasters including hurricanes, tornados, wild fires and blizzards.

An Iowa native, Erik earned his bachelor’s degree from University of Iowa. Erik is a life-long Cubs and Bears fan and lives with his dog Cassie.

Recent Articles
  • CPD launches new platform to make crime reporting easier

    CHICAGO — The Chicago Police Department is launching a new website and and technology services bureau to help fight crime. The website,, will allow anyone to submit tips anonymously on a desktop, smartphone or tablet. It’s designed to be more user-friendly than TXT2TIP. For now, TXT2TIP will also remain active. Police hope the new website leads to more interaction from the community because it offers an opportunity to remain anonymous and does not require a phone number to text from. […]

  • Woman shot and robbed on Northwest Side

    CHICAGO — A woman was shot on the Northwest side in what started as a purse-snatching. It happened in the 5400 block of North Chester just east of O’Hare Airport. The 55-year-old woman was walking home around midnight when two men walked up and demanded her purse. A struggle then ensued and one of the men took out a gun and shot the woman in the stomach. The woman was taken to Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge where she is […]

  • Running for My: Man completes marathon in Antarctica for his late wife

    NEW YORK — He didn’t know it at the time, but Dave Ventresca had been training for his first marathon for close to four years. The 47-year-old New York marketing consultant had run some 10 and 5Ks in his life but running a marathon was never on his to-do list. “I knew I wasn’t going to put up a fast time, but I knew I’d be able to get the race done,” Dave said. He had the support of his friends, […]

  • Families displaced, firefighter injured by Archer Heights fire

    CHICAGO – Several families are displaced after a fire on the Southwest Side. The fire broke out in the 5000 block of S. Komensky Ave. in Archer Heights around 11:30 Saturday night. One firefighter suffered minor injuries and was treated and released from the hospital. Two homes are damaged. Firefighters are still investigating the cause. Neighbors say they’ve complained multiple times about hanging wires touching houses on the block. “They say they’ll come and look at it and never have,” […]

  • Tax Day protests in Chicago, across the U.S. demand Trump release tax returns

    CHICAGO — Protesters took to the streets in dozens of cities nationwide Saturday to call on President Donald Trump to release his tax returns, saying Americans deserve to know about his business ties and potential conflicts of interest. Organizers said the protests — dubbed the Tax March — were scheduled in nearly 150 cities. Trump is the first major party nominee in more than 40 years not to release his tax returns, saying it was because he was under audit. […]

  • Chicago man whose case was dismissed freed after 2 decades

    CHICAGO, Ill. — A man whose conviction in a double murder case was based on suspect evidence has been released from custody after more than 20 years. Roberto Almodovar walked out of a Chicago jail Friday afternoon. His attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, says he’s now with his family at the Chicago residence where he grew up and where he was arrested in 1994. Almodovar was released hours after a Cook County judge dismissed the charges against him and his co-defendant, William […]

  • Mysterious charge at chain restaurant has suburban man warning others

    SOUTH BARRINGTON, Ill. — When we swipe our cards at a restaurant, how many of us take time to check the receipt? A man from Hoffman Estates visited a Panera restaurant recently and happened to check his receipt. On it, he found a phantom $9 charge. The items on Curtis Marquardt Jr.’s receipt should have totaled $32.73. But for some reason, the register made it more than $41. Why did he check it? “We go to Panera quiet regularly and […]

  • Suburban officers rescue man after car plunges into water

    ROUND LAKE, Ill. — A Round Lake park police officer is being hailed as a hero after rescuing a driver from a lake. It happened early Thursday morning.  Police say the driver of this minivan lost consciousness behind the wheel. His vehicle rolled down a boat ramp and into round lake. It was partially submerged when Officer Chris Valle arrived on the scene. Officer Valle helped keep that driver’s head above water until rescue crews arrived. The driver was taken […]

  • Judge grants innocence certificate in 1957 Illinois killing

    SYCAMORE, Ill. —  An Illinois judge has granted a certificate of innocence to a Washington state man who was wrongly convicted in 2012 of the 1957 kidnapping and killing of a 7-year-old girl. The DeKalb County judge formally declared 77-year-old Jack McCullough innocent during a Wednesday court hearing. The certificate will allow McCullough to sue Illinois for damages for his wrongful conviction in Maria Ridulph’s killing. A prosecutor concluded last year that evidence backed McCullough’s alibi that he had been […]

  • FBI raises reward in Wisconsin manhunt

    JANESVILLE, Wisc. — The FBI is increasing the reward amount for information that leads to the arrest of a Wisconsin man suspected of stealing guns and threatening attacks in an anti-government manifesto he mailed to the White House. The FBI said Tuesday it was increasing its reward from $10,000 to $20,000 to help authorities capture 32-year-old Joseph Jakubowski. Authorities have been searching for Jakubowski since April 4, when authorities believe he stole 18 firearms from a gun store in Janesville, […]