‘Dr. Chaos’ back in court

WGN Investigates

CHICAGO — A two-decade-old case against a man who called himself Dr. Chaos is back in the courts.

Joseph Konopka, also known as Dr. Chaos, brought Chicago to a virtual standstill after he was caught having stashed a pound of cyanide under the CTA blue line in the heart of downtown 20 years ago. Now the probation department wants to modify his supervised release with WGN Investigates story repeatedly mentioned in the court records.

It took weeks, but as part of the investigation, WGN tracked Konopka down to a location in Chicago. He told WGN:

I regret getting caught for it. There was no ill-intent. I didn’t have any plan to do any terrible thing with the cyanide. It was one of those spur of the moment things that you sometimes get to do when you are young.

It’s unclear why the government is trying to modify the conditions of Konopka’s release.

A federal judge has agreed with at least part of the government’s argument and has ordered Konopka to submit to a search of his person, property, home and other possessions if his probation officer has reasonable suspicion of a violation. The government also asked the judge to restrict Konopka’s contact with the media, but the judge declined that request.

Konopka said he has no intention of breaking the law again.

“No, I’ve been steering clear of that,” he said. “I’ve been enjoying the CTA from above rather than below. I’m just working and staying out of trouble. “

When asked where the story of Joseph Konopka ends, he replied, “Probably in a different country. I’ve been meaning to see more of the world I’m kind of tied to this country for the next 5 years or so with all the supervised release thing. But day 5 years plus one I’ll be on a plane.”

In Friday’s court ruling the judge refused to allow the probation department to monitor Dr. Chaos’ online computer use.

You can catch our original series on the WGN Investigates web page or listen to the podcast Chasing Chaos wherever you find your podcast stories.

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