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Songs and Stories
     October 15, 2019      #7D-288 SsK
 
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Built in 1899, this large brick structure on the north side of Court Street served as both the Kankakee County Sheriff’s residence (front portion) and County Jail (back portion and basement). It replaced jail cells in the basement of the Kankakee County Courthouse. The stone building partly visibl

Jack Klasey: Kankakee jailbreak foiled 

Jack Klasey: Jakabreak Kankakee frustrado

By Jack Klasey

George Vaselenko’s attempt to break out of the Kankakee County Jail on Oct. 12, 1935, almost worked. The 21-year-old Chicagoan managed to slip out of his cell, carrying a length of chain that had supported his bunk, and a carefully carved, realistic wooden gun.

In a corridor leading to the cells, Vaselenko encountered Jailer Ed Imming. “The prisoner jabbed his phony gun into Imming’s ribs, and ordered him to ‘stick ’em up,’” reported the Kankakee Republican-News. When Imming tried to grab the weapon, “Vaselenko swung the iron chain, which struck the jailer in the head, and he went ...

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