The Orlando tragedy . . .
To honor the bodies of the 49 victims in the bullet-riddled slaughterhouse that had been a popular gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, the corpse of shooter Omar Mateen was kept in a separate area of the Orange County morgue.
His body was held in an area used for decomposing bodies.
“We kept them away from him. It was something we never expected to see, or hope to see,” said a worker at the medical examiner’s office, who claimed Mateen’s body was strategically kept apart from the victims of the shooting.
“We did all kinds of different things to show our respect, but we were also there for each other,” she told Sneed. “There were a lot of hugs. We had to keep it together. It was so unbelievable, but our work had to be done in honor of the victims. Yes, there were prayers.”
The Kennedy camp . . .
Yes. Yes. Yes.
Chris Kennedy is definitely eyeing the gubernatorial campaign trail.
He’s just having fun remaining publicly mum.
• To wit: Kennedy has already talked to top Dem politicos and union bosses about running for governor (again) because he reckons the time is right, business is good, his incredible wife, Sheila, has given him a green light and he abhors the politics and policies of Gov. Bruce Rauner.
• The kicker: Here’s the big but! Kennedy is remaining publicly mum until he decides if he “has the ability to raise 20 million bucks to run against Rauner’s money machine,” a top Dem source said.
• Backstory: Kennedy has come this/close to running in the past, pulling the plug at the last minute — and leaving everyone at the altar dripping mascara.
But he’d make one helluva candidate if he’s got the fire in the belly to do it.
Trump ’em . . .
How’s this for an internet handle in the pro-Hillary Clinton camp: #GiveEmHill.
The Pfleger file . . .
It’s off court.
It’s beyond the basketball net.
It could be over the line.
But it’s a shot at peace in a neighborhood riddled with violence.
Following an annual peace weekend basketball game planned at 2 p.m. Saturday at St. Sabina’s gym in the Auburn Gresham neighorbood — between 12 Chicago Police officers and 12 young men with gang ties — a hush-hush, behind-closed-doors meeting is scheduled.
“The police and the brothers from the block want to figure out how to build a relationship together with the community,” said Father Michael Pfleger. “It will be down in the basement and private,” he added.
The Dreesen file . . .
Comedian Tom Dreesen, Harvey’s pride, tells Sneed he is offering free tickets to his show at the Center For Visual & Performing Arts in Munster, Ind., this weekend to all “first responders” — firefighters and police officers.
“They are our first line of defense and although I’ve spent a lot of time performing for our troops overseas, the war is here,” said Dreesen, who was the opening act for singer Frank Sinatra. It is frightening what’s happening in our country.
Dreesen, who was spotted dining at Gibsons eatery with his close pal Steve Lombardo on Wednesday night, will also emcee the “Funniest Policemen in Chicago Contest” on Monday night at the Laugh Factory. “The only thing to reduce stress is laughter. It’s healing.”
The Bocelli beat . . .
Yummy. To all those folks surprised singer Andrea Bocelli dined at Pescatore Palace on Friday night in Franklin Park after his show at the Allstate Arena, here’s a tasty backstory.
Sneed is told Bocelli’s mother is friends with Pescatore chef/owner Vito Barbanente, and he often visits the restaurant when he’s in town. They even have a room named after the singer.
There ya go.
Ali’s way . . .
A Chicago connection: One of the pallbearers at legendary boxer Muhammad Ali’s service last weekend in Louisville, Kentucky, which included Mike Tyson and actor Will Smith, was Chicagoan Eugene Dibble, cousin of Valerie Jarrett — Senior White House adviser and BFF to President Barack Obama and wife Michelle. (Dibble’s father was close to Ali.)
Sneedlings . . .
I spy: Chicago Cubs starting pitcher John Lackey spotted eating lunch with his family Thursday at Harry Caray’s Water Tower restaurant. . . . Comedy Central “Roastmaster General” Jeff Ross dined at Gibsons Steakhouse on Wednesday. . . .Today’s birthdays: Kendrick Lamar, 29; Venus Williams, 36, and Barry Manilow, 73.