Suspected serial killer charged with 1997 Lake County murder
Samuel William Legg III is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 39-year-old Julie A. Konkol. His DNA has been matched to two killings in Ohio.
A suspected serial killer in custody in Ohio has been charged with the 1997 murder of a woman at an abandoned truck stop near Illinois’ border with Wisconsin.
Samuel William Legg III, 52, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 39-year-old Julie A. Konkol, according to the Lake County sheriff’s office.
“We are so thankful we were able to take the first steps of providing justice to Julie Konkol and her family,” Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg said.
A construction worker found Konkol, fully clothed, her body atop a pile of dirt behind the abandoned Senter’s Truck Stop at Russell Road and Old Route 41 in Russell around 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 23, 1997.
Authorities previously have said they believe she’d recently moved from the Milwaukee suburb of Greendale and was living in her old, rusted-out van and “working at various truck stops washing trucks” along U.S. 41. She had an arrest record for deceptive practice and forgery and was identified by her fingerprints.
At the time of her killing, authorities said they were investigating the possibility that a serial killer was involved and that there might be other Chicago-area victims in cases going back to 1994, involving at least two other women who were killed and whose bodies were dumped.
In 2006, DNA from her case was matched with a 1996 killing in Wood County, Ohio, officials said. The same suspect’s DNA was matched in 2012 to a 1992 killing in Mahoning County, Ohio.
In 2018, the suspect’s DNA was tested looking for a familial or direct connection, which led to Legg, who was “found to be a 1-in-1-trillion match as being the source of the DNA found on Konkol,” the sheriff’s office said.
At the time of the killings, Legg lived in Ohio and was a truck driver working throughout the Midwest, officials said.
He was arrested in January 2019 in an Ohio sexual assault case from 1997, the sheriff’s office said. He was living in Chandler, Arizona, at the time and was extradited to Ohio to face the charges. He later was charged with the 1992 killing of Sharon Kedzierski in Mahoning County, Ohio.
Lake County sheriff’s investigators traveled to Ohio, where Legg remains in custody, to interview him, and he was subsequently charged in Konkol’s killing and will be extradited to Illinois to face the charges.
His bail in the Lake County case was set at $3 million, according to the sheriff’s office.