News Release

John Conroy, an award-winning investigative journalist and distinguished author, has partnered with the DePaul College of Law to conduct investigations for the law school’s clinics and teach a course in fact investigation.  Conroy is credited with breaking stories about Jon Burge, the notorious former Chicago Police Department detective and commander accused of using torture to illicit confessions from criminal suspects.


“John Conroy is a seasoned investigator who has a proven record of conducting successful investigations,” said Andrea Lyon, director of DePaul’s Center for Justice in Capital Cases and associate dean for the College of Law’s clinical programs.“Our students will have the opportunity to learn key investigative skills from one of the best investigators in the business.  We are pleased to welcome John to DePaul.”


Conroy, who spent over 20 years investigating allegations of  Burge’s torture tactics, penned stories for the Chicago Reader on the subject that sparked internal Chicago Police Department investigations that eventually led to Burge’s firing and 2010 conviction for obstruction of justice and perjury. Conroy’s investigative pieces have appeared in such publications as the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Mother Jones, the Village Voice and Chicago magazine. He also has reported on various topics, including criminal justice, for Chicago Public Radio.


Conroy honed his investigative skills as a senior investigator for the Better Government Association. He directed a seven-month investigation into the human, social and financial costs of wrongful convictions in Illinois, a project that led to a 2011 hearing in the Illinois State Senate about the causes of wrongful conviction.


Conroy is the author of two books—“Unspeakable Acts, Ordinary People: The Dynamics of Torture” and “Belfast Diary: War as a Way of Life.”  He also penned a play about torture, “My Kind of Town,” which had a run this summer at Chicago’s TimeLine Theatre.

Conroy’s work has earned him numerous recognitions and awards, including a national Headliner Award, the Edward R. Murrow Award, the Society of Professional Journalists’ National Award for Magazine Writing, a Friends of Literature Award for best nonfiction book, the Studs Terkel Award for excellence in reporting about Chicago’s diverse communities, the Chicago Association of Black Journalists Award, the John Bartlow Martin Award for Public Interest Magazine Journalism and the Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism.


Conroy will lend his investigative skills to DePaul clinical programs involving death penalty defense, criminal appeals, misdemeanor defense and civil rights.


About the College of Law


Established in 1912, the College of Law will celebrate its centennial anniversary throughout the 2012-13 academic year. Its research centers and institutes focus on issues such as public interest law, family law, international aviation law, dispute resolution, criminal defense and intellectual property law. Included among DePaul College of Law alumni are distinguished private practitioners and business people, state and federal judges, municipal, county and state leaders and two generations of Chicago mayors. For more information visit


About DePaul


With more than 25,000 students, DePaul University is the largest Catholic university in the United States and the largest private, nonprofit university in the Midwest. The university offers approximately 275 graduate and undergraduate programs of study on three Chicago campuses and three suburban campuses. Founded in 1898, DePaul remains committed to providing a quality education through personal attention to students from a wide range of backgrounds. For more information, visit


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