Quick Hits – When Affairs go Bad

We’ve spent a lot of time discussing how the absurdly incestuous nature of the Kane County Judicial Center, and the judges and attorneys who ply their trade in that building, can subvert justice. But even if those ill-advised extracurricular relationships don’t directly damage court cases, when they go wrong, those gravitational waves ripple throughout the entire system, affecting the people attached to those officers of the court and the people who turn to it for relief.

Kane County Judicial Center

Kane County Judicial Center

Though this story is common knowledge at the courthouse, I wrestled with whether to put it out there. But when you consider that four people are dead due to the bad choices of three individuals, the truth really needs to come out. Not only that, but so much of the rank speculation around this multilayered tragedy is so off-base, setting the record straight played a role in my decision to set it straight.

I’m sure you recall that, last March, St. Charles resident Randy Coffland murdered his two teenage daughters, wounded his wife Anjum, and subsequently shot himself in the head. At the time he shot her, he told his wife, “I want you to suffer like I did.”

Randy Coffland

Randy Coffland

On February 4, 2017, Michael Clancy, 57, a fourth generation Kane County attorney and brother of Chief Judge Susan Clancy Boles, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a DuPage County forest preserve.

Clancy

Michael Clancy

These stories are connected.

The Cofflands moved from Oswego to St. Charles in 2015 because Anjum was having an affair and Randy wanted to put some distance between his family and the man involved.

In 2013, Anjum hired Wayne, Illinois, attorney Michael Clancy to file a medical malpractice suit against Rush Copley Hospital. That case is still winding its way through the system.

Sometime after they moved to St. Charles, Anjum and Clancy began having an affair. When Randy found out, he went directly to Clancy’s wife and filed a complaint with the Attorney Registration and Discipline Commission.

Faced with possible divorce, potential disbarment and all the baggage that goes along with those two scenarios, Clancy took his life. He left behind a wife, three siblings, his parents, a slew of friends, clients and a number of rescue animals.

As a result of Anjum’s affairs, Randy spiraled deeper and deeper into depression. He began abusing anti-depressants to the point where he told his family he was going to kill his daughters and himself. Thankfully, he sought help and managed to kick the drugs. By all accounts, his life seemed to be improving.

But after a Feb 8 domestic incident in which Randy smashed Anjum’s cell phone during a heated debate, she moved out leaving her daughters behind. Randy found an old bottle of anti-depressants and began self-medicating again.

It’s important to note that Randy Coffland had no prior domestic violence record.

Was that confrontation over yet another one of Anjum’s affairs? According to my sources, it was. But rather than simply take his daughters and walk away, Randy tried to reconcile with Anjum, who’d already decided to move on.

We all know how that story ended.

Did Michael Clancy set this entire series of events in motion? No! Did he contribute to it? Absolutely! Could Randy Coffland’s antidepressant use be a factor in this cowardly murder suicide? Yes! Could his wife’s affairs and the impending family breakup have exacerbated his depression? Yes!

Some people are more fragile than others.

Could Randy Coffland have murdered his daughters without Michael Clancy’s involvement? Absolutely! But there’s no doubt his involvement led to his own death.

One of my former managing editors recently challenged me to quantify the damage these Judicial Center affairs do to the system, but it can’t be done because life never distills itself down to a simple mathematical equation.

What I can say is, there are two dead children, two dead husbands, and their friends and families will never be the same. Don’t tell me this tragedy isn’t going to affect Chief Judge Boles’ decisions going forward, either. How could it not?

Let me be clear that the sins of the brother should never fall upon the shoulders of the sister, and I’m not excusing anyone for any act of violence against themselves or others. I’m simply trying to explain the series of events that set four deaths in motion.

Michael Clancy should’ve stuck around and faced the music. People have come back from much worse circumstances. Randy Coffland should have taken his daughters and moved far away. I can’t comprehend what would move someone to murder his own children just to make his wife suffer. C’mon! People have affairs all the time and most marriages end in divorce.

But now we know exactly what he meant when he said he wanted his wife to suffer like he did.

Anjum Coffland

Anjum Coffland

Prior to murdering his daughters, Randy Coffland changed his life insurance beneficiaries to his brother and a friend. Of course, Anjum Coffland is desperately trying to collect on that $750,000 policy.

25 thoughts on “Quick Hits – When Affairs go Bad

  1. This column reads like something straight out of the National Enquirer. I find it very distasteful and sad that you feel the need to expose the particulars of this awful story to the masses. May those two beautiful girls rest in peace, and may the survivors of all those involved find comfort in the memories of those they left behind. You’ve likely created fresh wounds with this piece and should be ashamed of yourself.

    • Mary, I fully understood that some people would feel that way. That said, I have no problem looking in the bathroom mirror for having written it. Sometimes the truth is necessary and this is clearly one of those times.

    • Thank God the truth is out. Her dirty secrets. Blood thirsty black widow

  2. Jeff you are the scum of the earth. You should be so ashamed of yourself. Someday someone is going to expose all your dirty little secrets and I can’t wait until that happens. You should rot in hell feel free to remove this I understand that the truth hurts.

    • Kelli,

      Delete it? As I’ve clearly stated before, if you insult me in a fascinating and original way, the comment stays up. And you’ve done just that. I particularly like the rot in hell part. I don’t hear that very often.

      But dirty little secrets? I don’t have any secrets. Everything I’ve said, thought or done is already out there. And I’ve always embraced the truth so there’s no pain there.

      No fear, right?

      Jeff

    • And if you are that Kelli, which I kinda doubt, I hope you enjoy your impending interaction with ARDC.

    • Wow, I know about this situation first hand. This IS THE TRUTH. Dirty little secrets are not exempt from the truth.

      The purpose of the news media is to report the FACTS and the TRUTH.

      Amen, the the reporter.
      The real people hurt by this are the ones left behind. Russell Coffland buried his brother Randall and his two nieces and paid for all. Not Anjem. Fact.

    • Kelli,

      Sometimes I’m a bit slow, but if you’re not Ms. Childress and you’re insinuating I had an affair with her, nothing could be further from the truth. I don’t have that kind of medical insurance coverage.

  3. Jeff, I find it interesting that the two negative comments both come from WOMEN and, of course, Anjum is also a woman.

    This is excellent investigative work on your part, and better investigative work than the States Attorney’s office appears to be capable of.

    • Wow….. Just wow. I find it interesting that “The Observer” doesn’t have the nads to identify himself and will hide behind some obscure title to avoid being called out by said WOMEN. FWIW, I do not personally know any of the people involved in this horrific story. What I do know, however, is that my reaction to this blog has nothing to do with my gender, and everything to do with my moral compass.

      • Mary, Though it doesn’t exactly change your point, the general blog rule is I have to know who the poster is. And in the case of The Observer, I know who he is.

        Second, I have no problem with either one of your opinions. Though oddly enough, between facebook and here the responses have been 90 percent positive with most of the positive Facebook comments coming from women.

      • Mary, This is an honest question – I’m not trying to trap you. But I didn’t include all of the gifts and GoFundMe money that Anjum Coffland accepted.

        Considering her role in this tragedy, is that a good reason to write about it?

    • Observer, Thank you for the compliment, but to be honest, I kinda slipped on this one. One it came my way and I did my due diligence, I was shocked how many people knew about it.

  4. I also know that the that Mr Cofflands brother paid for all the funeral expenses with the promise that the money would be returned to him from the Go Fund Account and any other donations that Anjum received. She has refused to repay her Brother N Law. His wife also passed away sooner that expected because of all this stress…so considering that this brother is under a great deal of stress and depression..adds another sad part to this story. Black Widow…

  5. If you call yourself an investigative journalist, you must stick to the facts, and only the facts. Your personal inclinations (Michael Clancy should’ve stuck around and faced the music. Randy Coffland should have taken his daughters and moved far away) are totally irrelevant. And only a twisted mind would affirm that this tragedy will “affect Chief Judge Boles’ decisions going forward”. Who do you think you are to judge people’s potential future actions? Are you going to ask for a resignation simply because Mr. Clancy was her brother? Stick to the facts instead of constantly steering shit.

    • Last, Please see my respond on the column regarding Kelli Childress’ abjectly unethical behavior. Without your real name – at least to me – any further comments will be deleted.

      And no, I don’t expect Judge Clancy Boles to resign because she’s related to Michael, but I do expect her to resign for her illegal and unethical attempt to cover up the truth in that regard.

      Oh! And did I say you’re full of shit? Holy fuck, how can anyone be so wrong?

      Jeff

    • You are a moron. Even a simpleton can see that Boles’ future decisions regarding protective orders, family court decisions and who gets placed in drug court will be compromised by her personal experience. But nothing new there. You’ve got one judge who flaunts his gayness. Another one who hates men, lost a primary election but kept a political appointment as an associate judge and soaks the same voters who didn’t think she was qualified for $200k/yr. Open your eyes. The Kane County judicial system is a joke.

      • What he said!

      • Not to mention Judge Tegeler marries a FORMER CLIENT half his age, Judge Sarang regularly berates crime victims and our Public Defender sleeps with a jury foreman who just acquitted her client of first degree murder. They all need to go.

      • Just curious. Why are we supposed to have our panties in a bunch about an openly gay judge?

      • Mona,

        It isn’t that he’s gay, it’s that he beats everyone in sight with it every flippin’ chance he gets.

        The best example is, an attorney noted the Judge looked haggard and asked about it. Dalton responded that he’d been up all night with a sick spouse. And when the attorney replied, “Please tell your wife I hope she feels better,” Dalton went on a 10 minute tirade IN COURT, berating the attorney for assuming his spouse was female.

        And there’s much more!

  6. Well, when the feeder pool of potential judicial candidates is loaded with the little red-faced guy who showed up drunk all the time, or the alleged slumlord who somehow hasn’t been charged with negligent homicide, it’s no wonder the system is corrupt. http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20151006/news/151009161/

  7. Mona, no one really cares whether or not he is gay, unless that creates an agenda, like the man-hating judge whose personal life influences her decisions.

  8. Randall Coffland is/was the only one to blame for the deaths of the children.

    Hard to even fathom that martial infidelity would provoke the killing of their children.

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