"I got one phone call the very first night that he was hurt, from a detective just giving me the case number," Nanci Koschman said Monday. "And I didn't hear anything for 10 days after he died, when reporters started coming to my sisters' and my house, asking about a cover-up. But until then, we knew nothing about it."
Her son's friends told her that the man who slugged her son had run off, but she believed the detectives would pursue the case. Finally, she heard from a detective. He told her that if her son had lived, he'd have been the only one charged.
"The detective clearly stated that it was all David's fault and that David is the only one who would have been charged and that he was responsible for the whole thing," Nanci Koschman said.
"He also said to me that if I tried to sue the family, that, he told me I'd be impressed by the names of the people that were involved with the case, and that if I tried to sue, they would keep me tied up in court for years. So that was why I never did anything."
The message was clear. Back off, Mrs. Koschman, before you get stepped on. Back off because powerful people want you to back off. Back off because your son, all 125 pounds of him, threatened that hulking fellow with the mayoral bloodline.
But she didn't back off.
And watching her Monday, as she pushed through that news conference, gulping for air, fighting for her son's memory, I wished something:
That all of political Chicago could be sentenced to hear her.
And that they would be compelled to listen to those terrible pauses in a mother's voice, again and again and again.