Canadian Football League

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Former Canadian Football League players Dad wanted man

Terrence Knox, a 21-year-old Chicago police officer, was patrolling South Drexel Avenue on March 9, 1969, when he asked 19-year-old Joseph Pannell why he wasn't in school.
Pannell, AWOL from the Navy, answered the officer by firing a 9 mm handgun, according to authorities, striking Knox three times in the right arm. Pannell was caught and charged with attempted murder and aggravated battery.
But he never stood trial — he jumped bail and disappeared.
This week, Pannell will face a judge.
The longtime fugitive is scheduled to enter a Toronto courthouse Wednesday for an extradition hearing to determine whether he should be returned to Chicago.
His lawyer says the case involves Pannell's civil liberties — threatened in 1960s Chicago — more than it does a criminal act.
Knox, who has retired from the police and now lives in Orland Park, hopes he'll finally see justice done.
"I'm just waiting to hear from the Canadian government, are they going to extradite him or not?" he said.
One of the bullets severed an artery in Knox's arm. A fellow officer stuck his finger in the bullet hole to stop the bleeding. That saved his life, Knox said, but the shooting left the arm partially paralyzed and prevented him from joining the military when he was drafted in 1970.
The arm still hurts.
Pannell — who told investigators at the time he was a member of the Black Panther Party — was freed on bail in 1971 but never showed up in court. Police arrested Pannell again in Chicago in 1973, and he posted bail again. This time, he slipped into obscurity.
Chicago and Canadian authorities said Pannell has lived in Canada since the mid-1970s, mostly under the name of Gary Freeman, first in Montreal and then Toronto.
Under this assumed identity, he lived a quiet life.
For the past 13 years, he has worked at the Toronto Reference Library. He married and raised a son and three daughters with his wife, who also worked at the library, authorities said.
Friends and neighbors in Canada have described Pannell, 55, as the picture of a perfect family man.
The library research assistant kept his children from watching slapstick comedy on TV because he worried it was too violent. Neighbors often saw him jogging in his Toronto suburb with his children. He encouraged them to excel in sports. His son, Mace, won a football scholarship at the University of Toledo and was a wide receiver in the Canadian Football League from 1999 to 2002. His daughter Tempie recently was a star center fielder for her softball team at Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y.
Knox, now 57, spent years on his own trying to find Pannell, who also used the aliases of dead people, including Joe Nathan Chapman and Douglas Norberg, court records show.
And Knox campaigned for years to renew official interest in the case. He made a plea to Chicago Police Supt. Phil Cline, and the department's cold-case squad reopened the investigation in November 2003.
"I wanted to come to closure," Knox told reporters at the time. "I'm getting old."
Police tracked Pannell to Toronto with the help of the FBI, Interpol and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. In 1983, he was stopped at the Canadian border while trying to sneak a camera into the country under the name Douglas Freeman. He was fined $300 and fingerprinted.
Those prints, kept on file, led police to their fugitive.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested Pannell outside the Toronto Reference Library in July last year, said Sgt. Tony Gollob, unit commander in charge of Canada's immigration task force. Pannell was jailed without bail.
If extradited, he will face aggravated battery and attempted murder charges in Cook County Criminal Court.
Meanwhile, a group called Family and Friends of Gary Freeman have been conducting vigils outside the courthouse in protest.
The Toronto Star in February published an article titled "Cold Case Fueled By Race and Politics." A Toronto Star column by a personal friend of the man known as Freeman — titled "You see a fugitive, I see a friend" — described Pannell as thoughtful and bookish.
Pannell's lawyer, Julian Falconer, said the case hinges on the threat posed to Pannell's civil liberties.
"In 1960s Chicago, Mr. Pannell's fears of a police officer bearing a gun against him were completely reasonable," Falconer said Friday, alluding to an era of riots, war protests and contempt for authority.
Martin Luther King Jr. had been murdered the year before. Fred Hampton, a 22-year-old leader in the Black Panther Party, would be killed in a Chicago police raid that December.
Such arguments upset Knox, who said this ultimately is about victims' rights and justice.
"It's just not for me, it's for all victims," he said.
After the shooting, Knox returned to the police force in 1971, becoming a member of the department's intelligence division before retiring in 1977.
He raised two daughters with his wife of 33 years, worked as head of security at a hospital and became a member of a victims rights task force under Mayor Richard M. Daley. He joined the private sector in 1991.
Knox has, in recent years, campaigned for legislation that would ban anyone accused of a violent crime who jumps bail once from being allowed to post bail again. He expects a bill to be introduced this fall to that effect in the Illinois House.


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