John grew up on Broadway Street in Joliet, and after graduating from Joliet Catholic Academy in 1988, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in history from Notre Dame in 1992,and his law degree from the University of Illinois in 1995.

After private practice on the island of Saipan, he returned to Will County in 1997 and joined the State’s Attorney’s Office. Over the next 20 years, John became a career prosecutor and the Major Crimes Chief at the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office. He handled several high profile cases including the Drew Peterson case, the “Hickory Street Stranglings,” and pretrial proceedings in the Christopher Vaughn case.

Anticipating that the Peterson case would require additional resources, John drafted an order for the first Will County special grand convened in decades in November of 2007, immediately after the disappearance of Stacy Peterson. That grand jury indicted Peterson on the charges John presented in 2009 for the murder of Peterson’s third wife, Kathleen Savio.

John also used his experience with computer forensic evidence as both a local prosecutor and an Assistant Attorney General in the High Tech Crimes Bureau to design guidelines for the State’s Attorney’s Computer Crimes Unit, which executed more than 100 search warrants and convictions for child exploitation crimes. He also oversaw cold case murder investigations during his tenure. An advocate of the grand jury as a citizen’s tool for justice, he presented many investigations and their witnesses to grand juries for their assistance and involvement during his tenure as a prosecutor.

John Connor Courtyard

Throughout John’s career as a prosecutor, his cases have garnered quite a bit of media attention. Find below several examples of the local and regional media coverage of his cases.

John convened the special grand jury that investigated the murders of Kathleen Savio and Stacy Peterson in November of 2007 after Stacy disappeared just before Halloween.  During the ensuing investigation and prosecution, John maintained open lines of communication between the families of Stacy Peterson and Kathleen Savio.  John talks with Cassandra about her ongoing efforts to find her sister’s body.

From John’s first domestic violence murder trial in 2002, People v. Keith Bland, 2001 CF 86, he has been interested in providing assistance to the victims of domestic violence.  The trials of Drew Peterson (2009 CF 1048) and Jerry Nichols (2013 CF 221) were John’s most recent domestic violence murder trials, and along with his pretrial motions in the Christopher Vaughn case, provide great examples of his willingness to go the extra mile to provide justice to women and children who were victims of domestic violence.

Vincent Johnson (2006 CF 1278) and Jevon Lesley (2012 CF 2233) are two gang homicide cases that John obtained convictions in.  In both cases, the victims were not gang members and just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

As always, John considered consistent communication with the victim’s family a key element of his handling of the case.  Family members of homicide victims can often be overwhelmed or bewildered by the criminal justice system.

As the Computer Crimes Chief of the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office, John oversaw the investigations and search warrants into predators who would expoit children on the Internet.  That unit was cutting edge and employed many new techniques and procedures to keep children safe.

The “Nightmare on Hickory Street” strangling cases involved four defendants, with  John trying the cases of Joshua Miner and Bethany McKee.  Both received life sentences for luring Erik Glover Jr. and Terrance Rankins to  a house on Hickory Street to rob and beat them, and instead they were strangled to death.

John Connor Family

Meet The Family

John and his wife, Julie, live in Lockport with their three sons, Colin, Jack and Charlie, and their Golden Retriever, Circe.