TRIALS: Victory for Fast Eddie

The courtroom audience first gasped, then applauded as Cook County Circuit Judge Philip Romiti handed down his verdict: "The evidence is simply not sufficient to establish or prove any conspiracy against any defendant." Thus ended an enormously tangled legal proceeding that had long threatened to discredit—and perhaps jail—the heir apparent to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's political fiefdom, Cook County State's Attorney Edward V. Hanrahan.

The case began with bullets and blood at 4:40 a.m. on Dec. 4,1969, when 14 policemen assigned to Hanrahan's office raided a Chicago Black Panther redoubt, killing Fred...