Who Killed The Doctor?

Date Published 11.09.06
At first glance, watching him enter through the revolving door, the young man sets off no alarm bells. The surveillance footage is too grainy to make out a face, but you can tell he’s young, the black bag slung over his back and his red baseball cap giving him a laid-back student feel. He moves with a studied nonchalance, the familiar walk of the youthful and unburdened. Which is why it’s all the more shocking 46 minutes later when the camera catches the young man hurrying out. He’s changed hats, and he’s shielding his upper body and face with his jacket. You can’t see it on the video, but he’s covered in blood.

The unknown young man is the prime suspect in the mysterious murder of Dr. David Cornbleet, 64, a Chicago dermatologist. Cornbleet was stabbed to death in his office on Oct. 24. Police don't believe robbery was the motive. Cornbleet was bound and gagged, and his wounds were severe. The crime appears to be personal and fueled by rage.

Dr. David Cornbleet

The most promising lead is the security tape showing the unknown young man entering the building around 5 p.m. on Oct. 24 and then leaving about an hour later, this time hiding his identity with his jacket. Watch the video. A female tenant shared the elevator down with the man, and reported him immediately to building security blood spatters on his shirt. Police released the security tape to the public in an attempt to identify the suspect, but haven’t had any luck so far.

Cornbleet worked for 28 years in the building at 30 N. Michigan. In recent years he worked alone, acting as his own receptionist and scheduler. That, and the fact that he was well known for taking patients who didn’t have an appointment, made him especially vulnerable to attack.

But who would want to kill him? By all accounts Cornbleet was a kind and compassionate man, the type of doctor who lowered his fees so longtime patients could afford to stay with him when their insurance plans changed. Former patients write lovingly of the doctor in his Guest Book maintained by the Chicago Sun-times online.

Dr. Cornbleet was my dermatologist for several years... I always looked forward to our visits; he provided such a warm and inviting atmosphere. He always spoke of his family with such love and admiration - it absolutely broke my heart to hear the news of what had happened...

I just begin to cry everytime I think of him. He was not only my favorite doctor but he was also my friend. I have referred half of my family and most of my friend over the years and each person always came back to tell me "He is so wonderful, he knew right away what I had." He will be greatly missed. I pray every night that the detectives on his case are given the tools to find the person responsible...
I was a patient of Dr. Cornbleet's for 5 years and the best thing I can say about him is that as great of a doctor he was, he was an even better human being...
One intriguing clue from the video is that it shows the suspect carrying something in his shoulder bag on the way out that he did not have coming in: a white tube or roll of paper sticking out of his bag. It’s unknown if it’s something he took from the doctor’s office, or if it’s concealing another object. If it is a roll of paper, that suggests patient records may be behind the murder. Was the suspect simply purging his own records to hide his identity, or is something more complex going on?

Right now the only thing known for certain is that sometime between the two video images - a young man striding in the building and then hurrying out, bloodied - a terrible struggle occured in Dr. David Cornbleet's exam room, and a beloved doctor was killed.
I have been a patient of Dr. Cornbleet's for 22 years. I drove downtown to see him on an average of 1 to 3 times a week, for years & years. He became one of the best friends & one of my most favorite people in the world, not just a wonderful doctor. How can you ever replace a person as kind, witty & caring as Dr. Cornbleet?

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