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Kaushik J. PATEL





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Patel never gave a reason for what he did to the boys
Number of victims: 2
Date of murder: November 18, 2007
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: October 7, 1973
Victim profile: His sons, Vishv, 7, and Om, 4
Method of murder: Doused with gasoline in a bath tub and then set them on fire
Location: Glendale Heights, DuPage County, Illinois, USA
Status: Pleaded guilty. Sentenced to life in prison on May 18, 2010
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Kaushik Patel gets life in prison for burning deaths of 2 young sons

By Deborah O'Malley -

May 18, 2010

Kaushik Patel will spend the rest of his life in prison for the heinous burning deaths of his 7 and 4-year-old sons.

Patel pleaded guilty today several weeks after it was learned prosecutors and Patel had reached a tentative plea agreement that would spare him the death penalty.

On November 18, 2007, Patel poured gasoline on his sons Om and Vishv then set them on fire in the family's Glendale Heights home.

The boys died from their injuries after months of agonizing treatements. Patel survived the burns he sustained in the incident.

"In this case, I felt that the death penalty would have been an appropriate and just punishment." said DuPage County State's Attorney Joe Birkett. However, after careful consideration of all the relevant factors, including the wishes of the victims’ mother, I agree to accept the defendant’s offer to plead guilty for a natural life sentence.  The victims’ mother will never get over her loss, but at least she has the closure she hoped for and can move on with her life.”

Patel never gave a reason for what he did to the boys. Early on in the case, he contended he was trying to kill himself but the boys walked into the bathroom and accidentally got splashed with gasoline.

Prosecutors said Patel had purchased new toys for the children and used the toys to lure the boys into the bathroom of their home where he then put them in the tub and set them on fire.


Father admits setting young sons on fire

April 17, 2010

An Indian-born man accused of killing his two sons by setting them on fire has agreed to plead guilty and will not face the death penalty.

DuPage County prosecutors and defence lawyers in  Illinois on Friday told a judge about the agreement.

Thirty-five-year-old Kaushik Patel of Glendale Heights is accused of first-degree murder in the deaths of seven-year-old Vishv and four-year-old Om.

The judge set a sentencing hearing for May 18.

The boys' mother, Nishaben Patel, testified in February that before he died her son Vishv told her how his father had doused the boys with petrol.

Kaushik Patel has recovered from burns he received in the incident.

Kaushik Patel moved to the Chicago area from the Indian state of Gujarat in 1992, and later brought his wife to the US.


Father accepts deal to plead guilty in sons' burning deaths

April 16, 2010

Kaushik Patel, the Glendale Heights father charged with killing his two sons by setting them on fire, has agreed to plead guilty in return for a life sentence, DuPage County prosecutors and defense attorneys told a judge this morning.

"We have an agreement not to seek death," public defender Jeff York told Judge Kathryn Creswell.

Assistant State's Attorney Alex McGimpsey said all issues leading to a plea had been resolved.

Patel, 35, is charged with dousing his sons, Vishv, 7, and Om, 4, with gasoline in the bedroom of their home on Nov. 18, 2007, leaving them with severe burns that eventually led to their deaths months later.

Creswell set May 18 for sentencing.

In a jailhouse interview with the Tribune, Patel claimed he was attempting suicide when the boys ran into the room and accidentally were splashed with gasoline and caught on fire.

Patel earlier had signaled willingness to accept a life sentence in exchange for avoiding the death penalty, but DuPage County State's Attorney Joseph Birkett rejected it.

Patel public defenders told Judge Kathryn Creswell in August 2008 that Patel was willing to accept a life sentence in exchange for avoiding the death penalty.

DuPage County States' Attorney Joseph Birkett considered the offer for several months before rejecting it.

At a later pre-trial hearing Nisha Patel, the boys' mother, told Creswell that Vishv told her that on Nov. 18, 2007, his father took the boys out to buy toy cars, stopped to buy gasoline and returned with the boys to the family Glendale Heights home. She said Vishv said their father "told them to get into the bathroom and get into a green tub."

After the boys were burned, the defendant placed the boys in his car and drove them to a home of another family member in Hanover Park, where that family member called police.

Patel also was burned seriously in the incident but has since recovered.


Before dying, boy told how dad doused him with gas

Art Barnum -

February 27, 2009

As he lay in a hospital burn unit five weeks before he died, a 7-year-old boy provided graphic details to his mother about how his father doused him and his brother with gasoline in a bath tub and then set them on fire, prosecutors said in court Friday.

Over two consecutive days in January 2008, Vishv Patel gave his mother, Nishaben, an account of what happened to him and his 4-year-old brother Om two months earlier in their Glendale Heights home, Assistant DuPage County State's Attorney Alex McGimpsey said.

Kaushik Patel, 35, has been charged with the murder of his sons and faces the death penalty if convicted at his trial, which is scheduled to start in April. Illinois law requires a judge to approve the testimony of a deceased person before the trial. Judge Kathryn Creswell said she will rule March 4 on the state's request to use details from the conversation between Vishv and his mother.

According to McGimpsey, Vishv told his mother that on the afternoon of Nov. 18, 2007, his father took the boys to buy toy cars, stopped to buy some gasoline, and then went to the family home. Vishv said that their father "told them in get into the bathroom and to get into a green tub."

"Vishv said Daddy poured something over them and he knew it was gas, not water. It burned his eyes as it was poured over him," McGimpsey said. "Vishv then said Dad stood up with a lighter, he heard some noise and him and his brother were hurt."

Two Glendale Heights police who were at the Loyola Medical Center on Jan. 13, 2008, said that Vishv's comments were slow and deliberate and that he had to catch his breath after every few words. The police had brought a video camera to record the young boy's comments after being told by the mother the statements he had made the previous day. But hospital personnel wouldn't allow the equipment in the burn unit.  

Om died of his injuries on Jan. 17, 2008, and Vishv on Feb. 19. 2008.

Patel originally contended that he was trying to commit suicide when the boys ran into the bathroom and were accidentally set on fire. But later in a jailhouse interview with the Tribune, he claimed he didn't remember lighting the fire.

DuPage County States Attorney Joseph Birkett has declined an offer from Patel to plead guilty to the crimes in exchange for a life sentence.


IL Patel father says he tried to kill himself, not 2 sons

Glendale Heights father says he tried to kill himself, not 2 sons
Dad says he thinks about boys every day

By Tina Shah and Gerry Smith - Chicago Tribune reporters

March 8, 2008

In his first interview since being accused of dousing his two sons with gasoline and lighting them on fire, a Glendale Heights father said Friday morning that he only intended to kill himself, not his sons, and he doesn't recall how his children were injured last fall.

Kaushik Patel told the Tribune during an hourlong interview that he doesn't understand why he is being incarcerated.

"This is not murder. I tried to kill myself," Patel said, speaking through a glass window at the DuPage County Jail, mostly in his native language of Gujarati.

Patel, 34, is accused of dousing his sons with gasoline in the shower of the family's home in the 1800 block of Harvest Lane on Nov. 18 and then setting them on fire. The boys' mother, Nisha Patel, was not home at the time. Despite repeated calls, she could not be reached for comment.

Kaushik Patel, who is charged with murder in the death of his son, Om Patel, 4, is being held on $10 million bail. At his March 17 arraignment, he faces an additional murder charge in the death of Vishv Patel, 7, who died a month after his brother.

DuPage County State's Atty. Joseph Birkett said Friday that he could not comment on Kaushik Patel's statements, but that prosecutors would seek an additional count of murder next week when they present the case to the grand jury.

"The case will proceed to trial," Birkett said. "We've got some information we're still gathering from the hospital."

Glendale Heights Police Cmdr. Dennis Schar declined to discuss Patel's statements, but said, "He's charged with several counts of homicide so I'll let those speak for themselves."

Asked if investigators had found any signs of domestic disturbances at the Patel home, Schar said, "There were no police reports to indicate that."

With his arms still bandaged from burns, Kaushik Patel said he tried to kill himself because he was overwhelmed by family difficulties involving his wife and her mother, who came to live with them three years ago. Before then, he said the couple had a "first-class" marriage.

Kaushik Patel immigrated to the United States from India in 1992. After the couple's arranged marriage in 1997, he waited two years for his wife to get a U.S. visa.

After his mother-in-law arrived, Patel said his wife became increasingly critical. She began to attend parties frequently and when he questioned her, she dismissed it, asking whether he trusted her, Patel said.

Patel said his mother-in-law and wife "tortured" him and that when he tried to talk to his wife about it, she would listen to her mother, not him.

"If I sat at home, it was a problem. If I went out, it was a problem," Patel said, calling their treatment "harassment."

On the night the boys were burned, Patel said the family was supposed to attend a friend's party, but he told his wife to go ahead and that he would arrive later with the kids. Then, Patel said, he drove to Wal-Mart and bought a basin. On the way home, he purchased gasoline.

After bathing his two sons, he told them to dress themselves while he showered. At that time, Patel brought the jug of gasoline and a lighter into the bathroom.

As he doused himself with the gas, Patel said his two sons, who were still undressed, ran into the bathroom and he accidentally doused them from head to toe with at least half a gallon of gas. Patel said he doesn't know how the fire was ignited.

Patel said he did not intend to set the boys on fire.

"If I wanted to burn the kids, wouldn't I have put more gasoline on them?" Patel asked.

Patel drove the critically injured boys to his brother's home in Hanover Park. As Patel buckled Vishv into the car, he remembered, the boy asked his father, "Daddy, my skin is burned. Will it get better?"

Patel and the two boys were treated at Loyola University Medical Center's burn unit in Maywood. While the boys were in drug-induced comas, Patel said his wife would visit him every couple of days. He would ask her about his sons' conditions, and she would tell him: "What happened is so wrong. You can't do something like this."

On Jan. 17, Om died at the hospital. Vishv died Feb. 19.

Patel said he has recurring dreams about his two sons, including one in which his sons plead with him, "Daddy, I want to come with you."



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