July 6, 1986 – Dyke and Karen Rhoads are murdered in their Paris, Illinois, house sometime after midnight and before dawn. They are stabbed dozens of times and their house is set afire.
February 1987 – Herb Whitlock and Randy Steidl arrested and charged with murders of Dyke and Karen Rhoads.
May 22, 1987 – Jury finds Herb Whitlock guilty in Karen Rhoads’ death and sentences him to life in prison.
July 1987 – Jury finds Randy Steidl guilty of murders and sentences him to death.
April 2000 — Illinois State Police instructs detective Michale Callahan to do a quick review of Rhoads’ case and assess defense advocates theories of case.
May 2000 — Callahan writes memos adopting defense advocates theories of case but says Herb Whitlock “still remains a viable suspect.”
January 17, 2001 — Callahan and FBI agent meet with news reporter who tells them about a mystery witness who would strongly implicate Randy Steidl, Herb Whitlock, Ovid Chambers and another man in the Rhoads murders. Callahan never passes this information along to anyone.
April 2, 2001 – Illinois State Police detective Michale Callahan sends email to superiors based on phone conversation with Whitlock lawyer Richard Kling. He said Kling and Northwestern’s David Protess planning to send students to Paris to prove Paris businessman’s guilt in the case, “therefore exonerating their clients.”
June 21, 2001 – First 48 Hours segment on case airs nationally. It is titled, Impossible Mission.”
June 17, 2003 – U.S. District Court judge rules Steidl should either be released or retried.
March 25, 2004 – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announces she will not appeal U.S. court decision regarding Steidl.
May 28, 2004 – State Appellate Prosecutor announces it will not retry Steidl and he is released from custody.
Nov. 17, 2005 – Paris businessman releases polygraph from respected expert that concludes he had no involvement in the Rhoads’ murders.
Dec. 17, 2005 — Second 48 Hours segment on case airs, titled, “Who Killed the Newlyweds?”
May 4, 2006 – Paris businessman agrees to interview with Illinois State Police and FBI without lawyer present.
May 9, 2006 – Paris businessman voluntarily takes Illinois State Police administered polygraph.
May 16, 2006 – ISP informs Paris businessman that polygraph examiner concluded he was telling the truth.
Sept. 6, 2007 – Illinois Appellate Court grants Whitlock’s request for new trial.
Jan. 8, 2008 – Illinois Appellate Prosecutor announces it will not retry Whitlock and he is released from custody.
March 1, 2008 – 48 Hours airs third segment on the Rhoads’ case, titled, “The Long Road.”