Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Investigation into the Murder of Dr. David Cornbleet

American Dream

Chicago, the "Windy City", has a population of 2.9 million people, making it the largest city in the Midwest. Known throughout the world for its sophisticated architecture and vast shopping districts, the heart of this city contains a thriving business district which can meet every need. It was within this hub of activity that Dr. David Cornbleet opened his dermatology office nearly 30 years ago. With a thriving practice, a beautiful wife and two young children, David was living the American dream.

Dr. David Cornbleet
Dr. David Cornbleet

"As a father, he only knew how to give. He was always involved in my life. He took an interest in everything that I did and tried to help in every way that he could," remembers his son, Jonathan. "My father's heart was always in the right place. I often describe him as having a heart of gold. Growing up, he never drove a fancy car or wore fancy suits or joined a country club. What was important to him was living in an area where my sister and I would grow up to have a good education; that my mother could take off of work to raise us. He made sure that we grew up in a place where we would meet others destined for success that we would become friends with. He also never bought the finer things in life for himself, but gave my sister and I the ultimate gift, a college education. His family was always the most important thing to him."

Generally, as a person gets older, he or she starts to slow down and look forward to retirement. However, it was the furthest thing from David's mind at age 64. His practice was in full swing, and he was still accepting new patients. Even when David's long-time receptionist passed away, he didn't miss a beat. Instead, he chose to continue his practice without hiring a replacement. As of October 2006, David saw more than a hundred patients every week. Other than Jonathan, who helped out every Saturday, David ran the entire operation himself.

Jonathan reflected, "His office was always his sense of pride. My father truly loved being Dr. Cornbleet. He built his office into one of the largest dermatology practices in the city. Yet, he never bragged about that. He was never jealous of anybody else and always proud of what he had accomplished, a gift that I, to this day, really emulate and strive for. He always kept his prices very low because being a physician was his calling in life. It was the helping of others that my father loved, not the rewards of having a successful practice."

Office building where Cornbleet's practice was located.
Office building where Cornbleet's practice was located.

David's office was on the twelfth floor of a 21-story office building, at 30 N. Michigan Avenue. The neighborhood is one of the safest in the city. Directly across the street is Millennium Park, a world-famous tourist mecca, which draws visitors from around the world.


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