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Friday, December 22, 2023

The David Bowen Murder-For-Hire Case

     The Bowens were an unlikely couple. Forty-four-year-old Daniel, a political ward captain, worked as a janitor at the Chicago Cultural Center. He and his wife Anne Treonis-Bowen, an attorney with the Illinois Liquor Control Commission, were in the midst of a nasty divorce that included a custody battle over their daughters who were five and six. Daniel couldn't stand the idea that his wife, the one with the better job, the one who would end up with the house and most of the marital assets, was about to become the dominant person in their children's lives. She would make all of the parental decisions while he'd be relegated to the role of a visiting ex-spouse. Daniel Bowen considered this a humiliating attack on his manhood. It was the hatred of his wife, not the love of his children, that drove this man to murder.

     In February 2004, Daniel Bowen offered his childhood friend, Dennis McArdle, $2,000 in upfront money to kill Mrs. Bowen. After the hit man completed the job and the victim's life insurance paid off, the murder-for-hire mastermind would pay McArdle another $20,000. Bowen also offered his friend a cushy low-level city job.

     McArdle, a convicted felon, alcoholic, drug addict and incompetent bungler with no prospects and nothing to lose, accepted the contract murder assignment. From a man he barely knew Mr. McArdle purchased, for $500, a .38-caliber revolver with a homemade silencer that didn't work when he and Bowen test-fired the gun in the basement of the cultural center. Bowen scheduled the murder for March 4, 2004, a day when he would be in the company of others and thus have an airtight alibi.

     As murder plots go this one was simple. Dennis McArdle was to shoot Daniel Bowen's wife after she parked her car that morning at the Chicago Transit Authority station southwest of the city. On the morning of the hit, wearing a ski mask and latex gloves, McArdle walked up behind the victim in the station parking lot and shot her once in the back of the head. To make the shooting look like a robbery rather than an execution style murder, McArdle took the victim's handbag. The ploy, to the trained eye of an investigator was transparent.

     Although this amateur hitman wore gloves to avoid linking himself to the shooting, disposed of the victim's wallet and got rid of the murder weapon, he took Mrs. Bowen's purse back to his apartment building where he hid it in the basement. A few days later the owner of the apartment building found the handbag, and inside it a prescription bottle bearing the murdered woman's name. The landlord called the police. Because McArdle was the only resident of the building with a connection to the murder victim, he became the prime suspect in the case.

     Ten days after Anne Treonis-Bowen's execution, detectives brought Mr. McArdle in for questioning. The 42-year-old suspect, suffering from cirrhosis and hepatitis, quickly confessed and agreed to testify against Daniel Bowen.

     In September 2004, while awaiting trial in the Cook County Jail, Daniel Bowen hanged himself. A month later a judge sentenced Dennis McArdle to 35 years in prison.

    The Bowen case exemplifies the fact that murder-for-hire is most often a crime of desperation committed by dimwits and fools. 


  1. Ned, came to my house on 37th. Pl. Halsted and told me they have his buddy Danny in lockup and questioning him in the murder of his wife, Dennis then said they we're going to come after him.. I said why would they come after you? Ned as we called him said because I'm his best friend. I said you can tell me, I know you did it, of course I was only kidding, but you could see by the look on his face that he was definitely troubled when I said that, it looked like everything was drained from his body and had the look of a child who had been caught doing something bad, he was there meeting his crack dealer in the parking lot where I lived, he gave me $20 to which he never did before, I later tried to call the homicide detectives and give a statement but they said they weren't interested,Ned and Shaun lived on 31st street. Shaun had to know the plot of murder cause he told me that he bought the gun from a co-worker where they remodeled homes, Ned and Shaun we're both working there. Shaun and Ned were smoking a lot of crack.I was was addicted to crack as well.

  2. Ned, ( Dennis McArdle ) came by my house a few days after the murder to meet his crack dealer in the parking lot of where I live on 37th pl. Halsted, he had said that they had Danny in for questioning and they we're soon going to come get him. I said why would they do that, he said because he was Danny's best friend. I was joking with him and said " Ned, you can tell me, you did it didn't you? " It was as though by the look on his face was that of a child who had been caught doing something bad. I knew my statement gave him cause for concern. I told Ned, man I'm only fucking with you bro. He gave me some crack and left. I called the Chicago headquarters on 35th st. and tried to call the homicide detectives and was told they weren't interested in speculation, not long after that they did in fact arrest Ned , I offered information in good faith with the hopes of getting a reward, Chicago homicide detectives are just as crooked as any criminal, so I will never give information to the cops and recommend that no one else does either.

    1. Bitch boy crack head...punk