Helen Brach case: Polygraph, author raise new questions - FOX 32 News Chicago

Helen Brach case: Polygraph, author raise new questions

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Whatever happened to millionaire candy heiress Helen Brach? More than 35 years later, it remains one of Chicago's biggest mysteries.

Her body has never been found, one key suspect died several years ago, and now, FOX 32 has learned that another player in the Brach case has passed away.

Over the years, the suspects in the 1977 disappearance of the 65-year-old candy heiress included her handyman, some crooked north suburban horsemen, and even the Chicago mob.

The newest development in this case is the recent death of a world famous polygraph expert, who was helping a Chicago author get to the bottom of the Brach case, by giving a lie detector test to the one man who's behind bars because of Brach's disappearance.

Chicago author Jim Ylisela has been visiting and talking to Richard Bailey, on and off, for more than a decade. Bailey received a 30-year sentence back in 1995 after pleading guilty to swindling dozens of women by selling them worthless horses.

20 of those 30 years, though, came because the judge found at sentencing that Bailey more likely than not conspired to kill Helen Brach, fearing she was about to go to the feds.

Included in Ylisela's new book this summer will be the story of Bailey's lie detector test, arranged by Ylisela at the Coleman prison in northern Florida three years ago. Ysilela says Bailey passed with "flying colors."

The polygraph test was done by someone named Holmes--not Sherlock Holmes, but Warren Holmes, who died just three weeks ago. Holmes was a world-renowned polygraph expert. He trained FBI agents. His cases included the assassination of President Kennedy and Watergate.

Shortly before his death, according to the Miami Herald, he told his daughter about Bailey's case, saying, "they've got the wrong man in jail."

But could a conman like Bailey have fooled Holmes?

"I was there, I watched it," Ysilela says. "Richard was very straightforward, answered the questions very directly and Warren Holmes came to the conclusion that he was not beating the test.

Ysilela says the polygraph test is more evidence that Bailey got a raw deal with those additional 20 years.

The lead prosecutor in the Bailey case, Steve Miller, declined to go on camera but told FOX 32 News, "Mr. Bailey rolled the dice and elected to plead guilty and have a sentencing hearing. A highly respected federal judge made the findings against him which twenty years later he disputes. If he believed he was innocent, he should not have pleaded guilty."

Ysilela believes Brach's handyman, the late Jack Matlick, was her likely killer, Matlick always denied any role in his bosses death.

"Whether anyone else was involved, or helped him, I'm not sure about, but I think that Jack Matlick took whatever he knew about Helen Brach to the grave," Ysilela says.

Ysilela says he's uncovered other details about the case, from police records that were sealed until Attorney General Lisa Madigan helped him gain access to them.

Richard Bailey gas been writing FOX 32's Larry Yellen recently, with some on-again and off-again offers to do an interview. Right now, his expected release date is September 13, 7 years from now.

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