When word came that consummate con man Joseph Kalady was found dead in
his apartment, federal prosecutor T. Markus Funk had his suspicions.
Especially after a court official called the home a day after Kalady's
supposed death and was told that Kalady was home but couldn't come to
the phone because he was sleeping.
So Kalady's cremation was stopped, to allow Funk and a crew of agents
to pay a visit, according to court records.
When Funk lifted up the cardboard lid of the box labeled "Joseph
Kalady" at a crematorium in Romeoville, he found a dead man inside.
The corpse was about 165 pounds -- less than half the size of the
Kalady had killed a homeless man to fake his death and cover his
escape as he fled from the federal case Funk had brought against him,
court records show.
Funk, 41, would later keep Kalady on the phone while agents tracked
down his location and arrested him.
The episode -- colleagues and friends say -- show the street smarts and
hustle Funk brought to the U.S. Attorney's office in Chicago, where he
prosecuted everyone from a pedophile priest to sophisticated white
collar criminals to mob killers.
Funk made his mark in the Chicago office, which is he is leaving after
a decade for family reasons to head to Denver. Funk, who was raised in
Germany before attending college in Illinois, will join the
law firm of Perkins Coie.
"Markus has worked on some incredibly important cases over the years .
. . and done an incredible job," U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald
Funk "would go the extra mile," said FBI Special Agent Michael Maseth,
who worked with Funk on the historic Family Secrets mob prosecution.
Funk is a prosecutor with an Oxford pedigree who recently wrote a
well-reviewed 480-page critique on the international criminal court.
He's equally at ease talking about philosophy or the occasional
reality TV show.
Locally, he's taught students at the University of Chicago,
Northwestern and Loyola.
But Funk is also comfortable chatting with mob guys with nicknames
like "The Beak."
"There is no pretension about him," U.S. District Judge Virginia
Kendall said. "He is so atypical of a prosecutor in my mind. He is
such a Renaissance man."
Another federal judge, Wayne Andersen, echoed that praise, saying Funk
"is really a good prosecutor. But he's not someone who wants to cream
them or turn the knife. He does justice with honesty."
"As you deal with him on a matter, his credibility increases because
he doesn't say anything more than the truth," Andersen said. "And
that's not true of everybody."
In 2006, Funk was brought in with two veteran mob prosecutors, the
late Mitch Mars and John Scully, to take on the top leaders of the
Chicago Outift and some of its most brutal killers in the Family
During his closing argument at that trial, Funk was direct and blunt,
something that Frank Calabrese Sr., who killed 13 people for the mob,
did not apparently appreciate.
"You're a f------ dead man," Calabrese Sr. told Funk during his closing.
The threat didn't help. Calabrese Sr. was convicted at trial with four
other men and is serving life in prison under the highest security.
Frank Calabrese Sr.'s attorney, Joseph "The Shark" Lopez, said of
Funk's departure: "Frank won't miss him."
Funk routinely got under mobsters' skins, with the elderly but still
feisty prolific mob killer Frank Schweihs once asking Funk in court:
"You making eyes at me? Yeah you, you making eyes at me? Do I look
like a fag to you?"
Funk continued looking at Schweihs.
The prosecutor would also later put away a deputy U.S. Marshall for
leaking information about the investigation to the mob, the first
prosecution of its kind in the country.
"He'll be sorely missed," said Funk's fellow mob prosecutor, Amarjeet Bhachu.