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Murder nearby

Posted on 2007.05.24 at 00:32
Current Mood: draineddrained
Current Music: Catherine Howard - Rick Wakeman
I am told that there was, up until a few days ago, a tall, dreadlocked fellow who could be found most days standing near the corner of State and Madison selling newspapers. I must confess I never took note of him, even though that intersection is exactly one block from where I work. CC tells me she saw him there many times, as his normal stretch of sidewalk was a 20-second walk from the entrance to the school at which she teaches, though she never bought a paper from him.

You might be thinking, based on the title of this posting, that Mr. Dreadlock had met with an untimely demise, but no, he is still very much alive, though his days of selling newspapers appear to be over. Apparently, his roommate walked in on him a few days ago and found him in the act of stabbing a young woman to death. The medical examiner counted 62 separate wounds, so he appears to have continued stabbing well past the point of the poor woman’s demise.

The woman was a student at the school where CC teaches. She was new in town and, perhaps more importantly, new to big city life. She apparently had no close friends in Chicago and one can imagine that she may have been naïve enough to be talked into this fellow’s apartment. Some of these psychos have a talent for identifying vulnerable individuals and gaining their trust.

CC reports that many of the students have been understandably traumatized by the incident. For me, it is a sad reminder that even here in the noise and glare of the Loop, there are some very dark and quiet corners that force us to be vigilant.


jenniferblaufra at 2007-05-24 07:00 (UTC) (Link)
Wow. I have seen that guy. I used to walk down Madison from State to teach my Czech students.

As a newcomer to this city and big cities in general, and as someone who at this point in time knows few and trusts many, it's particularly chilling.
charlesofcamden at 2007-05-25 04:54 (UTC) (Link)
I love Chicago, I really do, but it has a very hard side. This may seem an odd thing to cite here, but I think it's worth noting that I had lived here for almost ten years before a stranger said hello to me and meant it. What I mean is this: Whenever a stranger smiled and said hello to me it always, always meant that they were looking for a handout or they were trying to sell me something. Sometimes they would engage me in friendly conversation for a few minutes before getting around to their real agenda, but by that point, I could usually hear it coming. That sort of thing tends to condition one in this environment, in the direction of making one distrustful of strangers, particularly friendly ones. And that distrust isn't necessarily a bad thing, because there are a lot of people out there ready to swindle you or something far worse, so it really does behoove one to be on guard. I'm not trying to tell you how to deal with people, but I hope you can keep an inner eye on the lookout!
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