CBS2 murder DNA story 2 screenshotCBS2 Chicago - February 28, 2019 | original article

CHICAGO (CBS) — Some people in Chicago are now demanding answers after CBS 2 Investigator Pam Zekman first reported on dozens of unsolved murders dating back 20 years. Many of those investigations have been delayed by backlogs in analyzing DNA.

A group prayed and read off the names of the 50 victims at a community meeting Wednesday night.

CBS 2 disclosed that those women were strangled, their bodies dumped in abandoned buildings, alleys and even garbage containers. Some were even set on fire.

“I saw the piece that you did and it was shocking,” said Beverly Reed Scott, who organized the meeting.

Among the attendees was State Sen. Patricia Van Pelt, who had previously asked police about a possible serial killer.

“And they assured us that there was not any evidence of it,” she said. “But with that piece that aired the other night on channel 2, it raises the question again that maybe there is.”

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Category: Latest

CBS2 video screenshot CBS2 Chicago - February 27, 2019 | original article

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago alderman and a state senator are demanding answers about the unsolved cases of 50 women’s murders after CBS 2 Investigator Pam Zekman asked last week if there is a serial killer loose in Chicago.

Beverly Reed Scott organized a meeting and plans to organize the community to press for action in the women’s cases. Attendees honored the 50 women with prayer and reciting their names.

Since 2001 they are some of the women who have been beaten, raped, and strangled; and had their bodies dumped in alleys, vacant lots, abandoned buildings, and garbage containers. Some were set on fire.

“I’d like to see the superintendent cry over these 50 women,” Scott said.

Meanwhile, Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) says she’ll call for City Council hearings.

“There’s too many black women that lost their lives, and we don’t know what happened to them,” she said. “They just disappeared.”

As CBS 2 disclosed, Thomas Hargrave, of the Murder Accountability Project, believes that similarities in many of the cases point to a possible serial killer.

“We think it’s extremely likely that there are common killers in the Chicago series,” he said.

A cousin of the most recent victim, Reo Renee Holyfield, described his frustrations getting information from the police.

“They told us to just wait,” Ricardo Holyfield said. “Until CBS Pam came and told us that she dug a little bit more. When Pam came she spoke up loud enough that they gave all that stuff to us and we got a chance to put her to rest.”

“This is raising some questions that need to be answered,” said State Sen. Patricia Van Pelt. “I think these young ladies are falling between the cracks.”

The police department has previously told CBS 2 they don’t believe that at this time there is any actionable evidence that points to a serial killer in these cases. Police officials have refused to do an on-camera interview.

Category: Latest

Senator Patricia Van Pelt speaks during a Senate committee hearingCHICAGO – State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) is urging other municipalities to follow the Cook County Board’s lead and end the use of controversial gang databases.

“For too long, law enforcement has been using gang databases with little oversight or transparency, despite the harmful, long-lasting effects they can have on the individuals in the databases,” Van Pelt said. “I commend the Cook County Board of Commissioners for voting to dismantle their gang database and put an end to its controversial use, and I encourage other municipalities to do the same.”

The use of gang databases to track individuals labeled as suspected gang members was called into question last year after investigative reports found that hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans have been added to gang databases, 95 percent of whom are people of color.

Van Pelt first raised the issue in the legislature last spring after learning about gang databases and the lack of oversight of their use. Since then, she’s held public hearings and met with law enforcement, activists and individuals who have been negatively impacted by being listed in a database.

“I’m continuing to work on legislation at the Capitol to ensure that innocent people aren’t added to a gang database without cause and to require oversight and accountability for the use of gang databases,” Van Pelt said.

Van Pelt sponsored a resolution requiring the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority to conduct a review of the shared gang databases operating in Illinois and submit a report to the General Assembly by June 30, 2019.

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Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) released the following statement in response to the governor’s budget address:

“Finally, a budget proposal that includes more funding for important human service programs and investments in communities of color,” Van Pelt said. “Gov. Pritzker’s proposal shows that he understands the value of investing in restorative justice efforts and that he is committed to rebuilding social service programs that were devastated by years of funding cuts.”


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Category: Press Releases
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