Thursday, November 30, 2017

A look Chicago's recent unsolved female strangulations

More than 40 women in Chicago have perished in unusual and unsolved cases of strangulation and asphyxiation in recent years, mostly on the city's south and west sides. Many of these cases have startling similarities in which the bodies of young mostly African-American women were deposited in dumpsters which were set on fire.

The Chicago Police Department told the FBI that more than 70 percent of these cases were not cleared through the arrest of the suspected killers, at least as of the time these homicide records were reported to the Justice Department.

Journalists for HBO's VICE News on November 29, 2017 released a report about unsolved strangulations in Chicago, citing the results of an algorithm created by the Murder Accountability Project to track clusters of cases that have an elevated probability of containing serial killings.

The Chicago Tribune on January 11, 2018 completed an exhaustive study of police and Cook County Medical Examiner records and concluded that 50 cases of strangulation and asphyxiation of women killed from 2001 through 2017 remain unsolved. Read their study here.

"We hope Chicago Police and community leaders will take a hard look at these still-unsolved murders," said Thomas K. Hargrove, MAP's Chairman. "These strangulation and asphyxiation killings in Chicago are the nation's second largest cluster of highly suspicious recent killings of women. There is a slightly larger cluster of unsolved female homicides in Cleveland which we believe, like Chicago, are the work of multiple serial killers."

MAP's algorithm showing suspicious clusters in Chicago, Cleveland and other cities can be viewed here.