Chicago Serial Killer Strangling Women
Experts Believe a Serial Killer Is Behind 51 Unsolved Strangulation Cases in Chicago
fresh look into dozens of unsolved strangulation homicides in Chicago suggests that the murders could be the work of a serial killer who’s been targeting women in the city since at least 2001.
Crime experts with the Murder Accountability Project, a D.C.-based nonprofit group that tracks unsolved homicides in the United States, used a web algorithm to map 51 unsolved strangulation cases that took place on the west and south sides of Chicago between 2001 and 2018. The 51 murders have striking similarities: all the victims were women, most were discovered outside in a public place, 76 percent were black, and 75 percent of the crimes had a “clear sexual component,” according to an analysis by Thomas Hargrove, head of the Murder Accountability Project.
Hargrove performed his in-depth analysis of Chicago’s strangulation cases at the request of WBBN, a CBS affiliate in Chicago, back in February 2019 because his group “has a knack for finding patterns in unsolved murder cases.” He analyzed information about thousands of homicide victims and the way they died, ultimately identifying 51 cases with strong similarities that are now the focus of this investigation. Hargrove told WBBN that the algorithm he used to map these 51 cases is “essentially a serial-killer detector,” which has been used to help solve serial murders in other cities before.
Chicago detectives started this new investigation under pressure from activists, community organizers, and family members of victims and women who’ve gone missing in Chicago in the past several years. Like many other cities around the country, Chicago has a substantial backlog of untested DNA kits, which many believe could hold the key to finding what Hargrove suggests is a serial killer.