WBEZ | murder http://www.wbez.org/tags/murder Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en On day of his bond, Chicago man's actions lead to 25 more years in prison http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/day-his-bond-chicago-mans-actions-lead-25-more-years-prison-109861 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/DSC_9918.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Twelve years ago, gang member Carlos &ldquo;Bear&rdquo; Rocha of Chicago&rsquo;s Southwest Side was imprisoned for possession of a weapon. On the day of his bond, he and another inmate had a disagreement that turned tragically violent. Bear was sentenced to another 25 years behind bars. It wasn&rsquo;t until Bear&rsquo;s brother suffered a similar fate&mdash;in prison on the day of his own release&mdash;that Bear realized the full consequences of his actions.</p><p><strong>CARLOS:</strong> I broke down because I thought that it was karma for what I had done. I thought that it was punishment for taking some else&rsquo;s life here.</p><p dir="ltr">To find out how Bear is trying to mend his ways and reckon with the past, check out the audio above.</p><p><em>Meredith Zielke is a WBEZ producer.&nbsp;</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F6250422" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 12:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/day-his-bond-chicago-mans-actions-lead-25-more-years-prison-109861 Closure after double murder comes for community, not son http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/closure-after-double-murder-comes-community-not-son-107366 <p><p>A brutal murder in a Cook County forest preserve gained widespread attention a few years ago.</p><p>The victims, an elderly couple from Hammond, Ind., were known for their strong community spirit.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/StoryCorps Theodore headshot-V.jpg" style="float: right;" title="Theodore McClendon. (Photo courtesy of StoryCorps)" />Their son, Theodore McClendon, came to the StoryCorps booth in Chicago to remember them.</div><p><strong>Theodore: </strong>We grew up in the era of civil rights. There was a consciousness among people that America was in turmoil, but it&rsquo;s growing into something. And my parents wanted us to grow into what America could become.</p><p>He described his parents, Milton Wayman McClendon, and Ruby Dean McClendon, as &ldquo;upstanding&rdquo; people.</p><p><strong>Theodore: </strong>My dad would fix kids&#39; bikes. He would coach Little League, he counseled troubled kids. My mother was a den mother for Cub Scouts, and they cared about the community.&nbsp;</p><p>Then one night, two teenagers came knocking at the door, saying they were in trouble.</p><p>To find out what happened, listen to the audio above.</p><p><em>Katie Mingle is a producer for WBEZ and the Third Coast Festival. </em></p></p> Fri, 24 May 2013 19:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/closure-after-double-murder-comes-community-not-son-107366 Alderman's plan could make being homeless more expensive http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-03/aldermans-plan-could-make-being-homeless-more-expensive-105893 <p><p><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/bradhoc/6949003508/" target="_blank"><img alt="Please help. by bradhoc, on Flickr" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/homeless%20chicago.jpg" style="float: right; height: 213px; width: 300px;" title="Please help. by bradhoc, on Flickr" /></a><strong>&#39;YOU CAN CERTAINLY UNDERSTAND THE ALDERMAN NOT WANTING ANYONE MAKING A BUS SHELTER THEIR HOME, BUT YOU HAVE TO QUESTION THE VALUE OF ... A $200 FINE.&#39; </strong><em>Sun-Times</em> columnist Mark Brown takes a closer look at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/18636344-761/brown-we-cant-print-what-some-homeless-men-say-about-ald-capplemans-efforts-to-help.html" target="_blank">a Chicago alderman&#39;s assertion that he seeks to &quot;help&quot; the homeless</a>.<br />* <em>Chicagoist: </em>&quot;<a href="http://chicagoist.com/2013/03/04/cappleman_gives_salvation_army_one.php" target="_blank">We know Cappleman won&#39;t stoop to dropping live grenades in food trucks</a>, but ...&quot;<br />* City&#39;s long-term plan: <a href="http://eedition.chicagotribune.com/Olive/ODE/ChicagoTribune/LandingPage/LandingPage.aspx?href=Q1RDLzIwMTMvMDMvMDU.&amp;pageno=MQ..&amp;entity=QXIwMDEwMg..&amp;view=ZW50aXR5" target="_blank">No one left homeless</a>.<br />* Once-homeless couple: &quot;In the dead of winter, <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-bonzani-couple-20130305,0,4785364.story" target="_blank">we lived under a tarp</a>.&quot;</p><p><strong>WHAT&#39;S CLOSED? WHAT&#39;S NOT?&nbsp;</strong>Check the Chicago-area <a href="http://www.emergencyclosingcenter.com/ecc/home.jsp" target="_blank">Emergency Closing Center</a> for updates on weather-related shutdowns of schools, businesses and government offices.<br />* <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-chicago-weather-forecast-snow,0,6178175.story" target="_blank">Big storm targeting Chicago brings heavy snow</a>.</p><p><strong>A LEGEND DIES.&nbsp;</strong>Dawn Clark Netsch, Illinois&#39; first female candidate for governor, an architect of the state&#39;s constitution and a longtime champion of civil rights and ethics in government, is dead. <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/18644853-418/dawn-clark-netsch-iconic-illinois-politician-dies.html" target="_blank">Carol Marin has the story</a>.</p><div><strong>&#39;THE PACE OF KILLING HAS SLACKENED NOTICEABLY.&#39;</strong> Columnist Steve Chapman says Chicago&#39;s February murder total was <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chapman/chi-chicagos-murder-progress-20130304,0,7111293.column" target="_blank">the lowest &quot;in 56 years. Yes: 56 years.&quot;</a><br />* McCarthy wants to <a href="http://chicagoist.com/2013/03/04/chicagos_top_cop_wants_to_expand_ho.php" target="_blank">expand &quot;hot zone&quot; approach</a>.</div><div>* <em>Sun-Times</em> editorial: McCarthy&#39;s strategy &quot;<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/18625658-474/editorial-police-supt-garry-mccarthys-latest-strategy-makes-sense.html" target="_blank">makes sense</a>.&quot;</div><div>* Illinois&#39; senators propose <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/la-pn-senate-gun-measure-20130304,0,3759702.story" target="_blank">bipartisan bill to prevent one person who&#39;s allowed to buy firearms from buying a gun for another person who isn&#39;t</a>.<hr /><p style="text-align: center;"><span style="color:#a52a2a;"><span style="font-size: 20px;"><em>Suggestions for this blog?&nbsp;</em></span></span><span style="font-size:20px;"><em><a href="mailto:cmeyerson@wbez.org?subject=Things%20and%20stuff"><span style="color:#a52a2a;">Email anytime</span></a></em></span><span style="color:#a52a2a;"><span style="font-size: 20px;"><em>.</em></span></span></p><hr /><p><a href="http://www.chicagodetours.com/chicago-pedway-map/" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Screen shot 2013-03-04 at 9.36.47 PM.png" style="height: 126px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="Portion of ChicagoDetours.com map" /></a><strong>S</strong><strong>IGNS, SIGNS ...</strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-cta-brown-purple-line-wells-street-bridge-construction,0,7158228.story" target="_blank">Confusing signs on CTA trains complicated travel</a> during the first day of this week&#39;s Wells Street bridge project downtown. The CTA says it&#39;ll be better from now on.<br />* <strong>Chicago&#39;s underground -- the downtown pedway</strong> -- gets fresh love in <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2013/03/04/in-the-jumble-of-the-pedway-can-an-amateur-map-fill-in-the-blanks" target="_blank">two new maps</a>.</p></div><div><strong>SMACKDOWN: SIRI vs. GOOGLE.</strong> If you&#39;ve been asking questions of an iPhone, you might want to break up with Siri and instead chat up Google&#39;s search app. <a href="http://www.macworld.com/article/2021316/siri-vs-google-search.html" target="_blank">Check out&nbsp;<em>MacWorld</em>&#39;s head-to-head tests</a>&nbsp;to see which is <em>much</em> faster.</div><div>* Google reported <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/04/google-is-building-a-same-day-amazon-prime-competitor-google-shopping-express/" target="_blank">building competitor to Amazon Prime</a>.<br />* Steve Johnson: <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-talk-johnson-waiting-20130305,0,4722064.column" target="_blank">Smartphones take dread out of waiting for stuff</a>.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>#TWITTER IS FOR #HATERS.</strong>&nbsp;A&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/2013/03/04/twitter-reaction-to-events-often-at-odds-with-overall-public-opinion/" target="_blank">new study by the Pew Research Center</a>&nbsp;finds those who Tweet tend to be more liberal than conservative. But it also concludes that, across the political spectrum, what stands out is &quot;the overall negativity.&quot;</div><div>* So Twitter&#39;s not great as &quot;<a href="http://daily-download.com/twitter-public-opinion-collide/" target="_blank">a snapshot of public opinion</a>.&quot;</div><div>* &quot;Who&#39;s Feuding Now:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2013/03/whos-fighting-who-map-conservative-fingerpointing/62741/" target="_blank">A Map of Conservative Fingerpointing</a>.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>&#39;I HAVE BILLS TO PAY AND CANNOT EXPECT TO DO SO BY GIVING MY WORK AWAY FOR FREE TO A FOR-PROFIT COMPANY SO THEY CAN MAKE MONEY OFF OF MY EFFORTS.&#39;</strong> <a href="http://natethayer.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-freelance-journalist-2013/" target="_blank">An exchange between <em>The Atlantic</em> and a writer</a> shines light on the state of freelance journalism these days.<br />* <em>Washington Post</em>&nbsp;website introduces <a href="http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/206152/washington-post-introduces-sponsored-content/" target="_blank">sponsored content</a>, letting advertisers create blog posts, videos and graphics for its home page.</div><hr /><p><em><strong>ANNOUNCEMENTS.</strong></em><br /><em>* Get this blog by email, free. <a href="http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=feedburner/AELk&amp;amp;loc=en_US" target="_blank">Sign up here</a>.</em><br /><em>* Follow us on Twitter:&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/wbez" target="_blank">@WBEZ</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/meyerson" target="_blank">@Meyerson</a>.<br />* Looking for the most recent WBEZ Meyerson News Quiz? <a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/news-quiz" target="_blank">Here you go</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 05 Mar 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-03/aldermans-plan-could-make-being-homeless-more-expensive-105893 The gambler, his wife, and her lover http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2013-02/gambler-his-wife-and-her-lover-105571 <p><p>Michael Cassius McDonald had spent much of his 67 years staying one jump ahead of the law. On this February 21st in 1907, his young wife was in the custody of the law. The charge was murder.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/2-21--McDonald%20%28CDN%29.jpg" style="width: 280px; height: 186px; float: right;" title="Mike McDonald [right], 1907 (Chicago Daily News)" />McDonald was Chicago&rsquo;s gambling king, and a Democratic Party king-maker. He had been for decades. But as&nbsp;McDonald grew older, he&#39;d sought a veneer of respectability. He moved from the working-class&nbsp;West Side to a mansion on fashionable Drexel Boulevard.&nbsp;And he&nbsp;shed his first wife in favor of a rabbi&rsquo;s daughter named Dora Feldman, thirty years his junior.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Time passed. Dora grew bored with her husband. She took up with a decorative young man a dozen years younger than herself. His name was Webster Guerin. He called himself an artist.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">About 10 o&#39;clock&nbsp;on this particular morning, Dora arrived at Webster&rsquo;s studio in a Loop office building. She seemed agitated. Webster took her inside one of the rooms to calm her. There was shouting. Then a single gunshot.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/2-21--Dora.jpg" style="width: 225px; height: 271px; float: left;" title="Dora Feldman McDonald (Chicago American)" /></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">People came running. When the door was forced open, Dora was found standing over Webster&rsquo;s body, screaming. A pistol lay on the floor.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The police took Dora into custody. Now the questions began.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Did Dora murder Webster? Did she kill him by accident during a struggle? Did Webster commit suicide? The gun was Dora&rsquo;s&ndash;and it had been a present from Webster!&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Motive? Was Webster breaking off the affair? Or was Dora breaking up with Webster? Dora had given Webster money for years&ndash;was it blackmail, to keep their relationship quiet? How much<em> <u>did</u></em> Mike McDonald know about his wife&rsquo;s Cougar play?&nbsp;<div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/2-21--Guerin.jpg" style="width: 225px; height: 272px; float: right;" title="Webster Guerin (Chicago American)" /></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Old Mike stood by Dora. He went with the blackmail story. Dora had told him she was paying hush-money to someone, but said she could handle it. Of course, Mike had never dreamed it would turn out this way.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The gambling king used all his influence to delay a trial. Dora was placed in a private sanitarium. Then Mike&rsquo;s health went into decline. By August he was dead.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">McDonald left $25,000 to pay for his wife&rsquo;s legal defense, a princely sum in 1907. The money was well spent. When Dora was brought to trial for murder, it took a jury only five hours to acquit her.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Dora Feldman McDonald eventually left Chicago. She moved to California, married a doctor, and lived quietly. She died in 1930.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></p> Thu, 21 Feb 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2013-02/gambler-his-wife-and-her-lover-105571 Time for a Chicago murder commission? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-02/time-chicago-murder-commission-105342 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/kernercomission.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><strong><a href="http://www.ou.edu/special/albertctr/archives/exhibit/Centennial/centennial_turmoil.htm" target="_blank"><img alt="National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (Carl Albert Center at the University of Oklahoma)" src="http://www.ou.edu/special/albertctr/archives/exhibit/Centennial/WKWB%208/kernercomission.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 137px; float: right;" /></a>CALL FOR A MURDER COMMISSION.&nbsp;</strong><em>Chicago Magazine</em>&#39;s <a href="http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/The-312/February-2013/Should-the-Government-Respond-to-Chicagos-Murder-Problem-With-a-New-Kerner-Commission/">Whet Moser says Newt Gingrich may be on to something</a> when he calls for hearings on Chicago&#39;s violence. Moser suggests as a model President Johnson&#39;s <strong>National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders</strong>, more popularly known as the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerner_Commission" target="_blank">Kerner Commission</a>&nbsp;--&nbsp;which concluded, among other things, that &quot;<a href="http://www.eisenhowerfoundation.org/docs/kerner.pdf">white racism is essentially responsible for the explosive mixture ... accumulating in our cities since the end of World War II</a>.&quot;<br />*&nbsp;<a href="http://guns.periscopic.com/" target="_blank">Animated graphic</a>&nbsp;shows years of human life&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/02/years-guns-take-away-human-lives/61768/" target="_blank">2010 gun violence claimed in the U.S.</a><br />* Is <a href="http://www.nextnewdeal.net/women-are-less-safe-gayle-trotter%E2%80%99s-world" target="_blank">a society with more guns safer for women</a>?<br />* Mark Konkol: &quot;Dear Fellow Chicagoan: <a href="http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20130131/chicago-citywide/dear-fellow-chicagoan-you-are-not-snitch" target="_blank">I know you saw the guy who shot and killed Hadiya Pendleton</a>.&quot;</p><p><strong>WHEN THE PRESIDENT CAN HAVE YOU KILLED.&nbsp;</strong>NBC News has a copy of <a href="http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/sections/news/020413_DOJ_White_Paper.pdf" target="_blank">a secret Justice Department memo</a> that it says concludes &quot;<a href="http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/04/16843014-exclusive-justice-department-memo-reveals-legal-case-for-drone-strikes-on-americans" target="_blank">the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens ... even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.</a>&quot;<br />* American Civil Liberties Union lawyer: The memo &quot;<a href="http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/justice-departments-white-paper-targeted-killing" target="_blank">manages to underscore ... the recklessness of the government&#39;s central claim</a>.&quot;</p><p><strong>THE FAMILY THAT&#39;S PROBED TOGETHER ...&nbsp;</strong>Former&nbsp;Ald. Sandi Jackson is now the target of her very own federal investigation, independent of the investigation until now primarily aimed at her husband, former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/18014137-761/exclusive-feds-now-investigating-former-ald-sandi-jackson-sources.html" target="_blank">a source tells the&nbsp;<em>Sun-Times</em></a>.<br />* After questions about $44,000,&nbsp;<a href="http://Contact Subscribe E-paper TV Weekly Reader Services Advertise with Us Select a Publication or Site 19°F Mostly Cloudy Good Morning Tuesday, February 5, 2013 Site All Papers YAHOO! Register for free | Login Home Autos Homes Jobs Pets Auto Show Good to Know Daily Splash Cause &amp; Event Year in review: 2012 Politics blog Season Pass Sunday Splash News Sports Business Opinions Lifestyles Columnists Entertainment Travel Ebert Classifieds Sweet Obits Sneed Ald. Beale to file new congressional campaign disclosure report after Sun-Times raises questions BY NATASHA KORECKI Political Reporter Twitter: @natashakorecki February 4, 2013 5:08PM 0 0 Share 6 8 Aldermen Anthony Beale and John Pope at a June Council meeting. Beale's house is smaller than Pope's, but Beale's bill for water and sewer service last year was higher. Updated: February 4, 2013 8:03PM Ald. Anthony Beale’s campaign is blaming a “glitch in the software” for failing to identify the origin of $44,000 in donations to his congressional campaign. Beale’s campaign for the 2nd Congressional District seat will file a new financial disclosure on Tuesday after the Chicago Sun-Times asked questions about $44,000 in donations that weren’t accounted for in filing documents last week. To read the rest of the story, please register for free or, if you already have an account, LOGIN to your account. Tired of new usernames and passwords? Register for free with your social network. 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Sandi Jac… an hour ago Anonymous : Commented on: Judge Cynthia Brim found not guilty by reason of insanit… an hour ago Paige Dillon : Commented on: Justin Bieber, amid drug rumors, tweets, ‘don’t believe … an hour ago Advertise Here Ads by Google NW Sub. Divorce Attorney 30 Years Experience 847-705-8000 Free Consultation chicago-familylaw.com MARKETPLACE Autos Homes Jobs Place an Ad Pets Yellow Pages Advertise Here TODAY'S COLUMNS Mark Brown Thomas Conner Dear Abby Sandra Guy Steve Huntley Andy Ihnatko Jesse Jackson Cheryl Lavin Carol Marin Mary Mitchell Terry Savage Michael Sneed The Watchdogs Hedy Weiss You Docs Bill Zwecker FEATURES Crossword Horoscopes Sudoku Lottery Obituaries HS Sports Videos Photos Advertise Here Homes Autos Casinos RENTERS: We have more listings than anyone else Advertise Here" target="_blank">Ald. Beale to file new campaign report</a>.</p><p><strong>&#39;I DON&#39;T THINK PEOPLE SEE A PERSON&#39;S HEAD GET COVERED IN FLAMES ... VERY OFTEN.&#39; </strong><a href="http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20130204/loop/lyric-opera-fire-blowing-stilt-walker-burns-self-during-wagner-production" target="_blank">A fifth-grader reacts</a> to &quot;<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/18013593-761/fire-breathing-stilt-walker-severely-burned-at-lyric-opera-rehearsal.html" target="_blank">a carnival trick gone wrong</a>&quot; that sent a fire-breathing stilt walker from the Lyric Opera stage to the hospital.<br />* Photographer: &quot;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-actor-injured-during-lyric-opera-dress-rehearsal-20130204,0,3532451.story" target="_blank">He was staggering across the stage and then fell off his stilts</a>.&quot;</p><p><strong>&#39;NOBODY FROM THE BUSINESS SIDE OF THE COMPANY WILL EVER HAVE ANY AUTHORITY OVER MY STORIES.&#39;</strong>&nbsp;That&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/202870/greg-sandoval-who-quit-cnet-joins-the-verge/" target="_blank">the assurance reporter Greg Sandoval says he got from&nbsp;<em>The Verge</em></a>, where he&#39;s going to work after quitting CNET over parent company CBS&#39; interference with editorial coverage.<br />* Newspaper owner&nbsp;<a href="http://jimromenesko.com/2013/02/04/newspaper-owner-fires-business-side-staffers-to-boost-editorial/" target="_blank">fires business-side staffers, gives editorial team raises</a>.<br />*&nbsp;<a href="http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/04/fox-news-monitors-geraldo-as-he-mulls-political-office/" target="_blank">Fox News monitoring Geraldo Rivera</a>&nbsp;as he considers a run for the Senate.</p><p><strong><a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/02/04/oreo_super_bowl_blackout_tweet_dazzles_twitter_reveals_low_bar_for_brands.html" target="_blank"><img alt="Oreo's tweet" src="https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BCOVrUMCIAAdN5J.jpg" style="width: 150px; height: 150px; float: right;" /></a>BIG FACEBOOK IS WATCHING.</strong> When you hover over an ad in Facebook, you&#39;ll get <a href="http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/04/facebook-to-tell-users-they-are-being-tracked/" target="_blank">a popup advisory</a> that your online actions are being tracked.<br />* <em>Slate: </em>&quot;<strong><a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/02/04/oreo_super_bowl_blackout_tweet_dazzles_twitter_reveals_low_bar_for_brands.html" target="_blank">The Half-Decent Oreo Tweet That Dazzled a Nation</a></strong>.&quot;<br />* Twitter may be <a href="http://gigaom.com/2013/02/04/how-social-media-is-becoming-as-important-a-live-event-as-the-live-event-itself/" target="_blank">creating more must-see TV</a>.<br />* New Netflix series &quot;House of Cards&quot; reviewed: &quot;I loved watching it, <a href="http://www.theatlanticwire.com/entertainment/2013/02/netflix-house-of-cards-marathon/61784/" target="_blank">I&#39;m just not sure I loved <em>how</em> I watched it</a>.&quot;</p><hr /><p><em><strong>ANNOUNCEMENTS.</strong><br />* Thanks for a fun <a href="http://soundcloud.com/morningshiftwbez/130204-morning-shift-seg-c" target="_blank">chat on the radio</a>,&nbsp;Randi Belisomo Hernandez.</em><br /><em>* Get this blog by email. Sign up&nbsp;<a href="http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=feedburner/AELk&amp;loc=en_US" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 05 Feb 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-02/time-chicago-murder-commission-105342 Kenwood is becoming more troubled http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2013-01/kenwood-blues-murder-muddy-waters-house-and-other-laments-105217 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/S%20Oakenwald%20Park%20Google%20maps.jpg" style="height: 326px; width: 620px;" title="The park on S. Oakenwald Ave. where Hadiya Pendleton was killed Tuesday. (Google maps)" /></div><p>Let me tie a few of this week&rsquo;s stories together &mdash; all them anchored in my neighborhood, at least one literally right across the street from me.<br /><br />First, the utterly horrific and senseless murder of Hadiya Pendleton, the King College Prep <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-king-college-prep-shooting-0130-20130130,0,796587.story">sophomore who was shot dead </a>at a little park on a very quiet street two blocks from my house. I&rsquo;ve driven by that park literally hundreds, if not thousands of times, since I moved here more than a dozen years ago. I strolled by there with my son last fall, looking forward to when he was old enough to go down that slide.<br /><br />I woke up to this Facebook status yesterday from a friend whose child attends King: &ldquo;Damn. I hope this is the first and only time I have to give one of my kids grief counseling &mdash; a friend of my 14yo was shot and killed while she was walking home today. This world is rough.&rdquo;<br /><br />Yes, pretty damn rough, though you might not get just how rough from reading the <em>Tribune</em> story, for example, which goes out of its way to quote an Oakenwald neighbor of 19 years time: &quot;It&#39;s a great neighborhood. Nothing like this has happened since I&#39;ve been here.&rdquo;<br /><br />True enough, there have been few crimes on that stretch of Oakenwald, tucked just east of Lake Park. According to WBEZ&#39;s gang map, we&#39;re in a little <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2012-09-24/chicago-gangs-abound-where-are-they-102612">gang-free oasis</a>. But here&rsquo;s what the news isn&rsquo;t telling you: There&rsquo;s plenty of crime going on around Oakenwald: drugs, burglaries, armed robberies.<br /><br />The <em>Lakefront Outlook</em>, a <a href="http://hpherald.com/">sister paper to the <em>Hyde Park Journal</em></a>, publishes a weekly police blotter that&rsquo;s a parade of pain: the petty and increasingly not so petty crimes that slowly chip away at any feeling of security or hope. And here&rsquo;s something else: That sweet little park where Hadiya Pendleton was killed is in an area where foreclosures have jumped considerably in the last few years, where, in fact, empty and boarded up houses are no longer unusual. The fall-out of the housing bust has left its debris all over Kenwood, which was overdeveloped and abandoned. (Out of 22 sales in the last year or so in my neighborhood, according to my bank, at least 14 have been foreclosures.)<br /><br />Empty and boarded up houses like the Muddy Waters place, which my colleague Lee Bey <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-01/everything-gonna-be-alright-muddy-waters-historic-south-side-home-could-have">wrote about here</a> last week. I&rsquo;ve known that house since long before I could look out on it from my living room. As a high school kid, I was one of a handful of non-African-Americans who&rsquo;d occasionally come by, especially on weekend summer afternoons when it was sweltering in Muddy&rsquo;s basement studio, with the hope of catching a glimpse and song from the blues great right in his own front yard.<br /><br />Since I&rsquo;ve been living here, I&rsquo;ve seen all sorts of tourists come by, sometimes ferried by bus, and snap their pictures on the stoop. A few times I&rsquo;ve witnessed clean-up efforts, and maybe a year or so ago, new signs for the doors (installed so they read &ldquo;Waters&rdquo; &ldquo;Muddy,&rdquo; one each panel, so you have have to read right to left ... ). I&rsquo;ve peeked in through the windows, walked the perimeter and, in the early years, when it didn&rsquo;t need a gut job, when demolishing it would have been unheard of, wondered why the city hadn&rsquo;t jumped to save it. And always, it seemed, when I called or wrote to the city or any entity I was turned on to, there was something already underway.<br /><br />Here&rsquo;s what I know now: The Muddy Waters home and the empty lot next to it, and the terrified neighbor immediately north of both, are the site of increasingly brash drug dealers. Cars come to a slow stop in front of the Muddy Waters place and greet the young men waiting there. They sit on the sidewalk, stroll up the side of the house and disappear in the back to conduct their business. Sometimes they don&rsquo;t bother to more than lean in the car window. And there&rsquo;s plenty of pedestrian business, enough that sometimes the young men take up residence on the stoop, or on the terrified neighbor&rsquo;s stoop. The neighbors call the cops, and they come. And the young men vanish for maybe a day. And then they&rsquo;re back, like clockwork.<br /><br />I wish I could say the Muddy Waters house is the only one. But there are more than 12 empty units on my block alone, probably more like 20. Go one block south (just one block west of where Hadiya Pendleton was killed) and the story repeats itself. Just north of us, a developer is raising two 450 unit towers, a mixed income project that had too much government aid to be denied, no matter how unnecessary to the neighborhood, which is already a wasteland of empty units. Think how tempting all those barren properties will be to the neighborhood&rsquo;s more restless souls, and how dangerous to the rest of us.<br /><br />The problem isn&rsquo;t merely gun violence, isn&rsquo;t merely not enough cops, isn&rsquo;t merely bad schools or lack of school choice, and isn&rsquo;t merely having few supermarket and shopping options. It&rsquo;s endemic, fundamental, literally from the ground up.<br /><br />How many more Hadiya Pendletons will it take for the city to take a good hard look at our neighborhood and others like it on the South Side? Many, I fear, way too many.<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 30 Jan 2013 11:16:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2013-01/kenwood-blues-murder-muddy-waters-house-and-other-laments-105217 Suburban Chicago man gets 105 years for murder http://www.wbez.org/news/suburban-chicago-man-gets-105-years-murder-105038 <p><p>A 22-year-old suburban Chicago man has been sentenced to 105 years in prison for killing a man after a bar fight.</p><p>In a statement Friday, Cook County State&#39;s Attorney Anita Alvarez said the murder occurred outside a Broadview bar in October 2009.</p><p>Prosecutors say Taurean Decatur of Maywood was among a group of people who began fighting inside the bar. The fight then moved to the parking lot. They say Decatur got a gun from his car and fired three shots at Maurice Orange, killing him.</p><p>Decatur was convicted last month. He was sentenced Friday and placed into the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections.</p></p> Sat, 19 Jan 2013 11:21:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/suburban-chicago-man-gets-105-years-murder-105038 Vaughn gets life sentence for killing wife, kids http://www.wbez.org/news/vaughn-gets-life-sentence-killing-wife-kids-104034 <p><p><em>(Updated: 11 a.m.)</em></p><p>JOLIET, Ill. &mdash; A suburban Chicago man was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday for killing his wife and three school-age children in the family&#39;s SUV as they drove to an Illinois waterpark &mdash; allegedly so he could start a new life subsisting in the Canadian wilderness.</p><p>The sentencing of Christopher Vaughn, 37, came two months after jurors found him guilty of killing his 34-year-old wife Kimberly and their children on June 14, 2007. Each child was shot once in the chest and head while buckled in the back seat.</p><p>The judge sentenced to Vaughn to four consecutive life sentences with no possibility of parole. Vaughn did not make a statement in court.</p><p>Vaughn, who lived with his family in a spacious Oswego home, faced a mandatory life term for the killings. But the hearing in Joliet gave relatives a chance to confront him and to convey how much pain he caused.</p><p>The 2007 murders started out as a death penalty case, slowing the pace to trial. But Illinois has since abolished capital punishment, making life in prison the maximum penalty.</p><p>Vaughn murdered his family members, prosecutors say, because he saw them as obstacles to his dream of a new life in Canada. He posted wistful Internet messages about building a cabin and settling in the Yukon cut off from the world.</p><p>According to prosecutors, Vaughn woke his family on the day of the killings promising a surprise trip to a water park. But shortly after 5 a.m., he pulled off the road, shot his wife, then killed 12-year-old Abigayle, 11-year-old Cassandra and Blake, 8.</p><p>Abigayle was found holding a stuffed animal; Blake&#39;s wounds indicated he had raised his arm &mdash; to shield himself.</p><p>At trial, defense attorneys told jurors that Vaughn&#39;s wife was to blame, saying she was suicidal over marital strife. They suggested she shot her husband in the wrist and leg, then killed the children and herself.</p><p>Prosecutors balked at that theory, asking jurors whether it seems reasonable that a woman who disliked guns could have shot her husband twice, only grazing him each time, but fatally shot each of her children with a marksman&#39;s precision.</p><p>They contended that Christopher Vaughn shot himself to make it look like his wife carried out the attack, and told jurors that Vaughn showed little emotion after the shootings and was more interested in his damaged clothing than the fate of his family.</p></p> Tue, 27 Nov 2012 08:10:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/vaughn-gets-life-sentence-killing-wife-kids-104034 Cameras allowed inside DuPage County courtroom for high-profile arraignment http://www.wbez.org/news/cameras-allowed-inside-dupage-county-courtroom-high-profile-arraignment-103968 <p><p>Photographers were allowed inside a DuPage county courtroom Wednesday for the arraignment of Elzbieta Plackowska, who was accused of killing her son and another child in her Naperville home.</p><p>It was the highest-profile event yet for a pilot program that allows cameras in some Illinois trial courtrooms.</p><p>&ldquo;I think it advances our efforts to make sure that the public - and not just children - are more familiar with civics,&rdquo; said John Thies, President of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA).</p><p>The ISBA supported Illinois&rsquo; pilot program that allows counties to apply to allow cameras inside courtrooms. Thies said media attention increases transparency and public engagement with the court system.</p><p>&ldquo;Most people never are there,&rdquo; he said, &ldquo;but our courts play such an important role in society, and in our system of checks and balances.</p><p>When the Supreme Court of Illinois announced the program in January 2012, they pointed out that Illinois is one of only 14 states that generally prohibits cameras in trials courts.</p><p>DuPage County is the closest county to Chicago to give the program a try since it began in January. The program gives judges discretion over how much and what sorts of media will be allowed at courtroom events.</p><p>Judge Robert Kleeman only permitted one video camera and one still camera, and asked them to shoot from a distance. That means the <a href="http://www.wgnradio.com/news/top/wgntv-cameras-in-courtroom-for-arraignment-of-naperville-woman-20121121,0,1747945.story">three-minute video</a> mostly shows the defendant and lawyers from behind.</p><p>Plackowska pled not guilty to ten counts of first-degree murder.</p></p> Wed, 21 Nov 2012 12:11:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/cameras-allowed-inside-dupage-county-courtroom-high-profile-arraignment-103968 Chicago’s murder legacy http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range/chicago%E2%80%99s-murder-legacy-102126 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/lazarus%20photo.jpg" style="height: 419px; width: 300px; float: right; " title="In this 1908 photo, a Chicago police officer holds up the dead body of Lazarus Averbach. Averbach was an alleged anarchist who was shot and killed by police during his attempt to reportedly assassinate Police Chief George M. Shippy. (Chicago Daily News/Chicago Historical Homicide Project)" />The <a href="http://homicides.redeyechicago.com/">violence in Chicago</a> this summer has been staggering and has garnered the city some <a href="http://gawker.com/5934608/chicagos-shootings-didnt-happen-in-a-movie-theater-but-its-still-the-worlds-deadliest-city">unwanted national attention</a>. But Leigh Bienen says Chicago has always been a town defined by murder and violence. It&rsquo;s not surprising she should feel this way. As the creator of the <a href="http://homicide.northwestern.edu/">Chicago Historical Homicide Project</a>, Bienen, a professor at Northwestern University&rsquo;s School of Law, has spent years pouring through a database of more than 11,000 murders committed in Chicago between 1870 and 1930.&nbsp;</p><p>The database was compiled from thousands of pages of hand-written police records, some of which are available on the project&rsquo;s website. Bienen says it is one the most complete records of historical murders in any American city.&nbsp;Some of the murders tracked by police were high-profile: those committed by the infamous pair of Leopold and Loeb, for instance. But Bienen found herself most moved by the more ordinary but still tragic murders committed by the non-famous: husbands killing wives, mothers killing children.&nbsp;</p><p>In the audio above, Bienen lists examples of the most common kinds of murders that cropped up throughout Chicago history. Unfortunately, there is a lot that observers of today&rsquo;s climate of violence will find familiar. &nbsp;</p><p><em>Dynamic Range&nbsp;showcases hidden gems unearthed from Chicago Amplified&rsquo;s vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Leigh Bienen spoke at an event presented by Chicago History Museum in November of 2011.</em></p></p> Sat, 01 Sep 2012 06:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range/chicago%E2%80%99s-murder-legacy-102126