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Closure after double murder comes for community, not son

A brutal murder in a Cook County forest preserve gained widespread attention a few years ago.

The victims, an elderly couple from Hammond, Ind., were known for their strong community spirit.

Theodore McClendon. (Photo courtesy of StoryCorps)
Their son, Theodore McClendon, came to the StoryCorps booth in Chicago to remember them.

Theodore: We grew up in the era of civil rights. There was a consciousness among people that America was in turmoil, but it’s growing into something. And my parents wanted us to grow into what America could become.

He described his parents, Milton Wayman McClendon, and Ruby Dean McClendon, as “upstanding” people.

Theodore: My dad would fix kids' 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. 

Then one night, two teenagers came knocking at the door, saying they were in trouble.

To find out what happened, listen to the audio above.

Katie Mingle is a producer for WBEZ and the Third Coast Festival.

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