Serial Murder Revisit Roseland Community

 

The Roseland community in Chicago has had more than their share of serial murder over the years. The new millennium brought to light the serial murderer Geoffrey T. Griffin.  From July of 1998 to July 2000, Griffin used the neighborhoods of the Roseland area of Chicago as his personal killing fields. In a modus operandi familiar among African American serial killers, Geoffrey Griffin would lure area streetwalkers to abandoned buildings in lieu of receiving drugs or cash. Once inside, Griffin would rape then murder his victims. Arrested on June 17, 2000, he was subsequently charged with eight murders and 1 aggravated criminal sexual assaultMany of his charges stem from bodies found long after his arrest.

On September 22, 2005, Judge Fred Suria convicted Griffin of killing Angela Jones after watching a videotape in which he described how he squeezed Jones’ throat during sex after the two smoked crack cocaine.  Judge Suria acquitted him of killing Beverly Burns even though the man’s shirt and jacket were spattered with her blood. The judge said that he was troubled by the lack of evidence at the crime scene against Griffin and by the fact that there was no blood of the victim at the scene. Griffin was sentenced to 100 years in prison on November 06, 2005. Trials for the other murders are forthcoming.

In 2010, serial murder returned to Roseland. Michael Johnson, a 24 year old Roseland resident was arrested on May 22, 2010 and charged with three counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and one count of criminal sexual assault.  Johnson’s DNA was taken and said to have matched at least four unsolved murders in the area. Currently held in Cook County Department of Corrections on no bond, Johnson now 27 is being investigated for additional murders in the Roseland community.

The premise and purpose of writing and publishing, “The Darker Side of Evil,” was to enlighten society of the existence of Black serial killers as well as to advise African-American communities of these predator’s abilities to hide and operate in plain sight.  As usual the victims of these crimes were women. More specifically, women labeled nightwalkers or prostitutes that take to life on the streets by virtue of drug addiction.  Drug addicts and prostitutes are viewed by some as people whose behavior brought their fate upon themselves.  In my book, I pointed that society views these people as “throwaways,” people that society has basically given up on and truthfully wish would fall from the face of the earth anyway.

WE MUST CHANGE THE WAY WE VIEW EACH OTHER. The only time society seems to feel any level of empathy is when a problem affects us directly. We as a civilized society must change our judgmental views of each other and begin to care for something outside of ourselves. The devil cannot exist and operate if we keep an eye out for the well-being of the people around us. He thrives on our selfishness and inability to concern with the issues of the people we see and interact with daily. As long as we continue to do what we’ve always done, we will continue to get what we’ve always gotten.

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Chicago’s Uncommon Serial Killers

Sometimes Killers Don’t Fit Profiles

When said out loud or read in text, the term serial killer places several images in the minds of most. Old A.P. photos of John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy instantly materialize in our heads. Maybe headlines of past news articles detailing the exploits of the “Green River Killer”, come to mind. Even scenes of box office smashes such as “Psycho”, rush into our conscious thinking. We’ve learned from law enforcement that serial killers are normally classified as lower to middle class white males in their late 20’s to early 30’s.

In 2004, Chicago was the killing field for two serial killers that would have given the “Criminal Minds” crew the flux. Two African-American, female cousins labeled, “The Killing Cousins” or “The Southside Slayers”, etched their names in history.

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Wright-Ford
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Peoples

Often we hear of prostitutes being the victims of heinous murders. In the spring and summer of 2004, Caroline Peoples & Angel Wright-Ford used the pretense of sexual gratification to lure at least 3 men and 1 woman to their untimely demise. On May 23, 2004 Jose Marquez, being promised sexual acts for money, was shot in his head in his apartment. Wright-Ford had previously been a caregiver to this partially disabled man.

The two struck again on June 1, 2004. Kenneth Redick thought it was his lucky night as he accompanied two women to his Southside apartment. The three discussed the “events”, of the evening and soon disrobed. Seconds later, Redick laid dead, the victim of a gunshot to the head.

On June 18, 2004 the two cousins (whose bloodlust was only surpassed by their greed), were out cruising “looking for someone to rob”. Their paths crossed with Kevin Armstrong outside a Southside currency exchange. As their van pulled up, Mr. Armstrong was stashing his money in his sock, (a common Southside Chicago practice). Wright-Ford encouraged him to climb into the van with the lure of oral sex, Peoples waiting quietly in the back. Moments later Kevin Armstrong was their next victim, dumped in a bowling alley parking lot with a gunshot to the head.

The fourth known victim was Ayesha Epps, a former friend of Peoples. The two offered Ms. Epps a ride to White Castle. When they arrived at the restaurant, Epps went inside to order, as the two cousins quietly plotted her end. Upon her return to the vehicle, Peoples shot Epps one time in the face. Gurgling blood and jerky frantically, Wright-Ford impatiently took the gun and shot Ms. Epps in the head.

Charged with the four murders, Peoples and Wright-Ford arrogantly gave videotaped confessions leading Chicago Police to believe in the possibility of more victims though no evidence to that fact was found. After a lengthy trial, spanning over five years, the killing cousins were sentenced to life and are currently in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

The Real Reason for the Rise in Chicago Violence.

The violence that plagues the streets of Chicago is not new. Though it has only recently been reported by media outlets around the world, the violence in the streets of Chicago has existed for decades. Another fact that you might find interesting and hopefully shocking, it isn’t by chance, believe it or not, all of this destruction was planned. Please read on as I bring you up to snuff.

The Real Reason for the Rise in Chicago Violence 3

During the 50’s and 60’s massive amounts of heroin was “dumped” in Black communities around the country. This was done as a strategic maneuver to cause mass addiction and to quell the civil rights movement which at that time was gaining momentum. In the 70’s, the Nixon administration initiated the ”War on Drugs”, under the guise as an effective means for law enforcement to take down and prosecute drug cartels that seemed to operate above the law. During the presidency of Ronald Reagan the “war on drugs” was reinstituted and the “Just Say No” campaign swept America, unfortunately, so did “crack” cocaine. Americans oblivious to its true intentions supported the laws and statutes that came about from the “war”.

What actually happened was the statutes of this war gave law enforcement carte blanche to violate the constitutional rights of Blacks. According to federal records, there were no Blacks arrested for the transport and wholesale sale of narcotics. In fact only 33% of those arrested for ANY drug related offenses were Black, yet 73% of those serving time for those same offenses were Black. According to a 1998, University of Georgia study, Blacks receive sentences and average of 6 months longer than non-Blacks for the same crimes. According to Federal statistics, due to crack’s prevalence in predominantly Black neighborhoods the sentencing for “crack” convictions is 3 times as long as the sentencing for “cocaine” convictions.

Illinois prisons are filled with an astonishing amount of non-violent petty offenders. Illinois incarcerates Blacks on an 8 to 1 ratio to whites for drug related offenses.  The population of Illinois Department of Corrections has a population of 60% Black with over two thirds incarcerated for non-violent offenses such as drug possessions. Whites and blacks engage in drug offenses at similar rates, yet an overwhelming focus of law enforcement on drug use in low-income urban areas, with arrests and incarceration the main weapon.  Furthermore Blacks were 2.8 to 5.5 times more likely to be arrested than whites in every year between 1980 and 2007. Illinois has a greater percentage for putting more African Americans behind bars for drug crimes than whites than any other state in the nation. Between 2000 and 2007, simple pot possession arrests alone accounted for between 37.7% and 42.1% of all drug arrests.

The violence in the streets of Chicago and other metropolitan areas is a direct result of the mass incarceration of the Black male and its devastating effects on the Black community.  Society grooms us to believe and accept that law enforcement and the judicial system, is right and fair and those that run afoul of it must be wrong or guilty. Potential employers, institutes of education and even family members look upon an individual with a felony conviction with utter disdain. The judicial system has devised a way to legalize discrimination by placing a permanent blot on an individual, no matter the circumstances or how petty the offense. The likelihood of a Black male, convicted of petty offenses such as drug possession, acquiring gainful employment is slim at best. Regardless of a nonviolent criminal history, the conviction placed on his record makes it legal for this individual to endure hardships parallel to those instituted during the Jim Crow era. The scene for re-offense is set as the frustration due to the inability to provide for his family mounts, thus resulting in probable re-incarceration.

The father provides a vital asset to the family structure as well as the Black community. Through the mass incarceration of Black men, the mission to disassemble the Black family has been achieved. Men are the head of the family, families create communities. Taking out the Black male creates communities that lack any form of leadership. When young men are raised without the influence of a positive male they often lack the ability to apply logical analytical problem solving to everyday situations. These emotionally charged young men often apply irrational solutions to rational circumstances. In many cases these men grow into adulthood with resentment for the absence of the father. Others may lack respect for a father unable to provide for his family.  The young men grow into adulthood seeing society as a two sided group, the haves and the have nots. Many develop an erred since of entitlement, a bleak outlook on future life with a total disregard for their own life as well as the lives of others. With the absence of a real sense of self-worth, a false sense is developed, guided not by the laws of the land but replaced with the laws of the street, laws that classify individuals as either predator or prey. As a result, violence ensues and death numbers skyrocket.

The violence perpetrated in Chicago streets come as a direct result of the mass incarceration of the Black male. Laws, put in place by the “War on Drugs”, have caused great loss of life here in Chicago. It is not uncommon to cruise through Black neighborhoods and see tactical police officers patting each other on the back and giving high fives for taking down an old man in possession of some minute amount of drugs. In the distance, the sound of rapid gun fire from automatic weapons can be heard; a sound as common as chirping birds to Black community residents. This activity is followed immediately by another familiar sound, easily recognizable to Black community residents, a mother’s cry of pain due to her slain child as the detective in charge of the case simply writes another murdered youth off as gang related or drug related so that it can be added to the 75% plus of the unsolved homicides here in Chicago. I guess to the powers that be the “War on Drugs” is working exactly as planned.