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Scary Days on the North Side

By Andrew Peerless in News on Jan 26, 2005 11:36PM

Northside residents know the Edgewater neighborhood as a diverse, developing and multifaceted place to live. While recent development has pumped new vigor into the area, a rash of brutal murders – two of which were discovered today - are putting neighborhood residents firmly on edge.

Dorner, from NBC5.comThis week’s tragic events began when police discovered the body of 21-year-old Melissa Dorner in her apartment, located at 6151 N. Winthrop Ave. The victim, an Evanston native and hostess at Maggiano's Little Italy restaurant, was apparently killed by blunt head trauma and strangulation, and was possibly sexually assaulted around the time of her death. Police discovered her body after friends expressed concern (having last heard from her on Saturday), but are already reporting that they’ve identified a “person of interest” in the case. Pending forensic evidence and a warrant, they are expect to pursue an arrest soon.

As if this isn’t horrifying enough for residents of 6151 N. Winthrop, consider this: Dorner is the second murder victim found in the building in the last two months. On December 7, 2004, the building’s maintenance man, Petrit Turkesi of Skokie, was found bludgeoned to death in the building’s laundry room. His murder has not been solved. Though police are indicating that the crimes are not related, many building residents are reportedly saying “enough is enough,” and finding themselves some new digs. Chicagoist can’t blame them.

Unfortunately, that’s not it. The horrors continued at 7:15 this morning, when a child discovered a male corpse inside a dumpster on the 5400 block of N. Kenmore Ave, just a few blocks from where Dorner's body was found. Police have released almost no information at this point, including the man’s name or age, but have divulged that they are currently handling the case as a “death investigation” (meaning, not necessarily a homicide). Chicagoist, who lives scarily near both of these locations, has decided to bust out the pepper spray now, and not wait for any confirmation of anything.

(Click below to keep reading)

Clewer, from 4chicagokev.comCan you bear to keep reading? As if three deaths isn’t enough, the dumpster where the man’s body was found sits directly behind the home of Charles Gibson, a Gage Park High School teacher that was found stabbed to death in his Edgewater condominium in November. His murder, too, remains unsolved, though authorities have indicated that it was possibly linked to last year’s stabbing deaths of several Lakeview residents, including 31-year-old Kevin Clewer and 45-year-old Cubs’ memorabilia shop owner Forest Crowley.

Chicagoist has to be serious sometimes, and we had a hard time writing this post. Please, people, be careful out there. Do not be ashamed to carry pepper spray, a whistle… anything to help keep yourselves protected. Chicago is beautiful, well maintained, and a wonderful place to live, so don’t let yourselves forget that it’s still a big city with plenty of unsavory characters.