Articles Posted in Murder

simon-migaj-423321-unsplash-copy-300x200Brendt Christiansen told police that he murdered 13 people. Police do not believe him. Police believe that Christiansen did, however, murder Yingying Zhang, a visiting scholar, and that this could have led to other murders had they not caught him. Police were able to turn Christiansen’s girlfriend against him and got her to wear a wire. He described how he murdered Zhang and then went on to tell her that he murdered 12 other people. His girlfriend, Terra Bullis, asked Christiansen if he thought he might be the next successful serial killer and Christiansen told her that he already was and that Zhang was “number 13.”

Police say that Christiansen lured Zhang away from a bus stop and then forced her into his apartment where he raped, beat, and stabbed her. 

Christiansen has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of Yingying Zhang. 

pepe-nero-88205-unsplash-copy-300x200The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that the daughter of an Arlington Heights couple has been charged in the murder of her parents. According to police, Deborah Jane Martin stabbed her father and his wife to death multiple times a few hours after they had dinner with neighbors. Police appear to have recovered a journal in which the woman alludes to wanting to kill her parents. According to police, the journal contained multiple references to carrying out the murder including one as recent as six days before the incident.

Police also have a phone call from Anne Martin to 911 in which she sounds like she’s saying “No, Debbie” and the murder weapon was found in Deborah Jane Martin’s bedroom. The woman is being charged with first-degree murder.

How to Defend a Case Like This

mingyue-sun-153025-300x169A police video leaked on social media shows the murder of 24-year-old Brittany Hill while she shielded her baby from gunfire. Hill was exiting her sedan when a silver Chevy Impala pulled up alongside her, the occupants exited the car and then proceeded to open fire. The video was taken from a nearby surveillance camera. Hill was taken to West Suburban Hospital and later pronounced dead.

Two men have been charged in the shooting death.

While the police are calling the video’s release “unauthorized,” there are a number of reasons why a leak like this jeopardizes the men’s chance at a fair trial and benefit the prosecution’s case against them. The police claim that they have opened an investigation to determine the source of the leak.

jaron-nix-1451678-unsplash-copy-225x300Michael Bailey was about to retire when prosecutors say that Antwon Carter attempted to steal the Buick he had bought himself as an early retirement present. Police say that Bailey attempted to defend himself, but Carter fired back. After Bailey’s wife, Pamela, heard the shots, she ran down the stairs and found her husband lying with his eyes open on the ground. He later died at the hospital.

While Bailey was off duty, he had just finished his shift and was still wearing his uniform when the altercation took place. The crime went unsolved for a year until inmates claim that Carter bragged about the shooting. The case is now a decade old.

Carter is being charged with felony murder, among other things.

samara-doole-259144-unsplash-copy-200x300The body of 2-year-old Kirien Knox was found dismembered in Garfield Park Lagoon. The shocking details of the slaying moved those who witnessed the photos to tears. The man charged with the murder, Kamel Harris, has pleaded not guilty.

According to the prosecution, the boy’s mother, Lanisha Knox, left her son with Harris and five others at an apartment while Knox headed out to set up a new life in Iowa, get jobs, and find an apartment. At some point, Harris stopped responding to calls or texts made by Knox.

Police and the prosecution believe that, at some point, Harris “snapped” and murdered the boy and then tried to dispose of the body. However, they did not list a cause of death. They did, however, indicate that Harris snapped because the boy cried incessantly after a “painful reaction to milk.”

annie-spratt-1141166-unsplash-copy-200x300As evidence mounts against the parents of AJ Freund, the media frenzy around the case casts a shadow over the possibility that the Freunds will get a fair trial. According to police, the boy’s father Drew Freund told police that he “beat” the boy and administered cold showers as punishment. The police also indicated the father led investigators to the boy’s body in a remote location in Woodstock.

Physical evidence against the father continues to pile up. This includes a shovel, soil samples linking the shovel to the burial site, muddy shoes that could link the father to the burial site, and a search he performed on his phone concerning how to perform CPR on a child.

Police Have Begun Trying This Case in the Press

josh-calabrese-527813-unsplash-copy-300x200In most courtrooms, you will note the image of Lady Justice who carries scales and is blindfolded. This carries the connotation that justice or the criminal justice system should be (but is not) blind to prejudice and other characteristics of the baser intellect. No better (nor ironic) evidence of this fact can be shown in the case of a black teen who was given 76 years on the word of a legally blind witness.

How did this happen? Well, let us take a look.

First, you have a defendant who is wearing an orange jumpsuit. Second, you have a compliant witness who probably could not pick the defendant out of a lineup but nonetheless could pick out an orange jumpsuit. Then, the prosecutor asked the witness if he could identify the man who shot two people, killing one and wounding another. The witness identified the man in the orange jumpsuit.

tertia-van-rensburg-37121-copy-300x224If you remember back to the 1980s, there was widespread fear that Satanists were stealing babies, harming women, and otherwise committing mayhem against the nuclear family, God, and the American people. While many of the fears proved groundless hysteria, they were based, as most fears are, on isolated events that shocked the cultural morals of everyday people. One of these Satanic Panic events happened right here in Chicago and now, the killer is being paroled after nearly 35 years in prison.

Thomas Kokoraleis was a member of the Ripper Crew that kidnapped, raped, mutilated, and murdered over 20 women across the Chicago area. As a condition of his parole, however, he has to find a place to live. This can prove troublesome for a man who was convicted of kidnapping young women in their early 20s and then murdering them after raping them. The bodies that police found were sadistically mutilated. When he does find a place to live, he will have to register as a convicted sex offender and alert local authorities to his whereabouts. He will also likely be a prime suspect if any women turn up missing. His will be the first door that they knock on.

The Chicago Ripper Crew

javier-villaraco-235574-copy-300x225In one of the more disturbing criminal trials of late, Kamel Harris will stand trial for the murder and dismemberment of a 2-year-old boy. The boy’s remains were found in the Garfield Park Lagoon. While the prosecution had extended a plea deal to Harris, the family put a stop to it amid concerns that their child was not being served justice.

Many states throughout the U.S. have recently passed some variation of a Victim’s Rights legislation that gives individuals who have been harmed by a defendant or their families more say in how the case is prosecuted. Critics of the legislation noted that defendants have only been accused of crimes, not convicted of them. It remains unclear what sort of impact victim’s rights legislation (Marsy’s Law) will have on the ability of defendants to get fair criminal trials.

What are the Charges?

mingyue-sun-153025-300x169A man involved in a bizarre love triangle was charged with murder after a shooting in Evanston. Sandoval Cobian, 38 years old, is facing murder charges after allegedly shooting his romantic rival in the north suburb. The Chicago native was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, as reported by Evanston police.

On Friday, March 15, officers found Angel Miranda, 33 years old, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the abdomen and chest. He was located behind a residence in the 1800 block of Simpson Street and pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Miranda, who was a resident of the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago, was visiting his girlfriend. She found him shot and called authorities. Investigators later learned Cobian and Miranda were romantically involved with the same woman. Police reported that Cobian shot Miranda because of jealousy and a “romantic rivalry.” Cobian was ordered held without bail. His next court date is set for the end of March.