Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Communities Brace for More Bodies in Serial Sex Slayings

Communities Brace for More Bodies in Serial Sex Slayings

by Martha Rosenberg | Chicago, IL
October 22, 2014

At least seven women's bodies have been found in Indiana since Friday in what appear to be serial, sex-related murders of women in high-risk lifestyles. Hammond police are holding Darren Vann, a convicted sex offender, in connection with the murders and say charges are possible in at least six other murders still under investigation.

Many in the Chicago and northern Indiana area remember similar killings in the 1990s which produced a veritable reign of terror for women in high-risk lifestyles and their families. At least four men arrested in Chicago during that time--Gregory Clepper, Geoffrey Griffin, Hubert Geralds and Andre Crawford--were linked to the deaths of women in high-risk lifestyles who were often found in abandoned buildings. The women had often become lost to their families and were not reported missing.

Some women who survived the Chicago scourge appear in a documentary called "Turning A Corner," by the "PART" network of survivors and public agencies in 2006. The film was produced by Salome Chasnoff of Beyondmedia as part of a Chicago Coalition for the Homeless campaign and efforts to enact legislative change.

One woman in the film says nothing could break her addiction to the high-risk lifestyle of sex work until a "john" dragged her two blocks with his car while fleeing the police and she almost lost an eye and had her face "nearly scraped off." Another woman's wake up call happened, she says, when her friend was found dead in a nearby alley–and sexually mutilated. A third woman in the film says, "If I risk a date again, I’ll use, and if I use, I’ll die," referring to a drug habit.

Drugs are both a lure and the downfall for women on the streets say many sources. In 1996, a woman told the Chicago Tribune that her cousin, who was murdered, "would get high with anybody." The woman who spoke to the Tribune said she knew the suspect in her cousin's murder and even had used drugs with him herself. "I didn’t know he would kill her," she added.

Chicago sex worker Pamela Bolton did not survive the streets. But before she was murdered in1995, by a man in a red car according to witnesses, she told the Chicago Sun-Times, "Prostitution is one of the worst addictions you can have out here. This street life is more addictive than cocaine. More addictive than heroin."

Murderers who seek out women in high-risk, sex worker lifestyles are not limited to the US. Eight years ago, at least five women were found murdered within ten days of each other in Ipswich, England. In 2007, in Vancouver, British Columbia, pig farmer Robert Pickton was convicted of the second-degree murders of six women and charged in the deaths of 20 more, many who had been involved in high-risk lifestyles.

Even online contacts have proved deadly for such women. Masseuse Julissa Brisman was killed in 2009, allegedly by medical student Philip Markoff who had seen her ad on Craig's list. Markoff, who was also suspected of robbing two other women, took his own life in jail. Women who hook up online are at risk of being robbed, cheated, raped, knifed, shot, beaten up, extorted, abducted and murdered just like women on the street.

Crimes against sex workers decreased in New Zealand, says the BBC, after sex work was decriminalized and up to four women were allowed to work from the same property to increase security. In many countries, police are changing their focus from enforcement to protection of sex workers and social services are providing "exit strategies" like counseling and help with housing. Sadly, the reforms are too late for the Indiana victims.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Use Of Existing Drugs To Reduce The Effects Of Coronavirus

So now, we’re all getting up to speed with the travel bans, the rigorous handwashing and drying, the social distancing, and the avoidance of public transport wherever possible. Right. At a wider level…so far, the public health system has ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Oil Market And Regulation Crusades

Safe to say, Vladimir Putin did not expect the response he has received amidships from the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Earlier, Russia chose to walk away from the OPEC talks in Vienna that were aimed at reaching an agreement on how to reduce world oil production (and protect oil prices) in the light of the fall in demand being caused by the coronavirus. No doubt, Russia and its allies in the US shale industry probably glimpsed an opportunity to undercut OPEC and seize some of its customers. Bad move. In reply, Saudi Arabia has smashed the oil market by hugely ramping up production, signing up customers and drastically cutting the oil price in a fashion designed to knock Russia and other oil suppliers right out of contention. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On 22 Short Takes About Super Tuesday

With obvious apologies to the Simpsons….Here’s my 22 short takes on the 14 Super Tuesday primaries that combined yesterday to produce a common narrative –Bernie Sanders NOT running away with the nomination, Joe Biden coming back from the dead, and the really, really rich guy proving to be really, really bad at politics. In the months ahead, it will be fascinating to see if the real Joe Biden can live up to the idea of Joe Biden that people voted for yesterday – namely, the wise old guy who can save the country from the political extremism of the right and the left... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Strong Man Legacies: Burying Mubarak

Reviled strongmen of one era are often the celebrated ones of others. Citizens otherwise tormented find that replacements are poor, in some cases even crueller, than the original artefact. Such strongmen also serve as ideal alibis for rehabilitation ... More>>

Caitlin Johnstone: Humanity Is Making A Very Important Choice When It Comes To Assange

The propagandists have all gone dead silent on the WikiLeaks founder they previously were smearing with relentless viciousness, because they no longer have an argument. The facts are all in, and yes, it turns out the US government is certainly and undeniably working to exploit legal loopholes to imprison a journalist for exposing its war crimes. That is happening, and there is no justifying it... More>>

Gail Duncan: Reframing Welfare Report

Michael Joseph Savage, the architect of the 1938 Social Security Act, wouldn’t recognise today’s Social Security Act as having anything to do with the kind, cooperative, caring society he envisioned 80 years ago. Instead society in 2020 has been reduced ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Addiction To Chinese Student Fees

Last week, Australian PM Scott Morrison extended its ban on foreign visitors from or passing through from mainland China – including Chinese students - for a third week. New Zealand has dutifully followed suit, with our travel ban ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog