OVER THE SPRING AND FALL 2020 semesters, journalism students at Roosevelt University enrolled in the capstone journalism course undertook a working investigative reporting project, examining the mostly unsolved strangulation murders of at least 51 Chicago women over two decades. More than three-quarters of these women are African American, according to the Murder Accountability Project, a nonprofit research organization based in Alexandria, Virginia, that studies homicide and has used algorithms to conclude that the murders are the work of one or more serial killers. Chicago police continue to investigate.
The project, led by Roosevelt Professor John W. Fountain, a former New York Times national correspondent and once the Chicago Tribune’s chief crime reporter, seeks to humanize the victims whose bodies were discarded, in many cases, in alleys on the West and South Sides like yesterday’s trash. The project includes narrative story telling and multimedia stories, culminating in a final published project that appears here on this website.
Among our chief aims, unapologetically, was to raise this story, this issue, to greater public light by public service journalism, which we believe is at the core of our duty to social justice as journalists.