Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Portraits of Life: Hazel Lewis

Hazel Lewis

Compiled by Staff
Hazel Lewis. Say her name.

Not trash. Not widgets. Not just a statistic. Not forgotten. No, not one of the 51.

Despite the way their killer discarded their breathless brutalized bodies in assorted alleys, vacant lots, abandoned buildings or set ablaze in garbage cans from Chicago’s South Side to the West Side, they are human. 

Not garbage.

Say their names. Look into their eyes. See their souls…

No matter how sordid the details of some of these victims’ past, they were flesh and blood, heart and soul, human. All 51.

Hazel Lewis, 52, is among the 51 women whose stories the “Unforgotten” project sought to tell. On Nov. 14, 2007, she was found strangled to death and burning in a trash bin behind an elementary school in the 800 block of East 50th Street, on the South Side—two days after Theresa Bunn, 21, was found strangled, her body nude and badly burned, less than two miles away.

Hazel’s family is among those we attempted unsuccessfully to reach during our project. What we can tell you about Hazel is that she was someone’s mother, someone’s fiancĂ©, someone’s cousin, someone’s grandmother and she didn't deserve to die this way. She was loved, she is missed, and she is not forgotten.