Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Please Support CounterPunch’s Annual Fund Drive
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We only ask you once a year, but when we ask we mean it. So, please, help as much as you can. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. All contributions are tax-deductible.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Sex Scandal No One Wants to Talk About

Chicago, IL

Residents from Chicago’ s New City neighborhood can be forgiven for not being too relieved that convicted killer/rapist Andrew Crawford is eligible for the death penalty.

47-year-old Crawford was found guilty of 11 murders, nine rapes and an attempted murder in a Chicago trial last week.

The reason is they have heard “we got the killer” before. They heard it for years in the South Side neighborhoods of Englewood and New City but the murders of vulnerable women during the 1990’s continued.

In fact, in the same neighborhood and time period Crawford preyed, police charged Hubert Geralds Jr., with six murders, Geoffrey Griffin with one murder–suspecting him of eight more-and Gregory Clepper with fourteen murders.

At one point, police said three killers were murdering women within 12 blocks of each other–two in the same abandoned building.

Police later charged Earl Mack Jr. with one of Clepper’s murders and another suspect with one of Geralds’ murders–making the “South Side strangler” everyone was hoping would be caught possibly six different killers.

Women at Genesis House, a safe house on Chicago’s North side, during the scourge discussed their wives-in-laws–women working with the same pimp–being found strangled in lonely outposts. But few could quit working and most tried not to think about it.

Of course Chicago is famous for John Gacy’s murder of 33 boys. Today prostitutes on the street experience violence once a month according to a study co-written by the University of Chicago’s Steven D. Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics. They are extorted into sex in one out of 20 transactions, he says.

Yet as Crawford is convicted, we know and hear less about the 40 plus women killed by the South Side strangler or stranglers–80 women if we believe Clepper’s macabre boasting to police–than we know of Tiger Woods’ string of mistresses.

Of course one reason is the Pretty Woman factor wherein people want to think of bought sex as white party girls, punch bowls and billion dollar golfers not the unholy trinity of a woman, the monkey on her back and a man that could kill her that it often is.

“If white middle-class college students are targeted, then it becomes a national case,” Jack Levin, director of the Brudnick Center on Violence at Northeastern University in Boston told the Chicago Tribune in 1999. “If it’s black prostitutes, you’re talking about marginalized people. It doesn’t even get the attention locally.”

But there’s also the fact that families abusive enough to push women to the streets which many or most survival prostitutes have–think the movie Precious–are also families that aren’t heartsick over their absence and don’t report them missing.

And the fact that violence reported to police can be arrantly ignored as in the case of registered sex offender and Cleveland murder suspect Anthony Sowell whom police arrested 37 days after a woman told police he choked and raped her in his house. Sowell is charged with the death of 11 women and suspected of three more.

And finally there is collective denial over society’s throwaway women.

Like Chicago, 60 street prostitutes and drug addicts disappeared from Vancouver’s downtown Eastside neighborhood in the ten years before the arrest of Canadian pig farmer Robert Pickton in 2002. He is charged with 26 of the murders, six of which he was convicted for in 2007. Didn’t anyone notice or care?

Covering Pickton’s trial for orato.com, former prostitute Trisha Baptie says his crimes left her “reeling at the horror at what had been done to the women I used to work alongside on Vancouver’s streets” and that her “soul cried and mourned.”

But she also notes, “If I went missing today, I have total confidence it would be reported; I would be searched for.”

Hopefully Chicago’s most vulnerable women will be able to say the same thing.

MARTHA ROSENBERG can be reached at: martharosenberg@sbcglobal.net

More articles by:

Martha Rosenberg is an investigative health reporter. She is the author of  Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health (Prometheus).

October 15, 2018
Rob Urie
Climate Crisis is Upon Us
Conn Hallinan
Syria’s Chessboard
Patrick Cockburn
The Saudi Atrocities in Yemen are a Worse Story Than the Disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi
Sheldon Richman
Trump’s Middle East Delusions Persist
Justin T. McPhee
Uberrima Fides? Witness K, East Timor and the Economy of Espionage
Tom Gill
Spain’s Left Turn?
Jeff Cohen
Few Democrats Offer Alternatives to War-Weary Voters
Dean Baker
Corporate Debt Scares
Gary Leupp
The Khashoggi Affair and and the Anti-Iran Axis
Russell Mokhiber
Sarah Chayes Calls on West Virginians to Write In No More Manchins
Clark T. Scott
Acclimated Behaviorisms
Kary Love
Evolution of Religion
Colin Todhunter
From GM Potatoes to Glyphosate: Regulatory Delinquency and Toxic Agriculture
Binoy Kampmark
Evacuating Nauru: Médecins Sans Frontières and Australia’s Refugee Dilemma
Marvin Kitman
The Kitman Plan for Peace in the Middle East: Two Proposals
Weekend Edition
October 12, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Becky Grant
My History with Alexander Cockburn and The Financial Future of CounterPunch
Paul Street
For Popular Sovereignty, Beyond Absurdity
Nick Pemberton
The Colonial Pantsuit: What We Didn’t Want to Know About Africa
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Summer of No Return
Jeff Halper
Choices Made: From Zionist Settler Colonialism to Decolonization
Gary Leupp
The Khashoggi Incident: Trump’s Special Relationship With the Saudi Monarchy
Andrew Levine
Democrats: Boost, Knock, Enthuse
Barbara Kantz
The Deportation Crisis: Report From Long Island
Doug Johnson
Nate Silver and 538’s Measurable 3.5% Democratic Bias and the 2018 House Race
Gwen Carr
This Stops Today: Seeking Justice for My Son Eric Garner
Robert Hunziker
Peak Carbon Emissions By 2020, or Else!
Arshad Khan
Is There Hope on a World Warming at 1.5 Degrees Celsius?
David Rosen
Packing the Supreme Court in the 21stCentury
Brian Cloughley
Trump’s Threats of Death and Destruction
Joel A. Harrison
The Case for a Non-Profit Single-Payer Healthcare System
Ramzy Baroud
That Single Line of Blood: Nassir al-Mosabeh and Mohammed al-Durrah
Zhivko Illeieff
Addiction and Microtargeting: How “Social” Networks Expose us to Manipulation
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
What is Truth?
Michael Doliner
Were the Constitution and the Bill of Rights a Mistake?
Victor Grossman
Cassandra Calls
Ralph E. Shaffer
Could Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Hearing Ended Differently?
Vanessa Cid
Our Everyday Family Separations
Walaa Al Ghussein
The Risks of Being a Journalist in Gaza
Ron Jacobs
Betrayal and Treachery—The Extremism of Moderates
James Munson
Identity Politics and the Ruling Class
P. Sainath
The Floods of Kerala: the Bank That Went Under…Almost
Ariel Dorfman
How We Roasted Donald Duck, Disney’s Agent of Imperialism
Joe Emersberger
Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno’s Assault on Human Rights and Judicial Independence
Ed Meek
White Victimhood: Brett Kavanaugh and the New GOP Brand
Andrew McLean, MD
A Call for “Open Space”
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail