The murders of two children; More than one mother's heart can bear


By Christopher Sutter
Delphine Cherry with son Tyler and daughter Tracii
during somewhat happier times in 2010.
   In a daze, on a silent January night, Delphine Cherry stands, staring at a house across the street. Her fingers tightly gripping her dog’s leash, they both appear calm, still, though inside, Cherry is smitten with anger.
  Two weeks have passed since the murder of her son, Tyler. Her eyes transfixed, she watches as shadows move about the house.
 “They’re moving around like nothing ever happened,” she says softly. For a number of reasons, she says, she believes she knows who killed her son. And she believes some of her neighbors are key to solving the question of who murdered her son. Delphine Cherry is no stranger to tragedy. Along with the death of her son, Cherry’s daughter Tyesa was also shot and killed, walking out of a movie theatre 20 years earlier.

Redeemed: A young man's journey from gangs to God


By Meredith Dobes
Anthony Orsini chats with mentor Ronald Gorny the man
 he credits with helping to set him on the right path.
Anthony Orsini had a new, fully loaded .32 caliber revolver in hand when he walked up to a rival gang member, put the gun to his head, and pulled the trigger. Then, the cylinder spun, he recalled recently, but nothing happened. Orsini is the self-admitted son of a member of the Latin Kings street gang and he got his own initiation into the gang at age 15. Then at age 16, he joined the Spanish Lords, he said. His nickname was Malo, Spanish for “bad.” His mentors were older gang members. His peers were in the gang, too.
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Featured Video: There Are Children Here





A bullet in her brain; Daughter presses on


By Alesia Wright
            All she can remember is the ringing in her ears. It was Thursday, March 2, 2006, and just another normal day for the 18-year-old Ryann Brown, a senior at Simeon High School. “It was a regular day. I was trying to be slick. I drove my sister’s van to school and then I had brought some friends home so she could let me drop them off so I could keep the car,” Brown said, reflecting on that day. “She ended up going with me, we ended up going to my other friend’s house playing cards…we left out the house and I went and got in the car with my other friend.”

   Brown had always been a hard worker, very determined, and always very independent, according to her mother, Kimberly Johnson. She had been looking forward to graduation and prom and all the other perks and aspirations that comes with being a senior in high school. But for Brown all of this was cut short.
    “All I remember is ringing in my ears,” Brown said, now six years later, sitting next to her mother on the black leather couch in the living room of her Roseland home.

Standing cold over baby Jonylah

By John W. Fountain
      Cold. I felt only cold, standing over the tiny casket, bearing the body of Jonylah Watkins, who, four days shy of turning six months old, was murdered by a cold-hearted, cold-blooded killer.
     Cold I felt, standing inside Leak & Sons Funeral Home with the knowledge that the killer, in all likelihood, is a black man and that instead of lying in eternal sleep, Jonylah ought to be resting soundly at her home in a crib. Numb I stood, facing the truth thatwe as African Americans have become our own worst enemy. That we must hate ourselves. That we seem hell bent on self-destruction.

Featured Video II:


As I Walk:
Facing the Shadow of Death
In Chicago, it is not an unfamiliar tale. Life and murder in the city.
Each day thousands of Chicagoans in neighborhoods where bullets rain must face the streets.
Growing up in Chicago, RU journalism student Aaron Lee was not immune.
Here, he mixes his perspective with on-the-street reporting.
Gritty and real.






Mini Documentary:

Mothers of Murdered Sons:
 Tears, Memories & Support
A Chicago-area support group has risen from the travesty of homicide. 
Its aim is to help grieving mothers. 
There's only one way to become a member. 
To lose a son to murder.
It is a story that unfortunately too many mothers can share.
Reporter Daria Sokolova tells their story.


Reflections Podcast - Christopher Sutter



Murder Was The Case

Reflections Podcast - Meredith Dobes



Murder Was The Case

Unsolved murder cases grow long and cold


By Lamar Colyer III
       It was Wednesday at 1 p.m., and time for bible study at a South Side church. Those gathered inside smiled or joked and talked about football and apple pie at New Bethlehem No. 4 Missionary Baptist Church. Five months earlier, it was a different scene inside this medium-sized, redbrick church. It was more filled with grief than with laughter, more with pain than with joy over the murder of fellow member Robert Munn who was eulogized here.
Munn, 29, had been involved within his church since he was a little boy, a junior deacon for Rev. Louis Montgomery Sr., founder and senior pastor of New Bethlehem, located at 8850 S. Cottage Grove Ave. He had sung in the choir. He was a DJ and had become a soundman who ran the church’s PA system. And he even helped put together the church’s banquet facility in its basement better known as the Louis Montgomery room.
“We used to call him New Bethlehem. That’s how much he used to do,” said community activist Pamela Bosley.