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Illinois Cold Cases

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Illinois Murders

If you find yourself curious about the statistics regarding the number of murders in Illinois by year, different law enforcement and investigating agencies offer reports and insights on their sites. Likewise, the Federal Bureau of Investigation publishes a Uniform Crime Report each year which shows, exhaustively, the violations, crime percentages, and areas of crimes in each state, district, and city.

According to Project: Cold Case, there were roughly 49,026 homicides spanning the years 1980 to 2019. The same website states that round 17,650 of the homicides have been solved over the years, leaving approximately 31,376 unsolved murders in Illinois alone. Project: Cold Case, along with some local, state, and county law enforcement agencies in Illinois have public lists or databases which include information regarding the numerous unsolved homicides or other cold cases which they are continuing to investigate.

Among these lists or databases, unsolved murders in northern Illinois are often included. Some examples include the 1975 murder of Carol Rofstad, the 1986 murder of Cheryl Jean Griffin, the 2007 murder of Alexander Delgado, the 2000 murder of John Conrad, and the 1996 murder of Amy Todd Fleming, among many others. Also among these lists or databases are the various unsolved central Illinois murders, which include the 1975 murder of Carol Rofstad, the 2003 murder of Dalton Mesarchik, the 1998 murder of Jeremy “Chappy” Chappelear, the 1995 murder of Shana Jaros, and the 1994 murder of Sherry Lewis, among others.

In addition, some of the unsolved murders in Springfield, Illinois, which are also included on the various agency websites include the 2010 murder of Kaiser Bender, the 2011 murder of Anthony Gant, the 2006 murder of Freddie Williams, and the 2007 murder of Alfred Dixon, among others. Lastly, a few of the unsolved murders in Sangamon County, Illinois, include the 2017 murder of Reginald Day, the 2012 murder of Landis Bates, the 1999 murder of Carl Dobson, the 1987 murder of Billie Lee Boyce, and the 2015 murder of Neon Bryant, among some others.

Unsolved Illinois Murders

According to Project: Cold Case, there are currently approximately 31,376 Illinois cold cases. Many of the unsolved murders in Illinois are listed on the Illinois State Police’s cold case webpage, as well as other city, state, and county law enforcement and investigating agencies’ websites.

Among the many northern Illinois unsolved murders which are commonly mentioned on different law enforcement websites are the following: the 1975 murder of Carol Rofstad, the 1986 murder of Cheryl Jean Griffin, the 2007 murder of Alexander Delgado, the 2000 murder of John Conrad, and the 1996 murder of Amy Todd Fleming, among many others. Unsolved murders Springfield, Illinois, are also commonly found on these lists or within other databases, and include the 2010 murder of Kaiser Bender, the 2011 murder of Anthony Gant, the 2006 murder of Freddie Williams, and the 2007 murder of Alfred Dixon, among others. In addition to those which have already been mentioned, other unsolved murders Illinois included in the lists of cold cases are the many east Illinois unsolved murders. These include the 2008 double murder of Ryan Riddle and Mark Prasse, the 1999 murder of Amy Warner, the 1994 murder of Jeffery Archer, the 2003 murder of Helen Melchi, and the 1991 murder of Betty Hull, among many others.

Joseph Smedley
Joseph SmedleySuspicious Death, 2015
Asha Degree
Asha DegreeMissing, 2000

Consider this

More than 200,000 unsolved cases have gone cold since 1980, and murder clearance rates continue to drop. With equity for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other underserved victims not prioritized in the true crime community—together we can do better.

Famous Illinois Murders

When you think of some of the most famous Illinois murders, there might not be many names that immediately come to mind. Most of the names on the Illinois murder lists on various law enforcement websites may appear unknown; however, a few names on the all Illinois murders lists, Illinois murder lists, and notorious Illinois criminals seem to have become household names as time passes.

The most infamous Illinois murders which have been solved or have seen resolution include the following: the murders of John Wayne Gacy, H.H. Holmes and his murder castle, and the 1934 murder of notorious gangster John Dillinger, among many other famous murders in Illinois which remain unsolved, including the 1956 murders of the Grimes sisters.

Homicide Rate in Illinois

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 2019 Uniform Crime Report (UCR), the violent crime rate in Illinois was approximately 406.9 per 100,000 people. In a nutshell, this indicates that 407 Illinois people per 100,000 were directly affected by violent crime, which includes burglary, sexual assault and rape, assault, and homicides, in 2019. According to the same report published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the homicide rate in Illinois was approximately 6.6 per 100,000 inhabitants. This suggests that about 7 individuals per 100,000 Illinois inhabitants were killed in 2019.

Springfield, the state capital of Illinois, has a population of well over 113,000 inhabitants. The violent crime rate in Springfield, Illinois, as of 2018 was approximately 833.17 per 100,000 inhabitants, while the Springfield, Illinois, murders rate as of 2018 was around 7.85 per 100,000 persons, meaning that nearly 8 per 100,000 residents of Springfield, Illinois, were murdered in 2018. Even though there is currently no reliable way to determine exactly how many murders in Illinois 2021 or how many murders in Springfield, Illinois, 2021, we do know that based on archival records, the homicide rate in both continues to slowly increase annually.

Sangamon County Murders

Sangamon County, Illinois, now has a population of approximately 192,738 inhabitants. While we do not know how many Sangamon County murders took place in previous years, according to standardized crime statistics within the Uniform Crime Reports published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there was only one homicide in 2016, none in 2017, one in 2018, and one in 2019, leading us to assume that the number of murders in Sangamon County, Illinois, is remaining low and stable over the years.

For certain murder cases, authorities are able to gather sufficient Sangamon County murders evidence to arrest and charge their suspected perpetrator, before bringing them to Sangamon County murders trial. The evidence that is frequently provided to the judge and jury in Sangamon County homicide trials is entirely reliant on the crime itself. The main types of evidence that are included in these trials are characterized as physical, circumstantial, and forensic evidence. Examples could include fingerprints, blood, cell phone pings, witness testimony, and even weapons; however, these trials most often include Sangamon County murders crime scene photos, to show the jurors the nearby surroundings of the crime scene, the locations of any relevant items of interest or evidence, and are specifically used to show the jurors and judge the flow of the crime, to explain the most likely scenario with the crime scene in mind.

Springfield, Illinois Murders

Springfield, Illinois, murders as well as violent crime in Springfield are seemingly more prevalent than in most Illinois cities, other than Chicago. Although the vast majority of both recent and decades-old homicides in Springfield, Illinois, have been solved or have seen resolution, while law enforcement is still looking into the few unsolved cases. As predicted, until these homicides are solved, Springfield murders discussions will relentlessly continue on social media sites such as Reddit, Websleuths, and Facebook. Conversations which take place on these sites regarding unsolved murders commonly include discussions where users discuss and share their thoughts and knowledge about Springfield murders pictures, Springfield murders crime scene photos, and Springfield, Illinois, murders autopsy photos, which are sometimes withheld long after a case reaches its conclusion.

Chicago Murders

As previously mentioned, Chicago is the most populous city in the state of Illinois, housing around 2.7 million residents, and making it the third most populated city in the United States. Chicago is also one of the most dangerous cities in the country, with more than 500 homicides in the big city alone each year. As can be expected, with that many homicides each year, the amount of unsolved homicides in Chicago, Illinois are much higher than many other cities across the U.S. Although the exact amount of Chicago’s unsolved homicides rapidly changes, and is not entirely known, a CBS Chicago article states that by the end of 2019, over 53% of that year’s homicides remained unsolved.

In the past few years, advancements in DNA technology have resulted in the resolution or conclusion of hundreds, if not thousands, of decades-old cold cases, and Illinois is no exception. Some of the many instances in which Chicago and Springfield murders DNA, as well as DNA from crimes in other regions of Illinois, was utilized to solve or offer additional information to cold cases include: the 1987 murder of Billie Lee Boyce, the 1999 murder of Lori Hayes, and the 1972 murder of Julie Ann Hanson, among many others.

Illinois Serial Killers

Throughout history, Illinois has had more than a fair number of Illinois killers. Some of the most famous Illinois serial killers may be found on any top ten or other style of serial killer list, including list of serial killers in Illinois and other Illinois serial killer lists. Without a doubt, the most famous or well known of Illinois serial killers is John Wayne Gacy, also known as “The Killer Clown,” who murdered at least 33 individuals from 1972-1978; and Herman Webster Mudgett, also known as “Dr. H.H. Holmes,” who murdered at least 27 people from 1886-1894. Other notorious Illinois serial killers include Larry Eyler, also known as “The Highway Murderer,” who killed between 19 and 23 individuals in the early 1980s; Raymond Martinez Fernandez, also known as “The Lonely Hearts Killer,” who killed 5 to 17 or more people from 1947-1949; and the “Chicago Ripper Crew,” including Edward Spreitzer, Robin Gecht, and Andrew Kokoraleis, who abducted and murdered as many as 17 women in the early 1980s.

Crimes in Illinois

If you find yourself wanting to learn more about crime statistics or data for Illinois, various law enforcement and investigating agencies issue yearly reports, which may be obtained on their websites, that indicate the crimes in that region. In addition, the Federal Bureau of Investigation publishes a Uniform Crime Report each year that provides information regarding the various types of crimes, crime rates, and crime locations in every state, county, and city, including a report on crime in Illinois.

Alas, it appears that the number of Illinois homicide and true crime stories in Illinois will never be brought to an end. Once again, according to Project: Cold Case, there were approximately 49,026 homicides in Illinois between 1965 and 2019. Roughly 17,650 of those murders were solved throughout the years by law enforcement and investigators who devote their life to solving crimes, leaving approximately 31,376 unsolved homicides in Illinois as of the website’s last update. Despite this, Illinois’s numerous law enforcement agencies will never stop working to solve all of Illinois’s true crimes, and doing everything in their power to bring each case some form of justice, no matter how long it takes.

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Additional Illinois Cold Cases

Pravin VarugheseJannette JohnsonJennifer BishopCarrie ChiusoRhoda McFarlandSarah SzafranskiConnie WoolfolkCourtney CopelandYasmin AcreeAngela FordShana JarosPenny KrajeskiPearlie Eackles-WadeJamie SantosLisa StebicErica ThompsonApril ZaneTrudy ApplebyTerrie EhrhartBobbie StewartBette HorvatJanice MoatsKierra ColesPaulette WebsterTionda BradleyDiamond BradleyJulie MichaelMary MoroneyDale LubbenMichael BillsJohn KatsilierisMark CollmanBrian CarrickAmber JenkinsLauren PreeMontel AkerPenny LeaseFay RawleyYingying ZhangMark ZimmermanPatrenia Butler-TurnerGarry ElekmanCheyann KlusClinton WashburnLakisha ThomasTimmothy PitzenAnthony KlamaStephanie LyngWilliam RileyTracie BellGarren BellerRegina McCorkleKathleen BeitzelSarah AvonLuis BaezEricka BallardSteven AsplundYashajara AngelinoBrian AndrewinEdward AndrewsMarcy AndrewsRobin AbramsPaul FronczakRachel Mellon-SkempStacy PetersonSkylar ShoopFabricio BarajasJohnny BarfieldJavion BarlowGreg BirchMichael BowcottDarian BrownYesenia CastilloAnthony CatalanoKeith ChildressJeffrey ClarkEmanuel ColemanCraig ConnerChristine DanielsTimothy DavisonEdward DemersTina DonovanJames EarlyMariah EdwardsMaliyah EnglandYulonda EstesJose Felix-VenegasDaniel FraherPamela GilmoreDavid GoffinRichard GrienerBrandon HansonReginald HarrisEverett HawleyErika HernandezEthan HernandezJames HowellEmily IzykowskiMaynard JamesLativia JohnsonTricia KellettGary KessenJames KimballWendy KimuraSsamali KwatiaAdam LarsonYoungjoo LeeRobert LinderStanislaw LukaszczykShirley MageeRuth MartinThomas McginnJeremiah MearaYamil Melendez-OrtizRainell Molina-RodriguezChris MoralesCheryl MurrayMary NelsonBradley OlsenClarence OwensTheodore PatlakMatt PennAnthony PhillipsSheila QuinnClaudia RamirezJocelyn RamirezDennis ReynoldsSuzanne RezabAngelisa Rivera-RuizNorma RomanOsaheni RotimiIndia RoundKenneth SandersConstantina SantoraMarvin SimpsonRyan SmithKelly StaplesKenyon StapleyAndrew StoffelKathryn SvobodaPatrick TaylorVinyette TeagueAndrew ThompsonEverett Thompson JrJanet TillmanLoretta TinkhamJamie TravisKayla UnbehaunLouis VargasMichael VensonLaura VenturiAntjerrica WardTabitha WatsonTara WhiteAngela WhitmireJulie Wiggs-KlaverJerry WolkingRonnie WootenJoanna WrightAbdullahi AbdiEmelina AguilarJoshua MahaffeyCarla BurnsJerrica LawsPhillip MurphyTheresa WallaceKaren SchepersPaul LoveRonald TurnerViola MartinKeith RoyerEarl FlowersNorman ForysMichael RodgersMichael BabincsakAnthony JamesonDeborah McCallRonald StobierskiKimberly ShandersBobby PayneAngela WilkersonRedell WimpieGabriel LopezKeith CrawfordNorvice LandonLinda SeymourDemetris RobinsonRichard ChenowethStephania AndrewsAmelia ZelkoWilliam ShieldsTiffini MurphyMaryann CarringtonMichael GistDulce Sandoval-CuevasDarlene OrtegaNicole JohnsonAllen PetersJuan DominguezBonnie WoodwardSylvia McElroyShani BowieLena StokesGloria MazeikaBarbara CantuJoseph MyersBetty MoneyJoan BernalMelissa PageAmela PasanbegovicDzaneta PasanbegovicLovace SimmonsRussell McGraneKimberly ThompsonBarbara HiltonJared HannaLaura JohnsonDarnell AmesOluwajuwon AjuwonNicholas BrownIsaac DanyusWillie DennisRonald FieldsNathaniel HoltChristopher HutsonLarry JohnsonClint KimbleTed PalkaJames RominesAnnie SandersBedriye SayrunDillon ScottBetty SissacMary Ann SwitalskiDermot KellyDeana SchwarkNolan EdmondsAdarius JamesDemetrius SpainTommy GrissettElizabeth VelozBrenda BottomsBonnie KellyGary CantlonGary SwansonMichael MansfieldJohn SpiraSpecial UeckerPeggy DianovskyRicardo CajigaJeri DuvallMaria MontanoOtilio Osorio-AvilesFrances RileyMichael SchmidtBrian BurgosHristo AtanasovByron RogersStacey MorrisonMiguel Angel RiveraSergio CalderonAsia RoseKeith LigginsValarie SloanEugene KrauseThomas CouchKianna GalvinMichael WomackNancy O'SullivanDonna MezoKimberly PecinaMarco AraujoDonna JensonPatricia TignerAlexis ScottDustin BurnhamMyron OrrAngela YoungAngela MarshkyJames O'HerrinOshai RoyalVikki VukelichCory RhinehartKalvin HowellMargaret LeaderKeith RyanJamie HarperGary ShanleyJanice MatneyAsante' WilloughbyChaunti BrylaCostanteen HamdenCatherine RunteNyameka Malindi-BellBarbara GlueckertCarina KarrasMichelle BiancoTrista BultemaTahj DennisVincent WesselmannMarcus WrightEan ReinoldBryan PowersArmando Chavez-CaballeroIra GoffRonald NationSandra StanekPauline SzwedoLee CutlerJose SalinasIsidro TenorioPeggy JohnsonShirley TrappRichard DixonSheri Ripp BruggerJoseph TellezMarc BohananJerome WilliamsDaniel ClaeysChristin WilliamsRobert JunodCynthia WilkinsDaren WoodDenita HeddenBrian GironMaria SkowronekJamie Cortez-BanosBaltazar GuzmanHelen GreenReginald PiercePatricia SpahnLydia ThompsonEverett ThompsonCharde PearsonTara SmartMark BishopJesse RossMark MillerJames McGinnJanie SellersWladyslaw SzczyptaHeather ZimmermanMarlo GulleyGerald MalkowskiMichael LimesandDonald Stofko Jr.Jose FloresLourdes ContrerasHiep LuuLorenzo RuizTimothy CampbellJuan ReyesJames SummersYoni HernandezAnne GayFrank ConneryBrenda JacksonEric SmithWyteria JonesPamela VincentWilliam RandHumberto CaballeroChristie CalesEva VallesThomas RamirezStephanie GibsonStoney GavinRaul MoraLinzer Franklin-MurraySonya RouseFlor ValladaresValina MageeDiana LaughlinRahson WhiteMitchell ZepedoBarry CostelloClinnon (Clinton) JefferyMaurice ThrelkeldDaniel CantrellJames HarrisMarlon WebsterJames WoodardMercedes JohnsonDiego CamarenaJose CoboAmaya OlveraJanet BaileyJivko TodorovKaren KoppelDorothy JohnsonCary SilversteinBrynn NullKaren McGovernXu WangWilliam KlosinskiTheodore McIntyreJoel MooreOmar Custer Sr