Chicago Issues Warning Following Gay Murders

Fri. April 9, 2004 12:00 AM by

Chicago, IL - Chicago police have finally issued a community alert warning North Side residents not to allow strangers into their homes under any circumstances after a series of slayings of gay men.

The alert was put out following a meeting with community activists earlier in the week but nearly two weeks after the most recent slaying which left the community in a state of shock and fear.

The murders of four gay men remain unsolved and at least two of the slayings are markedly similar, although police say they have no evidence to suggest they are linked.

The body of Kevin Clewer, 31, who worked at a suburban factory, was found March 24. Brad Nelson Winters, 38, a theater director, was discovered dead last August. Both were found in their bedrooms with multiple stab wounds. Winters also was strangled.

Police believe Clewer was killed by someone he met that night, and Winters might have been killed by someone he met and brought home, Chief of Detectives James Molloy said.

"We are waiting for results of evidence that was recovered [at the scenes of the killings], but there is nothing that jumps out at us that says these homicides were committed by the same person," Molloy said.

As soon as the police warning was received, gay bars and businesses along Halsted Street posted them on bulletin boards.

The notice tells people to be careful about whom they let in their homes and says, "While police are not linking these two homicides, residents need to be aware of these crimes and take necessary measures to keep themselves safe."

The killings have left the city's gay community living in fear that a serial killer may be on the loose.

"People are scared," said Aimee Pine, operations director for Equality Illinois. "That police now have issued these warnings is a big deal. ... We didn't know if these were horrible unrelated incidents or if someone was out there hunting white gay men."

by Steph Smith Newscenter
Chicago Bureau
©® 2004

This article originally appeared on Republished with permission.