I bartered with E to get her to come with me to some of the more familiar homicide sites on my list on Saturday morning. The deal was I would buy her coffee and she would get up and go with me. A smattering of the murders were on the North Side. Of the four that were up north, two were just blocks away from my former residences. The other two were close to where E used to live before we met. I felt comfortable going to these locations without X.
At about 8:30, we headed to Starbucks. With a giant latte in hand, we drove north to Wrigleyville where just weeks after several people were shot at a the Taco Bell at 1111 West Addison, Norberto Velez was shot and killed just down the street in the hallway of his apartment building at 910 West Addison. The building is just steps away from the old Town Hall Police station to the east and about a block from both the Addison Red Line stop and Wrigley Field to the west. 31-year-old Velez was shot in the chest. His body was discovered at 7:20 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. I knew exactly where this address would take us. For a year and a half I lived at 915 West Cornelia, which is juts a block south. The apartment building was on a busy section of Addison, but it was pretty quiet this early in the morning. The residence was a three-story brick building that was in the middle of several others just like it. The front wrought iron gate was open and a bike was locked to the interior of the fence. There was a dreamcatcher in the window of the first floor window. The small communal area in the front of the building had two well-worn chairs and a small white plastic table. On the table was an ashtray brimming with cigarette butts. Several empty beer cans were strewn on the ground. I set up my camera and photographed with no disturbances. As we walked back to the car, I glanced down the alley where I could see the livingroom window of my old apartment.
From there we headed to 4556 North Magnolia Avenue in Uptown where 23-year-old Brian Green was shot and killed on January 4th of this year. The address led us to a small mini mall that housed a convenience store, a chinese take-out, a ghanian restaurant, a chiropractor, one empty storefront and a Subway. Just across the street was a Starbucks. The exact address indicated that Green was shot in the parking lot in front of the Subway. I was intrigued by the disparity a photograph of a homicide site that had a Starbucks in the background would show, so I made sure to angle my camera appropriately. In my experience this is very telling of what Uptown is like. Here is a link to some thoughts on Uptown from last summer's photographing.
The next site was also in Uptown. At 6:20 p.m. on Halloween night, 35-year-old Marlos Canteberry was shot in the head on the sidewalk in front of 1010 West Sunnyside Avenue. Canteberry was identified by neighbors as “a neighborhood man who sold movies.” Earlier this fall I was at this location by fluke with a point and shoot camera as part of a team building exercise for a CCAP program I am working with. The photograph is on google maps if you look up the address and click on the images (See below). I liked the photograph I took that day because it was overcast and gloomy, which seemd to fit the feel of the location well. Saturday it was bright and sunny, but since it was further into the fall, the colors of the leaves on the nearby tree and were extrordinary and leaves dusted the ground. The site was about 1/2 a block from the intersection at Broadway where a new Target was built in the last few years. The looming structure, which I could see from the site, was an interesting juxtaposition with the large abandoned apartment building that it stood across the street from.
Our last location for the day was in Edgewater at 1111 West Hollywood Avenue. On January 1st of 2011 at 3:38 a.m., officers responded to a domestic battery call at the address to find 37-year-old Henry Jones stabbed in the neck by his wife. The woman called 911 after her husband allegedly attacked her. She stabbed him before the police could arrive. He died about an hour later from sustained injuries. 1111 West Hollywood is a huge apartment building that's white columned entrance faces quiet North Winthrop Avenue. The back side of the building is just across the alley from the elevated Red Line. The side that faces busy Hollywood Avenue is mostly windowless save for the small indent in the center where each of the interior apartments might have one reprieve from the inside. E sat in the car in the alley as I walked around the building, photographing from every angle.
I looked at the addresses and maps to see if there was anywhere else I felt comfortable visiting on my own and decided not to risk it since I was unfamiliar with all the remaining locations. I decided to wait for X to take me to the rest.