[Hpn] Homeless man charged in slayings of 3 women
Sun, 30 Jan 2005 05:19:08 -0800 (PST)
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Homeless man charged in slayings of 3 women
Victims sexually assaulted and strangled, police say
By David Heinzmann and Hal Dardick, Tribune staff reporters. Tribune staff reporters Patrick Rucker and Imran Vittachi contributed to this report
January 30, 2005
Chicago police on Saturday said they believe a homeless man with a previous rape conviction is a serial killer who has preyed on South Side women with "high-risk" lifestyles, meeting them on the street, then luring them to secluded areas where he raped and murdered them.
Vincent Hudson, 32, was charged Saturday with first-degree murder and aggravated criminal sexual assault of three women, and the attempted first-degree murder of another woman. The murder victims were beaten and strangled, Lt. Dennis Keane said.
After months of piecing together evidence in a string of killings of women ranging from age 35 to 49, Wentworth Area detectives took Hudson into custody Thursday afternoon after finding him near 109th Street and Michigan Avenue, where he lived in a homeless shelter, Keane said.
Hudson is charged in the deaths of Valarie Crawford, 43; Ieline Myrick, 49; and Janet L. Jackson, 45. Another woman picked Hudson out of a lineup late Saturday, leading to the attempted murder charge, Keane said.
Hudson is accused of killing two of the women and leaving their bodies in a desolate clump of trees next to railroad tracks in the 400 block of West 104th Street. Crawford's body was found there July 12, and Myrick's body was discovered in roughly the same area on Nov. 20.
Jackson's body was found in the 5500 block of Martin Luther King Drive in Washington Park on June 27. The attempted murder charge stems from an alleged assault June 29 in the 6400 block of South Cottage Grove Avenue, police said.
Hudson's DNA was already in a database because of a prior felony conviction, and tests matched him to at least one of the crime scenes, Keane said. Further DNA tests are pending, and the investigation remains open, he said.
According to court records, Hudson was convicted of a 1993 aggravated criminal sexual assault charge, was at first given probation, but eventually was sentenced to 5 years in prison. He also was convicted of robbery in 1999 and sentenced to 6 years in prison. Court records show at least 11 arrests since 1993.
Hudson's foster mother, Annie Woodard, a South Side resident, said she took in Hudson when he was 4 years old, along with one of his sisters and two brothers. She acknowledged Hudson had several arrests during his 20s, but expressed shock at the murder charges.
"I thought he was a sweet-natured person," Woodard said. "I didn't think that he had that kind of nature."
Three other slayings, along with two Hudson has been charged with, led police recently to issue an alert warning women on the South Side involved in drugs or prostitution to be wary of abandoned sites.
Sheryl Wilhite, 41, was found slain June 28 in the 10200 block of South Michigan Avenue. Katherine Coleman, 36, was killed and her body left in the 7600 block of South Greenwood Avenue, where it was found Jan. 1; and Renee Daniel, 35, was killed in the 8000 block of South Ingleside Avenue. Forensic tests on DNA evidence are still under way, and Keane would not say whether Hudson was a suspect in the cases.
Keane declined to specifically characterize the victims' lifestyle other than "high-risk," but other police sources said they were involved in either drug use or prostitution.
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