At this point and time, there is no direct connection between the murders of Chicagoans Charles Gibson, Brad Winters, and Kevin Clewer.
That was the statement from Area 3 Commander Michael Chasen at a meeting on Nov. 10 at the office of Ald. Mary Ann Smith, 5533 N. Broadway. The meeting, to which only Windy City Times and the Chicago Free Press were invited, was called to address what the police call erroneous details in an account released by WBBM Newsradio 780.
The radio report—which has been syndicated nationally—hinted at the possibility of a gay serial killer and stated, among other things, that the three victims frequented the same neighborhood bar ( Little Jim's ) .
Police found Gibson, 54, on Oct. 31 in his apartment at 1052 W. Balmoral. A friend of Gibson called police to check on him; the building manager and a locksmith were also summoned to the victim's place. When the door was opened, they found Gibson lying naked in the hallway; a seven-inch knife was recovered at the scene.
Clewer, 31, was murdered on March 24. His body, which had been repeatedly stabbed, was found in his third-floor apartment at 3444 N. Elaine Place. Winters, 38, was killed Aug. 17, 2003; he was also stabbed repeatedly and beaten.
Chasen said that 'there is not one single shred of viable evidence that there's any connection between the cases.' He added that if anything were to develop, the police would let the public know. However, he added that '[j]ust because cases are similar doesn't mean that they have the same [elements involved].'
The commander discussed how some of the facets of the radio report are wrong. 'We know for a fact that Mr. Clewer, Mr. Winters, and Mr. Gibson did not frequent the same bar,' Chasen said. 'In fact, Mr. Gibson had been kicked out of [Little Jim's].'
Moreover, the sketches of the attacker are different in the Clewer and Gibson murders. 'In the Clewer case, we're sketching a male white Hispanic. In the Gibson case, it's a Black male,' Chasen reported. Chasen also mentioned the fact that Gibson was Black while Clewer and Winters were white.
Chasen also talked about the Evidence Response Team (ERT), a special team formed in the forensic services department. The ERT was first used in the Clewer case and have been utilized in other cases, notably that of murder victim Forest Cowley. The team has collected so much evidence that it is taking long for things to be processed. Also, Chasen pointed out that the police do not process evidence; the State of Illinois does. 'Unfortunately, we have no control over their crime labs,' Chasen said.
Chasen also mentioned a six-man homicide detail he has created that is working solely on these murders. The team is supervised by Sgt. Thomas Boyce, who the commander says is extremely experienced. In addition, Chasen talked about the creation of major case files that will help the police make possible links if evidence in one case has something in common with another.
It is important to note that Chicago police have not totally ruled out a connection between the killings; however, 'the only [current] connection between the crimes is that the three victims were gay,' police spokesman Pat Camden told Windy City Times in a statement taken before Chasen's meeting. 'There's no definitive connection. Right now, there's a lot of conjecture.'
Anyone with possible information about any of these murders should contact Sgt. Thomas Boyce (Area 3 Homicide) at 鵸) 744-8261.