Pamela Lynn Clewer Hansen Cunningham, mother of gay murder victim Kevin Clewer, died April 28 in Rockford at the age of 56. According to the Chicago Tribune, she had been suffering from pneumonia and complications from cancer.
As mother and activist, Cunningham seemed unstoppable as she led the charge to keep the story of her son's murder and the hunt for his killer in the public eye. WBBM Newsradio 780 reported that family members said the stress of the past year undoubtedly had a role in Cunningham's declining health and sudden death—which was echoed in a voicemail left at Windy City Times by a family friend. According to WBBM, Clewer's father blamed his son's killer for Cunningham's death as well.
Clewer, 31, was killed March 24, 2004. He was found stabbed to death in the bedroom of his Lakeview apartment at 3444 N. Elaine Place. Detectives continued the nationwide manhunt for a man seen with Clewer before the murder. A widely circulated composite sketch identified the man as 'Fernando,' described by police as white or Hispanic, 5 foot 7, about 25 years old, with an athletic build and dark wavy hair with a Hispanic or European-Spanish accent. Police called the man the 'prime suspect' in the investigation.
Anyone with information about the Clewer or Winters murders was urged to contact Belmont Area Detectives ( 312 ) 744-8261. Anonymous tips can also be made to Cook County Crimestoppers at ( 800 ) 535-STOP.
Cunningham is survived by one son, Ron Clewer of Roscoe; two grandchildren, Justine and Nicole Clewer of Roscoe; three brothers—Stacy Cord of Menasha, Wisc., Kyle Cord of Coloma, Wisc., and Larry Cord of Florida; two nieces, Myra Cord of Menasha, Wisc., and Sherry Cullen of Illinois; one nephew, Bill Keirsc; and boyfriend, Curt Bork of Kirkland.
A funeral service was held May 2 at Quiram-Sycamore Funeral Home, 1245 Somonauk St., Sycamore, Ill. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in care of Quiram-Sycamore Funeral Home. For information, call ( 815 ) 895-6589 or visit www.quiram.com .