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Andre CRAWFORD

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Rape - Sex with corpses
Number of victims: 11
Date of murders: 1993 - 1999
Date of arrest: January 28, 2000
Date of birth: March 20, 1962
Victims profile: Patricia Dunn / Rhonda King / Angel Shatteen / Shaquanta Langley / Sonja Brandon / Nicole Townsend / Cheryl Cross / Tommie Dennis / Sheryl Johnson / Constance Bailey / Evandrey Harris (prostitutes and drug addicts)
Method of murder: Strangulation
Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Status: Sentenced to life in prison without parole on December 17, 2009
 
 
 
 
 
 

Andre Crawford is an American convicted serial killer, who killed 11 women between 1993 to 1997. Many of the women were prostitutes or drug addicts. He would smoke crack after killing them and also had sex with their corpses.

 
 

Andre Crawford Gets Life Sentence

Chicago man was convicted earlier this month in the rapes and murders of 11 women

By BJ Lutz and Anthony Ponce

Friday, Dec 18, 2009

A Cook County jury has spared the life of a Chicago man convicted in the rapes and murders of 11 women between 1993 and 1999.

A jury earlier this month took 10 hours to find Andre Crawford guilty of the crimes, convicting him on all counts. A unanimous verdict by the same jury was required for a death sentence.

Crawford sat unmoving in the courtroom as the jurors' finding was read aloud by Judge Evelyn Clay at the Cook County Criminal Court's building. His fingers interlaced before him, he showed no reaction, no emotion, even as soft gasps rose from the courtroom gallery, then sobs.

"It only takes two killings to be eligible for death. It was 11. What kind of justice is that?" asked Rena Carlock, the sister of Patricia Dunn, one of Crawford's victims.

The brother of another victim, Cheryl Cross, said he saw Crawford smile when the verdict was announced.

"I saw the smile on his face, and it was a very sinister smile," said Derrick Cotton.

Claudia Robinson, the only woman to survive Crawford's attacks, wept as she denounced the jury's decision.

"What the justice did today tells every criminal they can kill and live," she said.

Other family members speculated as to why a single holdout on the jury refused to sentence Crawford to death.

"They thought about, 'OK, we're going to put a man to death right before Christmas. How is that going to feel on our conscious?" one man said.

Crawford was arrested in 2000 and accused in the series of rapes and murders. One victim was assaulted and left for dead on Thanksgiving night of 1997 but survived. Prosecutors alleged the victims were prostitutes and drug addicts who agreed to trade sex for narcotics but were instead attacked and then raped as they lay dying.

He pleaded not guilty, but DNA evidence linked him to the deaths of Patricia Dunn, Rhonda King, Angel Shatteen, Shaquanta Langley, Sonja Brandon, Nicole Townsend, Cheryl Cross, Tommie Dennis, Sheryl Johnson, Constance Bailey and Evandrey Harris.

Crawford's lawyers argued his life should be spared because of sexual abuse and mistreatment as a child, but Asst. Cook County States Attorney Jim McKay said someone who brutalized and killed 11 women doesn't merit mercy.

This is the third death penalty trial in Illinois in the past three months. Brian Dugan was sentenced to death, and James Degorski was sentenced to life in prison.

 
 

Andre Crawford

On January 31, 2000, a 50-member Police Task Force announced the arrest of 37-year-old Andre Crawford. Crawford, who was genetically linked to seven murders and eight rapes, was arrested January 28 after police received several tips about him while interviewing the friends of one of the victims. With his arrest police solved a cluster of slaying in the Englewood and New City areas that had preiviously been identified genetically.

In custody Crawford confessed on videotape to the seven murders he was linked to genetically as well as to three others authorities had not considered to be related to the case. The extra three killings also involved drug-addicted prostitutes and occurred between July 23, 1997, and February 2, 1999.

In all he was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder, 11 counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault and one count of attempted murder. With Crawford's arrest the Chicago Police Department solved 11 of the 13 murders originally under investigation with three of the four DNA-Patterned-suspects under arrest.

Prosecutors said Crawford's videotaped confession took three days. In it he said he killed the women he lured from the streets into abandoned buildings to exchange drugs for sex. "When women would resist having the sexual favors before the delivery of the cocaine, he would then strangle them," said Assistant State's Attorney Thomas Epach. In at least one case, the prosecutor added, Crawford had sex with a victim after she was murdered. Then he moved her to another building where he would return to have sex again.

Crawford was well known in the New City and Englewood area. According to residents he was the type of person who would offer to do small chores for cash. "You'd never expect it," said Englewood resident Quincy Ray. "This is a man who'd ask if he could shovel your snow." Another neighbor said Crawford often voiced his hatred of prostitutes. "He said they shouldn't be out there, they should get a job and do something better with their lives." Though at the time of his arrest he was unemployed, he worked for 13 years as a newspaper delivery truck driver for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Like the police profilers warned, Crawford - who had a police record dating back to 1985 - lived in the community and traveled in the same circles as his victims. "I was glad I was caught, because I was like a shark in a pool," Crawford told his interrogators. Crawford grew up in the area and lived in several vacant buildings that, not coincidentally, were close to the murder scenes. In the summer of 1999 he moved away from the Englewood area, "because there was too much heat." Relocating to Chicago's West Side he found over there the "women were tougher," he confessed.

Katrina Martin, 34, who describes herself as a recovering drug addict, was one of three people who passed Crawford's name to the police. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune she said had known Crawford since 1992, when she was making a living swapping sex for drugs. At the time she lived with a man who allowed crack users to get high in his apartment. Crawford was a regular there, and so where Patricia Dunns, Tommie Dennis, Sonja Brandon, Constance Bailey, Sheryl Johnson and Shaquanta "Pumpkin" Langley-- six of the 10 women Crawford allegedly murdered. She started suspecting Crawford was one of the South Side killers in December 1999 when he sat behind her on a bus and told her the victims deserved to die. "(They) need to be strangled and have their heads beaten in," she remembered him saying.

To track the serial-killer probe Crawford went to community meetings were police and residents discussed the South Side killings and the police investigation. "I found out this man was attending my meetings, clapping when I walked in," Wentworth Area Detective Trigg said at a Chicago Commons Mary McDowell Settlement House meeting following the arrest.

Crawford also participated in Operation Safe Passage, in which men escort children through tough South Side neighborhoods as they walk to school. "It's scary that this man was able to be among a community and society for as long as he was, to be a part of the very effort that was supposed to protect us from him," Coleman said.

 
 

Offender Andre Crawford, 37-years old

Andre Crawford has been charged with eleven murders and one attempted murder/aggravated criminal sexual assault. 

In March 1993, Andre Crawford was arrested for Felony Theft.  If Illinois required him to give a DNA sample during that felony arrest, a DNA match could have been obtained with the DNA evidence recovered from his first murder, thereby identifying him as the offender and the subsequent 10 murders and one attempted murder/criminal sexual assault would have been prevented.

Timeline of Events

On March 6, 1993, Andre Crawford was arrested for Felony Theft.

On September 21, 1993, a 37-year old woman was found murdered.  Her body was discovered in a vacant factory lot on the 700 block of West 50th Street.  She had blunt trauma to her head.  DNA evidence was recovered. 

THE FOLLOWING ARE 10 PREVENTABLE MURDERS & 1 PREVENTABLE ATTEMPTED MURDER/RAPE WHICH WOULD NOT HAVE OCCURRED HAD CRAWFORD’S DNA SAMPLE BEEN TAKEN ON MARCH 6, 1993. 

On December 21, 1994, a 24-year old woman was found murdered.  Her body was found murdered in an abandoned building on the 800 block of West 50th Place.  DNA evidence was recovered. 

On April 3, 1995, a 36-year old woman was found murdered.  Her body was discovered in an abandoned house on the 5000 block of South Carpenter.  DNA evidence was recovered.  

    On May 3, 1995, Andre Crawford was arrested for Attempted Criminal Sexual Abuse (Felony).  Another missed opportunity to have his DNA sample entered into the system and to prevent further violence.

On July 23, 1997, a 27-year old woman was found murdered.  Her body was discovered in a closet of an abandoned house on the 900 block of West 51st Street.  DNA evidence was recovered.   

On December 27, 1997, a 42-year old woman was raped.  As she walked, an offender approached her from behind, placed a knife to her head, dragged her into an abandoned building on the 5100 block of South Peoria, then beat and raped her.  DNA evidence was recovered. 

    In January 1998, Andre Crawford was arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance (Felony).  Another missed opportunity to have his DNA sample entered into the system and to prevent further violence.   

In June 1998, a 31-year old woman was found murdered.  Her body was discovered in an abandoned building on the 5000 block of South May Street.

On August 13, 1998, a 44-year old woman was found murdered.  A rehabber discovered her body in the kitchen of an abandoned house on the 900 block of West 52nd Street.  Her clothes were found in the alley.  DNA evidence was recovered. 

On August 13, 1998, a 32-year old woman was found murdered.  A real estate agent discovered her decomposed body lying on the floor in the attic on the 5200 block of South Marshfield.  DNA evidence was recovered. 

On December 8, 1998, a 35-year old woman was found murdered. A rehabber discovered her body with her pants one around her ankle and the other completely off in a building on the 1200 block of West 52nd Street.  She had rope marks around her neck and injuries to her face.  DNA evidence was recovered.   

On February 2, 1999, a 35-old woman was found murdered.  Her body was discovered on the 1300 block of West 51st Street.  DNA evidence was recovered.

On April 21,1999, a 44-year old woman was found murdered.  Her body was discovered in the upstairs of an abandoned house on the 5000 block of South Justine.  DNA evidence was recovered.

On June 20, 1999, a 41-year old woman was found murdered.  Her body was found in the attic of an abandoned building on the 1500 block of West 51st Street.  DNA evidence was recovered from blood on the wall which indicated a struggle.

    In November 1999, Andre Crawford was arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance (Felony).  Another missed opportunity to have his DNA sample entered into the system and to prevent further violence.

In January 2000, Andre Crawford was charged with 11 murders and 1 Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault.  If his DNA sample had been taken on March 6, 1993, the subsequent 10 murders and 1 rape would not have happened.

  


 


Andre Crawford

 

 

 
 
 
 
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