April 2007
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Eight murders so far in 2007

HomicideSo far this year, there have been eight homicides (i.e., murders) in Peoria, and it’s not even May yet. That’s an average of two murders per month. Lest we forget the citizens and neighbors we’ve lost, here are their names, ages, and when they were killed:

  1. DeAndre Allen, 18 (1/1)
  2. Virginia K. Mallow, 72 (1/13)
  3. Domonique Alexander, 16 (1/25)
  4. David L. McCreary, 35 (1/26)
  5. Tamara Gregory, 42 (4/7)
  6. Anthony D. Hart, 32 (4/16)
  7. Dequarrius Sims, 17 (4/22)
  8. Carlyts Bovan, 22 (4/27)

Anyone have any ideas on how to cauterize this wound on our city? I have this poignant feeling of helplessness whenever I think about these senseless killings.

21 comments to Eight murders so far in 2007

  • Mazr

    You’re overreacting, C.J.

    It’s like the Journal Star said last week:

    Not counting the homicides, the crime rate is down.

    Those pesky murders always have to ruin a crime rate for everybody.

  • PrairieCelt

    Bring in more business with decent jobs, keep the kids in school, and replace the hopelessness of poverty with some type of real future.

  • SD

    Its easy to say, bring in more business and keep kids in school, but the problem goes much deeper than that. You have to go to the core of the family. 14 to 16 year olds having babies. Bringing them up in a household where there is a lot of violence, non-employment, no education, no resources of good value. The young parents have no idea how to raise these children because they are children themselves. They go with the crowd, “mass hysteria”. They know no better because they weren’t offered anything any better. They don’t know the value of a good education. They don’t have family values. Life is cheap to them. They grab the first thing that offers them money and stability, drugs. They life so far from our beliefs that its almost like we are not on the same planet. Take twenty-five randomly picked individuals, under 25, from the worst neighborhoods and really sit down and talk to them. You don’t speak the same language in any form. Until the communication form is cleared up there is no fix to this problem. You have to be on the same page to help them to understand values that they need to seek and how we can offer them a working situation. A solution that involves both sides of the communication, not just a band-aid.

  • Martin Palmer

    Lets have more meetings! Crime forums, Weed & seed, Cease Fire? Let’s re do the POP program and street crimes unit (saturation Patrols now). Put up cameras that the police can’t operate remotely unless they are under them. Let have more meetings, heck look what came from the meetings so far.As for ideas to stem this problem, nothing in the way anyone would , willng and can do. Throwing money at the problem will not solve it. More police on the street has not solved it. As long as kids have kids and drugs bring more money in than jobs it will be an ongoing problem. as for jobs Wal mart? McDonnalds? Homelife and morals are so low among some they don’t care or that is all they know. The systems in place need overhaul and the people in goverment are protecting there jobs and pay “lipservice” to the public. As I said aging Let’s have more meetings so we can keep on the track we are on. Heck, Devlop plans and let it sit on a shelf and gather dust along with all the other plans we bought and paid for.

  • Greg Woith

    MP, I agree wholeheartedly. I hope people can join us Tuesday at the Civic Center for the Building A Healthy, Sustainable Community conference that my agency, Counseling & Family Services, is hosting. The whole purpose is to come out of the day with a group that will work to put some of the plans into action and that will possibly coordinate among all the groups that want to get things done. More information is at our website, Click on the sustainable development link on the right side. We won’t be focusing totally on crime and violence, but obviously it plays a huge part in a sustainable community. If you are interested and would like to attend, you can call me on Monday at 676-2400 and I’ll hold tickets for you at the door, no charge, just for readers of CJ’s blog. Doors open at 7:30, conference starts at 8:30, and features business guru Peter Senge who will talk about “systems thinking.” There also will be a panel of local and national people talking about sustainable development. This was originally planned to be a big picture kind of thing, but with recent events in the last couple of weeks I think it could help focus on working together to get things done. If what’s been going on is not acceptable, then we need to take upon ourselves to make changes and improvements. There will be lots of business people at the conference, but we need grassroots, neighborhood involvement as well. Our agency has an outreach office at 1821 N. Knoxville, and we see the impact everyday with our after school program and program for kids suspended from school. You also can e-mail me at if you have questions.

  • Until we can rationally discuss the common element…

  • JW

    Which “common” element would that be?

  • Just Some Guy

    The common element is poverty, but good ole Vonster would like you to think it is black people. Of course, guys like Vonster couldn’t have a “rationale discussion” if they tried. Just in case Vonster wasn’t paying attention, the first few murderers of the year were white guys.

    I’m waiting for my GFY or some other such childish response.

  • Ryan Johnson

    pretty sure Martin’s comment was complete sarcasm, Greg.

    Talking isn’t solving anything right now.

  • Greg Woith

    I took it as sarcasm and agree that talking isn’t solving anything. That’s why we’re interested in people who want to take action and be a part of the solution.

  • The common element isn’t poverty. All these people live in a society that will put food on their table and give them a free education and guaratee them a wage that keeps them out of poverty if they are willing to work. The common element is a disregard for human life. More social spending won’t wolve that problem.

  • Martin Palmer

    Ryan :

    You are correct.
    Talk has gotten us nowhere. I attended almost every meeting. For what?
    It is a merry go round as to police, states attorney,courts,City,and public. All point fingers at each other and blame goes around. We need to think outside the box and get to the bottom of this issue. Heck,the election is over and everyone can forget the anti crime platforms and sit in office for 2 to four years. Hope the innocent(and I) just don’t get shot.

  • My hope is that the next election for Peoria County State’s Attorney will yield some changes in attitude and priorities.

  • To Billy

    you will get your wish, Darin LaHood (son of Ray) has decided to challenge Kevin Lyons. A titanic battle that will be. What side will you be on?

  • Buba

    We need good jobs? Look at these 18 year old gang bangers driving around town with their tweaked out custom cars and $10,000 wheels. Does anyone think that kid who did not even finish high school is going to land a job paying that kind of dough. Pot is the largest cash crop in this country. We can all drive out of Peoria and see grain farmers with their $100,000 tractors who do not earn as much as the gang bangers selling drugs. Pot alone brings in more money to the economy than corn. To that lets add crack and meth and all the other goodies. Talk about poverty, what a load of crap. If you all want to pipe dream though about how if Peoria could just get good jobs. The gang bangers have good jobs. I would wager that many of them are making far more money selling drugs than they ever could in any other line of work. This is not about the lack of jobs or money. The gang bangers have both.

  • justanobserver

    Not to mention the money the 11 year olds can make standing on the corner looking for cops.

  • SD is partly correct. I went to one of the high schools last week and noticed that there were 15 girls pregnant. I listen in the lunchroom and they are bragging about it.
    Go to a high school graduation at Manual or Woodruff. A lot of the girls have babies. They take care of them while they are cute, but when they get a little older, most pass them off to their mother or grandmothers to raise.

    It is a breakdown of society and these girls fully expect Public Aid to pay for their babies health costs and food. No responsibilty at all. Imagine what would happen if someone told them, “No, no husband, no job, you are still responsible for the bills!”

  • BeanCounter

    Those girls didn’t get pregnant by themselves. I understand your point but the problem won’t be solved by trying to punish the young women after the fact. It doesn’t do society any good to have babies going without food and health care. Some how we have to help those babies grow up with a sense of self worth, the ability to set goals along with the desire to achieve them, and how to function in society, you know all the things that their parents never learned.

  • My point was, you go after the fathers of these girls and tell them they need to support their children. It isn’t a onetime deal, these kids will need their support until they are adults. In other words, fine give them health care but be more aggressive on getting the “parents” involved on supporting these children. SS numbers are easy to track. If they can find a student who defaulted on their loans in Bangkok, then they surely can find these fathers and “dock” their paychecks for support no matter where they are. Also, as part of the condition to recieiving this aid, the mothers have to train and get a job. I do not qualify for medical on my kids and I pay dearly for the medical coverage they have.

  • Cream of Some Young Guy: You don’t merit a GFY. Not your fault you jump to the wrong conclusion. Keep trying though.

    Bill: Thanks for straightening people out.

  • “African-American male youth are killing and maiming each other and others in our society at numbers hard to comprehend”