On a chilly Chicago morning, the first local story of the day was that a woman had been found stabbed to death in a laundromat in the Heart of Chicago neighborhood which is wedged between the gang-laden Little Village and Pilsen neighborhoods. By early afternoon, there was even a more horrific story in the breaking news of the day which asserted that six persons were found dead in the Gage Park neighborhood to the southwest of the Heart of Chicago neighborhood, according to DNAinfo on Friday morning. These incidents followed just days after Chicago made national headlines for having broken more-than-decade old records for murders in the city in January.
Maria Ramos, 31, of the 2000 block of West Cullerton Street was found dead at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Thursday morning, according to the Chicago Tribune. She was found with a knife sticking out of her head in a laundromat closet where she worked. The laundromat, Spin Cycle, is located in the 1700 block of West Cermak Road – a main east-to-west thoroughfare on the South-Southwest side of the city. It is only a block away from Benito Juarez Community Academy – a high school located near the highly-traveled intersection of Cermak and Ashland Avenue close to the I-55 expressway to its south. It was later reported on WBBM-AM “Newsradio 78” that it was likely a domestic violence situation.
The family found stabbed to death in the afternoon involved all six members of the Martinez family. It was the most deadly violent incident since 2003. The victims included Noe Martinez Sr., Leonardo Martinez, Noe Martinez Jr., Rosa Hernandez, Alexis Martinez, and Maria Herminia Martinez. The murdered included an older man and two boys who were stabbed to death. An older woman and middle-aged man were stabbed and beaten. Additionally, a middle-aged woman was shot to death. The medical examiner’s office in Cook County has determined that all six deaths were homicides. The gruesome discovery was made after a wellness check was conducted on the 5700 block of South California Avenue on the city’s South Side. When the landlord didn’t receive the rent payment for February and tried to contact the family, there was no response. That is apparently what led to the discovery.
According to USA Today, this year Chicago has had its deadliest start to a New Year in 16 years. The nation’s third largest city had 51 homicides last month. That is the highest tally of murders in the month of January since at least the year 2000. Obviously, February 2016 is off to a very bad start as well. The Chicago Police Department said that gang conflicts and retaliatory violence drove the homicide rate up in January. Chicago has had the most murders of any American city, but January 2016’s total is extremely high – even for the Windy City.