16 Bodies Found in Chicago River and Lake Michigan: Serial Killer?

chicago serial killer

With the bodies of six different women being found in Portland within the last few months, fear of serial killers is understandably rampant on social media. In Chicago, the signs of an active serial killer are even more glaring.

Since the beginning of last year, the decomposing bodies of 10 men and six women have been pulled from the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. 

“Too Many Coincidences”

Former CIA and FBI federal agent Tracy Walder told The New York Post, “There’s too many coincidences,” with regards to the discoveries of the 16 bodies.

To back up his assertion, he cites the rarity of accidental drownings, the fact that the bodies were discovered far from where they were initially reported missing, and the short periods of time in between each body’s discovery. 

He also points out the convenience of immersing a body into water, which would destroy most forensic evidence.

“In a case like this, there are so many similar patterns right across the board…”

A Serial Killer in Austin?

Similarly, the bodies of four men were found within a two-month window in Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Texas, fanning the flames of fear amongst the city’s residents. 

Police have stated that no signs of trauma were found via autopsies, suggesting that each incidence was a suicide. Many have been quick to point out that four young men committing suicide in the same lake within a two months is a bit too much of a coincidence.

One of the victims’ mothers—Elsie John, mother of victim Jason John—told Newsweek that not only did her son not swim, but he refused to get anywhere near the water.

She believes that he was drugged whilst hanging out on Rainey Street, a nearby area known for its bars and restaurants. 

Why Are There Fewer Serial Killers Now Than There Once Were?

chicago serial killer
Photo Credit: Nickverian via Pixabay

The most well-known serial killers—Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy, Gary Ridgway, etc…—committed their heinous crimes during the 20th century. So why are there (thankfully) fewer serial killers in the modern age?

In answering this question, James Alan Fox, a professor of criminology at Northeastern University, cites improvements in police forensics, as well as a lessening of potential victims.

“People don’t hitchhike anymore,” he says. “They have means of reaching out in an emergency situation using cell phones. There are cameras everywhere.”

Of course, many argue that serial killers are more prolific in the modern age, asserting that, by technical definition, mass shooters would fall into the category of serial killer.

On Key

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