Updated: March 6, 2013 6:22AM
Saturday was a tragic anniversary in the Southland, marking five years since an almost inconceivable crime occurred in Tinley Park — the methodical shooting deaths of five women in a Lane Bryant store on a busy Saturday morning.
The news stories on the anniversary focused on the frustration by police in not finding the killer, despite having a survivor who gave them a detailed description, and their continued dedication in trying to solve the case; the anger and emptiness of the victims’ families and friends at losing them and how those feelings remain powerful today; and speculation as to whether the killer will ever be caught.
But perhaps the most noteable aspect of this heinous case is the sheer mystery of it. Very little, if anything, about this horrific crime makes sense, and the more one ponders it, the more questions there are, particularly regarding motive.
Why were the women killed? A robbery that went bad? If so, who robs a clothing store, where it was unlikely that much cash would be on hand, at a busy time during broad daylight? And the killer spent 40 minutes in the store, according to the survivor, much longer than need be if it were a robbery where you’d want to get in and out quickly.
Was it personal, murderous intent toward one of the women for some real or imagined wrong against him? No evidence of that. And why kill them all? Local and state police and the FBI have thoroughly examined the background of each victim, looking for anyone who might’ve had a reason to harm them, and have tried to link any enemies to the slayings. No luck.
Police say among the evidence collected are the killer’s fingerprints. But despite killing five women execution-style, he apparently was not in trouble with the law before or since — his prints not a match to anyone in any law enforcement database. Is he even alive?
Tinley Park police still believe the killer will be found — citing the Brown’s Chicken case, where seven people were killed in 1993 in a robbery in Palatine and the killers were found when someone came forward after nine years.
We admire their dedication and hope they’re right. Justice and the victims’ families need for answers require it.