Killing Season Chicago, Wicker Park, July 2011

Click on the names of the deceased on the right navigation panel to see images of the sites and information about the circumstances of their deaths.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Me: Hey X!I'm just looking through my pictures and see that there are still a few spots I need to photograph/re-photograph. Can I enlist you for one more time out?

X: I can def do another. I'm off a few days next week. What works for you?

Me: Great! Would you be opposed to my friend coming out and videotaping? I'm trying to get grant money and need documentation. Let me know if that's be cool by you.

X: Totally fine!! I'd rather not be in it unless it's better for you. Looks more dangerous if you have security, lol.

Fast-forward to 7:30 am on Saturday morning. My friend L, who was coming out to take some video, and her wife R stayed overnight at our place on Friday so that we could make it out the door bright and early together. When 7:00 am came around I knocked on their bedroom door and L and I stumbled around gathering all the things we needed before exiting into the bright morning sunlight and climbing into X's car and heading west.

Our first location was 522 North Leamington where James Gardner was shot and killed in the early morning of August 9th in 2010. He and Another man were inside a vehicle when two or possibly three suspects got out of another vehicle and approached them. At least one of the suspects fired several shots in their direction. The victims tried to drive away, but their car crashed into a parked car. This location was a re-shoot. While looking through my images, I noticed that the address on the house behind the spot that I photographed before was 422. The last time we photographed on this block we were welcomed by a man dragging a suitcase down the middle of the street. This time all was quiet. In contrast to the bright yellow house at 422, 522 was a two story gray stone. The building had a brand new wooden front porch with a wrought iron fence that contained it and the adjacent property. The parking space in front where Gardner was killed was empty. As a I was photographing a woman down the block expressed interest in what we were doing. She yelled down the street that she wanted to be in the movie. X told her we were just photographing. She seemed a little disappointed.


Our next location was another re-shoot at 4034 West Jackson in West Garfield Park. On the evening of August 31st in 2010, 18 year-old Anthony Carter went out to the store to grab something to eat. He was almost home when shots rang out. He was shot multiple times in the back. When police officers arrived at the scene they found him unresponsive. The first time I visited this location, X pointed out the two drug spots, one on each corner on the west side of Jackson and Pulaski. They were in competition with each other. When we arrived again, only one of those spots could be identified and it was being run bare bones. As I photographed the sidewalk where Carter was killed in front of a gated lot next to a gray stone, X and L watched a man try to get out of our range of sight. It appeared that he was trying to buy dope, but was afraid of getting near my camera. 

Former "tied house" at 24th & Wastenaw
read more about "tied houses" here

The last spot we visited was another re-shoot in the Little Village neighborhood. The immediate area which formerly appeared to be a gang haven was amidst a huge transformation. The median at 24th and Washtenaw that was etched with Latin Kings grafitti was torn up, the house on the northwest corner that previously had "fuck da police" written above the door in black marker was now a children's home and 24th Street was being torn up to be repaved. It was just a half a block west at 2718 West 24th Street where Jennifer Alvarado was shot and killed while in a vehicle. She was a passenger in the front seat of the vehicle as it was headed west on West 24th Street about 5:30 p.m. on September 6th when another vehicle pulled up at about and fired shots.

After successfully re-shooting three locations, X dropped L and I off at my house where everyone was still asleep. It was as though we never left.