Post-Tribune Latest news from Post-Tribune Online en-us (Editor) Post-Tribune 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Horror can hide in Gary’s empty houses ]]> Lead story image

Abandoned buildings attract crime. Police know this. Neighbors too. Suspected serial killer Darren D. Vann allegedly confessed to strangling women and dumping their bodies under piles of rubbish in abandoned and forgotten houses. It’s still unclear where his trail of death leads or ends. Gary has an estimated 8,000 vacant buildings, making it tough on the financially strapped city and police force to fight crime that has thousands of places to hide in the dark, hollowed-out houses lining many of the city’s streets. ]]> Sat, 25 Oct 2014 00:06:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Did Gary police ignore possible links to a serial killer years ago? ]]> Lead story image

Scripps News is reporting that four years ago it gave Gary, Indiana, police and the Lake County, Indiana, coroner’s office a list of strangulation victims dating back to November 1991 indicating the work of a possible serial killer. ]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 23:22:15 -0500 <![CDATA[ Police: Enraged Gary resident guns down neighbor boy, 13 ]]>

GARY — A 13-year-old boy was shot and killed Friday evening in Gary by a neighbor who was upset about his house being burglarized and became enraged when the teen laughed at him, according to police. Kobe Jones died of multiple gunshot wounds near his home in the 1000 block of Polk Street and was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:31 p.m., the Lake County coroner’s office reported. Lt. Thomas Pawlak said the homeowner returned home about 5 p.m. to learn of the burglary, which occurred about 12:30 p.m., and was yelling in anger outside his house, drawing some … ]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 22:00:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ New judge for criminal case at center of excessive force lawsuit against Hammond PD ]]> Lead story image

The criminal case that sparked an excessive force lawsuit against the Hammond Police Department will be transferred to the Lake County Superior Courts. Jamal Jones was supposed to make his initial appearance before Hammond City Court Judge Jeffrey Harkin on Friday morning, but Harkin recused himself from the case, Jones’ defense attorney, Scott King, said. The case will now be moved to the Lake County courtroom of Judge Nicholas Schiralli with an initial appearance to be determined. The case charges Jones with one count each of resisting law enforcement and not aiding police. Jones was a passenger in a vehicle … ]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 22:47:12 -0500 <![CDATA[ Lake Station mayor: ‘I do not’ intend to resign ]]> Lead story image

LAKE STATION — Dozens of family members, friends and strangers marched outside City Hall on Friday morning, protesting longtime police Sgt. Bill Taylor’s firing this week. Each person interviewed named a laundry list of complaints against Mayor Keith Soderquist, calling for his resignation, a demand that appeared to fall on deaf ears. “I do not” intend to resign, said Soderquist, who conducted meetings in his office during the event and later watched from his vehicle. “It’s their right to think the way they want to think and their opinion, and that’s what it is. It’s their opinion.” Taylor, a 22-year … ]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:48:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ How cops tracked a suspected serial killer to the south suburbs ]]> Lead story image

As the search for other possible victims of suspected serial killer Darren D. Vann continues, Cook County sheriff’s investigators have been using his phone records to narrow their search, sources say. Vann traveled from Indiana to the Illinois south suburbs of Harvey, Markham and Hazel Crest after the murder of 19-year-old Afrika Hardy this month. Vann was arrested Oct. 18. Investigators can track his route with the “pings” phones make on cell towers, the sources said. A Cook County sheriff’s spokeswoman said he couldn’t say how precisely the investigators can determine Vann’s route through the technology. But it’s enabling investigators … ]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:48:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Gary man found not guilty of murder charge ]]> Lead story image

A Lake Superior Court jury deliberated about 90 minutes on Friday before acquitting a Gary man of murder in a September 2013 shooting. Jerode D. Cursey, 23, was cleared in the death of DeWayne Young, 39, who was shot multiple times in his Chevrolet Blazer, which was parked near Cursey’s residence at 1546 Delaware St., Gary. Testimony in the trial showed that Cursey told the first arriving Gary officer that he called 911 because there was a man inside the sport utility vehicle with a gunshot wound to the head. Some of the windows on the SUV were shattered, and … ]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 23:01:21 -0500 <![CDATA[ State settles EC’s Second Century casino funds lawsuit for $150k ]]> Lead story image

EAST CHICAGO — An agreement that sent $16 million of casino revenue to the for-profit Second Century company to help spur development in East Chicago netted the heads of the business and their associates more than $6 million. The actual investment Second Century leaders Michael Pannos and Thomas Cappas made in East Chicago in exchange for their income: $3.5 million. Now Pannos and Cappas have agreed to settle an eight-year legal battle over the money for $154,042 and the disclosure of how they spent the $16 million. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland announced the … ]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 04:39:37 -0500 <![CDATA[ Murder suspect refuses to take oath in initial hearing ]]> Lead story image

CROWN POINT — Suspected serial killer Darren Deon Vann refused to answer questions Wednesday during his initial hearing. Vann, 43, of Gary, stood silent next to his public defender, Matthew Fech, as Lake Superior Court Magistrate Kathleen Sullivan asked him to be placed under oath so she could inform him of the charges and his constitutional rights. “Mr. Vann, are you choosing not to participate in this hearing?” Sullivan said. When Vann didn’t respond, Sullivan said: “I take that as a yes,” and aborted the hearing until next week. Sullivan told Fech to inform Vann he would remain in jail … ]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 02:02:54 -0500 <![CDATA[ Vann claims Merrillville woman killed for cash, crack ]]> Lead story image

Darren Vann told police he killed Anith Jones, 35, for $300 and two eight-balls of crack cocaine, court records filed Thursday state. Vann, 43, of Gary was charged with murder, murder in perpetration of a robbery and robbery causing serious bodily injury for Jones’s strangulation death. He is now charged with killing Afrika Hardy, 19, in Hammond at Motel 6, and Jones in Merrillville. He left Hardy’s body in the bathtub of the motel, but used a garbage can to move Jones from the home where he strangled her to a wooded spot, then finally the vacant house where she … ]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 09:32:34 -0500 <![CDATA[ Long-awaited road to Gary casino complex completed ]]> Lead story image

GARY — Beginning early next week, Majestic Star Casino patrons will have a direct route to its parking garage. On Wednesday, officials snipped the ribbon on the $9.4 million glistening asphalt overpass and access road leading into Buffington Harbor where two Majestic Star gaming boats are moored. The access road heralds the end of years of bickering and lawsuits between the city and casino. Majestic Star, arguing the access road was part of a 2005 local development agreement, withheld payments to the city that reached about $15 million. Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said Wednesday the opening of the access road fulfills … ]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 03:26:28 -0500