CHICAGO (CBS) — Killers are getting away with their crimes, more often than you probably think. CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini looks at how often Chicago Police solve murders and how often killers remain at large.
Don Banks and Angela Seals-Banks tell the CBS 2 Investigators their 17-year-old son Donta, a top student at Westinghouse High School who stayed clear of trouble, was shot in the back while out with friends in October 2002.
“Pride and joy,” said Don Banks. “He was my baby boy.”
“His hands were up and he was laying on his face,” said Angela Seals-Banks.
The shooter was never caught. The family says their son’s murder did not make big headlines and they think if it had, more would have been done to catch the killer.
“Nothing, I don’t feel like they did anything,” said Don Banks. “It just makes me feel like he didn’t matter, you know, to them it’s just another another murder.”
Seals-Banks murder, in an alley near the 4,000 block of Potomac, was one of 656 in all of Chicago in 2002. Eleven years later, more than half of those killings remain unsolved.
The numbers have been basically been the same for the past twenty years combined. Citywide, from 1991 to 2011, there were 13,610 killings. Less than half, 6,611, have ever been solved.
“It its crazy how many murders go unsolved,” said Don Banks.
CBS 2 Investigators found the police department’s ability to solve murders within the same year in which they were committed, has been even more troubling. In 2011, the most recent data shows Area South cleared only 26 percent of murders committed that same year. For police districts — the 8th faired the worse at 14 percent solved in the same year committed.
“And I feel like the killer is still roaming the streets,” said Angela Banks. “And if you kill once, I feel you can do it again.”
The couple says police failed to return their phone calls or meet with them. They say they have not been told if witnesses were questioned or ballistics tested.
All they have left are the photos albums, memories and hope that some day the killer will be caught.
“Every day of my life, I see it every day,” said Angela Banks. “It’s my baby boy.”
A Chicago Police spokesman says witnesses were interviewed and leads followed in this case. However, it is now considered a cold case. Anyone with information is asked to call the Area North Cold Case Unit at 312-744-8261.
Police say they thoroughly investigate all murders. The reality is, only about half of all murders are solved.