CHICAGO (CBS) — Surveillance video obtained Wednesday shows the accused killer of University of Illinois at Chicago student Ruth George last month.
Police said the video shows Donald Thurman on the Division/Milwaukee Blue Line subway platform. The station is 10 stops away from the UIC-Halsted stop where prosecutors said Thurman spotted George early on the morning of Saturday, Nov. 23.
Surveillance video also shows Thurman getting off a train at the UIC-Halsted stop in the median of the Eisenhower Expressway, walking up the ramp, and walking out the door to the station onto Halsted Street – at which point he headed south for Taylor Street.
George and a friend had been attending an event put on by Delta Epsilon Mu, a fraternity for future medical professionals at UIC. She and the friend took a Lyft, which dropped them off at the UIC-Halsted stop.
The friend went on to her dorm and George headed for the campus garage at Halsted and Taylor streets a few blocks to the south – but not, police say, before catching Thurman’s eye.
“The defendant thought she was pretty and tried talking to her,” Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said last month. “But the victim ignored him.”
Surveillance video from across the street showed George and her friend going their separate ways and George heading into the garage to get her car.
Meanwhile, Thurman is seen on a series of cameras. Video from inside a campus building shows him walking by, and on another camera, he is seen walking down Halsted Street – moments before prosecutors say he killed.
About 47 seconds after George was seen from a distant camera walking into the parking garage, Thurman is seen in his puffy jacket crossing the street and going into the same garage.
It was just before 1:30 a.m. that morning as George charged on to the parking garage that Thurman’s efforts to engage her took a hard turn, prosecutors said.
“The defendant followed the victim and tried to talk to her again, and then the defendant cat-called at her,” Murphy said.
He got violent as she got to her car.
“When the victim arrived at her car, the defendant was angry that he was being ignored,” Murphy said. “The defendant came up behind the victim grabbed her around the neck from behind and put her in a chokehold.”
In the moments that follow, police say she passed out from strangulation. He dragged her into the back seat, sexually assaulted her, and left her for dead, prosecutors said.
It was surveillance video that helped UIC police track down Thurman.
Officers said Thurman was wearing a distinctive white jacket that was later found at his home. He is seen wearing the jacket in the video.
Prosecutors said Thurman admitted to the attack after he was arrested.
George was a sophomore at UIC and a kinesiology student.
CBS 2 obtained the surveillance video through a Freedom of Information Act request.