A new docuseries is bringing national attention to the unsolved homicides of dozens of Chicago women. “The Hunt for the Chicago Strangler” is a three-part docuseries focused on the disappearances of at least 51 Chicago women who were all found strangled from 2001 to 2018. It was released on Discovery+ on Friday.
“When Discovery greenlit the series which was about a year and a half ago, this country was having long overdue conversations about race and systemic racism and Black women in particular, and how their murders or when they go missing, their cases do not get the same attention as other cases,” said Jennifer Anderson, director of “The Hunt for the Chicago Strangler.”
Most of the women found strangled over the last two decades were Black and their cases were largely ignored.
“Unfortunately, in our society, not just Chicago, but in the United States, Black women are the least of us, and so when crimes happen as horrific as what has occurred over these 20 years with these ladies, there is no outrage. I think if they were white women, they would certainly have brought out all the stops,” said activist Beverly Reed-Scott, who also served as consulting producer for the docuseries.
Activists have since called on police and the media to pay more attention, arguing there’s a serial killer or killers on the loose.
“Movement is starting to happen, and I believe this docuseries is going to elevate that movement, if you put a light on something, eventually it’s going to be seen,” said Rev. Robin Hood, who is also featured in the docuseries and has been raising awareness about Chicago’s strangulation cases for decades.
Along with raising awareness, producers and creators of the docuseries wanted to make sure they told the stories of the women who were killed.
“I think it’s very important to see these women as the real human beings that they were,” said Anderson, “I think it’s very important to experience the prolonged grief that the families are experiencing. I think these women are not just a name on a spreadsheet or police file, they had real lives and we’re missing something, because they are not here. They deserve justice just as much as anyone else does.
Chicago Police have not confirmed these strangulation cases are connected and say there’s not enough evidence yet to verify that a serial killer or killers are in fact committing these crimes.